Good morning, friends!
Well, half way through another week and a little closer to our Survive & Thrive sailing trip this weekend!
We still have more prep to do before we leave, and I’ve really needed to learn how to get in the zone and get work done. Mikey was away at a conference and I didn’t want all the tasks to be left for him to come back to, but so often I get distracted when I’m trying to do work. I’ll put a YouTube video on, talk to my mom on FaceTime, have 4.2837 million tabs open on my browser…You get the idea. I know in my mind that we don’t multi-task well, but the temptation to flit around between too many things is very real and the distractions very present. I finally closed (most!) my tabs, turned some wordless music on, and got to work finishing up the menu for the trip, and it felt great!
I listened to a podcast I just discovered called Side Quest Podcast with Robbie Farlow and have only listened to a few self-selected episodes, but I recognized one of his guests and listened in yesterday to see what wisdom Jason Helmes of Anyman Fitness had to say. It was a really great interview (you can check out the podcast here) and my two biggest takeaways were this:
Get systems in place to work for you rather than you working for your systems
Get disciplined and go for it
The systems part of my takeaway is somewhat similar to what I was referring to in the opening of this post. It’s very easy to work on a website, client programs, chores around the house, etc and get distracted and move onto something else, leaving jobs half finished and leaving a pile of work that seems to get bigger and more unmanageable every time you turn around to look at it! I was inspired by how Jason would write articles when his kids napped, and soon he became more efficient and effective in his writing. He set time aside during certain days and hours of the week for specific tasks and did NOTHING besides those tasks in that time-frame. This is a great takeaway for me because I’m often not very streamlined in my work.
Some tips for productivity?
Block off time, like Jason does, for different tasks and don’t deviate from them! Sounds simple enough, but I’m working on practicing this myself!
Practice the Rule of 1 – 3 – 5. I got this one from Pat Flynn (you should subscribe to his newsletter if you don’t already!), and I love the concept of it in fitness and eating and work for daily life! The Rule of 1 – 3 – 5 says everyday we should do “One big thing, three small things, and maybe some other stuff.” The idea is to identity what effort is most important to your goal and get it done no matter what. It’s a great way to hold yourself accountable and just focus on the one big thing you prioritize for that day; the rest are a bonus! My challenge to you is the same challenge that Pat gave in his email:
“My challenge you to, reader, is to take five minutes to figure your One Big Thing. Then fill in the rest of your 1 – 3 – 5.
Ask: What is my goal? Then: What is the most important thing I can do everyday that will advance me toward my goal? That’s number one.
Number three should be other big hitters, but if you skipped them they wouldn’t ruin your game. The final few (usually) 5 things should be meaningful, small little tasks. Brisk walking, or swings, for example.”
Can you do that today? Tell me your BIG ONE in the comments below!
As a bonus to the productivity tips, I’d encourage you to remove distractions and temptations. I just yesterday took Facebook and Twitter off my phone (Instagram and SnapChat work with a phone, so I left those on, but I made them only available for use on wifi and not just on data), and quite some time ago I took all notifications off my phone. The phone can be SUCH a distraction, which is one reason why I always look forward to our expeditions – it’s a chance to be disconnected for a while.
My second big takeaway about discipline, was also a good kick in the pants and hopefully will be an encouragement to you guys! Jason shared about his 7 month diet cut to bring him from about 20% body fat and about 268 lbs down to 220 lbs and 6% body fat, and how he just decided to be disciplined even though the summer months were upon him and there were weddings and BBQs all the time. He’s also a teacher, a father of two, and runs an online coaching website, so he did all this with focus and determination. If he could focus on his cut and be mindful of his food, hitting his macros and just really committing to his goal, why can’t we do it?
If you’ve been on the fence about a goal or only halfway committing to your goals by hitting the gym hard but not working on your nutrition, what’s really stopping you from getting serious? Life doesn’t have to be about your fitness or body goals, but if you’re in a place right now where you’re trying to put your health first OR have hit a plateau, why not FULLY commit, jump in with two feet, and go for it?
Maybe it’s the fitness portion you’re struggling with and you just don’t view yourself as an athlete or someone worthy of a goal in the gym. You know what? We are ALL athletes; we just need to start treating and viewing ourselves that way so we take our training and our nutrition serious. Athletes value performance over appearance, they fuel their bodies for performance, and they get into a solid mindset while they’re training.
Most of my personal training clients are focused on personal fitness goals such as weight loss and overall appearance, which definitely isn’t wrong. But what if we switched our mentality and thinking a bit? Athletes focus on improving key fitness indicators such as strength, stamina, flexibility and agility and adopt a mindset that keeps them moving forward despite setbacks. My desire is to teach clients to value athletic rather than aesthetic gains, to fuel their motivation to keep going.
I, myself, need to treat my own workouts and my nutrition like that of an athlete. As I’m learning about powerlifting I’ve definitely adopted a “beginning mindset” and have allowed the weight on the bar to drop as I’m learning new movements and have been taking my workouts more seriously. I’m taking longer rests in between heavy sets even though it’s not heavy compared to others; I’m following a program and also eating according to my workload, not skipping meals or calories to try to cut down or lose that belly bloat. That’s no longer my priority.
Of course, I’m still having fun in the gym (working on my handstand progressions!) and with my food (did you see I’m on a kick of eating 2 double stuffed Oreos a day? Hey – they fit my high carb days just fine and I love them dunked in my afternoon espresso! More of those adventures on SnapChat: buff bon), but I’m trying to bring that athlete mindset into everything I do and stay intentional.
Rather than dwell on your extra belly fat, let an extra beer here and there sneak in, and just “get through” your workouts, I encourage you to embrace the mindset of an athlete and get disciplined with your goals.
Some encouragement for you midway through your week to get serious about what you’re willing to commit to and to get your work done in a productive, efficient manner! My BIG ONE today is to put my final stamp of approval on the sailing trip menu and be DONE with it! And in terms of my nutrition I just might skip those Oreos today and opt for something more wholesome. 😉
Have a great day you guys! Live well & be well,