I’ve read more than a few books on productivity.
Almost every book has at least a few pages dedicated to the idea of eliminating busy work during the work day.
Examples include shuffling paper work, checking email, cleaning and organising things, getting coffee, chit chat and so on. If you can reduce the amount of busy work you do you’ll have more time and be more productive with less stress.
The same goes for exercise. There is a lot of busy work in the average workout.
A person may be at home and gather their things into their gym bag and then drive 20 minutes to the gym. Once there, they chat with the folks at the front desk, go change, and then start warming up.
The warm up includes 10 minutes on the exercise bike, 5 minutes of stretching, and a few more minutes rolling out with a foam roller. That’s be conservative. Chatting with friends and reading magazines can add considerable time and energy costs to the whole process.
The thing is, all of this time and effort has little to no effect in helping you reach your goals. If your aim is to get stronger or improve you pull ups, you’ve hardly done anything to progress towards those ends.
Compare the above scenario to someone who has a pull up bar in their basement. They walk down the stairs and jump up before banging out 8 clean and solid reps.
Even though the 8 pull ups took considerably less time and effort, that person is leaps and bounds ahead of the person in the first scenario. The reason is simply because the second person has already started fulfilling the root cause of their goal while the gym goer, while busy, hasn’t been productive.
A productive and effective workout is one that fulfills the root cause of your particular goal. It’s not just about how much time, effort or energy you can spend. You can spend loads of lifestyle resources and never fulfill the root cause of your goal. The good news is that you can spend only a little bit of your lifestyle resources and greatly fulfill the root cause of your goal thus making your workout very effective.
So be shrewd in your workouts. What actions are really the most important and what are not?
Are you sure you have to have all of that busy work?
Always remember, just because you’re moving around that doesn’t mean you’re getting anywhere. And even though you may only take a few steps forwards, you’re still closer to your goal than you were a few minutes before.