The Five Areas of My Life That I Block Out Time For So That I May Perform At My Best.

do not disturb

Here’s the paradox:

If you genuinely want to help and influence others to the best of your ability, you need to start by helping and influencing yourself to the best of your ability, first.

Otherwise, not only will you be limiting yourself in achieving and becoming all that you are capable of, but you’ll be limiting what influence and impact you are capable of having on the lives of others too.

Think about it.

  • If you were terminally ill, would you want to see just any doctor or the best doctor money could buy?
  • If you wanted to get more healthy and fit, would you go and learn from just anybody or from a person who models the way and leads the lifestyle?
  • If you had the opportunity to meet with and ‘pick the brain’ of any person on earth… Whom might you choose?

What leads you to choose one person over the other?  The biggest thing, in my eyes, is the difference in their value.

How do you become more valuable?  By investing in yourself.

That’s why I have identified five areas in my life that I believe have the greatest influence on making me a more valuable person and have blocked out specific times for them so that I may steadily improve them on a regular basis.

I call these areas my ‘Power Five’ and they are: Exercise time, reading time, writing time, connecting time, and sleepy time.

Here’s How I Block Out My ‘Power Five’:

  • Exercise Time – I reserve 9:00am – 10:00am every weekday for exercise time.  I show up regardless of how I feel and follow a training routine that blends together weight lifts, olympic lifts, martial arts, stretching, foam rolling, and body conditioning.  I try and balance out my training so that muscle recovery and long term commitment are taken into consideration.
  • Reading Time – I reserve 30 minutes every morning (after I finish my breakfast) and 30 minutes every evening (after my night-time shower) for reading time.  I open up a book regardless of how I feel.
  • Writing Time – I reserve 2:00pm – 3:00pm every weekday for writing time.  I turn my phone on silent, close all of the internet tabs, brew my coffee, get my bathroom break out of the way and go to work on the keyboard.  I edit drafts from the day before, type out random thoughts and ideas, organize other thoughts, or just stare at a blank screen until my hour is up.
  • Connecting Time – I teach/ coach/ and converse with students/ parents/ and peers at my Martial Arts School every weekday from around 4:00pm – 8:00pm (most times even later).  This is when I’m ready to have conversations, help people with their life challenges, coach students on how they can improve their skills, teach kids the character development traits that come with Martial Arts training, and so-on.  This is where I work on steadily improving many of the relationships in my life.
  • Sleepy Time – I reserve 11:15pm – 7:15am every night for sleepy time.  I try and hit the sack earlier when possible but almost always wake up at 7:15am (except for ‘no-alarm-Sundays’).  Sleep is absolutely critical for all of the other areas and is when your body recharges and recovers from the day before.  Don’t underestimate the power of this area.

It’s Blocked Out For A Reason.

This is one of the biggest distinguishing factors between an ‘Amateur’ and a ‘Pro’ as identified by Stephen Pressfield in The War of Art and Turning Pro.

Amateurs follow their moods and inspirations while Pros follow their plan and determination.

Pros show up more, do more of the important work, make more mistakes, gain more experience, become more valuable, and succeed more as a result.

And the best part is, the moment you switch from following your inspirations (doing your work when you feel like it) to following your plans (doing your work during your time blocks), according to Stephen Pressfield, you may Turn Pro too.

Are there days when I have to overbook my time blocks?  Unfortunately, yes – but I make it a last resort.

Did I adopt and commit to all of these time blocks all at once?  Heck no!

I focused on one habit change at a time and got to where I am today through a process of slow change.

Take a look at where you’re at in different areas of your life, get your first time block scheduled, and just wait and see what turning pro can do for you!

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