Workout of the Day

Tracking Down Your Time

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Today I’d like to invite you to partake in a simple exercise with me. Consider it an opportunity to slow down for a moment and “check in” with yourself. We should all have goals and ambitions that we are directing ourselves towards, but the reality is that things get busy, hours and days fly by, and the next thing we know we’ve spent the last 10 years just going through the motions, spinning our wheels and moving nowhere in particular.

Here’s what you need: paper, a writing utensil, and a few quiet and undistracted minutes.

First, write down 4-6 things that you value as the most important in life, most essential to your fulfillment, and most pivotal to directing you towards happiness and success. This can be absolutely anything: earn enough money to buy a nice car, publish a book, raise children that will contribute positively to the world, be elected president, spend more time traveling, make it on Broadway, eat more chocolate, build a healthier and stronger body… it doesn’t matter. But be specific (i.e. writing down “do good things” is far too general), and be completely open to whatever you feel, even if it does seem absurd or unrealistic. This is a time to be an idealist. After you’ve written down these 4-6 things, number them starting with the most important.

Next, on the other side of your paper, write down the 4-6 things that, at this point in your life, you give the most time and energy to on a daily basis. Again, your answers can be anything: work, family, traffic, perusing social media, philanthropy, eating, video games, writing, etc. The obvious requirement here (if you are to get anything out of this exercise at all) is that you are completely open and honest with yourself. Humans are great at telling stories about how busy we are, how our lives are filled to the brim with important duties, but let’s be honest: social media and television likely top the charts of time- and energy-consuming activities on many of our lists. That’s okay. This list is for you and you only, so there’s no need to throw up smoke and mirrors. Again, after writing your list, number the items starting with the most time-consuming.

Now, compare your two lists. How much crossover is there? How many of the items on your “importance” list are on your “time-consumption” list? What do you spend the most time on, and does this fit with what you believe you should spend the most time on? Is your #1 item on the importance list on your time-consumption list at all? How about the other way around?

I’m sure you have an idea of what I’m getting at here.
The point of this exercise isn’t to make you feel bad about how you spend your time (though if it does, maybe that’s a sign), and I’m not suggesting that your two lists necessarily can or should match up 100%. Sometimes we have to spend time on things that aren’t our favorite, and that’s okay.
The point is that we should be conscious, active participants in our daily lives. What are the things on your list that take up your time that you don’t value? And what can you do to change that? What are the high-importance things on your list that don’t get any of your time? And what can you do to make room for them?

I see the gym as a training grounds for life in general. Yes, of course going to the gym makes us more physically able and healthy, but it also serves as a way to learn about ourselves, to dedicate time strictly to our development and growth. Part of that process is taking the time to assess where we are now and where we would like to be, and then making that actionable. In the same way that training can devolve into meaningless wheel-spinning if left unchecked, so can our day-to-day if we don’t take some time to reflect and assess.

Deep down, we all have some pretty good answers to the question: what direction am I headed? The key is to take the time to sit down and listen -- have the conversation with yourself.

- Preston Sprimont


12/13/16

  • Weighted pull-up - 5,3,3,1,1,1

  • 10 min AMRAP

    • 200m run

    • 5 ring dips

    • 10 jumping squats