The Myth of MultiTasking

I recently took an internet course entitled “Wake Up Productive” taught by Eben Pagan. One of the first things he taught was how critical it is to STAY FOCUSED on one thing at a time.

Yes, yes that’s all good and dandy. But what about all the many things I need to keep juggling every day, just to keep my head above water?

Tony Schwartz(author of The Power of Full Engagement) says the same thing. Multi-tasking isn’t working. It works IF your goal is to get further and further behind.

What does this all have to do with fitness and exercising?

One thing Schwartz teaches is to think of your exercise program as a “ritual.” A ritual is something you do come hell or high water, right? Developing a ritual helps to remove the need to “think” about whether or not you should exercise – you remove the need to procrastinate!

The beginning of building this ritual is the difficult part – until you can embed it into your heart, and it becomes a habit. This takes a willingness to see it through until the habit takes root – at least 4 weeks minimum.

OK, back to multi-tasking. I know in my situation, when I try to juggle 20 things at once, I get stuff done, but I also leave a lot of stuff undone – and a big one I leave undone is my exercise program.

The key here is to focus on one project at a time, keeping the distractions to almost zero. It’s amazing how much work you can get done. When you put this same intense focus on your fitness program – It will be much easier to turn your focus into a ritual.

Here a cool video of Tony Schwartz giving a talk at Google. It’s about acquiring lots of energy and sustaining high performance.

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Happy Holidays with Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happy Holidays to all of my friends and family!

2008 is almost over. It has been a year controlled by the media – sending fear throughout this great land of ours.

My recommendation to you is QUIT LISTENING to the news. Put your energy into focusing on HOW you are going to make 2009 your most remarkable year.

James Earl Ray has said it this way: “Energy Flows where your Attention Goes.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson is one of my favorite authors. Here is a tremendous quote from him:

“Without AMBITION one starts nothing. Without WORK one finishes nothing. The prize will NOT be sent to you. You have to WIN it. The man who knows HOW will always have a job. The man who also knows WHY will always be his boss. As to methods there may be a million and then some, but PRINCIPLES are few. The man who grasps PRINCIPLES can successfully select his own METHODS. The man who tries METHODS, ignoring PRINCIPLES, is sure to have trouble.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

That certainly give me an earful. And it is worthy of my study and application. This reminds me of another saying that goes like this: Don’t wait for your ship to come in — swim out to meet it!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday. Let’s look forward to 2009 being a much more promising year.

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Why No Motivation to Exercise?

Ok, I know! Don’t beat myself up for not getting out and running or walking in 15 degree weather. After all, we’ve only had 30 inches of snow in the past week.

So that’s my excuse. If I lived in Florida or Arizona I would be out there getting my exercise – at least that’s what my brain is telling me.

So, what exactly is my brain telling me? If you really want to know, it’s telling me what I want to hear.  Let’s take a look at this from a different angle.

What kind of a picture do I have in my mind about getting up real early next Thursday morning to go to a 7:00 am business meeting? I actually picture myself getting dressed, eating a quick breakfast, and driving my car to the meeting. You’re wondering now — So what?

Here’s what’s interesting — I picture myself actually doing the driving, actually “doing” the getting dressed. I am very much involved. I am seeing the action through my own eyes.

What kind of a picture do I have when I get up at 6 am and put on some warm exercise clothes and a warm coat and go out for a 2 or 3 mile walk at 6:30 am? In the snow? When it’s 20 degrees out?

You won’t believe this, but I don’t picture myself actually doing any of this!

What?? That’s right. I’m not involved. It’s more like I’m an outsider looking in on a movie of me getting dressed and putting on my cold weather warm-ups. So when the alarm goes off  — I just roll over and get another few minutes of sleep, knowing that since I don’t live in Florida —- blah blah blah blah.

So here’s what I’m going to do. Put myself in the “driver’s seat” when it comes to visualizing myself exercising in the cold weather. How do I do this? I actually picture and FEEL what it’s like to pull on my long wool sox. I push myself to FEEL the biting wind on my face as I round the corner on my walk. I feel the snow underfoot, and I also FEEL the excitement and thrill of victory, because I have beaten my old way of thinking.  I am a winner today.  Tommorrow I can be a winner again.

And that’s all it takes is one day at a time.

I encourage you to spend some soul searching and see what’s going on in your head. You are probably wired much differently than I am, so don’t expect the same pictures to work for you. You have your own movies to watch, and to discover why you don’t have the motivation that you really want – and that you really deserve.

What are your thoughts about getting “unstuck”?  I’d love to hear what’s working for you and any challenges you are facing.

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Bicycling to Work

Bicycling to work, huh? This summer I pulled out my old bike, and checked it out. It was still in excellent shape and the tires were just a little soft. I bought the bike about 20 years ago, and paid over $800 for it, so it is still a nice road bike – just not up to date! I filled the narrow tires up and checked the seat height.

I work 3.5 miles from home, so riding a bike to work is not that difficult. In fact, the more I got into riding, the more I wanted a “longer” ride to work.  I enjoy riding “too” work more than coming home. It is the added traffic at 5:00 p.m. that makes it more annoying and slower going.

One thing I am getting very excited about is bicycling a LOT more next spring and summer. There are bicycle clubs in most cities, and they sponsor rides almost every weekend.  To ride with them, you will be required to sign a release and you MUST have a helmet. If you join their club, you will only sign a release once a year.

The two biggest concerns I have about cycling at my age is my knees and my back.  These are the two biggest physical concerns for all cyclists. I will go into more detail about how I am trying to keep my back in shape for riding – in another post.

I wouldn’t go out and buy a new bike until you know this is what you really want to do. If you get half-way serious about biking, you should expect to pay around $1000 for a good quality entry – level road bike.

Too bad I live in Michigan and my bicycling is coming to an end because of winter. Now to get more serious about walking and maybe running – again!

Any bicyling wannabees out there, or bicycling nuts?

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