Keeping the Balance (Training/Work/Life)

Today I’m linking up with MCM Mama Runs, My No-Guilt Life and Run The Great Wide Somewhere for Tuesdays on the Run

I don’t always have a great relationship with keeping a steady balance between training/running, work, and life in order. Some days or weeks, one of those things comes out on top ahead of the others. Other times, it’s easier to pay fair attention to each. I have, however, learned spectacularly from when I do it wrong. Here are a few things that do help…

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  1. Schedule your workouts. I have done this loosely all year by creating a separate calendar topic in my iCal that lets me know how many miles I have planned for the day or how many minutes of cross training I have on tap. Lately, however, I’ve been more specific and given each day’s workout a designated time. I take a look at my week and see if an afternoon or a morning slot is better, how long I might need (accounting for possible travel), and plug it in the way I might insert a meeting. Your running/training is important. Make time for it!
  2. Stay organized. Figure out what works for you. Using your calendar? Notes on your iPhone? A hand-jotted to-do-list in a notebook? I lean on my iCal because I can refer to it easily and see my commitments by the day, week, month, or year. The color coding also helps me distinguish between school and work, training, travel, and events. It’s also clear when one of those things is reigning supreme, and I can plan accordingly. I even recently created a calendar topic for meals, connected it to my fiancé’s iCal, and plugged in what we’re eating for the week so nothing goes to waste. I even include a URL for the recipe so whoever is doing the cooking that evening will have it on hand.
  3. Aim to only touch tasks once. This is the tip that I am most guilty of forgetting. It means that once you have a task, approach it, and finish it in one sitting. Don’t move on early and have to return to it. For example, If you have strength + a run planned for the morning, give yourself enough time to finish both so you’re not forced to try and make up all or part of the workout later. If you need to send an e-mail, write it and send it off. Don’t let the half-finished draft sit in your inbox for when you can finish it later.
  4. Don’t be afraid to adapt. If the same schedule has been hard to see through for a couple weeks in a row, it might be a prime opportunity to sit down and see what’s not working and why. Are you trying to pack too much in a day that’s already asking a lot of you? (In my case: a 10pm core workout after a 12 hour work day). Try something new and give it a go the next week. Play around until something works. Week to week variances are normal, but you also don’t want to set yourself up for failure and cause unnecessary stress.
  5. Don’t beat yourself up. All of those aforementioned tips have helped me before, but they won’t do the trick every time. Things fall through the cracks. Thing don’t go as planned. We’ve just got to roll with punches, pick ourselves back up and try again next time.

Who else couldn’t live without their iCal? How do you keep the balance?


9 thoughts on “Keeping the Balance (Training/Work/Life)”

  1. Scheduling works wonders for me too. Otherwise time just gets away from me and I can so easily find myself at the end of the day with not having done any of the important things that I need to have done. I love a good schedule! I’m a bit old fashioned though and like to write it all down on a piece of paper 🙂 There’s a lot of satisfaction with crossing stuff off!


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