Recently, I started training to run in 5K and 10K races. I need to lose weight and get into better physical shape. The ability to run again in charity races is a good motivation for me. It has been many years since I have run in a race and I look forward to doing it again.
The training program I follow had me doing run-walk intervals yesterday. This type of training alternates between a fast and slow pace several times. Each slow pace segment provides an opportunity to fully or partially recover from the previous fast run before going all out again.
I have been surprised at how much improvement interval training has had on my running performance. My overall times are actually faster when I take walking breaks during the workout than when I don’t. This is not intuitive, but that is how it is working for me right now.
I realized my training for running holds some great tips that can be applied in other areas to get more done in less time. Here are three ways I discovered:
1. Do Interval Workouts
When I do run-walk intervals, I go faster and longer than if I try to run without any breaks. It also better prepares me for future activities.
Most people try to get more done by working non-stop. This gives the appearance of being focused on the task at hand for a longer time. So why doesn’t this work over the long-term?
We weren’t made to remain focused for long periods of time without a break. Over time, our brain will not perform at the same level and we are more easily distracted.
The amount of time a person can remain intensely focused on a task is different from person to person. For some it might only be 15 minutes. For others it could be as long as an hour or more. But for each of us there is a point where we need to take at least a short break away from the task we are doing.
Taking periodic breaks allows us to get more done in less time.
2. Schedule Your Work
My race training is scheduled on my calendar to take place every other day. What would happen if it wasn’t on my calendar? When the training became difficult, it would be easy to procrastinate and allow other things to fill the day until there was no time for the training. No improvement. No success.
Setting aside adequate time on the calendar reminds us to do the work and it also makes sure we have blocks of time available to complete the work.
What tends to happen if we don’t schedule our work to get done? We work on the task for a few moments here and there.
It takes time to prepare to do a task. It also takes some time for our minds to transition from the last thing we were doing to focusing on the current task. If we bounce into and out of the task many times, we could spend a significant amount of time not very productive because of all of the transitions. Schedule blocks of time to dedicate to the task and be more productive.
Scheduling work allows us to get more done in less time.
3. Prepare Your Body and Brain
The positive benefits I receive from running goes beyond the initial reasons I started my running challenge. The below infographic shows the impact exercise has on the brain. Added benefits include improving the ability to learn and improving memory.
Our physical and mental shape can significantly affect how much work we can do in a given amount of time. If our bodies are weak or sick, our ability to do any kind of manual labor will be a challenge. If our minds are not at their peak, our memory and ability to learn is affected as well as being difficult to be creative.
Preparing our bodies and brain allow us to get more done in less time.
Question: Do you have an important project that you don’t think you have enough time to complete? How do you plan to get more done in less time? Leave a comment by clicking here.