The workout toolkit, Part 2: The Daily Schedule

Call it what you wish: the daily schedule, to-do list, priorities list, morning meditation on what-is-to-be-done, whatever. It’s a tool for the toolkit that helps me to visualize how I’m going to get ‘er done on chock-full days.

The Daily Schedule.

Last week I was in Los Angeles. It was light outside by 6:30 a.m. It was warmer and sunnier than it is in Seattle, where I live. I had but one thing to do each day: (1) write (for the first 3 days I was there, for a big project that was due), and (2) get to a writing seminar (for the next 3 days I was there). That was it. So fitting in workouts was kind of a breeze. Wake up, run or spin, shower, then do the thing that needed to get done that day.

Well, now I’m home. And this is what I came home to (and yes, it’s my own fault):

Yes, this is a photo of my "paper pile" on my desk this morning. Looks verrrrrrry inviting, doesn't it?
Yes, this is a photo of my “paper pile” on my desk this morning. Looks verrrrrrry inviting, doesn’t it?

So. There you go. And that’s what is on my writing desk. So inviting. So busy-work-making. So easy to sit there and sift through papers and forget that I have a workout to fit in to my schedule today. (A run, to be specific: speedwork at a local track.)

That’s where the daily schedule comes in. The list, the bullet points, the priorities – however you write it, however you picture it. It isn’t too long (I’ve heard that a list of five top priorities per day is plenty for a not-overwhelming, I-can-actually-get-this-done to-do list). And I’ve learned the hard way (that is, by not being anywhere near as active as I wanted to be in 2012 and 2013) that the only way to get something done is to make it important.

So, make it important.

I have a large to-do list today. It’s five things, but they’re five big things. It does not involve sifting through that aforepictured pile of papers on my desk. I could easily descend into the pit of hell known as Busywork. But no. Today will be different, because I have a plan. I will finish this post. I will take a client call. I will run this afternoon after an acceptable amount of work has gotten done. I will run the essential errands and not the “un-essential” errands. And I will get my run in this afternoon when it’s most likely to be as warm and sunny as Seattle gets this time of year. (Yes, I try to stack the workout deck wherever possible.) If the weather is a pain or I need extra buzz to get the workout in, I’ll do it on the treadmill at the gym and enjoy a soak in the hot tub afterwards. (That’s why I pay for a decent gym. Amenities, my friends. Amenities.)

It will get done, because it’s on my daily schedule. That is all.

Yesterday’s #every48 workout: BIKE at the gym – 5 minutes warmup, 40 minutes at 90-95 RPMs with moderate effort, 5 minutes cooldown.

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