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Getting in shape with Getting Things Done

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  • Getting in shape with Getting Things Done

    One of my current projects is "Get in shape and be happy with my physique". I reached a point in my life where I thought "Right enough! Its time to do something about this. I've been talking for far too long and not doing".

    I've been pretty serious about this now for the last 6-8 months. I've only recently discovered GTD and am wondering if other people have any useful hacks/tips on using GTD to accomplish this.

    One of the things that's very important to me is to be in the best physical and mental state that I can in order to get things done. I have to listen to my body which hasn't done any Cardio or weight training before in my life. If my body is tired the day I'm due to hit the gym, then I go the following day when I'm totally refreshed and can give 100%.

    With this defined as a project how would you handle repetative next actions?

    For example, my next action is to go to the gym on Friday and do Cardio. The next action after that is Saturday - whole body workout followed by a next action for Sunday. The project would just be full of the same next actions which may or may not get done depending on if I've fully recovered or not.

    David suggests that he only places things on his calender that MUST get done that die or they'll die. Because of this I'm guessing this isn't how I should be tracking my training.

    I use Outlook 2007 with the GTD add-in and Microsoft OneNote. Grateful for any advice you can give on using GTD for this project.

    Regards,

    Jason

  • #2
    There's been a lot of discussion about repetitive next actions on the forum already; try a Search to see what's been said.

    Basically, this is an area that the GTD system doesn't address as directly as it addresses other things.

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    • #3
      if working out is important to you, put it on your calendar. You must do it or die, that is the midset, I think.

      If you put it in your calendar every day you will do it!!

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      • #4
        As part of my Weekly Review (usually done Sundays at 4:00PM), I do look at the next 7 days and decide which of at least 4 days I will go to the gym. I definitely mark these on my Calendar because as noted above, it's do-or-die. I feel so much better when I'm physically active, especially in winter months.

        I also have an "At Gym" context folder because that's when I do some of my reading that doesn't require 100% solid concentration. Before trying out GTD, I didn't make any distinctions between magazines I had to read slowly and those I could read / scan lightly. So I had piles of unread magazines thinking they all had the same importance. GTD has really helped me trim the size of those stacks (and the waistline!)

        I used to despise cardio, finding it really monotonous. Now it serves a dual purpose of getting the blood flowing and getting things going, or done!

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        • #5
          Calendar!

          Speaking as someone who lost over 100 lbs., I can tell you that my workouts are on my calendar and they are listed at a specific time. I use part of my weekly review time to review my upcoming calendar, and working out is the FIRST thing I schedule!

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          • #6
            One possibility

            Is to get a proper training programme. I used the "body for life" system (with a different food setup) until I got into cycling, and when I go to gym I still use the methods.

            Phillips talks about planning a lot, and I think having the commitments definitely helps. If you don't want it on the calendar, have a separate training programme and/or log that you can take to gym with you. Then you could have "update training plan" in there somewhere and you'll pick it up as part of the weekly review.

            Oh, and when you're tired - go to gym! That'll make you wake up. (Try it, at least.)

            Richard

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            • #7
              Pick a long term goal!

              Hi I have also wanted to apply GTD to physical goals- so I picked a long term goal- "by July 29th, 2007 I will be able to bike 100km per day for 6 days", and signed up for a bike rally, which raises money for people with HIV/AIDS.
              This goal is making me plan big! Right now I work out 3 x a week for 40 min, so I will need to increase both work out time and # of days.
              It is really inspiring, and a little scary as I start to raise funds and tell people I am going to attempt this!!
              I am going to be using every GTD trick to keep the rest of my life flowing as I train...
              Laurie

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              • #8
                All the above, plus some...

                I agree with everyone above. I have been very successful in *changing my habits* to include regular (4-6 times/week) physical fitness and a healthy diet. I emphasize changing my habits because that really is what you have to do. Some GTD tools & tricks are great for getting the habit changed - then once you are in the habit, you can be less rigourous about using the tools/tricks.

                For example: For 3 months I signed up for the Men's Health online personal trainer program and followed it pretty much by the book. By dedicating myself to a specific program which defined my diet and exercise routines I literally reprogrammed my brain and body to eat right and exercise right. I have been off the program for about a year and I still eat very healthy, well portioned meals.

                Here is what I do now:
                0. Set quarterly goals for myself (weight, body fat, body dimensions, resting heart beat, perfection of new yoga poses, whatever).
                1. Measure and log my weight and body fat every morning right after I get up.
                2. Perform a "weekly fitness review" of my log (am I on track to my goals or slipping), my workouts (did I do what I planned), and my diet (just a reflection on the past week of food). During this review I also plan my workout days for the upcoming week (what days yoga, what days weights, what days am I out-of-town and will I workout on the road) - that kind of stuff. I like keeping this weekly fitness review seperate from my weekly GTD review, but that is just my preference. As recommended above, this is life-or-death so PUT YOUR WORKOUTS ON YOUR CALENDAR!
                3. Pack my snacks and lunch for the next day (pretty much) every night before I go to bed. The easiest way to eat poorly is to not plan your meals, and then eat junk.
                4. Don't get down on myself when I fall off the wagon for a few meals, or a few days of exercise. As with GTD, the black belt level is not about perfection, but about recognizing when you have slipped and then adjusting correcting.

                Last comment - be prepared to negotiate other committments you have with yourself, your family, your career. Healthy living takes time and committment - if you are already fully booked, something else will have to give!

                Good luck,
                James

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                • #9
                  Yes, schedule it.

                  Originally posted by Barb View Post
                  I can tell you that my workouts are on my calendar and they are listed at a specific time. I use part of my weekly review time to review my upcoming calendar, and working out is the FIRST thing I schedule!
                  If you consider fitness a first priority activity then schedule it first. For example I know that I am swimming on Saturday and Sunday mornings so this time is blocked. If somebody wants to meet me on Saturday I say "OK, but I am busy until 11:00 AM. Can we meet at 12:00?"

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                  • #10
                    Start on Monday

                    As a lot of people have suggested doing with their work - start the week the right way. I.e. Going to the gym/doing exercise on Monday sets you up with the right frame of mind to continue the week the same way ...

                    HTH - J.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks to eveyone for your help and comments.

                      I want to begin by first saying that on the way to work this morning, listening to one of the GTD "In Conversation with...." podcasts I had an "A-ha" monent with regards to my training and the levels I was looking at it.

                      I realised that I have been looking at "Get in shape and be happy with my physique" as a project instead of something at the 20,000ft level. If I place this up at that level instead at the 10,000ft level, then the Projects for this would be more specific like "Get body fat % down to 10%" or "Find my six pack" . These then become much more easy to track and meassure. I was thinking of maybe scheduling in a weekly fitness review in the car this morning so I will give this a try - thanks James.

                      A mental note to myself : If something doesn't seem to fit into where I've placed it with GTD, then check to see if I've defined this appropriately and placed it at the right level.

                      Back when I started being focussed on chaging myself physically I was introduced to Bill Philips. He was the very first person and methodologies I gave my complete trust in to get me where I wanted to be. Before Bill I kind of shrugged these life changing ideas off. I just put them down to money making schemes and that there must be another answer to why some people have it/get it and some people, myself included, dont.

                      I wasn't interested in doing all the research on what I needed to do to loose fat and build muscle. It didn't interest me and still doesn't. I need something or someone that says "Do this and only this and this will happen" and that person was Bill. I did just that and was amazed at just how I quickly switched into it. I originally hated the idea of weight training but didn't mind the idea of cardio. I now love both. The biggest lesson that Bill taught me was that if I could do this I could do anything and I now truly believe that.

                      One of the important lessons Bill teaches you is like it or not your body needs 8 hours sleep. Immediately take this off you 24 hour day leaving 16 hours. He also taught me that you can do an effective, worthwhile workout in 20 minutes. It is with this approach that I try to implement my schedule.

                      @QuestorTheElf - How do you read material when in the gym? I take it you're sitting down on a bike or something like that I listen to a lot of Podcasts, some work related and a lot GTD related. I use this time in the gym, along with the two hours of travel a day getting to work to get through these.

                      To everyone else : I'll place Hitting the gym on the calendar, schedule around this and see where that takes me. I'll define it as a must do and cannot be moved.

                      Thanks again to everyone for your help and advice.

                      Jason

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                      • #12
                        Motivation To Move podcast.

                        If you want some motivation you may try to listen to free Motivation To Move podcast.
                        As Scott Smith says: "Stand up, Take a Step and Repeat".

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                        • #13
                          Fitness

                          I found it really hard to get fit until I got really interested in a sport (running). Pick a sport and read up on it - get really keen - if you do it because you love it the fitness benefits just come without you having to force things.

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                          • #14
                            If you have children...

                            Originally posted by neil007 View Post
                            I found it really hard to get fit until I got really interested in a sport (running). Pick a sport and read up on it - get really keen - if you do it because you love it the fitness benefits just come without you having to force things.
                            If you have children that are interested in some kind of sport ask them (or their coach) to train you. I began to play tennis when my son started to attend tennis lessons.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JasonJ View Post
                              Thanks to eveyone for your help and comments.

                              Back when I started being focussed on chaging myself physically I was introduced to Bill Philips. He was the very first person and methodologies I gave my complete trust in to get me where I wanted to be. Before Bill I kind of shrugged these life changing ideas off.
                              Jason:

                              Seems you and I are on the same path. I discovered Bill Philips a number of years ago and first started my fitness path with him. Since then I have been more focused on the Men's Health "Abs Diet." The two approaches are similar so you might want to check it out.

                              I also do the podcast thing at the gym since reading is out of the question when you are truly moving!

                              Keep it up!

                              James

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