Workout of the Day

Instead Of...


For anyone whose life feels busy and full (read: most of us), navigating the management of our ultimate finite resource (time) is an exercise in compromise. In the same way that you reach a point where you simply cannot pack anything more into an already-overstuffed suitcase, and therefore must decide between bringing the extra pair of sandals or that John Grisham book you bought on vacation 3 years ago, time management involves deciding what’s going to stay and what has to go.

It’s easy to get swept up in the “you can do it!” type of life-improvement motivation, and forget that in order to actually do whatever it may be -- in order to add something additional to the suitcase -- something else might need to be diminished or taken away. Sometimes this is an easy decision, when it involves trading out time demands that are easy to let go of or that you’re happy to relinquish (hiring a neighborhood kid to mow your lawn and clean your pool, for example), or a simple shifting of your schedule to make your use of time more efficiently (such as leaving earlier for work to miss rush hour traffic). More often, though, this tradeoff is between two things that we’d like to stay. Your boss tells you that you should read up on this and that for an upcoming project, your coach tells you that you need to spend more time mobilizing your hips, your child tells you she needs you to help coach her soccer team, and the book you’re reading tells you that you need to start devoting 20 minutes every day to silent meditation, and to each of these new endeavors you think, “okay, that’s a good idea, I can do that.” And as such, you end up trying to fit it all in, trying to squeeze something new in between the cracks, trying to multitask your way to superhuman productivity, and you find yourself burnt out, dissatisfied, and ultimately unsuccessful and unproductive.

Recognizing that you cannot, in fact, “do it all,” and adopting an “instead of” approach to time management and change is a failsafe against the growing demands of life and the unwavering constancy of time. New tasks, practices, and commitments are no longer thrown into the overstuffed suitcase in the hopes that you can put all your weight on it and zip it shut, but rather are done instead of some other commitment. When you add something, you subtract something.

The challenge and value of this approach is that it will force you to prioritize. You will have to come to terms with what you truly value and what you are willing to give up, as well as what pieces of your life currently demand considerable time and give very little back in return.

Take this blog for example. I write instead of watching television. Don’t get me wrong, I like television -- I have a number of shows that I enjoy watching, and on the occasion that I have completed my writing and whatever else I have prioritized above television and find myself with some free time to kill, I fire up the Netflix and happily get sucked in. But I’ve made a conscious decision to do one instead of the other. I have tiered my priorities to place writing above television, and so when it comes time to decide how to manage my time, the choice is already made.

Sometimes the choice will be an obvious one: spend time taking your kids to the park instead of scrolling through social media. But other times it won’t be so obvious: work overtime for the extra pay, or get to the gym? The simple, painful reality is that you can’t do it all. Sometimes the choice will be hard, but it still must be made.

- PS


  • Strict toes to bar - 5 x max

  • 3 rounds

    • 90s AMRAP

      • 8 sandbag over shoulder (AHAP)

      • AMRAP burpees

    • Rest 3 mins