If this (adult language warning) is not your answer, you are doing the wrong thing.
In the gym. Time to bench press. Worrying about a friend. Today: 160 lbs. Ok. Dude has some stuff going on, I want to help him as best I can. Fine. Focus on this, now. Do the math. Try to help him later.
2×45 lbs on the bar.
2×25 lbs on the bar.
2×10 lbs on the bar.
I get under the bar, and uh, this is tougher to lift than I thought it would be. lower under control and pressssss. Crap. Left shoulder has stopped 3/4 of the way through the rep. c’mon, push through… nope. Ok, lower under control to my chest and pressss. Double Crap. Half way up and stuck. OK, you know the drill you knockledragger. bar to chest, roll down ribs (ow), abs (as such), to hips. Sit up. What they heck is wrong here? I just did 155 last week? Did I miss that much sleep last night?
All right, can I pick this up from here? Nope. “Uh, Rob, a little help?” Rob dashes over and grabs one end of the bar, as another guy comes over and gets the other side. I sheepishly thank them both, and Rob kindly offers to spot me if I want to go heavy.
I thank him again, and start stripping the weight from the bar. I immediately realize my mistake. I didn’t account for the 45 lbs that the bar weighs. I strip off the two 25s and do one set before calling it a day. I want to avoid injuring myself, and my head is not in the game. That is a recipe for disaster, so I stop and hit the showers.
I was so worried about my friend’s issues that I did not focus on the task at hand. Luckily, I was in a crowded gym, and could somewhat control any damage. I often see people in business checking emails in meetings while on conference calls, playing games when they should be on point. It is a bad habit, distracting yourself when you need to be focused.I have done it, you have done it. Trying to multitask leads to a lack of focus, which leads to bad stuff happening.
I think it was Keith Code who said that a Motorcycle Rider has ten dollars worth of attention, you need to choose where you are going to spend it. Doesn’t matter if you are in the office, on a bike, or in the gym. Focus on what you are doing, now.
255 lbs on the bar. Fourth set of five. Five reps is the goal. Left knee is off. Get under the bar and go. Third rep, left knee is not feeling great. Nothing is wrong, but that knee is just not feeliong 100%. I finish the set and stop to catch my breath.
Five sets is the goal today. Go for it or quit out on the last set? I opted to quit. Why? Because I have a longer term goal. If I go for the last set and end up injured, that long term goal is not going to happen. Sometimes you need to take a break to go forward. In weightlifting this is called oscillation. You increase your weight for a while and then drop back a bit. The relief of stress/pressure lets you make greater gains long term. Usually you would do this on an 8 week cycle, dropping back to what you were lifting in the sixth week. Your body gets a chance to recover, the stress is lessened, and you can then make more progress by just hopping back a little bit.
It is counterintuitive, seems a little crazy, but it sure works great. This reaches across more than just exercise. Writing, games, business. it just works. Hitting the wall in your page count goal? Drop it back a bit. The relief will show in better quality writing, and you’ll enjoy it more. Rather than burn out now, you’ll hit that final goal that much sooner.
Long ago I had a girlfriend, and every Friday night the conversation went as follows:
Me: Where do you want to go tonight dear?
Her: I don’t know.
Me: Ok, let’s go here (TGIBeginagains).
Her: (sigh) fine.
Me: What movie do you want to go see?
Her: Whatever you want to see.
Me: OK, (chooses action/horror movie)
Her: (sigh) fine.
Her: …AND ANOTHER THING, YOU NEVER TOOK ME TO ANY RESTAURANT I WANTED TO GO TO, OR LET ME PICK THE MOVIES WE WATCHED!!
Me: Wait, what?
Big suprise: We didn’t get married.
Without the communication on her part of what was expected, she was constantly disappointed. Not being able to read her reactions, mildly clueless guy that I am and was, I kept stepping in shit until she blew up at me. Sure, I could have easily said: “Whatever you want to do honey, you pick, OK?”, that is not the point here. The point is there was some bad communication going on with the both of us. This happens in business too, from vaguely worded emails for big projects that leave the receiver floundering, to the passive agressive “No, that’s fine” when substandard work is being handed in.
Take the time to communicate clearly with your team, and if you are not being heard, take the time to coach them. Your results will be so much better. Your business will be so much better. That person will want to do better work for you.