Think you don’t have time for an opportunity?

by Sep 11, 2014Health

My schedule is crap. I have no time to exercise.

I have back to back meetings all day. Meditation is not an option.

People will think I'm weird.

I wear (insert here) high heels, a suit, glasses, underwear.

The excuses are endless.

A lot of people have crap schedules but you can still find opportunities to move.

I have a client who is a kick-ass hair stylist and when we started working together she thought she didn't have time to move or exercise during the day. When you think of it in terms of ‘workout' it's easy to think you don't have time. Workout implies changing clothes, getting sweaty and blocking off at least 30-40 minutes. I had her change her mindset and create 5-minute opportunities. I gave her 5-minute workouts she can do in a skirt without getting sweaty, in between clients. Some days she gets in 3-5 opportunities. That's 15-25 minutes of exercise she wouldn't normally have thought to fit in because it is outside most people's mindset of ‘workout'.

“Taking opportunities to do quick workouts during the day has changed me. I find myself looking for times to get to do them, instead of dreading it! It gives me energy and makes me feel good about myself.”  Michelle Scaraglino

I used to have a job where I was on back to back training calls or meetings for up to six hours a day. How companies think you can GSD I have no idea, but now, I schedule at least 15 minutes between calls or meetings. Sometimes these meetings run over and I only have a couple of minutes before my next one. Even two minutes is enough to do a quick meditation with an app like Calm.com (no affiliation). I've been using this for a couple of years now. It has over 40 different meditations of lengths of 2-20 minutes. Even two minutes can get me focused for the next client. It may not put me in zen state but it's a good practice to have.

Afraid people will think you're weird?

I got news for ya, people already do. Move on. Asking people to do walking meetings with you is an effective multitasker. I've written before about walking meetings here. I love that one of my former clients, Amy Howard of Amy's Web Designs has this in her email

We can either meet at my office (I have coffee here) or we can meet at a Starbucks or do something different and have a meeting while we walk a greenway. 

It doesn't have to be official work meetings either. Instead of meeting your friends for coffee, meet them for walks. I do this with a couple of my girlfriends and it's great. Sometimes it's a workout and sometimes its leisurely, but I'm still off my bootah.

Not dressed for an opportunity?

Slip off your heels for some single-leg squats, or take off your jacket for some doorway chest stretches. Find a standing desk or make one yourself and burn 50 extra calories an hour (three hours a day over the course of a year is eight pounds of fat just from standing!). Are you afraid people will look at you funny because you are standing? I actually look at people funny that sit ALL DAY LONG by choice. How's that for perspective?

Change your mindset and search for opportunities to move, meditate, stretch, etc. My friend is a pilot and during a seven hour layover in O'Hare his co-pilot and the flight attendants popped a squat at a Starbucks for five hours. He left his bag with them and walked SIX MILES in the airport using his pedometer to track him. He walked every terminal and gate. SIX MILES. How's that for using an opportunity! Candy crush sure doesn't burn that many calories.

Your Weekender Snapshot and Tim Ferriss’s Five Bullet Friday are my favorite emails I receive.
jim west

Principal and Managing Director, GFF Architects