Time Management

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What Time do we have?

At the end of the day we all only have a small amount of time in a day to achieve what we want. No matter what we try to achieve, we are limited by 24 hours or 1440 minutes or if you are really into numbers 86400 seconds, seems a lot right?

Let's break this down, if on average you get up at 7am, get ready for work, breakfast etc and leave the house at 8am, your now down to 23 hours, your commute to work is an hour, 22 hours, now assuming you only work 8 hours you are down to 14 hours left already, don't forget you have a hour commute home, 13 hours, now you need to prepare your evening meal and more importantly eat it, say in total 1.5 hours, your now down to 11.5 hours left to do what you want, still a lot right. But hold on, you like to get 8 hours sleep a night, so you actually have 3.5 hours left, do you need to prepare for the following day, you can get everything done in 30 mins, so you finally realise you have 3 hours left in the day to do what you want. 

Want to go to the gym, 30 minutes there, get changed, spend an hour training, quick shower and drive home, that's 45 minutes, so we are now left with 45 minutes to relax and enjoy our selves watching a film, it's only 1hour 45 minutes long, but that's an hour longer than we have left, out of these 24 hours we started with!!!!!!!!

Something has to give, do you give up the gym? Only have 7 hours sleep, it won't hurt will it. But I guess the real question is, what has this to do with Martial Arts training?

Managing Time

In a word everything. Everything we do is a matter of managing time. Do I train once per week or twice? Do I take a one hour class or a two hour session? How long do I spend on what I am learning at home? Do I do research on these arts I now study? How do I fit it into my daily schedule, the answer is of course Time Management. 

You have to look at your daily schedule and decide what is the most important task you need to achieve with you given time. 

How does time affect your Martial Art training?

On average it takes the average person three and a half years training  two hours per week to achieve a Black Belt in some styles. That is a total training time of 364 hours or 21840 hours or in simpler 15 days if you could train a full 24 hours in the day. 

But then it gets worse, you have to fit in all the gradings, now assuming that your basic gradings are only 1 hour long, and you have 9 gradings up to Black Belt, another 9 hours, plus a final Black Belt grading of 5 hours total grading time 14 hours extra. 

So now you are up to 380 hours training for this Black Belt. 

But let's break the actual time of practice to achieve a basic rank, most schools offer grading a for those who are ready every 3 months on average so that equates to just under 9 hours per month, 27 hours for the actual grading period. Now again assuming that each student needs to learn 6 techniques, plus self defence element plus fitness that is 8 components per test. So what you basically have is just over 1 hour per month or 3 hours per grading period to get the technique learnt, internalised and correct, not a lot of time. That is the main reason why when you you attend your session with your instructor you are told you need to be here 100% of the time while training.  Again this comes down to that amazing thing called Time Management. 

If you haven't managed your time right, the the worse case scenario you won't be able to make that class, lost practice time, increased personal stress to get to the missed techniques learnt. Best case scenario is you make the class, but your mind is somewhere else, not focused fully on the lesson. So again you struggle to learn the techniques, or even worse due to not paying attention fully either you or your training partner get a technique wrong and you get hurt, end result time out of training, missed sessions, and ultimately having to miss that grade test. But whose fault is it really, the instructor for not putting you In for the test when you weren't ready or yours for not having a Time Management plan in place to ensure you are training at your optimal potential and managing your time right. Thoughts  to ponder.  

In the next blog I will cover some options for managing your time both in and out of the academy.

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