I had a meeting (or two) with my coach, Luke, at the start of this season for a review of last season and to discuss how best to go forward. A lot was discussed over those meetings, however one of the topics that I brought up was that the most important thing for me is to make things as efficient and streamlined as possible.
And yes, I did mean training, but actually, I find the training the easy bit when it comes to being a professional athlete. The bit that I find hard is everything outside of the sessions.
I don't know whether it's a bit of laziness or whether to look at it as a positive, but I've always, throughout my life, tried to streamline processes to make them as easy as possible. I think I'll spend longer thinking about how to go about a task than actually doing it most of the time.
I've seen this in many aspects of life from Education, studying for GCSE's and Alevels whilst training to be a swimmer, my architectural studies which can be a silly amount of hours if you aren't time efficient, and now transferring some of those skills into Triathlon.
This is constantly a work in progress. I'm by no means amazing at being efficient... my biggest downfall probably being not being able to fully concentrate on one task at a time... my mind is usually on a few different things, which probably slows down the actual task being conducted.
That being said, I think I'm pretty good at it.
Simplifying life in and around training has enabled me to reduce 'decision fatigue' (I've spoken about this before). Essentially having some structure in and around training, a routine... that I can churn out day in day out, week in week out, means that I rarely have to think about the little things, such as what to have for breakfast / lunch .... they always tend to be one of two things more often than not. Or what time to leave for training, same time every day. Sessions are the same time every day. I don't have to think about when I'm doing them... That's just the time they get done.
Obviously not everyone has the luxury of a structured day to day in that sense... but there are definitely aspects of everyone's life that they can streamline and simplify. I try and simplify most things as much as possible to get the job done as quick, easy and effort free as possible so that I have the energy, both physical and mental, to do the things that I enjoy and concentrate on those fully... whether that be hard sessions, or spending time with family and friends, cooking evening meals, or other hobbies.
If you aren't able to simplify the small things, they begin to cloud the things that really matter and take up unnecessary time. So what can you do to streamline your process? Is it a case of creating a base shopping list that you know you get every week, and then add the niceties on top? Is it simplifying a session to something that doesn't require much mental energy but you know it's doing exactly the right thing...
Don't however let this be to the detriment of the things that you value and enjoy. I like those one or two choices for breakfast or lunch... make the changes enjoyable and easy and you're more likely to stick to them and just part of your day to day routine.
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