Ideas For Increased Effectiveness

How to eat an elephant … one spoon at a time

I have never been a fan of group exercise with its hyper-upbeat classes, pounding music and the need to keep up with the gungho crowd. However, a Groupon coupon many months back lured me into a neighborhood Circuit Works and despite it being exactly that (loudly energized), I have discovered a wholly satisfying way to get a workout.

At the beginning of the hour (my “elephant”), I feel a sense of dread … how am I going to endure this long, hard sixty minutes?

At the end, I leave with a sweaty inner glow and a sense of accomplishment that surprises me.

now understand how this works. How I am forced/encouraged to accomplish something that is outside my comfort zone.

I’m not required to do anything for longer than two minutes – two on the treadmill and two at each station. The routine includes two minutes alternating on the spinning bike but since my back doesn’t encourage that position, I opt to stick with the treadmill … at … my … own … pace!

I can manage anything for two minutes!! These are my “spoons”.

How is this relevant to you?, you may ask.

Think of the tasks you have been putting off — all those moments of procrastination (like writing those blog posts, or doing that bit of networking, or tackling your billing and account books!)

Can you break the task into two or maybe five minute intervals? Can you really push yourself for that brief spell?

My startling discovery after doing a few of these classes is that they have become easier. I still don’t sprint on uber-energetic command, but I do go a little faster, try a little harder. Something in my physiology is responding.

I have learned that even the tasks we dread can be handled, in small bites.

Confession — I have yet to complete all the abdominal exercises at the end!

Philippa Kennealy ran a private family practice, and a hospital, before building her coaching business helping MDs launch and run successful practices and businesses. Visit her online at to learn more.