Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Fitness Racket- Part 4- Time Management and Tips

This post is the continuation of the three posts on the fitness racket. Post 1 explains the Fitness racket we play on ourselves, post 2 explains the mind over mind technique, while post 3 talks about prioritization. This post deals with Time Management. While all posts can be read independently, reading the whole series will be worth your while.

Time Management

We’ve read about it. We have craved for the secret to it. We all publicly want it, but secretly don’t want it. We loudly declare how bad we are with it, and how marvelous those awe inspiring beings are, the one good at it. I’m talking about time management.

While you may agree with most of the points mentioned above, this one might get your panties in a twist; we secretly don’t want it. We don’t want the most efficient and purposeful management of our time. We don’t? I think so.

Who would want to wake up at 5, exercise on time, sleep on time, eat on time, have time for family, be productive at work, and get to spend time with family? Everyone, right? Wrong. While many publicly crave for it, secretly, they are happy not to be efficient time managers. Why? Because Time Management is HARD WORK!

Become an efficient Time Manager will mean enough time to:

  • Exercise- Who wants that?! Except if you are being paid 10 crore for it?
  • Eat on time- Who wants that?! Isn’t eating late a sign of how devoted and busy I am?
  • Sleep adequately- Who wants that?! How can we then complain of how tired, and fascinating, and busy, and important we are because we have no time to sleep?
  • Spend time with family- Who wants that?! Busy professionals rearing for the top don’t spend time with family! It’s only after we become VP or CEO do we do all of the stuff mentioned above, while we live the good life of doing nothing!


  • Being healthy, fit and happy is not only an actor’s prerogative.
  • An optimally fed professional is a way better professional than one on 10 cups of Coffee and a prayer.
  • A well-rested professional is also a way better professional than the one downing 10 cups of coffee to beat hunger, sleep and exhaustion.
  • Those’ living it up’ CEO are ten times busier than one, but yet manage to fit in exercise, diet and family due to their excellent time management skills.

No, I ain’t no Time Management Guru. I am just a guy who is striving to find the time to do the things I love, and take care of my health by eating right, on time, sleeping right, and catching up on some exercise.

It does not require project management skills, nor does it require psychiatric help. All one has to do is:
  1. Acknowledge we are timewasters, and that we run a fitness racket on ourselves.
  2. Use the Mind over Mindtechnique to ensure we do the good stuff immediately and wait out the badstuff.
  3. Prioritize and proclaim; myhealth in my No.1 priority.

When we have step 1, 2 and 3 in place, finding the extra time to sneak in a brisk walk, or a half hour in the gym, time for a peaceful lunch or 7 hours of sleep without worry is possible.

As an ex-colleague used to talk teary eyed about a Project Management line:

Find the problem.
Solve the problem.

Problem found- We don’t accept we are neglecting our health and come up with reasons.
Solution- Accept the fitness racket we run on our family and ourselves, and many possibilities will arise out of that acceptance.

Problem- We want to start, and continue down our lifestyle alteration goal, but we are weak willed, lazy, distracted and scared.
Solution- Use the Mind over Mind technique; get over the road blocks.

Problem- No time to eat right, on time, sleep right, sleep enough.
Solution- Prioritize, and make health your no.1 priority.

Following these steps will ensure that you are sharp enough to find out lapses, accept them and find solutions. They will help you rule over your mind and come up on tops. They will help you in putting health before other not so important things, and will assure you always have the time, energy and conviction to pursue what’s really important; vibrant health!

Here is some of the stuff I do:

  • I keep a few packets of Green Tea with me. I strive to have two cups a day
  • I make it a point to rest for 5 mins after my lunch, and then go for a ten minute walk. The gossiping I was to do with my colleagues over lunch can also be done while taking a walk.
  • I get down about half a kilometer away from the Andheri Railway station to walk. It takes me and the bus the same time to reach the station due to the traffic, and I have found time to walk!
  • Whenever I call my wife or anyone else, I start the walk and talk routine made so famous by the idea- Abhishek Bacchan ad.
  • I don’t entertain any meetings at the lunch hour, and people are very understanding when I tell them that I am hungry and I have to eat. If it is really important, I ask them to tag along for lunch. I have always found out bugs, issues and other serious sounding things seem a little lighter during lunch.
  • I do a couple of sit ups, pushups and jumping jacks as soon as I get out of bed. It takes a minute, rids me of my sleep and sets the tone for my day.
  • I keep water handy, just beside my bed and gulp down half a litre on waking up.
  • I have accepted my shortcomings which inhibit my journey towards lifestyle alteration. I also stay away from people who are a discouragement towards this end.
  • I use the time I get in the train to do little pranayama or neck exercises, apart from listening to health e-books, or surfing the net for latest health information.
  • I keep my water bottle at office half full, and go for a refill every time the water finishes.
  • I have rounded off a few of my friends and convinced them to play badminton, or go swimming, or head out for football on the beach every alternate day or weekends.
  • To drink lesser and minimize the effects of alcohol, I have made it a rule to have a glass of water after every peg of alcohol I down.
  • I start my dinner with cucumber slices- that I love- or soup.
  • Whenever I feel a craving for anything, I first have a few sips of water. On most occasions, I realize I was just thirsty.
  • I take frequent breaks from the “routine” and not follow anything for a day.
  • I fast on fresh fruits and raw salads every once in a while.
  • Usually, I neither fast, nor feast.
  • I always, ALWAYS, read the food labels and strive to stay away from HFCS, Trans Fat, Added Sugar or MSG.
  • I keep experimenting with different foods and observe their effects on my body.
  • I have observed my schedule in detail, pin pointed times when I feel hungry, and always keep almonds, Soy Protein, Whey or other healthier stuff handy.
  • I religiously have home-made, Ajinomoto free, veggie loaded, at times egg/meat loaded, wheat based noodles. (And they taste absolutely delicious!) Lesson to be learnt- Have what you like; just find healthier places or ways to eat them.
  • I keep looking at my goals on a monthly basis, and keep a check on my progress.

 If you liked the series of these posts, if you hated them but read them anyway, if there is anything you learnt or anything you want to share, please feel free to comment. 

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