Even if you’ve never heard of British historian Cyril Parkinson, you’re probably familiar with the idea known as Parkinson’s law. This idea states, “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”
Remember when you were in school, and you had to write a paper? If you thought you needed a couple of days to work on it, then that’s usually how much time it took. But if you forgot about it until the last minute and only had three hours to type out a draft, then that’s how much time it took.
That’s true for workouts as well as the sort of things we more often think of as “work.” This is good news for those of us who are insanely busy and don’t think we have time for a workout. We can use this law to help us find time for working out and get motivated to hit the gym. It can be especially helpful this time of year when we’re working to stick with fitness resolutions for the new year.
No Time for Working Out? Think Again!
You might be (understandably) skeptical of applying Parkinson’s law to fitness. However much time you have for the task is the time it will take to do it might be motivating when you’re working on a project before a deadline, but how does that help you find time to work out?
Let’s consider an example. If you think you need a couple of hours at the gym, then that’s how long your workout will take. And if you’re strapped for time, then you might start skipping the gym because of how much time you expect it to take.
But if you tell yourself your workout will take only an hour (or even less), then that’s how much time it will take. It’s much better for you to fit in a 30- or 60-minute workout and be intentional about how you spend that time than to try (and sometimes fail) to squeeze in a 90-minute workout.
There’s Always Enough Time
That’s the beauty of Parkinson’s law when applied to working out. There’s always enough time. Do you have 90 minutes? That’s enough time for you to fill. Do you have 20 minutes? That’s also enough time to fit something in.
If you have 90 minutes, you might warm up with some light cardio, then do separate workouts focused on strength, flexibility, and endurance. If you have only 20 minutes, you might jump right into your workout but start at lower weights and build up as you warm up. Hybrid or fast-paced workouts can help you pack exercises into those few minutes.
When you’re strapped for time and aren’t sure you can exercise, it’s time to set tight deadlines for yourself and develop a routine that works for you and your needs. Work faster and smarter, not longer and harder.
Customize Your Fitness Plan
Of course, a fitness plan that works for one person won’t necessarily be a good fit for another. Age, genetics, overall health, bone structure, and a wide variety of other factors all impact what type of exercise and which exercise schedule will work best.
When you work out at Extreme Studio Performance, you become part of a community that supports your individual fitness goals. Whether you want some help with everyday aches and pains, need motivation to work out for 30 minutes a day, or you’re doing focused athletic training, ESP is the right place to come.
Our staff is happy to answer questions and offer advice to all our members on their unique fitness journeys. You can also sign up for group classes or individual training to develop a routine that fits your time needs and fitness goals. Click here to contact us to schedule a visit and a free personal fitness evaluation.