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Sanity Notes #013: How to go further with less effort (i.e., work like a rower)

We are not in the business of digging more ditches or pounding more nails. We are in the business of solving hard problems through creativity.

Matt Munson
Matt Munson
2 min read
Sanity Notes #013: How to go further with less effort (i.e., work like a rower)
How to go further with less effort (i.e. work like a rower)
Looking for some support? If now is the time to consider coaching (or a CEO peer circle) reach out here.

I recently purchased a Peloton rower for my home office. At the recommendation of my fittest friend, I am 60 days into building a habit of starting my day with a 15-20 minute row.

In my coaching practice, I love stealing ideas from unexpected sources that may be helpful to my clients. Here is one for today from my new rowing practice.

If you have ever been on a rowing machine, an "erg", you know machines measure and report back to you a few key metrics:

  • Pace (how fast you are moving over the water)
  • Output (how much energy you are generating)
  • Stroke rate (how many strokes you are taking per minute)

What I find fascinating here is the ability to increase your speed without rowing at a more rapid rate. In other words, you can row at exactly the same number of strokes per minute and yet move faster over the water.

How?

By putting more force into each stroke.

What's more, if you pay attention to your breathing and maintain good form, you can increase your speed over the water without spiking your heart rate.

What is the lesson here for leaders, creators, and entrepreneurs?

We are not in the business of digging more ditches or pounding more nails. We are in the business of solving hard problems through creativity.

What if the answer to going further faster in your company is not:

  • more reps per minute
  • more meetings
  • more lines of code
  • more pitches
  • more hours in the day

What if the answer lies in:

  • focusing on your form (slowing down to do it right)
  • ensuring you and your team are focused on what matters
  • putting more force behind fewer efforts
  • becoming masters of recovery, not simply masters of effort

For me, today, that means:

  • Being up early to give myself some time before I give my time to anyone else, including my family
  • Enjoying some slow time with my family before turning to work
  • Focusing my work hours today on 2-3 high-impact efforts in a constrained number of hours
  • Noting in advance how I will help myself recover today (planning for lunch with a friend and a long walk alone later)

What would help you go faster over the water with less effort today?

See you in the boat!

-Matt

Looking for some support? If now is the time to consider coaching (or a CEO peer circle) reach out here.
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