WATCH: Table Talk with Dave Tate — Balancing Your Life

TAGS: top priorities, distractions, life balance, table talk, time management, dave tate

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In this edition of Table Talk, Dave turns to a topic that not only has serious implications for training but also for life in general: balance. Successful lifters know that balanced training means not pushing everything at once — if you try to increase your conditioning work, squat volume, and intensity all at once, while also reducing your calories, you're far more likely to end up burnt out or injured than you are to see good results.

But that's just training. What about balance in life? How does someone like Dave—a business owner, a husband, a father, a lifter—manage to balance all of the responsibilities in his life?


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Dave's first point is to say that there are no hard-and-fast rules, and if you try to stick to certain commitments, such as never missing a single training session, you're going to run into serious problems. Sometimes in life, you just can't train. It might be because of health reasons or it might be because of other commitments, but the idea that nothing else matters and you will always train no matter what is not the right approach. With that in mind, Dave says that while training at this point is not his number one priority, it is still one of the most important parts of his life because it enables him to take care of all of the other things he cares about. Without training, he can't be a good business owner. Without training he can't be a good father. Without training, he can't take care of his other priorities.

The other main component Dave discusses is time management. It sounds simple to manage your time and take care of the things that are important to you, but most people just suck at it. Most people simply suck at prioritizing what they have to do.

So what's the answer? Dave says to make a list. Make a list of several things you have to do each day to keep yourself moving forward in your training, in your career, or in your personal life. Then do those three things. If you can do the three things that you put on your list, you will be moving forward. Without making the right small decisions day in and day out, you'll never accomplish the big things you want. You have to chip away at the big goals one small action at a time.

If things really start to feel like a train wreck, though, Dave says to check your values. Maybe something isn't correlating with your values. After that, check your own bullshit. How much time are you spending doing stupid shit that you really don't need to do? Dave gives the example of social media and suggests you look at how much time you spend doing things like Facebook each day. You may think it's only a few minutes, but are you sure? Have you paid close attention for an entire day?

Facebook may be the distraction for a lot of people now, Dave says, but before Facebook there were other distractions. There always have been and there always will be distractions, because as humans we come up with distractions just so we don't have to do shit.

So the answer to balancing your responsibilities isn't trying to adopt the rituals and lifestyle habits of other successful people; Dave's morning ritual isn't going to help you. Instead, prioritize what is important to you, look at your time management, and cut the things that don't matter.


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