Busy people need to prioritise to be successful, productive and avoid spinning themselves into burnout. Prioritising tasks is not new but people tend to forget that you are prioritising the important and not just the fun.


One major problem I see what talking to busy people is the same saying “I just don’t have time to exercise”. This may very well be true because it is not seen as a priority and this is where the obvious problems come. In this very same conversation we then talk about other issues which are affecting work and private life. Sleep quality, stress, weight, energy levels, the list goes on with issues that are causing problems.


What I normally do is go through a work or family based scenario where you are getting multiple problems due to not dealing with one route cause. The penny then drops and they see where I am coming from, they don’t necessarily like the answer but it soon becomes clear. This is where prioritising the important and not just the fun comes into play. It is no secret that getting back in shape after either not doing it at all or from a long lay off is hard. So is starting a business, starting a family or dealing with a work crisis but we still do it because we know it is important.


The difference with our health and body is that we do always assume it will be there and be ready to do what we need to when we need to do it. When it is not ready we then look to every other solution that simply maintaining it. There is no excuse anymore as knowledge is not the problem. One look on Google will give you a mass of information. This, however, is normally the start of confusion about what YOU should be doing.


So let’s look at ways to make sure you are prioritising effectively.


1 – Plan simply and effectively

I say it multiple times everyday and will continue until the day I die… Keep it simple. In my opinion making things overly complicated means one of two thing. You either don’t understand what you are talking about or you are trying to delay getting started. When making a plan to prioritise you need to make as few moving parts, stages or steps as you can. If you don’t you tend to add stress and work to everyone else involved and slow down progress. In the case of you getting healthy, you are adding stress to an already stressed system and pushing closer to big burn out.


The effectively part means you have to step back from the situation and really think about the best way to achieve the goal. The ego takes a step back and the problem solver within you takes charge. As I have said before it is down to you and you alone to control what happens to you to focus on the results.


2 – Accountability

Accountability as a term is thrown round a lot but for me it is about finding a way to make sure you get the results you want. Being held accountable should put the right kind of pressure on you to get out of your comfort zone and make stuff happen. So if we are putting accountability in place to get you healthy what do you do? You make sure you accept you either need to be shown how to exercise or to have an appointment to exercise. My business, Realfit Centre, only focuses on training people in an environment where they are with a coach and have booked. I think with our increasingly busy lives it is very unlikely that many people are going to stick to any routine unless it is booked and monitored. Just think to back to any time you may have joined a standard gym and think how effective it was? Chances are it just didn’t keep you engaged and accountable and that is where you need a third party.


3 – Be clear on the ongoing result.

Ongoing results? Don’t you mean result?

The reason I use this term is that it is wrong to think of a fixed end point with your fitness and health. I have already said we need to constantly maintain so I can’t go all shiny fitness on you and say you will be fixed in 8 weeks can I? Remember that it is an ongoing process but short term goals will always be needed. In a business you will have monthly targets, do these ever stop? No they move, stay the same or adjust and the same happens with your goals. If you have got to a point of being able to do a certain distance run or lift a certain weight and you feel great for it then you either need to push your goal or work to maintain this.


Time will always be an issue for most busy people but looking at getting healthy as an important task that needs doing will supercharge your other results. I could go on for pages about the benefits of a fully functioning body and mind on overall productivity. The main point is it is now on you to decide if you want to change your body and mind for the better to perform at a higher level.


Pete Drinkwater