Ever have a day (or week) where you feel like you can’t catch up, no matter how hard you try?
When you are trying to fit in multiple activities or tasks, keep your commitments to others, and meet a big deadline (or two), it might be tempting to skip your workout.
How many times have you faced a time crunch and decided to skip a personal commitment, instead of renegotiating a commitment with another person or dropping a different item from the day’s task list?
In economics, we talk about opportunity cost, where saying “yes” to one thing means that you are saying “no” to another opportunity. In other words, there is a cost to making a choice, as making a selection means that you cannot choose another opportunity using the same resources (time, money, etc.) that have been designated for the option you have chosen.
For example, if I choose to work late on a project, then my opportunity cost might be that I cannot use the time for cooking dinner. Or, if I buy dinner from a local restaurant, then I can’t use that money to purchase new running clothes. (What?! 😂)
If you are struggling to find time to exercise, reviewing your activities on a daily or weekly basis may help to give you an idea of where and when you are choosing other activities and whether those alternatives are occasional, periodic, or frequent along with how they compare to exercising. You may also discover that you have more free time than you realize, though that time might be broken up into smaller, inconsistent chunks. Further, once you have clarity on how you are using your time, you may decide that the value received from certain activities isn’t worth the opportunity cost in some cases.
Life happens, and you won’t always have the luxury of choosing to exercise even if that were what you would prefer to do in the moment. However, if you find you are regularly delaying your exercise plans in favor of other activities, it’s a matter of how you are choosing to prioritize activities and commitments, rather than a lack of time.
As you aim to build a fitness routine that works for you and your lifestyle, taking time to think about your selected activities and commitments (fitness or otherwise) along with the associated opportunity costs may be helpful.