I’m talking time hacks on the blog every Friday in April. This is the first of four posts where I’ll share tips of how I maximize my time while triathlon training + racing, working full-time and fitting in quality time with family + friends.
We all get 24 hours in a day, and as triathletes, we quickly learn how to efficiently maximize those hours. As for balance – well, there’s not much when it comes to triathlon and life. It instead ebbs and flows as your priorities shift on any given day, week or even year.
One way I’ve learned to maximize those 24 hours so I can fit in a few occasional non-triathlon activities (including last weekend’s baby shower at a brewery!): Become a creature of habit.
Time hack #1: Create + stick to a routine.
By creating and sticking to a daily routine, you eliminate some of the guesswork from your day. Routine grounds you and brings order + organization – keys in the (occasional) chaos of triathlon training and life (because whose life isn’t a bit chaotic?!).
Those certain elements of predictability can be game-changers, freeing up energy and space in your brain to think about other things – like work, recent conversations, getting in touch with how you (or swimbikerun) feel or what’s for dinner (the most important, obviously). It’s during one of my most basic routines – repeatedly running the same route – when I do my best thinking (or write blog posts) because I don’t have to think about where I’m going to run or plan out a specific route.
Routines can simplify complicated, too. Case in point (see above): Planning out bike or run routes. Stalking Garmin Connect, Strava, MapMyRide/Run or google maps to figure out daily or weekly ride or run routes… I don’t have time for that. Determining a few routine routes simplifies the process – and, who doesn’t want simpler when it comes to triathlon?!
Here are a few things creatures of habit do:
- Get up at the same time each morning
- Go to bed at the same time each evening – I’ve been reading from a real book for 20-30 minutes prior to falling asleep
- Have a morning routine – mine is enjoying a cup of coffee from the Bialetti while reading blogs + checking social media
- Have a dinner routine – maybe it’s taco Tuesdays or fish Fridays… whatever it is, stick to it every week
- Grocery shop and get gas on Sundays – I started this in January, and it frees up so much time during the week!
Don’t get me wrong… I’m all for spontaneity and have been trying to say yes to a few more things at a moment’s notice. However, no is a frequent word in my vocabulary – because routine. My current priorities don’t line up with after-work happy hour on a random Tuesday (who am I kidding? HH isn’t and never will be a priority). Saying no is how I stay sane, how I say yes to the things that bring me joy, how I have time to sleep and how I keep my routine (most days)!
So, tell me: What are your routines?!