Get Chunky

 

By Kyle Arsenault CSCS

 

Every weekend I complete a few tasks that allow me to have a much smoother week. These tasks include writing individualized programs for athletes, writing a blog, prepping my food for the week, cleaning my apartment and hopefully relaxing a little bit (as that is what weekends are supposed to be for after all!).

In order to get all of the necessary stuff done and still get some me time, I follow a system where I break up tasks into chunks. I used to try and get all of the work related stuff done early (which I still sometimes get a larger chunk done early), but I often times found that my ability to get things done quickly slowed to a snails pace after an hour or so. So instead of getting to relax later on, I would end up working all day.

So I figured since I ended up working all day anyway, why not incorporate some me time within the working hours…and this is where things started to changed.

 

Breaking tasks into chunks gives you an extra boost!

 

I decided to work in 30 minute blocks and then get up and take 20-30 minutes to either get some stuff done in my apartment, go for a walk, do a short bout of training, call my friends or family, watch a game (if there is a good one on I will have in in the background while working)…basically just do something that wasn’t work related.

I thought it would take me twice as long to accomplish tasks, but come to find out I was getting more done in less time! With the mental and physical breaks (being hunched over a computer is a physical killer and energy drainer after a while) I was able to come back to the work and pound out another big chunk much more efficiently.

Now I follow this system every weekend, and you can too! Not only does this system work wonders when it comes to getting work and chores done, but it will also help to further enhance fitness and training goals as you will find yourself more active during the weekend, and some of that activity will come in the form of training.

 

 

The steps and guidelines below may fly in the face of some others you have heard (i.e pick one task, get it done, then move to the next), but this has worked well for me so why not share. Try them out in order to have a more productive and goal oriented weekend (or day for that matter as it can work well at work also).

1)      Pick 2 to 3 work/chore oriented tasks and 1 personal activity…For example I usually write training programs, vacuum my apartment and do some form of exercise (or training, which is more specific exercise!).

2)      Assign either a time interval or landmark for each task/activity to complete and rotate between them…I will write programs for 30 minutes, vacuum my apartment (this usually takes 10 minutes) and train for 20 minutes.

3)      Pick another task to replace one you have completed or continue to rotate through the uncompleted tasks…I usually have quite a few programs to write (which happens when you have over 100 awesome athletes) so I will continue to write programs, dust my apartment/prep food (as I have already vacuumed) and either do another round of training, go for a walk, call a friend/family member, watch a game if one is on or read something, etc.

 

 

4)      Continue to replace tasks/activities that you have completed with other tasks/activities. You will soon realize that you were able to get more of the work/chore related tasks done quicker with a higher degree of quality and you broke it up into chunks that were interspersed with activities you enjoy a bit more.

5)      Once you have completed all of your tasks/chores enjoy the rest of your weekend.

***This approach also works well with training programs. Many times what athletes need may not be want they want to do, but in order to achieve goals, stay healthy and enhance performance it has to be done. As I do with my athletes, try pairing necessary/corrective exercises (those exercises that will help to correct asymmetries, movement dysfunction, weak links, etc. but may be less “sexy”) with exercises you/your athletes enjoy and are also proficient in but can get stronger with.

For example you could pair a glute bridge, with a squat and a plank variation. The glute bridge is a “lower level activation / corrective” that will allow the athlete to better perform the more traditional squat and plank.

 

The scale should be tipped towards needs, but you can at least balance it out!

 

If you are fortunate enough to spend your weekends without having to complete any work related tasks (I enjoy writing programs, blogs, etc. but it does take time), you still should be prepping food and moving/training which you may consider tasks/chores. Chunk them down and complete them with some enjoyable activities and set yourself up for a more productive, healthier and more active weekend (or weekday)!

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