When I ran cross-country in high school, my coaches used to tell us to “attack the uphills” and “coast the downhills.”
The reasons were simple: It’s easy to loose momentum and rhythm when you hit a hill, so it’s best to attack it to keep your forward motion. The “attack” mentality can also help you from simply running out of mental gas on a steep hill.
Coasting on the downhills is meant to use gravity to help you conserve energy while picking up momentum, and to avoid injuries through “choppy” running down a steep downhill.
The same lessons can be applied by entrepreneurs and business owners looking to stay motivated and productive on a daily basis.
Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to get out of bed on a day when you have a rough project, heavy travel or simply don’t feel like working.
These are the uphills.
The worst thing to do on these “uphill” days is to lay in bed dreading the day, procrastinate, or otherwise “coast” into the workday. The best thing to do is to attack!
Get up, take a walk, do some exercise, grab your coffee, put a smile on your face and take the day head-on. Don’t let the hill stop your momentum, and and keep pushing through to the top of the hill. (And, if you follow our dual to-do list productivity hack, you should reach the hilltop within the first hours of the day!)
The “downhill” days are those on which you complete your priority to-dos early, and your schedule is free of calls and meetings. Sometimes, our first temptation is to get ahead of the game by starting on tomorrow’s to-do list, or trying to fit in some extra calls. Usually, this turns into busy-work and wasted time that, quite honestly, should be used for enjoying life, spending time with your family, and just doing something fun.
It’s on these “downhills” that you should coast. Conserve energy. You’ll have another uphill in a day or two.
The most important part is not not let the uphill days spill over into all of your downhills days. How can you keep that from happening? Simple: Search our directory of past posts about productivity here.
Do you have any tips on how you attack your uphill days with gusto? We’d love to read them in the comments!