RJ’s Fitness Blog: Use shark habits to find more time.

Last week I offered up the top five excuses my coworkers use to avoid working out. One of the excuses was the lack of time. Yes, we are all busy but in most people’s life, there is time. Or if time were used better there could be more time.

That is where the idea of “shark habits” comes into play. Coach Dan John describes shark habits as tasks you can finish fast. Much like a shark eating, one bite and it is gone.

For example email. Not too long ago email took up way too much of my day. Mostly because I read every email as it came in on my phone. Then decided if I wanted to reply or not. If I did not reply on the spot then later I would have to find it, reread it and finally type a reply.

Why read the same message twice? Heck, why read them every time my phone chirps at me.

Today only look at my phone if I have some free moments. First I look at a sender and subject line. If I don’t have enough time to reply I don’t read the full message. Later when I have time I will read and reply to the messages I can. If I don’t have time for all the messages then I only do what I have time for. The rest will wait till my next time to chomp into them.

Creating shark habits can also create you more time.

Recently I passed a class to become a certified nationalist. During one section of the class, we were asked to track the foods we ate. Not the calories, not the fats & carbohydrates. What we tracked were the ingredients. The purpose of this assignment was not to create a shark habit but it provided me an a-ha moment that gained me one.

Each week I eat basically the same foods over and over. Not the same meals, but the same general foods mixed and matched into different meals.

Three months ago I would spend time thinking about what I wanted to eat all week. Make the menu for the week and then make a grocery list based on the menu. Shop and then come home to do meal prep. Now I have the same grocery list each week. So menu and meal prep can happen at the same time.

I would imagine many of you eat the same foods, but mixed together as different meals also. Just stock up on the staples, chicken, beef, veggies, rice, pasta, and whatever else. There is never the question, “What should I eat this week?” The answer is already in your pantry.

Making time for the gym.

Before going to bed I get ready for the next day. I have a go-bag I carry to work. By packing it before bed there is no rush when I wake up. All my gear for the day is ready to go, I just need to grab it and walk out the door.

In that go-bag are my gym clothes, shoes, and pre workout. Lunch is in the refrigerator with my go-bag on the counter next to it. Putting my lunch in the bag takes seconds. Getting ready the night before kills many of my old excuses.

There is not wasted time after work heading home, then heading back to the gym. In the morning there is no reason to be running late so skip packing. I already took a bite out of my morning by setting it up the night before.

We live in a world of multitasking. Sometimes trying to take on too much at once leaves us feeling stretched too thin with no time. Find some items in your day you can make a shark habit. Take a bite out of that task and get it done. You might be surprised to find after you accomplish one task there is motivation to do something you did not feel you had time for.