I suck at time management.
If you give me four months to do something, I’ll generally start getting it squared away within the month of the deadline. More hours, more caffeine, and magic happens. However, this only worked well when I was single-- one of the advantages of becoming a spouse and parent is you start finding ways to avoid being a total selfish jerk.
This was also a time to realize that I had a BA in Creative Writing, and the NSCA recommends Exercise Science majors take four months to study for this test… and almost double that for BAs. Luckily, my own personal interests bolstered my chances of success. But Father Time doesn’t screw around, so I needed to get cracking.
Within a couple weeks of starting studying, it dawned on me that, when faced with difficult concepts, it was much easier to get distracted by other things, like looking up equipment parts or spending money I shouldn’t. This behavior wouldn’t help leading up to the test (nor paying for diapers), so the question was, “How do I hold myself accountable?”
Turns out, I’m way too comfortable in my office. Much like working from home, you could write that report, or… fold your laundry! Except I have dogs and no wife at work to tell me what to do—I needed to get this done on my own, like the strong, independent man I am (who still needs his wife to tell him what to do). So I leave and drive to the nearest Starbucks with my material and a stopwatch, and believe it or not, I was extremely productive. In fact, had I tried studying in college like I started to for this CSCS exam, I probably would’ve gotten my BS.
This can be applied to many, many things in our life. Like taking care of your children!
I realized after many afternoons of wanting to rip my hair out, that the easiest way for me to keep my sanity while taking care of my toddler was to go. Go to Grandma and Grandpa’s; go to the grocery store; find an excuse to order takeout from the place another county over. Why?
I realized being in the box that is our house made me feel like the baby was constantly on me, or in my space, and needed so much of my time that I felt I wasn’t accomplishing anything and was a slave to circumstance. Now that I can actively accomplish something, I stay calmer, longer, and now, even she gets more exposure to things, and will hopefully grow up to be a productive, kind-hearted, sweet-natured, genius-turned-CEO who can pay me back for losing my hair for her because of it (but probably not).
Do you find eating constructively an insurmountable task? Cooking and preparing meals can be tedious, and when faced with this task, people avoid it and reach for convenience, either by eating junk or eating out all the time. So how do we approach this? Cook more food, less often, and make it convenient to eat, and choose food sources that require less preparation, like fruits or nuts.
What if we exercise after work, and it seems we work-out less because by the time we get home it’s much easier to not leave the house? Go before work, or go straight to the gym after work before getting home.
Either we need to change our environment, change our behavior, or both, to create success.
The more I apply these behavioral changes, the better things get. And at least in the short term, I can both be a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and keep my hair a little while longer.