Once again, we turn to the problem of how we fit in all the training we need to do as an integrated, multi-disciplinary thinking tactician (using Craig Douglas’ excellent description). How do we fit it all in, and make sure we are actually training?
One quick and easy method that has helped me immeasurably over the years is the use of a desk calendar. I am talking about the big type that you can get from any of the big office supply stores. Here is a sample of one of mine from a few months ago.
This is how I use it. I look ahead at the next two weeks. I know what my current general needs in training are and I jot down what I want/need to do over that time. I know what kind of time crunch my life and schedule puts on me, so I try to be as realistic as possible and I never write down some idealized plan. It is always what I can actually do with a little focus and effort.
If you look at the picture above, you can see my focus was on BJJ, boxing (including standing clinch and weapons work), dryfire, and my LSD (long, steady distance) cardio block. The weather was awesome so it was great to run at night when the temperature was about 75 degrees, so I went heavy on that and put my strength or metabolic work programs on hold. I also tried to get some live fire time in. I try to do either one competition (the local USPSA club runs a terrific Thursday night fun shoot – semi-outlaw and geared to welcoming new shooters. It is perfect to get some solid work in), a shooting course, or just a trip to the range to get some rounds downrange. I co-hosted Craig Douglas for his fantastic Vehicle Combatives and Shooting Tactics course, so I was guaranteed some live fire there. Anything else in the month was going to be a bonus.
I scribble down at the beginning of the week what I want to do for the next two. Then I can use that to guide me and keep it fresh in my head what is coming up. What I found to be too typical if I did not do this would be that during the day something would come up – tough or long day at the office, poor sleep the night before, something up family wise – and I would forget the plan for the day. When you realize that you forgot only when you are getting into bed at 11:30 at night, it is generally too late. With this method, I could keep an idea every morning what I needed to do and that gave me time to try to implement it, regardless of what popped up.
Take a look at the February 17 as a perfect example. I was flying out that day to teach in central Texas. I would be at work for a couple of hours, then leave for the airport, fly there, then rent a car and drive another hour and a half to my destination. I was not going to get to the hotel before 10PM. And then I would have to prep for teaching the next day. So if I just stumbled my way through, there was a fairly decent chance I would forget about getting any training in until too late. Using the calendar reminded me to not let that happen. So when I got to work in the morning, I saw that and I grabbed my SIRT pistol (which I use in my seminars) and got in a couple of minutes of presentation and trigger press. Was it a lot? Not at all, but it was a lot more than I would have most likely gotten in if I had not already made the reminder.
Hopefully this gives you one more tool to help get in as much training as you want.