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Balancing Act

It seems lately with the new year and new goals, everyone is talking about time and balance.  Balancing life in general is tough enough but then adding in a training schedule makes it even tougher.  But the thing about time is this: we all get the same amount every day

One of my favorite quotes is “Don’t say you don’t have enough time.  You have the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo daVinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein.”  -H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Each week I work 40 hours.  When I am in school, that is 6 hours a week and homework can take anywhere from 6-12 hours a week.  Right now my training looks like this:  run 3x a week, spin 1x a week, cross-train, strength train and take Pilates.  It will get even heavier come spring when I add another bike and two swims a week.  In addition to work, school and training, I have a social life too.  Shocking, I know.  But, each week I also set aside time for the important relationships in my life.   

I often get asked how I keep it all together and fit it all in.  The easy answer is, that I just do.  But the more truthful answer is that I work really hard.  I make a genuine effort to budget my time.  And sometimes I make sacrifices.  And the more truthful answer is that sometimes I don’t keep it all together.  But things happen and I have learned to forgive myself.  Some days feel like they will never end but some days I even still find time to watch TV and take naps!  I imagine that those of you with kids (I don’t know how YOU do it!!) can identify with all of what I just said, except for the nap part.  I would be jealous too 😉 

  Four things that make me the ocd type-A person I am help me with balance are:

  • Having a schedule-  I write and re-write schedules constantly.  There is always a schedule of some type on my fridge.  Even if I don’t follow it to a T, it is there to remind me of what I am accountable for each week. 
  • My planner/calendar- My schedule would be nothing if it weren’t for my planner and calendar.  I keep everything written down to keep me on track.  Otherwise, I would never know what was going on! 
  • To-Do Lists- The first thing I do each day is write out my list.  I have been known to have to-do lists for my to-do lists.  But, it always feels good to get things checked off throughout the day and even better, the week.
  • Two-A-Days- My favorite!!!  Does this make me crazy?  Cause I am serious.  The last thing I want to do after work is spend 2+ hours at the gym.  Breaking it up into a morning and afternoon workout makes it so much easier.  Usually I will hit the gym in the morning and then do an outside work-out (bike or run) after work.  As an added bonus, if I can squeeze enough in, sometimes it gives me an extra free day during the week.

When it is all said and done, it comes down to one thing for me: Am I happy?  Do I enjoy what I am doing with my time?  I work to pay my bills and I go to school so I can have more money to pay more bills.  Those are things I have to do.  But I workout, train and race because I want to.  I don’t always love 5am wake up calls or having to skip out on fun plans because of training, but I do it because in the end I get to reap the rewards.  I take pride in my hard-work whether it be at work, school or in training.  I train hard because I want to and I race and volunteer because I want to.  When it stops being fun, when it stops being a “want”, I’ll know.  And if/when that happens, I probably won’t be as willing to give up so much time for training.  But for now…it is all worth it.  And the bonus is, I am a better person because of it all.

How do you find balance in your busy life?   What keeps you motivated to keep going?

PS- Song Suggestions for my new playlist are being taken here and one lucky blogger will be rewarded tomorrow sometime before the end of the day 🙂


15 thoughts on “Balancing Act

  1. We always find time for the things we love! Since my previous post was all about *time* and prioritizing, etc, it seems we’re all feeling the same! Maybe the days seem shorter because we’re getting less daylight hours too! Regardless, you have a lot on your plate too, you’re doing a great job!!! Keep at it!

  2. Good post! I don’t work full time, but I do work part-time and I’m a full-time student. I agree that having a schedule really works! I recently got a fabulously heavy-duty planner, so this semester I should be micromanaging myself like crazy (in a good way, I hope)!

  3. i love that quote, too!!!!!!!! and i love that runner girl clock 🙂

    two a days are a great idea– my only issue with them is showering. i hate having to shower twice in one day, but i love getting two workouts in if possible.

    i think your advice is great! i love planners and to do lists. and a schedule. kudos to you for getting so much done all the time!

  4. I’m constantly trying to find ways to keep balance… but more and more I’m trying to learn how to say “No!”. I take on too many projects at work, then people learn I am a webmaster and ask me to do outside things. But if I’m already working about 50 hours a week in my full-time job, I don’t need or want to spend more time at the computer for other people. I want to either spend time at the computer for myself or I want to be out running (or doing something else away from a desk!).

    Lists and schedules are always good though. I find if I write a list, my tasks look a lot more manageable than when I’ve got them just batting around in my head!

  5. I’m ina simialr situation with a full time job, a full time evening MBA program, a sick parent, and triathlon. I find that I try to get qualiy out fo all my ToDos and make sure that I’m constantly assessing what my world “looks” like. And it’s been working, thus far. Keep it up on your end!!

  6. This is a great post – I completely agree with you. Whenever I am asked how I manage to fit in working out, my response is, “I just do.” It’s important to me, so I make it work.

  7. Truly: I could have written this post 🙂 Our life looks a bit the same although you work out more. I have a 36 hours working week, do all the housekeeping myself, workout and have a social life.

    How do I keep balance, well you won’t believe it but by planning workouts 4 weeks ahead and plan other dates around it as much as possible, work with to do lists (at home and at work) and keep my schedule up to date 🙂

    I love the saying about time, the only I wish that I could do on less sleep, that would give me more time in a day to do everything I love.

  8. I do the same thing! Everyone thinks I am crazy, but I feel better working hard so that I CAN fit in all my exercise. I plan my week out, but sometimes, I get a surprise, like today when my lunch meeting was canceled and it became a two-a-day!

  9. FUnny you should ask on my HELL week at work. I keep going because I am supporting my family. My husband can stay home and take care of our boys because of me…

    And I run because that is the ME time that balances it all out..

    and I Blog because I am NUTS!! LOL!!

    Sorry I have been absent..will catch up soon.

  10. I think if something is important to you, you make it fit and make it work. At times it can seem daunting, but in the end it all works out. You are doing great balancing everything.

  11. training definitely makes for a busy life! i don’t know how all the mom’s out there juggle kids, running/training, running a household and often work too!! i can hardly handle work + running… let’s be real i’m not much of a betty homemaker just yet 😉

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