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Regaining Focus: Tips For A Ridiculously Productive Life

The Rut

Whilst I'm an eternal optimist, I've never been scared to share my shortcomings in the bluntest, most honest form. After all its how we grow, learn, evolve and improve.

Its in this spirit that I share with you the fact that a few weeks ago I got into a real rut.

It had been building up for some time, and in retrospect it was easy to see. I'd simply overstretched myself.

From a physical perspective I was lagging. Workouts were tough. I felt lethargic. And really, honestly, I couldn't be bothered. That's a tough gig when your fortunate enough to have a livelihood built around being active.

Mentally (and many may suggest this has been a problem for a few years now 😉) things weren't clicking either. I jumped from one task to another at work in a chaotic frenzy. I'd half finish a task before jumping to the next, and never really finishing anything. I'd have the kind of days where your "To Do List" just never got any shorter.

On the personal front I wasn't getting much achieved either. My Uni studies had ground to a halt due to a lack of interest, and it was hard to focus my attention on my family: not great.

I was getting about 3 or 4 hours sleep a night worrying about all the things I needed to focus on but knew I was just too unfocused to actually do. Really ridiculously ironic, but I'm sure many of us have been there.

Pull Your Socks Up!

So how do you bounce back from an unproductive rut? I researched this tirelessly, looking to put the efficiency and a little pizazz back into life. Here's what worked:
  • Prioritise and List - grab a notebook and write down everything you want to achieve. Break this down into small tasks, that will help you achieve an overall larger goal. Tick these tasks off as you go, and enjoy the successes along the way. Work out daily tasks, weekly tasks, monthly tasks, and how that fits in terms of what's important in terms of your overall goal. Once you have a list written out, its a pretty easy task to begin prioritising what you need to do once you know exactly what it is you actually NEED to do.
  • Delegate and Outsource- From your list you might work out what needs delegating and what needs outsourcing. I pretty quickly worked out I'm not great at detail (more an ambitious ideas guy), but there are people in our business that love detail (ridiculously so). So we came to an agreement where I took some of their tasks away from them, and they picked up some of the stuff I was good at being dreadful at. These type of relationships exist in all organisations, all households, clubs and teams. We should work with it. We also worked out that none of us were great at a few things so we outsourced some elements of our business. As a new business we're cautious, and would rather spend our resources on delivering a mind-blowing customer experience, so we didn't delegate to a human resource but a virtual one. We've worked to make our business as automated as possible on a transactional level, as it makes sense to delegate a number of tasks to a system where human ingenuity and involvement is not required. We're cautious to not outsource our biggest asset though: our customer experience.
  • Switch off. Its hard to remain productive and efficient when all you think about is the task at hand. We all need down time. Rest is imperative. Sleep is essential. Switch your phone to flight mode in the evenings and watch your productivity and efficiency fly the following day whether you're hitting the gym, in the office or at home. It's a simple tip, but really I urge you to try it.

All cool, but what's this got to do with my fitness and health?

I know right, a guy better suited to understanding the recovery needs of the local football team is now dishing out advice on workplace productivity....AWESOME 🙃.

We see our Live Life Active mantra extending beyond just our physical wellbeing. You can't live the best life ever if you're inefficient at it. Life that is. Your physical wellbeing is determined in large part by your mental and cognitive state which dictates things such as your levels of motivation, determination and drive. In a muddled world, everything becomes a challenge: including health. For many of us health is a total priority, but it doesn't take much for that gym workout or catch up with friends for a run/walk/game to take a backseat to work/life/family/painting the ceiling with an abnormally narrow paintbrush.

So ultimately for us to succeed physically, we need to be productive, we need to be focussed, we need to learn to delegate, prioritise, outsource, we need to learn to switch off from time to time.

Learn the tell-tale signs when things are getting tough. Put in place mechanisms (don't be afraid to look to those around you) that will support you when things get on top of you, and still allow you to prioritise, delegate and outsource and be ultra-productive even in the face of failure, unrelenting workloads, or seemingly intolerable (professionally prescribed) physical training programs.

I urge you to make a start today. Get writing that list, get prioritising and get on your way to a ridiculously productive life!

Have a great one!

Sam

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