You are busy.
You’d like to go to the gym more often, but with everything that’s going on you just don’t have the time.
Obviously, I can’t wave a magic time wand and add an extra day to your week.
But what I do have is something that – if you implement it – will give you a feeling of control and clarity.
Something that will free up both time and energy, which you can then invest in more important things.
A simple first step towards getting your s**t together.
If the never-ending stream of “stuff” flowing in your direction is leaving you stressed, tired and overwhelmed, with no energy left at the end of the day to go to the gym, here’s what I suggest you do.
Step one is to eliminate any irrelevant or unnecessary information that might distract you from your goals.
And that starts with cleaning out your inbox.
Chances are that your inbox contains a mixture of messages – emails that you should have replied to last week, stuff that you need to do, reference material for projects you’re working on, as well as random newsletters you’re planning to read.
Why is this a problem?
Email doesn’t take up any physical space. But it takes up psychic space.
Just the idea of opening up your inbox and seeing all that clutter makes you feel anxious and overwhelmed.
It’s hard to focus on other things when you’ve got a nagging doubt in the back of your mind that one of those messages contains a vitally important task that you’ve forgotten to do.
All of which is a waste of “mental horsepower” that you’d be far better off investing in something else.
Here’s what to do about it.
1. Create an “action” folder and a “reference” folder/tab.
2. Go through each message one by one.
3. If an email requires some kind of action from you, put it in the action folder.
4. If you need to keep a message, but no action is required, put it in the reference folder.
5. If an email requires no action and you don’t need it for reference, delete it.
People often leave emails in their inbox as a reminder to do something. Put those reminders in your calendar instead.
Your goal is to empty your inbox, or get as close to zero as humanly possible.
Emptying your inbox doesn’t mean that you have to finish all the work contained in each email. It just means making a decision about what to do with each message, and then filing it in the appropriate place.
To stop things piling up again in future, unsubscribe from all emails that you no longer find useful.
Don’t stay subscribed to a list just because it’s been informative in the distant past, or because you think something useful might show up in future.
Next, delete any folders or files that you don’t need.
Training programs that you’ve been planning to try “someday”… articles from 2012 that you still haven’t read… the giant folder of e-books that you haven’t looked at since Lehman Brothers went bust… get rid of it.
If you can’t bear the thought of deleting anything “just in case” you might need it in future, get a portable hard drive (or a cloud storage account) and put everything on there.
Just make sure all this “digital fat” is somewhere where you can’t see it and get distracted.
If you have a desk at home, clean it out. Remove anything with the potential to distract you. If in doubt, get rid of it.
Once all that stuff has been dealt with, you will be amazed at how much better you feel.
Your head will be clear.
You will feel productive… focused… free.
And you will have taken another small step on the path to physical greatness.
SEE ALSO: THE MUSCLE BUILDING CHEAT SHEET
If you're fed up spending hours in the gym with nothing to show for it, then check out The Muscle Building Cheat Sheet.
It's a "cut the waffle and just tell me what to do” PDF that tells you exactly how to go about building muscle. To download a copy, please click or tap here.
ABOUT CHRISTIAN FINNChristian Finn holds a master's degree with distinction in exercise science, is a former personal trainer and has been featured on BBC TV and radio, as well as in Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Fit Pro, Zest, and Perfect Body magazine.