If you’ve ever felt like you didn’t have a minute or that your focus was scattered all over the place, you’re not alone.
The myth of multi-tasking* often ends us with us distractedly attempting to do multiple jobs and not really doing any of them at our best!
(*multi-tasking is a myth because our brains switch between each task, and each time they switch, there is a blip, a cost to our attention as we refocus on the task we’ve switched to, and then as we switch back to a different task. Admittedly, as a general rule, women do this at less of a cost than men, but there is still a cost and we don’t truly multi-task. So to optimise our productivity, we do better to prioritise and then focus on one task at a time.)
Here’s a Quick Tip to help you train your brain to focus more on the task in hand- and get a workout in at the same time
Have you ever felt like you should work out, but it just felt like you didn’t have a minute, and it all just felt overwhelming?
I’ve been struggling with repeated shoulder injuries recently, and am currently getting treatment to realign my spine which was completely out of whack (technical term). As part of letting my body heal, I am VERY limited in the exercises I can do, so am basically limited to lower body work that doesn’t involve spinal flexion or anything that puts pressure on my shoulder. So, whilst I absolutely love my DVD workouts, I can’t really do any just now, so am having to get creative on my own…
We know that if we can get started, we can probably keep going, but even in the midst of a workout, we can get overwhelmed by how long there still is to go! This is where taking it exercise by exercise can help. But if it’s a DVD or class you’ve taken regularly, the ability to stay present and just focus on the current exercise can disappear as you begin to anticipate those still to come.
Here’s what’s working brilliantly for me, I hope it will help you too:
Katie Spotz rowed solo across the Atlantic, and she focused on each mile as if it were the only one she had to row.
My Minute-by-minute Focus Workout
I have started doing the same in my limited-but-determined workouts.
* I bring up the countdown timer on my phone
* Set the countdown timer for 1 minute
*Pick my FIRST exercise (normal rules about warming up/cooling down still apply!)
*Focus on that. As the countdown runs out, I only then decide what my next exercise is going to be.
* I do have a basic list of exercises I will go through, but I don’t put them in order, nor do I set a length of time I want to workout for.
Does this freak you out?
I get that this might seem anxiety-provoking for those of you who like to have everything planned out in advance, BUT, we can train ourselves to be so distracted in our day to day activities that actually focusing on what is happening at that precise moment can be difficult. This is where exercises such as this can come into their own.
You may also find it kicks the fatigue ‘gremlin’ to the curb as it can’t come screaming at you about how many minutes you have left to go, if you haven’t decided how many you have left to go!
I personally do a variety of exercises that I then cycle through again at will, and don’t count the minutes that have passed. I’m listening to my body, pushing it, but also working on being present in the moment and not thinking ahead, other than enough to allow a transition immediately into a new exercise.
Try it, and let me know how you get on!
If it works for you, great! If it doesn’t, no worries, we’re all different and at least you’ll have a bit more data about what you need to motivate yourself best.
NOTE: this is what *I* do but at all times you are responsible for how you translate this onto your body. You alone are the advocate for your health and fitness, so check with your healthcare provider before commencing any exercise and consult with appropriate fitness professionals for help on your own optimal exercise schedule. MY point in this post is not to tell you what exercise to do or avoid, but how to increase your mental focus as you exercise, something which can then be used in other areas of your life. At all times, use your own discretion- no blindly following sheep behaviours please!