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Thursday
Nov012012

3 Simple Ways to Make Your Day Less "Active" and More "Productive"

Does your day revolve around "Activity" or "Productivity?" This is a question that is worth asking yourself.  Especially regarding your fitness routine. At first glance, the 2 words (Activity and Productivity) may seem to be synonymous with each other; and they can be, but in many situations, simple activity can be the furthest thing from productivity.

It seems that these days everyone is busy.  No matter who the person, what their profession, we are all extremely busy.  Unfortunately, it's easy to get caught up in this trap.  There is so much going on, so much information available to us at all times and with cell phones, ipads, blue tooth devices we can find anyone, and worse, be found by anyone, at all times of the day.

Thus, it has become our nature to move at mach speed from one thing to another. But I ask you. . .

With all of the STUFF you have going on and how busy you are all the time, are you really getting THAT much more done with all this activity; or are you simply burning fuel?

How productive are you?

I was reading a great book titled Ultimate Productivity, by Jim Stovall, and he proposed the question "Are you being Active or Productive [in life and in your career]?"  And it got me thinking.  It's a great question and I felt it was a good one to pass on to you.

Too often I see people in the gym wasting time.  A LOT of time.  Many of them come in everyday, do the same routine, read a magazine on the treadmill at 2 miles an hour and head off to work proud that they got up and made it to the gym that day.  Really?

I do applaud them for getting in and doing something, but come on, if you're gonna make the effort to get your butt out of bed, get in the car, and go to the gym, you may as well bust your tail and get some results, don't you think? That is what I mean by being active but not productive.  

These are the same folks that complain that "despite all the HARD work and time" they are putting in, they haven't seen any changes in weight, strength, energy levels or whatever their supposed goal has been for years.  

I feel tha in many cases, the main reason for this is that they are going to the gym with the illusion that they are working hard and effectively, but in reality, their workout is not nearly as productive as they think and they may have, in fact,  been better off staying in bed and getting that extra hour of sleep.

Now the opposite can also be very true.  I have seen some folks that are in the gym all the time, sometimes twice a day, hitting the cardio hard for 45 minutes, then doing weights, finishing off with some abs and then getting on their bike later that evening to burn some more calories, but they too have not seen the fitness results that they would like.  

In this case it may be that they are doing too much and over training their body, so there is no way they can recover fast enough for their muscles to grow or for their body to get the rest it needs.  Again, they are being very "active", but not "producing" results.  There are definitely smarter and more time efficient ways to achieve these goals, but without taking a step back to re-evaluate, they will continue running just like a hamster on a wheel. 

To keep on this road is not only frustrating, but it's silly.  And we all do it in some fashion or another.  It could be your job, your relationships, your sport, etc.  I know for a fact that I have been guilty of this in many ways, so don't think I'm throwing too many stones here.

3 Simple Steps to being more Productive

1. Have a Mission/Goal.  I know, seems obvious, and probably a bit disappointing, but it's the number 1 thing anyone can do to become more productive immediately.  If you don't have a goal, how could you ever measure productivity.  You would have no idea if you are getting better or worse if there is nothing to get better or worse at.  So today, decide on one goal that you can start attacking.  I don't care if it has anything to do with fitness or not.  Just pick something that is going to make you happy when you achieve it. Oh, and write it down, no exceptions.

2. Have a To Do List. Again, this isn't rocket science, but this is something that many don't do and could change the entire outlook and focus of your day if you adopt this habit.  How much better would it feel to scratch off 4 things on your to do list, as opposed to realizing you just spent 50 minutes on facebook and didn't get a single thing accomplished.  If you have a legit to do list, you are less likely to get distracted.

3. Document Your Progress. This one is a little more geared toward the fitness aspect, but can apply in many other ways.  But if you are not keeping track of your workouts and what you did last week, it is difficult to make improvements.  I have found from experience that if you don't know how much weight you lifted last week, or how far you ran, or even how many putts you made, its hard to strive for a better result because there is nothing to compare it to.

 They seem pretty logical, but I know that I struggle with all three at times and I am betting that you might too.  It's a matter of creating a habit of doing these things and making it a part of your daily life.  You'll be amazed at how much more focused you are and how much more time you have on your hands to do the other stuff you love.

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Reader Comments (2)

An instructive post. People to really know who they want to reach and why or else, they'll have no way to know what they're trying to achieve. People need to hear this and have it drilled in their brains..
I love your new direction. The topics resonate with me, and along with improving my health, I hope to move into alignment so I can brightly shine my message. I find your site inspirational and will continue to follow along for tips to improve my life.
Thanks for sharing this great article.

November 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJrafi

great post...

March 12, 2015 | Unregistered Commenternaaz

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