Why "I don't have time" is NOT a valid excuse to skip exercise (and HOW TO FIND TIME!)
The most common excuse that I get for the inability to go exercise or go to the gym is time. You don’t have enough time to go to the gym, or you do too much to fit exercise into your schedule, or you plan to go to the gym and all of a sudden it’s 10pm and you didn’t make it there. The thing is, EVERYONE is busy, and EVERYONE has lives outside the gym.
This post isn’t meant to call anyone out, but it is meant to help you realize that people who exercise have the same 24 hours in a day that you do. They have jobs, go to school, have families, travel, and do all the things that you do, yet they find time to exercise. Whether it’s in the morning before work, after work, during a lunch break, or before bed, they find the time! Going to the gym doesn’t have to be the way you choose to exercise; it could be walking the dog for an hour, doing calisthenics before bed, riding your bike to and from work, or playing pickup basketball for 45 minutes on your way home. There are ENDLESS possibilities for how you can exercise, but the bottom line is that “I don’t have the time” is NOT a valid excuse.
So, I’ve somewhat convinced you to consider that MAYBE you do have the time to workout, but how do you identify when that is? I recommend that you plan out your day using a calendar app. I personally use Google Calendar, and it has worked wonders for my productivity and schedule. If you have a pretty standard schedule that doesn’t change week to week (i.e. your typical office job, school schedule, etc.—then Google Calendar should be SUPER easy to set up. Google Calendar lets you set repeating events on a daily, monthly, and weekly basis. Using these tools, you can program your schedule to repeat for as long as you want (2 weeks, a month, a semester, etc.). You MUST input ALL of your recurring events, as this is how you will identify when you regularly have time to workout.
Once you’ve input all your recurring events, look for times each day that are open. I guarantee that you aren’t truly busy ALL day, so identify these windows of time. If you’re a student, maybe it’s that 2 hours after your last class and before your first club meeting. If you have a full time job, maybe it’s before you get in the office at 9am in the morning, or after you get off work at 6pm. Maybe on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, it’s before 1pm, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays it’s after 5pm. Whenever this time is, recognize it and consider what you normally do during that time. Maybe you normally watch Netflix, take a nap, scroll through social media…you get the idea. My point is that there is SO MUCH time during our day that we don’t always recognize and utilize.
Now, create a new Google Calendar event called “Workout.” Fill between 3 and 6 of those open time slots with your new "Workout" event. Just like you’ll honor your “Work” Google Calendar event everyday, you’ll honor your “Workout” event too. If you find that your schedule has a lot of little gaps but not many solid chunks of time to exercise, consider how you can change your schedule. Is there a way to shift some events around to create more time later? Additionally, consider shifting your bedtime and wake up time. The most effective change I’ve EVER MADE to my schedule is waking up earlier and going to bed earlier. I regularly wake up at 6:15am, and I balance that with a bedtime of 11:00pm. I found that I have a lot of time available in the morning, so I adjusted my schedule to take advantage of it. Be creative and take initiative with your schedule! You have the same 24 hours everyone else has in a day, make them count!
-Malik Jones, Certified Personal Trainer