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Tips for Intentionally Getting More From Your Day

You are an athlete, a high performer, and you don’t have time to waste, right?  And, I’ll bet that’s not all you do.  You likely balance family, education, work, daily chores, making meals (you’ve got to eat don’t you?), and recovery tasks like massage, physiotherapy, and more eating!  So, how can you make more time to focus on your passions?  The following 8 ideas will make you more productive so that you have more time for your other passions:

Start your day out right!
Self-control has been shown to be highest in the morning.  By making good choices early, you can take your morning energy well into your day.

  • Begin by drinking lemon water.  It improves nutrient absorption over time, which can result in a steadier level of energy over the course of your day.
  • Exercise to get yourself going.  This may not be your primary work out, but even one short vigorous activity will set your body up for a productive day.
  • Stay away from screen-time.  Practice self-awareness at the beginning of your day (some people choose to meditate).  This kind of awareness is critical to high performers, so spend some time with yourself, and let the others wait.

Set goals for your day!
As in sports, so in life.  Daily goals help you focus your energy.  The completion of these specific goals/tasks over the course of the day helps you have a sense of accomplishment.  Setting training goals for each training session gives meaning to each workout.  The sense of achievement refuels your energy tank.

To-Do Lists CAN work!
What are the tasks that need to be tackled in order to meet your goals for the day? Go ahead, make a list, but do this one critical thing:  ASSIGN DATES and TIMES to each item on the list.  Scheduling the tasks holds you accountable to yourself, has you avoid distractions, and ensures that you create quality time (both physical and mental) for your training.  You can use the same technique as a structure for your training time.  For example, before your workout decide what, and for how long, and then give it all you’ve got!

De-clutter your critical spaces!
By this I mean not just your room or your office, but your workout spaces.  In what state of order is your gear?  Can you grab it and go?  Is it washed and ready, just waiting to be put to good use?  If it’s not, then get on top of it.  You lose time looking for things, so make sure your gear is ready for the day, if not the night before, then as a part of your morning routine.  Declutter your training space too: No cell phones, make it ready for the work you must do, and then you can stay focused on the task.  Remove the obstacles in your way.  Clear your space, clear your mind, and keep your goals and objectives in sight.

90 minutes is the magic number!
Whether it’s for chores, schoolwork or training, 90 minutes has been shown to be the maximum time you can work hard at one task.  What is even more efficient is to break the 90 minutes into 20-30 minute chunks.  Take intentional short breaks, change your visual focus, alter your posture, and then get back at it with gusto!  Envisioning your workouts in parcels like this will also have you more focused and working with more intensity.

Do the hard things first!
Tackling the toughest tasks at the beginning of your day, when your energy is highest, will pay off with a sense of achievement that will refill your precious well of energy.  And, getting started on the hard things first trains you out of the trap of procrastination.  This freedom from procrastination fires you up and frees you to do the things you really want to do.

Say NO, and say no to multi-tasking!
Multitasking doesn’t work.  Your brain can only focus on one thing at a time, and that’s a skill you want to perfect for training and competition.  We coach our athletes to know that “performance only happens in the present”.  So, why not practice focus all day long.  Saying NO to distractions honors your commitment to your goals and to yourself.  It’s time to channel your inner toddler and say ‘No!’ to the things that you from what you really want to achieve today.  Keep an inventory of what distracts you (put away your phone!) and avoid it.

Sleep more and sleep better!
It goes without saying that if you are well rested, you’ll have better energy during the day.  Better energy leads to more impactful actions, and ultimately to higher performance.  n evening routine provides the foundation for the kind of sleep a high performer really needs.  Bedtime is another place to practice discipline: Keep regular hours, avoid food just before you hit the sack, and no screen time for at least 30min before its lights out.  (More on the importance of sleep another time!)  Go to bed with discipline, wake up with discipline, and start all over again to maximize productivity all day long!

Have a great day!!

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