This is not new information by any means and I have to do right by my encounter with it that really sparked this blurb. Credit to Jocko Willink for being honest in his talks with Tim Ferriss.
I think procrastination, or the idea of it at the very least, is something we all struggle with on different levels. While some are open, or maybe just outwardly obvious, about their procrastination habits, others may identify more with the idea of just not being committed to something or having great stake in a thing’s momentary completion. In any case, Jocko Willink gave some words (not directly, should I be so lucky, I heard it in a Tim Ferriss podcast) that, while profound, are painstakingly simple and crucial at that.
Jocko identifies with the execution of doing it his way (the “it” being all of his habits and advice hit on in the podcast). I don’t think he would argue that as long as things are getting done the minutia of it is insignificant. The odd part is often his way is the only way for the specific tasks he’s talking about . . . so . . . take that with a grain of salt.
His main focal point is physical activity and quite brutal physical activity at that. I’d argue his thing is more of a lifestyle focal point, but it’s irrelevant for our purposes. His driving point is that most folks need to get up early in the morning, train hard, and get on with their day. There are a host of things that happen when that is taken cafe of, but the main thing is starting it off the same and actually getting it done every time. I’d offer that as long as you have time to get everything done that you need to get done in the day, including working out, that it doesn’t matter the order in which you do them or even how early a specific one gets done.
The glaring problem for most folks lies in if it doesn’t get done early it doesn’t get done. I think the source of that option is that at its root, working out is completely optional. Meaning if you skip today’s workout because you ran out of time and work details took precedence, then you had your kids soccer game, then you wanted to help your other kid with a project for school due the next day, then you and your wife wanted to do your daily catchup after the kids went to bed . . . all of a sudden there isn’t time for a damn workout. The list of things we just came up with are all more important than a workout. BUT THEY AREN’T!
The fact is, most folks can’t fuck up and miss just one workout. It becomes a weekly thing. You start missing one workout a week and it snowballs into the month, the year, and before you know it you’re wondering why you’re a bum and your kids don’t brag about their superhero dad who pushed mom’s car single-handedly down the street.
Most people need to take the small list of things that are totally optional, but totally non-negotiable, and get them taken care of first thing in the morning. That could be meal prepping your lunches on Sunday so your food intake doesn’t go to hell because of a bad plan or switching to a smoothie style blended breakfast to save time and follow through on execution of all the things you need in the morning.
Take this home with you and try it on. The alarm goes off at 5:00am. Hear it, wake up, and get out of bed. If you need a cold shower to really be awake then make it happen. Grab a cup of coffee and do whatever you have to do to get a workout done before 6:00am. Maybe on day 1 you do as many pushups as you can in two minutes, rest one minute, then as many sit-ups as you can in two minutes, rest one minute, then as many squats as you can in two minutes. Rest a few minutes then try and beat all your numbers with one more attempt through the three movements. You’re done. That’s it. BUT, if you did it right you made it hurt. Of course that workout will get more complicated, involve more movements, your technique will improve greatly, you’ll start a small collection of solid, useful equipment, and before you know it your kids are bragging about you to their friends and you’re the actual superhero at all the birthday parties while everyone else has to feel bad about the cake in their hands.
Make it simple and take the step. It’s just one step.
Where to start? Here.
Best time to start? Now.