Maximum Effort

A looooooooooong overdue hello to everyone!  My research project has been handed in, it’s starting to become autumn once more here in Aberdeen, and with nothing more to do than apply for jobs and get back to a regular workout routine, I’m finally allowing myself back into the blogging world!  I hope you all have had a great last month of summer (or winter for those south of the equator) and have been staying on top of whatever goals you’ve set yourself to live the best life possible.  

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Based on the whirlwind of the past few weeks, and an awesome motivating article I read over the weekend, I wanted to remind you all to give your maximum effort in whatever you do.  Also bonus points to whoever can name the movie reference in the title, and no Googling allowed!

While I was finishing up my research project I often found myself feeling overwhelmed and short of time.  I realised that in order to finish my report and maintain some semblance of balance in my life, I needed to put forth 100% effort into everything I did.  Workouts were shortened, but increased in intensity.  Taking a break to walk along the beach wasn’t as long as I would have liked, but I “unplugged” entirely: my phone stayed in my pocket to allow my mind optimal recovery in the time it had.  I cooked double or triple portions and had leftovers the next day, meaning less cooking time overall.  Giving my everything to each of these tasks didn’t require a ridiculous amount of energy on my part, but fully dedicating my time and energy to each in its own turn meant I got as much as possible out of it-and it worked!

Now that I find myself with fewer deadlines, except those set forth in the job vacancies, I notice how easy it is to only give 75 or 80 per cent effort…and how detrimental it is to my overall performance.  It was frustrating, but I was convinced that unless I was under far too much pressure for my own good that I simply operated that way.  Luckily the universe had a bit of divine intervention up its sleeve, and I stumbled across this article a few days back.  Set 5 minutes aside to read it (trust me, it’s worth it!) and let me know which tidbits resonate with you.  Some of my favourites are:

“When I shifted gears to 100 per cent, there were no decisions to make…ninety-nine per centing was so much harder.  It weighed on me daily.  It was heavier than the task at hand.”

Boy, is this true.  Asking myself if I should indulge in one more chapter of my latest book before writing a cover letter took so much more time and energy than simply writing those few paragraphs.  Do I enjoy writing cover letters?  Does anybody enjoy trying to humblebrag in an attempt to secure a job not really.  But will it help me land a role that enthuses me every day?  Absolutely!  When you look at what you have to do from a different perspective, turning the “to do list” into an “opportunity creation list,” it becomes a no brainer.  As the Nike saying goes, just do it.

“Why do some people succeed over others?  Because they commit completely to something.”

So simple, yet so profound all at once.  How many times have you found yourself wondering why you haven’t taken that personal development course, or how you could have fallen off your health regime again, or how-on-earth-that-one-person-we-all-know-manages-to-balance-work-and-social-life-and-running-marathons-and-saving-the-rainforest-and-generally-being-a-super-human while you struggle to get up with the first of five alarms set each morning?

Commitment is key.

I absolutely love finding articles like this, because they serve as a much-needed reminder to things we already know-and just happen to forget every now and again.  Putting maximum effort into aspects of your life doesn’t mean you need to drain yourself, and it certainly doesn’t mean you need to give 100% to every single thing all at once!  Find a few areas you really want to succeed in, and start there.  As time goes on it becomes easier to dedicate 100% effort to more areas in your life, but baby steps are key! Giving a greater effort can be as simple as choosing a healthier option when dining out, taking the long route on a walk home to get more fresh air, or setting the electronics aside an extra 30 minutes before bed to allow your mind to fully relax.  By consistently making decisions that bring you closer to your personal goals, you’re already putting in more effort than you were before.  Give it a try and see how much it pays off!

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