Act Like a Professional Eight Minutes at a Time

Aaron McHugh

8 min of running

Yesterday I ran for eight minutes.

That’s it. That’s all the margin I had left between meetings and work obligations.

I slept five hours.

I started at 7 a.m. and finished after 11 p.m.

It was raining outside and I decided to strap on my running shoes and go anyway.

For years I neglected these narrow windows of opportunity and skipped the few minutes of exercise available to me.

It felt too small a fraction to account for anything productive.

A good friend of mine walked me through a simple math equation that pros use:

[Small Margin] + [Consistency] x [Time] = Accumulated benefit

Meet Neal

He is a decorated runner, triathlete, and marathoner.

Here are the results related to running over time:

8 Minutes x 4 weeks x 12 months = 40 to 50 miles a year

What Neal decoded for me that day was that the best of the best, the elite athletes on the cover of magazines, choose to run for eight minutes instead of skipping it all together.

Don’t get stuck on this as a running story; running is only the metaphor.

Start acting like a pro

We believe the pros have:

  • More time than us
  • More margin than us
  • Fewer conflicts than us

The truth is that a pro chooses to go for it anyway.

Whether it is running, investing in your marriage, trying to find a new job, or saving $3.22 at a time…

It all adds up.

Are you willing to act like a pro and go anyway?

  • This is so good. Aaron you’ve mentored me in this. For me it’s the compliment to another discipline of “micro-resting.” In our instantaneous and ever plugged in culture, we have lost to ability to rest. But we haven’t lost rest being essential to us thriving as human beings. I remember reading a study of the industrial power wielders trying to adopt a 9 week work week in Russia and productivity plummeted… We were made for activity and rest. Like the eight minute run, I’ve been adopting micro-rests. 5 minute increments, multiple times in a day, to pause, do nothing. Breathe. Re-center. Re-orient. It changes everything. Thanks Aaron. You’re leading well… – M

    • Snyder-micro resting…..I pulled up a chair twice today to breathe in and breathe out. 5 minutes didn’t cure everything but it eased my body into another round of work for the day. Snuck in a walk for 10 minutes also. Dollar cost averaging!

  • Bam Aaron! You hit on a very important topic. Small, consistent actions have more impact than we believe. We’ve got to be willing to make the deposits, whenever we can.

    • Joe-yes….make deposits whenever we can. Some days I’m up. Some days I’m down. But i do attempt to sneak in a deposit of some kind each day. Keep going.

  • Eduardo

    Said it like a pro.

  • Beth

    I love this, thank you.

    • Hey Beth. Thank you. Stoked you liked this. I’ve had to use this idea this week as I’m traveling for work. Reminding myself that small bits still make a dent over time.

  • Great post Aaron! Amazing the things you can do in Micro amounts … Walk, Read (or Audible bits), Pray … good reminder …

    • Thanks Mark. I find it interesting that so many of the posts I write are really for myself.I don’t have any of these things sorted out, I’m simply finding some nuggets along the way that encourage me to keep going. Micro amounts…..

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