How to Squeeze Exercise into Any Day
Guys love shortcuts. To the pizza joint. To the subway. To third base. It’s why we love speed dial, the Ctrl button on our computers, and frozen vegetables.
Your love of shortcuts is why you’ll love musclemorphosis.com—which has more than 70 routines to help you shed fat and build muscle in less time than ever before. Of course, you'll still need to find 15 free minutes in your day. So here’s a shortcut for that, too.
1. FLIP OFF FACEBOOK. The average American spends at least 7 hours a month on Facebook, according to Neilsen. Let’s do the math: Seven hours a month works out to 105 minutes each week, or hmmm, guess what? Exactly 15 minutes every single day.
2. SAY “NO!” We know. You think you can do it all and you hate to say the N word. But we think you’ll really like it once you try it. Next time someone asks you to do something you really don’t want or need to do, say, “I’m sorry. No. I just can’t” and feel the freedom—and all that free time—wash over you. (Say it to your boss and you may have a lot of free time on your hands!)
3. PLAN YOUR PEAKS. We all have certain times of the day when we are most focused and productive. Schedule your biggest tasks for that time (for many people it’s in the morning, say 9 am). You’ll get it done more quickly and efficiently than if you wait to tackle it during a natural low point (like midafternoon).
4. DO ONE THING AT A TIME. We pride ourselves as being supreme multi-taskers, but trying to do too many things at once means getting nothing done. Sit down with your to-do list. Pick an item, and do it and only it. You’ll be shocked at how quickly each tasks gets done when you give it your full energy and attention.
5. RECORD YOUR SHOWS. A typical hour-long TV show contains just 40 to 42 minutes of real content —the rest is commercials. Watch two shows and that’s 40 to 45 minutes you could have spent doing something else—like superfast, total-body 15-minute workouts found in The Men’s Health Big Book of 15-Minute Workouts.
6. LEAVE WELL ENOUGH ALONE. Is it really all that important that your hubcaps be spotless? Stop wasting precious time with a bottle of Armor All, buffing every little imperfection out of your bucket seats and aim for adequate instead.
7. BE DECISIVE! You can easily waste hours choosing what home sound system is best or which brand of sneakers to buy (it’s called analysis paralysis). At some point, you need to stop waffling and move forward. Set a time limit, say 45 minutes for comparison shopping, weighing pros and cons, etc., then make a decision and get on with life. If you haven’t heard, it’s short, hombre. 8. BUY TIME. Yes, you actually can buy more hours in the day by paying for services that suck up tons of time. Before you pooh-pooh the idea of hiring a laundry or cleaning service, sit down and do a little math. What is an hour of your time worth? How do you spend your disposable income? When you consider that you might be blowing a few hundred bucks on restaurant meals and golf accessories you don’t really need while you slave away all your spare time mowing the back 40, it’s time to reconsider your expenditures. Hire a landscaping service to do the heavy-duty stuff a few times a month and buy yourself hours every week.
9. INK IT IN YOUR CALENDAR. Amazing how you find time for everything on your calendar, right? That’s because it’s there in black and white demanding your attention (and time). Block out your workouts as you would work appointments and you won’t miss a one.
10. USE AN EGG TIMER. Certain activities are black holes for time. All the little things you plan to do for just a few minutes—surfing the web; playing games on your phone; “window shopping” all the new apps for your iPad—can suck away hours if you’re not careful. Keep an egg timer on your desk. When you sit down set it for 15 or 20 minutes. Than shut down when the bell rings.
11. TOUCH IT ONCE. When a paper comes across your desk (or in the mail) touch it once and deal with it immediately. Piling up stacks of paper not only creates distracting clutter, you also waste time revisiting it again (and again) or worse, losing something important. (Try it with email too.)
12. MAKE A CALL. IMing and emailing can be great time savers. But sometimes it takes 15 messages to accomplish what you could do in a 40- second phone call. As soon as texting starts getting complicated, go old school: use your mouth.
13. PUT THINGS IN THEIR PLACES. How many times have you wasted 10 minutes hunting for your car keys. Buy a 75-cent wall hook. Put your keys on it. Done. You just added days’ worth of free time over the course of your life.
14. SET OUT YOUR STUFF. This one is repeated more often than It’s a Wonderful Life at Christmastime, but it works. Setting out your exercise clothes at night makes it far more likely that you will get up and get moving for a morning workout, instead of hitting snooze (or worse, skipping the whole affair entirely) because you’re too lazy to get out of bed and start rummaging for your workout socks.
15. GET UP 15 MINUTES EARLIER. Ridiculously simple, right? Yep, and it works. Vow to get up and workout at 5 a.m. every day and you’ll never do it. But even the most nocturnal of night owls can set their alarm a mere 15 minutes earlier in the morning. Even if you don’t use that extra time for your workout, it gets you out the door and to the office earlier than usual, so you get more done earlier in the day. So you’re more likely to feel entitled to take that 15 minutes for yourself later on in the day. And, of course, use it on one of the killer total-body routines you’ll find in musclemorphosis.com.