A lot of people really struggled to keep their fitness and weight training programmes going when the gyms closed.
It was a struggle even for a lot of people who already did bodyweight training.
So many people also struggled to either be productive from home or to switch off in the evening.
And the reason so many people struggled with this was partly due to compartmentalisation.
See, so much of the self-discipline required to stay fit or to be productive goes into getting to the place where the magic happens.
Getting yourself to the gym is the hard bit. Once you’re there it’s easy.
Same thing with going to work.
Getting yourself out of bed and getting out of the door is what requires discipline, albeit usually less because, well, bills.
But for so many people during lockdown, our living rooms suddenly became our office, study and gym all in one.
No separation, no delineation, no compartmentalisation.
And so a lot of us lost our structure, our routines went out the window and our healthy habits fell apart.
If this is you, here are some things I’ve learnt over the last couple of years of being self-employed that have kept me sane. Believe me, when you leave work, now your boss is you and you have no structure imposed from outside, you have no choice but to learn to beat this.
Write it all down. Write down what you want to get done tomorrow, in priority order. If finishing a work project is number one and working out is number two, write them in that order on a to-do list.
Chunk your day up. I split my day into 1-2 hour chunks and I write down every task and activity I want to complete in that time. Even down to resting (because I’m that kind of person that needs to remind myself to rest).
Set up rituals for the start and end of each part of your day. My workday starts by putting a cup of coffee on the desk, opening my laptop and opening my planner. It ends by ticking off the last task, closing my laptop and doing 2-3 minutes of meditation of mindful breathing. Those are the rituals that delineate my day and allow me to move onto the next phase (ie a workout or relaxation). If I don’t do them, and I don’t always, I struggle to relax and have this lingering sense that something’s left undone.
Get some accountability and external structure for anything you can’t manage. After three months in lockdown managing my own training programme, I decided that enough was enough and hired a coach for myself. My problem was that I kept putting too much in, trying to hit every goal at once and kept overdoing it. The difference once someone else was holding me accountable was huge. One of my good friends is also a life coach, so we hold each other to account on habits of behaviour patterns that we’re struggling with or aspiring to. If it keeps being a problem, outsource! It will be worth it.
I hope that was useful to you and as always if you have any questions please let me know.