Over the last two decades, working hours have increased by 15% whereas leisure time has reduced by 33%, Shirley Fine Lee reveals in her time management fact sheet.
With so much to do in such less time, it is mandatory that you start planning your day ahead to get rid of all the unnecessary tasks we tend to waste time on.
The idea if managing and tracking time is not only for business personals but, an atheist can also get equal benefit from it. Therefore, the best way to beat the race of time is to plan ahead because once you have a list of things to-do, it is much easier to keep a track on what needs to be done next.
“10-12 minutes invested in planning your day will save at least 2 hours of wasted time and effort throughout the day” – Brian Tracy writes in Eat the Frog.
Needless to say, the time thus saved from unplanned activities can be used in improving your performance or completing jobs that seem undoable otherwise. There are certain time-management skills that almost all successful athletes possess. By implementing these in your life, you too can learn to effectively achieve your goals despite time limitations.
Develop Smart Habits
These are the habits that define us. Whether you believe it or not, your body is accustomed to carrying out hundreds of routine tasks in a day. For example, you wake up, go to brush your teeth, take out the toothbrush, put some toothpaste on it, brush your teeth, and put the brush and toothpaste back in their places.
Then you wake up the next day and repeat the same. This does not take up much of your effort since everything is planned and organized here. However, if you do otherwise, put the toothbrush and toothpaste’s cap at a new place every day, you will end up spending a lot of time in finding the two. Hence, wasting your precious time on unnecessary disorganization that could have been utilized somewhere else. All these habits are part of our conscious decisions that we make on a daily basis.
If you start reducing the time spent on these small tasks, you will be having ample time at the end of the day that can be allocated to some constructive activity. Some highly influential and successful people are already acting upon it. For example, President Obama has limited his dress code to two colors only. It is not that he does not have other colors in his closet, it is just that he tries to spend as less time as he can on things that are not so important in the larger scheme of things. Same goes for athletes who want to become champions for their causes, countries, and nations. Allocate time well in advance to make the most out of your daily routine.
Winning athletes practice and practice and practice and they are so committed that average people cannot reach their level of mental determination.
For example, I know this player who loves to go out in bad weather, especially when it is raining, because he thinks it will add to his training and will give him an edge over other players who take a day off in such situations and prefer staying at home.
The main objective here is to prepare yourself to function exceptionally well even under pressure and other unfavorable circumstances. Want to know more about forming smart habits? Check out The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.
Stay Ahead of the Game
Professional athletes are always looking for opportunities to optimize their strength. They may be busy with official trainings by the team management but are still able to manage time out for personal development so that they can compete better.
Sports athletes also know that this is not something that they can do on their own, and hence seek professional help from experts such as personal trainers, coaches, massage therapists, and nutritionists. Not only do these people offer the best advice on staying fit during tournaments but also offer guidance on staying active during the offseason too.
If you lack a certain skill you feel is important for your team’s win, ask for help from teammates. For example, if you are a forward player in soccer, you can ask those playing in the center to give you tips on how to pass the ball to a forward player so that you can use that to get hold of the ball next time and strike a goal. In return, you can teach them a thing or two as well. The point here is to never stop personal development at any point. This consistency in learning new skills, and sharpening existing ones is also called ‘sharpening the saw’ which means much less effort and time will be required doing something well once you have practiced it enough number of times.
Consistency is key
Most junior athletes are active, follow a routine and maintain discipline only when they are in the court or the ground. This is a huge mistake. Professional athletes are always in practice, have a fixed schedule that they stick to throughout the year and are well-disciplined. This enables them to make the most of each day thereby increasing their productivity.
Moreover, if you are a professional athlete or plan to be one in the future, you need to take care of your body. Have proper consultation sessions with your trainers, nutritionists and whoever can help you achieve your goals. Never ignore the signs and symptoms of being stressed out or overworked. It is okay to take a small break when you are exhausted and get back to practice when you are ready.
In addition to this, disconnect yourself from all emails and calls if they are becoming a distraction. Now focus all your energy and stamina on your training or workout for better performance and results.