For the past couple weeks I've been trying my best to work out regularly. This has pushed me to try the 365 push-up challenge (1 push added for each day in the challenge. At the time of writing I'm on 23). I have also started running more and tracking my progress in Nike+ Run Club.

My runs are always been less than 30 minutes. If I don't have enough time I will do a 15 minute circuit which includes a speed rope, 35lb overhead press, push-ups and crunches. I do each to failure (or mistake in the jump ropes case) and keep repeating the cycle until the timer runs out.

My goal is to give myself the energy to make it through the day fully alert.

Before I started working out I was about 230 pounds and I would feel terrible for the second half of the day and into the evening.

I feel like the short term changes have a potent effect on my mind. I haven't lost any weight (blame diet on this primarily), but on days I work out, I feel amazing all day. I don't feel like taking a nap at lunch and I have an easier time focusing.

Runner

The problem is all the days I have skipped. Days that I don't work out I feel worse than before. It is apparent that my body likes the physical jolt of my morning routine and doesn't take lightly to cheating.

I set a task for myself in todoist to repeat every day. The way it happens, it is the first thing I see in the morning when I put on my watch.

workout task

I have also enlisted in the help of the app streaks to help track and gamify my progress.

streaks app

Sleep

My sleep schedule wasn't terrible. I was getting about 7 hours of sleep per day (11:30pm - 6:30am). In the morning I would wake up and get ready for work. When I wasn't working out, I would have to recharge the batteries with a quick lunch nap.

Working out on the morning now requires me to move my schedule back one hour. I do find myself struggling to fall asleep but making time in the morning gives me more energy throughout the day as well.

Changes in Focus

The biggest change has been in the quality of my focus. Lately I've been wrestling with completing tasks. I believe this may be some underlying issue relating to my chronic task-acceptance issues (in short intake on too much work and then go crazy trying to complete it all).

While the working out hasn't resolved the deeply embedded issue of doing too much. It has slowed down the tendency to switch from one incomplete task to another. Now I'm able to work longer and more intently.

Conclusion

The trials I have started have immediate but short term affects. My energy and focus levels are consistently better on days that I exercise. Of course the problem is the initial drive required to get up early and actually work out.

It's been less than a month and I need more consistency before I can call it a habit. I do hope to get to that point as I can only imagine how the long term benefits would great increase my focus, flow, and productivity.