While being able to work in sweats, take Zoom meetings in the bathroom, and throw a load of clothes in the washer between client callbacks was fun for a while, returning to our pre-lockdown lives is what we've all ached for. However, that brings back some old problems with training: finding the time.
Now that we have work schedules, commutes, school pickups and dropoffs, increased in-person activities, and all those things we had previously excised from our daily routines, we have to find the time to train again. But how?
A Minute is A Long Time
Before we go any further, let's try an experiment. Set the alarm on your phone or watch (is anyone wearing a watch anymore?) for one minute.
Now choose one of the following: get on the floor in a push-up position, a deep horse stance, or stand on one leg with your hands in a fighting stance. Ready? Now start the timer and do whatever activity you've chosen without stopping until the timer goes off.
For most people, that minute feels a lot longer than it normally does. When I had a school, my students used to accuse me of stopping the clock or setting it for longer than a minute, because they couldn't believe a minute was so long. Of course, it isn't any longer than those minutes we all fritter away daily. What makes it different is the focus and intensity being devoted to one thing for that one minute.
Focus and Intensity
There has been one consistent rule that runs through everything I've studied: it's not how long you do something, it's how often.
Doing something every day, for a small amount of time, will make a great impact on your training. Why is that so? Well, if you are focused on what you're doing, and do it with intensity, then you will be spending your time more constructively than say, doing a bit, checking your phone, looking out the window, or thinking about that worrisome client at work, over that half-hour that was supposed to be spent training.
If you spend one minute on your worst kick, one minute on punching a heavy bag, one minute on a troublesome kata, and one minute on deep meditative breathing, you will be amazed at how much you get done in under five minutes.
Ready and Go!
To make the most of your time, I recommend using an interval timer app for your phone. This way you can keep track of the number of intervals you plan to use, and you can seamlessly go from activity to activity.
If you want to concentrate on an activity for a longer time, then do it. Maybe do two minutes on the heavy bag or the whole session on that kata. It's up to you. The goal is to be focused and consistent, and when the timer goes off, it's over.
Keep in mind that five minutes was just what I chose as an example because I believe everyone has five minutes somewhere to do something, even when we think we don't. Use whatever amount of time you want.
If you're ready to give it a try, start now. Why not? It'll only take a minute. Ready? Go!
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