Time Management Tips for a Successful Comp Prep

In this blog post, I will outline the importance of time management for a successful competition prep. The key is to set a goal, map out a timeline, and create actionable steps to achieve that goal within that timeline.

For example, my first WBFF comp prep was 14 weeks long. Within those 14 weeks, my coach set weekly targets for me, which were then broken up into daily actions or protocols. These were things like a certain number of weight training and cardio sessions per week, a certain step counts each day, and a certain level of calories and macros to hit each day. Every single one of these daily actions that I was ticking off contributed to achieving my overall goal which was getting stage ready in 14 weeks. You need to work backward from your show date and make a plan from there. 

When you are in prep for a competition, there are a lot of protocols you need to adhere to and no margin for error: training, cardio, step count, posing, recovery, meal prep, beauty appointments, and more. 

It can be overwhelming to look at all of these things you need to do and fit into your busy schedule, so the key is being smart about your time. 

One essential habit that can help you achieve your goals is time blocking. This is when you schedule absolutely everything into your day by writing it down. This includes not only workouts, stretching, posing, cardio, and meetings, but also meal times, travel time, time to shower, and even time to spend on social media. By doing this, you don't have to rely on motivation or decide whether or not you have enough time to do something. You just look at your schedule, get up, and do the tasks that bring you closer to your goals.

Here’s an example of how I time block whilst on prep. I work full time in an office, typically 8-5.30 Monday-Friday with regular online meetings with overseas manufacturers. 

  • On a Sunday evening, I write down everything that I need to do for the next week
  • These are all the things that I need to do to get closer to my goals
  • I estimate how long each one of these tasks will take - once you start doing this weekly you will have a pretty sound understanding of how long everything will take. 
  • I then schedule absolutely everything into my day by writing it down in my Prep Diary.  
  • When I say everything, I mean everything, not only workouts, stretching, posing, cardio, steps, meetings, and general office time, but everything; meal times, travel time to the gym and work and back, time to shower, time to spend on Instagram, time to walk the dog, get groceries, meal prep. Every single detail is scheduled. 
  • That way when I wake up in the morning, I don’t have to think about what to do at all. I’m not relying on motivation. I’m not deciding whether or not I have enough time to do something, I’m just looking at my schedule in my Prep Diary, I'm getting up and I’m doing the tasks that bring me closer to my goals. 
  • I’ll use a typical day on prep as an example of how I schedule.  
    • I know that I need to be online by 7.30 am for a meeting, so I’ll work backward from this. 
    • I decided I’ll habit stack and do my 7.30 am meeting on the treadmill at home while getting steps - I’ve got a makeshift ‘treadmill desk’ that I made using an old box that sits on my secondhand treadmill.
    • Because I need to be ready for the meeting at 7.30 am, I know I need to walk the dog at 7 am. 
    • Which means I need to leave the gym by 6.45 am
    • I have weights, cardio, and stretching to do at the gym. I need 15 minutes to warm up, 45 minutes for weights, 30 minutes for cardio, and 15 minutes for stretching. That’s 1 hr 45 at the gym. 
    • So I need to be at the gym by 5 am. 
    • That means I need to leave for the gym at 4.45 am
    • This means I will set my alarm for 4.30 am to get up, get dressed, and have my pre-workout and carbs. 
    • I then plan the night before, to ensure I get 7.5-8 hrs actual sleep time. I know I need to allow myself an 8.5hr sleep window to achieve this, so I go to bed at 8 pm. This means I wind down for bed at 7.30 pm. My gym clothes are laid out for the next day and my food is prepped.
  • Next, I plan the rest of my day. 
  • At 8 am I finish my meeting on the treadmill, I have about 8,000 steps under my belt.
  • I then have a shower and get ready for the office which takes me about 15 minutes, I spend 15 minutes eating breakfast and then travel to work which is another 15 minutes. 
  • I’m in the office by 8.45 am and work until 5.30 pm.
  • During my lunch break, I get another 30 minutes of steps in because I know I will be tired when I get home. 
  • I’m home by 6 pm, I eat dinner, pack my food and clothes for the next day and walk the dog again. 
  • At 7 pm I have a posing call online with my posing coach, then at 7.30 pm I shower and wind down for bed to do it all over again the next day. 
  • I want to reiterate that ALL of this is scheduled, so I don’t have to think about it at all.
  • My weekends will be loosely scheduled as well, so any events are scheduled and then I allocate time for groceries and meal prep based on when I will run out of food. 
  • I even allocate time on a Sunday to schedule the next week.

As I complete each protocol or action I have scheduled, I tick it off in my Prep Diary to help with accountability and consistency. 

In summary, time management is crucial for a successful competition prep. By setting a goal, mapping out a timeline, and creating actionable steps using your Prep Diary, you can achieve your goals through smart time-blocking habits. This will help you fit everything in and achieve your goals, while still having time for other things in your life.
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