Tag Archives: time management

Better Running Starts With A Kitchen Makeover

28 Jan

My 2010 Run For Autism

Two days from now, my 2012 training season officially begins. Over the last couple of weeks, I have gone running a few times and learned how to do the strength training exercises that have been prescribed for me. I have been reading through the plethora of material provided in my Precision Nutrition kit. I have been trying to prepare myself for this season, mentally and physically.

This weekend sees the final push, the last preparations before I start my training program. It’s kind of like preparing for a trip. You spend weeks or months figuring out where you want to go and how you plan to get there. You sort out details like visas and passports, you make lists of what you want to take, you sort out someone to take care of the dog. And then, for two or three days prior to your departure, you rush around in a frenzy of activity, packing your bags and confirming all of the details.

To follow the analogy, I am now in the process of packing for the trip and doing all of that stuff that brings all of the prior planning together and ties it up in a neat bundle.

Here’s what my weekend has in store for me:

  • Today, my kitchen is getting a makeover. I am emptying out the cupboards and repacking them. I will finally throw away the baby bottles that have been lurking unused at the back of the top shelf for the last five years. Now that I have decent pots and pans, I can get rid of the old dented ones with chipped handles and thereby add valuable space to my tiny kitchen. The fridge will be organized in preparation for tomorrow’s grocery shopping trip.
  • Meals for the next two weeks will be planned.
  • I will make a list for said grocery shopping trip. I will buy what’s on the list, and only what’s on the list. The husband will not be permitted to add unauthorized items to the cart.
  • I will go through the training program that my friend and coach Phaedra has given me, and I will add all of my runs to my wall calendar. I will also schedule them on my Outlook calendar. Once they’re scheduled, they have to happen, right?
  • I will get my home workspace organized in a way that it will stay organized. This will make it easier for me to get things done in less time. When my space is cluttered, my mind is cluttered and that doesn’t help anyone.
  • I will finally put away the mountains of clean and folded laundry that I have everywhere. I spend ridiculous amounts of time digging around for clothing that I could find in five seconds if I was organized.

This is a lot to get through in one weekend, but I am excited about doing it. I even have an incentive: if I do all of these things, on Monday I will reward myself with a new pair of sports headphones I’ve had my eye on, and this will give me a wonderful musical experience when I’m running.

I am looking forward to making new starts in my life. I am looking to creating some desperately needed balance, and doing things for myself that will make me happier and healthier. I have been languishing for too long in this feeling of being overwhelmed by my life. It feels good to be taking action and making plans.

I intend to post weekly updates on my progress, every Saturday. Come with me as I embark on this journey. It may not always be easy, and I’ll need cheerleaders along the way!

 

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Time’s A Bitch, But I’m Gonna Beat It

25 May

I am having a battle with Time. This battle has been going on for a while, and I confess that for the most part, I have been letting Time win. I’ve decided that from now on, I’m going to stand tall, square my shoulders, hoist up my big girl panties, and KICK TIME IN THE ASS!

I am tired of the following statements being rules of my life:
– I don’t have time to run.
– I don’t have time to write.
– I don’t have time to cook nutritious meals.
– I don’t have time to get enough sleep.
– I don’t have time to relax with my family.

Basically, all I have time to do is commute, work, commute again, and then do a different kind of work when I get home.

This is no way to live. And I’m not going to do it anymore. I’m going to take the time to sort out the logistics of my life, so that going forward, I can do the stuff that matters.

I’m going to systematically go through the stuff in my house and throw crap away so that I can have the physical space to be organized. (I’ve already made a start on that – this weekend I cleaned out my kitchen cupboards and linen closet, and Freecycled three big garbage bags full of baby things).

I’m going to get all of my paperwork filed and up to date, and THEN I’m going to deal with things as they come in instead of waiting for a big fat pile of papers to be teetering over like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. (I’ve made a start on that too).

I’m going to prepare kids’ clothing and lunches for the following day, and get my own stuff ready as well, as soon as I get home from work. That way it will be over and done with, and I won’t be dashing around at eleven at night looking for the kids’ socks or trying to find an apple to slice up for a lunch box.

I’m going to go to bed at a reasonable time.

That way, I will be able to get up early to RUN.

I will have time to write, time to cook real food, time to live my life the way it should be lived.

And with all of the crap and clutter out of my way (physical and mental clutter), I will have time for the most important stuff of all. My husband and children.

So that’s the plan, and I am publicly declaring it here.

Now, wish me luck. I think I’ll need it!

(Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/atportas/329630852)

The Juggling Runner

16 Feb

Those who know me well know that I have the dual problem of (a) having way too much on my plate and (b) having crap time management skills. Juggling a full-time job with parenting a child with autism, parenting a child without autism, helping manage Gerard’s business, and everything else that I have going on, can really take it out of me. That is a lot of balls to have in the air, and dropping any one of them is not an option.

Despite all of this, though, I run. I am living proof that the excuse of not having time to exercise just doesn’t hold water. Anyone who wants to exercise badly enough – assuming they are medically and physically up for it – can find a way to make it work.

That being said, it is far from easy, and several people have asked me how I do it. And so, for people who are overtaxed, overworked, and overwhelmed and still want to exercise, I offer my words of wisdom (and thank you to the Running on Empty blogger for suggesting this as a blog topic).

1. Get your partner/spouse/significant other on board. I cannot stress this enough. I’m not saying you have to drag them out of bed to go running with you at five in the morning against their will, just ensure that you have their support. Explain to them what you want to do and why it’s important to you. Let them understand what impact, if any, it will have on them. I am very fortunate in this regard. Gerard occasionally grumbles and complains when I abandon him to the mercies of two lunatic children so I can go for a long run, but he understands that it is something I need to do. Come race day, he is always a rock of support for me, taking me to races at ungodly hours of the morning and cheering me on at the end.

2. Planning is essential for people pressed for time. At the beginning of each week, write down what days you are going to work out and how long each workout will be. Be sure to take into account the amount of time you will need to change into your workout clothes and get to wherever you need to be. Once you’ve done this, schedule the workouts in your calendar. Once they are in your calendar, don’t move them. Schedule other stuff around them.

3. Once the workout is scheduled, just do it. If your calendar says you’re getting up at five in the morning to go for a run, then get up at five in the morning to go for a run. There will be times when you just don’t think you’ll be able to drag yourself out the door, when all you want to do is go back to sleep. Your mind may even try to convince you that this would be healthier. If you give in, though, you will spend the rest of the day regretting it. If, on the other hand, you get up and do your workout, you will feel an amazing sense of accomplishment. As an added bonus, I frequently find that the runs I am really, really not in the mood for turn out to be some of the best ones ever.

4. As much as I’m going on about scheduling and planning, you have to be prepared for exceptions. Sometimes it won’t be possible for you to go running when you planned to. Your child will keep you awake all night, and you will genuinely need to catch up on sleep instead of running. Or your boss will call an emergency meeting that will cut into the time you had reserved for your lunchtime workout. Or you yourself will get sick and be forced to rest. This is all OK. Sometimes life gets in the way of running. If you’re not able to reschedule a missed workout, no problem. Just go for the next scheduled workout and life will continue to be good.

5. Remember that shorter workouts are still worthwhile. If you were planning to run for an hour and only find yourself with twenty minutes, it’s still worth running for those twenty minutes. From time to time, I’m not able to get out at all because I have no-one to watch the kids for me, but even on those days, I manage to do sprints up and down my road, checking on the kids between reps.

6. The key thing here is perseverance. Even when things get so overwhelming that you have to skip runs or take an extended break because you’re ill or injured, don’t give up. Remind yourself of why it is important to you, and think about how great it feels when you complete a great workout. When things get tough, don’t just give up and tell yourself it will not work. Ultimately, you are doing this for YOU, and you should never give up on yourself.