The Power of Bandwidth, Focus and Momentum
If you’ve spent any time on Facebook over the past six months, you’ve seen the video entitled “A Valuable Lesson For A Happier Life” In it, a professor shows his students that when you fill your jar of life first with the most important elements of life (family, friends, health, and passions), there is room for the more mundane tasks and priorities around them. However, if you fill up a jar with small, menial tasks, your jar is too full to fit in the large commitments that provide you with the most happiness.
Make sure you take a little time out to watch the video again because I believe the analogy applies just as much to happiness as it does to your flow state as a gym owner.
I want you to imagine that the jar represents the bandwidth of energy you have to devote to your business activities. It’s a finite space, and if you fill it with the wrong things first, you have no room for the tasks that provide you with the biggest return on investment.
Imagine the sand in the jar are all the little tasks that you can spend time on in the gym like taking out the trash, repairing equipment or even coaching classes. These are necessary tasks that make a gym run, but should you fill up your jar with them?
Coaching is a great example of a sandy activity. You feel that by coaching classes you’re keeping in touch with your clients and keeping your skills sharp. But much like sand, coaching spreads everywhere and gets into your shoes, your ears and your swimsuit (and that stuff chafes!). A one-hour class means one hour beforehand prepping and greeting athletes, one hour leading the workout, 10 minutes after to cheer on the last finishers, and another 30 minutes saying goodbye as people walk out the door. Not only has your time slipped away but you’ve paid a high opportunity cost, and the momentum you’ve lost is far too great. Now that sand fills up the jar, there is no room for golf balls!
As a gym owner, you need to keep your focus on filling that jar first with golf balls, not sand. Your golf balls are the big picture, monumental tasks that require real momentum and flow state to complete. It could be finding a new coach who can develop, market and run a new kid’s CrossFit program. It could be rebranding a morning beginners’ onboarding program into a masters’ class to match the demographics of the athletes signing up. It could be finding new product partners to improve the deliverability of your nutrition program.
These diversifying and expanding activities are what will strengthen your gym and create real growth that gives you the revenue to support more coaches, new marketing efforts and equipment upgrades.
If you are infatuated with a project you are working on or making incredible ground on solving a problem, you must devote your bandwidth to these big return items. Give them the uninterrupted blocks of time that allow you to leverage the flow state for maximum creativity and productivity.
What’s more, filling your bandwidth with 10,000-foot tasks first gives you the ability to break your momentum only when you choose to, and leaves room to pour some sand around the golf balls. You can spend 15 minutes of a class walking around and connecting with athletes when you’re taking a break and recharging your flow, instead of it taking up a 3-hour chunk of your day.
This is the power of understanding your bandwidth. Fill up your jar with the big-ticket items first, blocking out the right times in your day to accomplish these tasks. Leaving yourself gaps for the little things when it’s right for you. When you’re filling your jar with the essential items first, you give yourself the ability to reach your flow state and attain your goals.