3 reasons why exercising will boost your time management skills

Peter Banerjea — №31 with Grace Marshall

Does work leave you with practically no time to take care of your health?

Does regular exercise seem like a distant dream?

News flash – putting in 15 minutes of exercise a day can actually save you an hour of work a day!

Billionaire Richard Branson loves to start his day with a swim, a run, or a game of tennis. He believes that exercise is one of the keys to being incredibly productive.

Here are three reasons why exercising will make you more productive:

1. Exercise lowers stress

Remember the last time you had too much work to do in too little time?

What’s the picture that you see? Yes – stress!

Stress is one of the biggest productivity killers because it lowers our ability to think clearly and diminishes our concentration. It slows down the functioning of the pre-frontal cortex.

This is the section of the brain responsible for logical thinking, long term planning, and considering the impact of numerous variables in a situation. Consequently, we make mistakes and take decisions which are not so great. Having to correct those mistakes and bad decisions makes us lose even more time.

Stress also makes it difficult for us to accurately estimate the time required to do a task, to make meaningful ‘To-Do’ Lists, and prioritize between ‘important’ and ‘urgent’.

The bottom line: While under stress, we spend more time at work, and we get less done.

Exercise can stop this vicious cycle of “busyness.”

Those who practice yoga or Tai-Chi are well aware of the connection between the body and the mind. Any form of exercise makes us feel more alert, in control, and happier. That’s because when we exercise, our bodies release endorphins – neurotransmitters which make us feel happier!

Exercising regularly will also help to increase your tolerance to stress. Gradually you will begin to feel happier, calmer and more in control. You will also have greater concentration and focus.

Just try this the next time you feel stressed at work. Do a few warm ups for 5 minutes or go for a brisk walk and you will feel the difference.

2. Exercise increases energy levels

Remember reading about mitochondria during your school days? They are structures within our cells, which produce ATP – the chemical that your body uses as energy.

Exercise helps to create new mitochondria, thus more energy.

More energy means that we can work for longer periods without a drop in productivity and without becoming stressed. More energy for the body also means more energy for the brain – keeping it more alert and focused and able to do much more.

3. Exercise makes us disciplined

Discipline is an essential component of time management. It helps us to choose the right goals, make plans towards achieving those goals and execute those plans with patience and determination.

The interesting thing about discipline is that if you build it in one area of life, the benefits spill over to other areas too. One of the easiest ways to build discipline is to develop an exercise habit.

To exercise every day, you need to become more cognizant of your schedule, plan your days better, and have the resolve to say ‘no’ to interruptions and distractions.

All these skills have a domino effect on your discipline and productivity. This happens a lot quicker than you might think. If you were to diligently pursue a daily exercise habit from tomorrow, you wouldl clearly notice the difference to your discipline within a couple of weeks.

Invest in exercise

If the above three reasons aren’t enough for you, here’s a fourth (obvious!) one:

Exercising makes you healthier. Imagine the amount of productive hours you would gain if you stopped being sick.

The time you invest in exercise always comes back in the form of more productive hours.

Exercising for a few minutes every day will give you more time for work and for your family.

Adding exercise to your To-do list can actually be one of the best productive decisions you take. Start from tomorrow!

Photo: Flickr/markus spiske CC BY 2.0

Peter banerjea

Peter Banerjea

Peter Banerjea is co-founder of SuccessIsWhat, a success coaching firm. He’s on a mission to help people achieve their goals faster by conquering time and building super-productive habits. Get his latest free ebook, Productivity Secrets of 7 Billionaires You can put into Action Right Now.

Peter's FREE e-book: Productivity Secrets of 7 Billionaires You can put into Action Right Now