“No Fancy Quotes or Hashtags Needed”
The FitOps Foundation is focusing our mental health efforts in the month of May on the “WORK”. There are millions of blogs, articles, and other forms of media at our disposal that outline the supposed recipe for success and joy. All of these share similar messages around the importance of goals, a daily plan, exercise, mindfulness, and the like. While all are correct in their respective lanes; we can only digest so much information at one time.
A common problem arises with overconsumption; we never get out of the starting blocks and begin to do the work. No different than the person that wants to lose 20 pounds who spends hours a day trying to find that perfect diet. The one who cannot launch their new business without the perfect website. The same one who stares at their social media for hours deciding what to post. While this person is spending hours and moving nowhere, someone else is putting one foot in front of the other to drop that 20 pounds. That person launches the business website and makes changes along the way. They are not looking for fancy hashtags or motivational quotes for Instagram. They are just Doing The Work.
There are a myriad of factors that separate the talkers from the doers; perhaps the most overlooked and the most readily available resource is our own ability. Let’s look at why we wait, procrastinate, hold off, and stay on pause while those around us do not. More importantly, how do we pull the trigger on the starter’s pistol every damn morning and race our asses off through another day?
The Main Thing
Michael Chandler, UFC title contender, lives by this mantra: Keep the Main Thing, the Main Thing. As simple as this sounds, I challenge you to try it for one week. Every day when you get up, write down one thing you want to maximize on that particular day. Just 1 thing, nothing else. Then execute. You must do this while navigating everything else life throws your way within that 24 hours; including our excuses, fatigue, family, work, etc. You may find it to be more difficult than you think. This is why it is so powerful. Those that “do the work” create hyperfocus on what’s directly in front of them. When they are at work, they are undistracted by the trappings of the outside world. When they train, they feel as if they are alone in the gym yet the world is holding them accountable for their effort. In conversations, they are present and engaged. The Main Thing is whatever is in front of you in that moment; that is all you can control.
Prepare for Distractions
The hyper focused, work driven individual is not immune to the distractions of the outside world. They are just not distracted by them. What? You read that right; all of us will be exposed to distractions. The individual who decides to do the work expects the distractions and prepares for them accordingly. Many of us have learned how to work, train, and live remotely during COVID. Initially, it was new, foreign, and uncomfortable to attend meetings, workout, and even socialize through the computer. As time went on, this became our norm. I immediately realized there were certain places I could not get anything done; my home being one of them. There were just too many distractions. I had to adjust so that I wasn’t distracted by the distractions. I worked from my truck, I worked the “night shift” while the house was quiet. I went to friends’ houses who were not there. The bottom line is that to do the work, I had to change the environment.
Punch Procrastination in the Face
A college buddy once said to me: “Why do today what I can do tomorrow?” I only knew him for one semester. Many of us have been guilty of living this way. It affects our relationships, work, training, and life. The Procrastination Path is commonly traveled because it keeps us comfortable. By now, we all know that there is no growth that comes from the comfort zone. We have learned these patterns of behavior and we can unlearn them as well. Procrastination occurs when we have a negative reaction to a particular task.
On a neurological level, it is not logical. The part of our brain that is responsible for logic and reason (prefrontal cortex) is bullied by the emotional part of our brain (limbic system). This plays out very clearly when we are faced with a task we don’t enjoy. We feel the task will suck (emotions) so we avoid that task. We feel the struggle between logic and emotion but 9/10 we choose based on emotion. How can we change that? Research done and published by Harvard University suggests the following:
Reverse the Triggers:
You hate writing your reports for work and often put them off.
The day they are assigned, turn the negative emotion into a game. Set a clock for 15 minutes and see how many words you can crank out.
Evaluate your resistance level:
Your morning workout calls for 60 minutes of cardio, and the thought of that sucks
Can you stand 45 minutes? 30? 15?
Start at that number and that is your baseline resistance level for today. Tomorrow may be different but doing something is far more beneficial than doing nothing at all.
Start by Starting:
We are more likely to remember tasks that we have started compared to those completed or not yet begun.
So, do something that gets you closer to completing the task you want accomplished for the day.
Like everything else in life, every choice we make has a consequence. Don’t minimize or exaggerate the costs of procrastinating, just be honest. Write down: How your choice to “put this off” could affect the following:
There are NO secrets here my friends. We can have all the resources, time, ability, and talent in the world. If you don’t get up and DO; you can be certain someone else IS.