The Fight For Time

When I started RevFit back in 2009, I knew my mornings would start early.

Clients wanted to be able to train before they went to work, which meant that training would start roughly around 5-530am each weekday.

Early mornings (with a 20-25 minute commute from home) meant going early to bed so that I could get a decent night’s sleep before the next day began.

Back then, I probably woke up around 4am each day.

Years later, a buddy of mine was talking about a psychological “trick” he would play with himself where he would set his alarm about 5 minutes before the hour he needed to wake up. He wanted less of an opportunity to snooze his way through the start of his day.

The trick seemed worth trying so I pushed my alarm back to 3:55 for a period of time.

Then, I wanted a bit more time to try and add some meditation to my day, and ten minutes of meditating seemed a reasonable amount of time.

This pushed my wake time to 3:45am and it stayed that way for over six years (long after I put meditation on the backburner).

As a result, my sleep time would average 6.5-7 hours each night, sometimes restful, sometimes not.

This is certain: since 2009, the one thing I haven’t done is gotten younger.

The days are still very physical and depending on the span of the day, sometimes the mental work is more draining than the physical.

So, about two months ago, I changed my alarm from 3:45am to 4:15am to see how/if the extra half hour would help me.

So far, the answer is yes.

It does affect how much time I have to get my mind right in the morning before work but I’ve realized that I need to prioritize sleep. If my sleep isn’t right, the rest of the day (and potentially the week) won’t be right either.

I’ve written about time management several times on this site. For many of my clients, time management affects the decisions they make about food and the decisions they make about when or if they can fit in their training.

However, sleep influences those things as well. How we sleep influences our stress levels, our food cravings, our ability to recover from workouts and our cognitive functions.

Maybe sleep isn’t your challenge.

Maybe you work too many hours and you can’t fit in your training.

Maybe you spend so much time chauffeuring your children around that you have no time for yourself.

Maybe the lure of four hours of an addictive, streaming show is too great for you to have a self care routine.

I realized I wasn’t doing myself any favors by rigidly adhering to a wake time that was no longer serving me.

And as you fight for time, where does your energy go?

Is it going to waste?

(Photo courtesy of Morgan Housel)