To enjoy the fulfilling outdoor adventures you crave, you need to effectively manage your time. Here's how you can free up your schedule, so you can spend more time outdoors.
Get into the flow. Research suggests people are most productive when they achieve a "flow" state. Commonly known as getting into a "zone," flow refers to a near-blissful state of balance and productivity, where you are completely immersed in a given task, completely free from any distracting thoughts. You can enhance your chances of entering a flow state by eliminating all interruptions and distractions. This means no checking emails or texts. You should also prioritize sleep, so you will feel fresh and focused while you're working.
Plan around your abilities. Are you the type of person who rolls out of bed feeling rejuvenated and refreshed? Maybe you are more of a night owl, who does your best work after normal business hours. Whatever the case, you should plan your most challenging tasks when you will be at your best. If you are a morning person, don't procrastinate on your high-energy tasks, or you will end up wrestling with them later in the day when you are feeling tired and drained. By using your prime brain time wisely, you can drastically improve productivity, so you will have more time for outdoor recreation.
Adjust your habits. How we spend our time is, of course, how we spend our lives. Honestly assess how you spend your time to see if you can find any waste. If you feel like there aren't enough hours in the day, look for places to steal some time. Many people live unbalanced lives that focus too heavily on work, television, shopping or other less fulfilling activities. Even if you don't watch a lot of TV, you probably have plenty of time-stealers in your life. Whether it's constantly checking emails, social media or scrolling through news; ask yourself if your time-burners are really more rewarding than spending time outdoors. Once you eliminate common time-wasters, you may find you have plenty of time to train for that race or improve your trekking and climbing skills during the week.
Look for balance. A growing body of research is showing that good work-life balance is essential to our mental and physical well-being. While it's important to make a living, it's also important to make time for family and our passions. Backpacking, kayaking, hiking, fishing and camping can make us healthier and more centered. Where there's a will there's always a way, when it comes to finding time for the things that matter most in life. Commit to finding balance in your life by making more time for the things you love.
Cross something off. Many outdoor enthusiasts take a perfectionistic approach to all areas of their lives. In reality, some things aren't really that important. Ask yourself which tasks in your life are essential and which ones can wait. If you can cross something off your list or delay it for a later time, give yourself permission to do so. Remember this isn't about slacking; it's about prioritizing, so you can enjoy the outdoors more often and live the life you want.
Backpacker's Pantry provides ready-to-eat, lightweight adventure food for every type of outdoor adventure. Browse our nutritious, gourmet food for the trail.