How to Make Time for Your Outdoor Adventures

bouldering

Time man­age­ment is real­ly life man­age­ment, because that’s what time is—your life. In order to make time for the epic out­door adven­tures you crave, you need to man­age your life. Oth­er­wise, life will keep hap­pen­ing to you leav­ing you won­der­ing why you nev­er do any­thing that excites you. There are three main com­po­nents to gain­ing back con­trol of your life: your quirks, habits, and lifestyle.

Quirks
Are you more pro­duc­tive in the morn­ing or do you rock night-owl sta­tus? Think back to your work­day and when you’ve had the best break­throughs. Assign the tasks that need the most brain­pow­er to those time slots. Make sure you don’t pro­cras­ti­nate on your high-ener­gy tasks, oth­er­wise you’ll wres­tle with the task for twice as long as you would have had you assigned it to your prime brain time or your “per­son­al time zone.”

For those who work in cre­ative indus­tries, keep­ing with block-sched­ul­ing is impor­tant. Cul­ti­vat­ing the flow of cre­ative juices is sim­i­lar to get­ting a 12-gear bike into top gear. It takes time and effort to real­ly get going, but once you’re there, you’re real­ly mov­ing. Min­i­miz­ing inter­rup­tions while you’re in the zone is key.

Habits
The only way to take charge over your life is to take charge over how you spend your time. I’m sure you’ve said, “If there were only more hours in the day” at one point in time or anoth­er. The good news is, there are more hours in a day. Sim­ply steal hours from an area that has become unbal­anced or isn’t help­ful for you to accom­plish your life goals and pas­sions. For exam­ple, the aver­age Amer­i­can watch­es 5 hours and 4 min­utes of TV a day! If your cur­rent habit after you return home from a hard day at work is to hit the couch to catch up on news or your favorite TV shows, opt to get out­side for some move­ment or learn a new skill instead. Even if you don’t watch TV, you like­ly have places to steal time from, even if it’s from work. Do you inces­sant­ly check your emails? Would the world cease to rotate if you lim­it­ed check­ing email to twice daily?

Lim­it these time burn­ers, and you may dis­cov­er plen­ty of time for your mid­week out­door fix. Improve your tech­ni­cal climb­ing or trekking skills, train for that race, or enjoy extra gym time to prep you for your next ascent.

Lifestyle
Decide what work/life bal­ance you want to see in your life, what your finan­cial goals are, and start mak­ing changes. Think big and embrace change. You might need to learn a new skill to achieve your lifestyle goals. Going back to school might be the best way to take back your life.

Anoth­er way to improve your lifestyle is to inte­grate fam­i­ly time with out­side time—incorporate your loved ones into your pas­sions. Back­pack­ing, hik­ing, kayak­ing, SUP board­ing, camp­ing, and fish­ing are all very fam­i­ly friend­ly. Your enthu­si­asm for the out­doors is con­ta­gious, so try spread­ing the bug to your kids. Even if your loved ones aren’t as adven­tur­ous as you are, you can find a hap­py mid­dle ground. It might look some­thing like this: if you’re a trail run­ner plan­ning an hour-long run, set up a pic­nic for your fam­i­ly in a beau­ti­ful but easy to access recre­ation spot. Start and end your run here so you can soak up some sun and qual­i­ty free time with each other.