Front loading


Top athletes don’t train at the same level of intensity throughout the day. They front load their workouts, doing the heaviest parts earlier in the day, when they have the most energy.

They also front load their week, doing the most strenuous workouts Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, for example, and leaving the rest of the week for less intense parts of their training.  

This allows them to build muscle, speed, and endurance while getting sufficient rest so they can go at it again. 

We can work the same thing in our work.

The idea is simple. You start your day or week (or project) doing the most important tasks. This allows you to get started when you have more energy, so that if the rest of the day or the week you don’t work with the same intensity, or you work on tasks that are less important, you still make progress.

This doesn’t mean you need to start with the most disagreeable or difficult tasks, a la, Eat That Frog. Just start with your MITs, your “most important tasks”.

You don’t need to do them as soon as you roll out of bed. But when you’re ready to start your workday or a new week, you’re starting a new project or diving into a work-in-progress, do the most important tasks or steps first. 

When you structure your time this way, you make progress even if you don’t do that much with the rest of the day or the week. 

If you’re working on a new presentation, do the outline and first draft early in the day or week. Do the second draft, editing, and creating visuals later.

Many people do things just the opposite. They start their day doing easy tasks, to tick them off their list and make room to work on the important things. The problem with working this way is that we often run out of time and/or energy before getting to the important things.  

Front load your time by prioritizing the most important things on your list and doing them first.

Make that your SOP and, who knows, you might find that a four-day work week is your new reality.