Running (1)

Eight steps to learn to manage your free time and do sport

One of the most common responses when we talk about exercising is “I don’t have time.” As we have said on other occasions, to get the most out of any kind of exercise, you must do it (a) regularly, for instance three times a week, and (b) for at least 24 to 40 minutes each time.

So, given that there are 168 hours in a week and you only have to find three or four to do sport, this will only make up 2.38% of your week. We want to make it clear, then, that the issue is not time, but how we organise it. You have to ‘create’ about four extra hours, so we’re going to guide you through this with a couple of ideas.

It’s inevitable that you’ll be working eight to ten hours each day, so we’re going to try to organise your free time by calculating four to five hours a day plus weekends.

1. Find out how you spend your free time

Before reorganising your day, use a diary to note down everything you do for three days. This is how you’ll be able to see what you do in your free time and find out how to use it more intelligently.

2. Plan

There will always be changes and emergencies that crop up, which you must take into consideration and which, sooner or later, may alter your plans, but it’s always easier to control this if you have a basic plan instead of leaving everything to chance.

3. Prioritise tasks

Some tasks are really not important and can take you a long time. If you prioritise them, you will make sure your time and energy is spent on those that are really important.

4. Calculate how much time you spend on each task

You might find that you spend more time on certain tasks. Make a note of this for at least five days and then adjust your planning.

5. Split up big tasks that take a long time into smaller ones

Work on the big tasks bit by bit instead of spending a long time on them. For instance, if a job is going to take eight hours, do it in four periods of two hours.

6. Control distractions

It’s very easy to waste time on unnecessary distractions like watching too much TV or playing video games. Friends will also call just for a chat. Close the door, turn off your mobile and computer and get out of the house for a walk or run.

7. Learn to say NO

It might be easier to give this advice than to put it into practice, but many people, such as family and friends, take up too much of your time. You can’t be there for them all day and must learn to say no.

8. Learn to delegate

Some tasks can be delegated, while others definitely cannot. You’ll have to work out which you have to do yourself and if you can delegate some, you’ll have to ask for favours or negotiate.

All you need is a little planning, good interpersonal relationships and a little intelligence. Do this and you’ll find not only time for exercise, but also time to gain control over your life, which will feel very gratifying.

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organise your free time

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