Gaspari Nutrition

Jaime Baird


Balance, Boundaries and Time Management
05/14/2013

Hi everyone! Despite not having competed since the Arnold Bikini International, the last few months have been exciting and full of activity! I started a new job as the Editor-in-Chief of FitnessRx For Women Online, went on a Utah Gaspari tour, worked the Orlando Europa on behalf of Gaspari, attended a family reunion for my Dad’s 74th birthday, celebrated a 8 years married with my hubby, went to my first PGA Tour event to watch my future brother-in-law play…oh and had jury duty for the first time. Okay…so maybe that last one wasn’t very exciting. Anyway, to say the least, the last few months of been busy, but definitely full of good stuff.

Transitioning From The Prep Mindset

After the Arnold, I decided to take some time away from the stage to focus on my new role with FitnessRx and just give my body a little bit of a break. While it has been great, it is definitely an adjustment transitioning from the prep mindset to regular life mindset. Since I started competing, I feel like I have always been just a few months from competing, so I never really took my foot off of the gas for too long. Competing and prep was always top of mind. Now, the main focus of my time has been my new job, as I have been getting through the normal new job learning curve while pushing to make positive change.  It’s been hectic, but I LOVE what I do and am really having fun with it.

Seeking Balance, Establishing Boundaries

That being said, I have the tendency to get so involved doing the things that I love that I become a little obsessive about it. I’m sure you fellow passionate, over-achievers out there can relate. It makes you good at what you do, but overtime, you can start neglecting other things in pursuit of perfection. (And, by the way, perfect is not attainable.) The key here is to establish boundaries around your time and to commit to giving time to your other goals daily. This has been especially important for me as I work from home. It’s so easy to stay in my office all day and night, but overtime, that schedule would not lead to greater productivity. Rather, it would lead to resentment and burnout, which isn’t cool at all. I have been there a few times in my life.

I started competing seven years ago as a way to find balance from my career in strategic planning at an ad agency, which had consumed just about all of my time and energy. Competing was exactly what I needed to get back in touch with my needs and reignite my passion for life. As I think back on those times, I am reminded to stay balanced and maintain boundaries when I am tempted to blow off a workout, turn down the opportunity to see friends or neglect my loved ones. To successfully achieve balance, one must be able to prioritize projects and tasks and to be more efficient with time. I know, easier said than done. To help you, below are a few of my tips for making more time and increasing your productivity.

A Few Tips For Managing Time & Productivity

  1. Satisficing (satisfy + suffice) vs. Perfecting. While we would all like to have ample time to polish every single thing we do to perfection, there just isn’t time for that. And, in many instances, doing so won’t result in better results.  The key here is to determine what items in our day deserve the extra attention and which ones can be “good enough.”  As a recovering perfectionist, this is a hard task for me, but it is necessary. So, I set time limits on the things that can be satisficed (versus perfected) to keep me focused on more important initiatives and getting more things DONE.
  2. Batching Tasks. There is much time saved by doing similar tasks together all at one time. For example, checking and responding to emails at certain times of the day rather than every time an email comes into your mailbox.  This also applies to social media updates, writing, errands, etc. I struggle with this a bit, but I am getting better at staying singularly focused on one task at a time. Try giving up that ADD multi-tasker mindset for a few days, you will be surprised just how much more productive you are.
  3. Determine The Three Most Important Tasks. I am infamous for my long, unattainable lists of “things to do.” Such lists are a good “brain dump,” but they rarely keep you focused on top priorities. So, while I always have a running list, I know always identify the THREE most important things to accomplish each day to keep me focused when requests or other life things start to hijack your time.
  4. Know When To Walk Away. Sometimes it is difficult to walk away from a project when you are stuck or when you aren’t making head way, but getting away from it and doing something else can help clear your head and give you a fresh perspective. When I’m stuck, I will head out to train, walk the dogs, etc. rather than wasting time spinning my wheels. I’ve found that you can’t always just grit your teeth and force tasks (in my case, writing) when you are stuck
  5. Know Your BEST Times. Anyone who knows me is aware that my brain just stops working about 8pm. And, there is a slow mental decline after 4pm. So, I will rarely try to take on any writing or thoughtful task later in the day, if I can avoid it as it takes me twice as long to complete it. So, I do my most important work early in the day. In fact, I have found that I’m able to get more done before 11am than I can the rest of the day.

Have other tips? Share them below or hit me up on Twitter or Facebook!

Keep pushing toward your best!

Jaime Baird

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