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Pareto and Lap Swimming in the Work Pool

How do lap swimming, the Pareto Principle, and professional development relate?

Lap swimming is great exercise but can be boring (especially if you are old and slow). One of the best ways to break up a swim is to throw in a set of intervals. I have a 1000 yard set that takes 20 minutes and usually reminds me of my age and shoulder ailments. Yet when I throw it into the swim, I always exit the pool mentally refreshed for having pushed myself and knowing I have stretched my aerobic threshold one more day. All good.

Listening to my buddy, Chris Klinger’s Minutespiration vlog on the Pareto Principle, Do You Pareto?, I noticed how my interval was a small part of my workout, but it makes all the difference in my performance. So why not apply it a 20% interval into my work day and see if I get an 80% return?

Here’s what I did and recommend you try:

Pick a part of your work that you love to avoid because (you fill in the reason) and:

  1. Spend some time doing your normal routine (WARM UP).

  2. Schedule 30 minutes of DND time ( turn off phone, take no calls, close your door, tell your coworkers and boss you need 30 minutes of uninterrupted time)

  3. Set your clock and work focused and hard on the project/activity (INTERVAL).

  4. When the mental excuses drift in, keep going and push on.

  5. When the 30 minute buzzer hits, spend 15 minutes wrapping up at your regular pace (WARM DOWN).

  6. Repeat weekly and when you get the hang of it, add more time to the morning 30 or throw in an afternoon session.

These conscious, short bursts of effort produce the Pareto impact on our job. While painful to start, such efforts produce a mental high and improve the efficiency of your laps up and down the work pool.

Next time: Why flip turns matter:)!

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