How many times have you sat down to do some work or any type of task and found yourself achieving very little? How many times have you taken on too many tasks or pieces of work and found yourself struggling to get it all done?
For me this used to be a regular occurrence, where a task would take a shit load longer than it should because I wasn’t focused or didn’t have the correct priorities. Enter the AMRAP mindset.
Now we know AMRAP in the CrossFit community as a type of workout. A time dependent WOD where we have to complete As Many Reps As Possible in a given time frame. When approaching an amrap I personally consider:
Timing – my pace needs to reflect the length of the workout. I need to be able to sustain my pace for the whole piece so going out 100% isn’t smart if I know I’m going to slow down.
Breaks – breaking up the reps is not only a great mental approach to workouts but it could also stop you from burning or blowing out on a specific movement too early.
Layout – moving from movement to movement in an efficient manner can save valuable time and energy in a workout.
Other people – who should I be chasing or trying to stay ahead of on this? Who is going to set the pace? What is there strategy for the workout?
Distractions – there shouldn’t be any. I won’t be checking my phone or watching a tv or playing with the dog whilst I’m doing this workout.
We know during an AMRAP or any workout really that the task at hand should be our only focus. We shouldn’t be thinking about dinner, worrying about how many likes our picture got on Instagram or what the headlines are. We should be completely present in the moment and working as hard as we can to complete what is in front of us.
Now imagine if we applied this same mindset to other tasks. Writing this blog for example.
Timing – I want to get it done this afternoon. I have about 2 hours before I have to leave for work and know I like to finish, take a break from it and then re-read it so I need to get it done as soon as possible.
Breaks – I know I can get the majority of it done, then take a quick break to stop me burning out, before returning and re-reading it to make sure I’m still happy.
Layout – I’ve got myself a drink nearby, the dog has been let out and my phone is in the other room. No need for me to move around and create distractions for myself.
Other people – you can’t control what anyone else is doing in anything so it doesn’t fucking matter.
Distractions – it’s so easy to check your phone, your emails, the news or play with the dog, basically do anything other than complete the workout you are supposed to be doing. But don’t!
So now I’ve turned work into an AMRAP. I have focused for a short period of time on one specific task and finished it in half the time I would normally. Now I know this way of working is nothing new but for me thinking of it as a workout is a game changer. I wouldn’t fuck about in an AMRAP, stop to get a cup of tea, make a phone call or play with the dog so why do it in any other form of task. Treating everything like a workout helps me to prioritise my time, focus on my work and get shit done! Next time you find yourself struggling with getting something done, set a timer, count yourself in 3..2..1 and go!