4 Core Skills To Effectiveness

We all have the same 24 hours in a day. We all have the same 7 days a week. But why is it that some CrossFit Affiliates seem to just get so much done and have things really dialed in, while others only ever seem to be putting out spot-fires and are doing their best just to keep their nose above the water?

It’s fair to say that this sort of anomaly can be observed not only amongst CrossFit Affiliate owners, but basically across any industry – it’s not exclusive to CrossFit.  So the question remains; what exactly is it that sets the highly effective CrossFit Box owners apart from the not so effective?

Effectiveness can be learned

The first thing we should note is that being highly effective involves a set of core skills that can be learned. That with practise and time, any box owner can become proficient in – think of it as the fundamental movements of the time management world.

These core skills include;

  1. Internalising the locust of control
  2. Know your end game
  3. Learn to prioritise
  4. Schedule like a maniac

Let’s look at these a bit further.


Interalising the locust of control

This is just a fancy way of saying you need to accept responsibility for your own actions. Internalising the locust of control is a mind-set that is based on the premise that your position in life, be it success or failure, where you are right now is a pure reflection of the decisions that you have made to this point.

People that have a low locust of control will often find themselves blaming others or their situation for their lack of success. Or if they experience some success, they feel it was more due to luck, than good management – these people tend to be the victims in life.

Conversely, those with a high locust of control will always look at role that they played in the outcome. For these people, it is never a case of luck of chance. They tend to look at what is in their control and feel that their success or failure, comes back to the decisions that they made – these people are empowered.


Know your end game

Once you get your head around the fact that it is all up to you, the next step is to work out what exactly it is that you want to achieve – what is your end game?

When you have a solid picture of what you want to get out of your business, you also get the accountability and direction to achieve the daily tasks. Without a strong end-game picture, these daily tasks become very easy to dismiss as they often appear to lack relevance or importance. To get to your destination, you really do need to know where you want to go.

To help work out what your end-game is, think about the lifestyle that you want – I mean the lifestyle that you truly want. And know that at some stage, you will find yourself surrounded by people that will tell you that you dream too big or what you want is not realistic. Rest assured that these people don’t know, they’re offering opinions based on their own self-imposed limitations. You do not share their limitations, so your job is to know what exactly it is that you want – dream as big as you want and do not be dissuaded from this.

Start by asking yourself some questions like;

–        What sort of hours do you want to work on a weekly basis?

–        How often do you want holidays?

–        What house do you want?

–        What car do you want to drive?

–        How much income do you need to live the life you want?

–        How long before you want all of this to happen?

Once you know what it is that you want out of your business and you know when you want it by, the next step is to systematically work your way back from this goals – breaking it down to bite-sized chunks that if you follow, will lead you to your end game.

This process of working back from your end game is called reverse engineering. I’ll be going in to more detail on this one in a future article, but for the meantime, just know that you need to know your end game and do not let your compass turn from “due north” on this.


Learn to prioritise

A common issue of box owners is that they fail to understand how to prioritise their tasks correctly. Often, they fail to understand the difference between urgency and importance.

To help with this, I’m going to talk you through a key concept of a great book that I would strongly encourage everyone to read; Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.

In this book, Stephen spends some time working through the prioritising process. He categorises all activities into four distinct areas based on importance and urgency.

  1. High importance and urgency: These are tasks that if not done, have significant ramifications (high importance) and they also have to be done in the immediate future (high urgency).
  2. High importance and low urgency: These are tasks that have significant ramifications, but they don’t have to be done immediately.
  3. Low importance and high urgency: These tasks need to be done immediately, but the ramifications are low if they’re not done.
  4. Low importance and urgency: These tasks are not going to make any real significance to operations and they do not have to be done any time soon.

The premise of categorising these tasks is that you want to focus on completing the tasks that are important, from here,  you then make your way through the list based on the secondary ranking of urgency.

Even just implementing this step alone makes a monstrous difference to a box owners proficiency. It’s imperative that you remain focused on the importance items, as these are the ones that shape your business.


Schedule like a maniac

Everything in your week needs to be planned. You should be allowing time to program, time to pay bills, time to work out the P&L, time to coach, time for event planning, time for marketing, time for staff training, time for managing enquiries, time for member contact – absolutely everything needs to be scheduled.

What I personally have found works best is that I’ll actually draw up, print out and at my desk, pin up a weekly schedule that incorporates each and every category of business – the stuff that I do on a weekly basis. And I’ll review this on a monthly basis before doing it all again.

With this schedule, I’ll allocate a block of time for all of these tasks. The amount of time I’ll allocate will depend upon the importance and size of the tasks (look back to your list of importance). Some tasks will be given a couple of hours, while the minimum time I’ll allow for any given task is half an hour. So basically everything I do throughout the working week, has an allocated period of time – even writing this article has been allocated time on my schedule.

Anal I know – but without this schedule, stuff literally hits the fan.

The effectiveness of this schedule hinges entirely on whether you stick to it.

What I mean by this is that you need to work on the tasks in the allocated time and then you move on to the next. Not a minute more should be spend on any given task. Naturally you’ve prioritised the tasks, so you know what amounts of time you need to spend in each area, and this is something that you may need to review a couple of times over the first month of working this system. But the moment you work past the allocated time on a given task, you’ve compromised the entire effectiveness of the schedule.

In saying this, you also need to remove all of the distractions that can divert your attention from the tasks at hand. Turn off the phone. Close the office door. Do not open up facebook or your emails. There will be times to do all of this stuff, but it has to be on your schedule.


Take time out

Now with all of this in mind, the one thing that will often be overlooked is “you” time. You will need to allow yourself time to re-charge the batteries. I mean there is no point working towards a quality of life if you’re sacrificing everything now to get there. Get your balance right and learn to enjoy the journey as much as arriving at the destination.



P.S. I’ve got a schedule that I’m happy to email out if you’re want something to work from. Just click here to go to the contact form and request “schedule” and I’ll send it out to you. While you’re there, I’d love to hear a little bit more about what you want to out of your business – what is your end game.

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