The Secret Behind Activity Sprinting: Taming The Viking To Achieve High-Effort ConsistencyThe Secret Behind Activity Sprinting: Taming The Viking To Achieve High-Effort Consistency

What has been your plan to stay motivated when negative situations or low-priority distractions occur? How do you avoid giving up after some of your revenue generating activity (phone calls, emails, marketing efficiency etc) has not shown you the expected return on your effort investment? Do you find that your daily activity is more like a plodding long-distance marathon rather than a series of controlled sprints? By the end of this exercise you will be equipped to create an action plan based on an internal character study that will not only allow you to answer these questions but when executed, has been proven to increase productivity.

We need to understand that our business personalities are made up of two major driving forces. It has been said that the first part of our make-up is responsible for our intelligent and cerebral qualities. The draw back is that this quality alone is considered weak when it comes to executing the action plan it was responsible for creating. It carries no passion, drive or any of your competitive "win at all cost" mentality.

On the other side of the spectrum the second part of our make-up actually is entrusted with carrying-out the initiatives derived by the other component. It is responsible for our passion, competitiveness and desire to divide and conquer as we take on any challenges we face along the way. It's probably the driving force behind why we became business owners in the first place. Unfortunately it also desires immediate gratification and is stronger at imposing its will on the other. This dominant side has been likened to the Viking leader "Thor" who according to historic folk lore would conquer, destroy and pillage while having little patience for self sacrificed or delayed gratification.

The problem is that as entrepreneurs our "Thor" side is very strong and tends to dominate our more responsible, less impulsive, disciplined side of our behavior. When its sunny and 82 and you've hit challenges that have prevented you from accomplishing any of the goals we laid out the evening before your "Thor" side asks you how long you're going to subject yourself to this and wants you to do some strategy planning - at the golf course. He will begin sabotaging your efforts causing you to speak with less energy and give up quicker because your "Thor" side wants to do something more rewarding and fun. When you've accomplished what you set out to do for the day by 2:00 Thor wants to lay back and relax or do more enjoyable tasks rather than those that require more effort. When it's Friday morning and you've had you've above average week, Thor justifies emotionally checking out instead of getting on the phone and working to get a leg up for next week. We've all been there, but how do we tame that adolescent driver of our success? We tame him by getting him to work for our intellectual side.

Thor wants gratification so we give him gratification.......but not until after we accomplish something that we need his strong competitive nature to drive us to achieve. That's right, we use the weaknesses in his nature against him, holding him hostage until he gives us what we want! In fact the rewards really don't have to be large at all!

Here is a perfect example from a company who's sales force I was working with to increase their productivity. After going through my training on this topic I began working with a young sales rep that had recently experienced the birth of his first baby girl. He loved to get home and spend time with his wife and beautiful child but found that it became increasingly more difficult to concentrate in the sales field. His Viking was sabotaging him. Sometimes he would just give in, go home early and spend the rest of the day with them. It did not take very long before he realized that giving into this urge was financially hurting his family in the long run. So after our conversation he came up with his plan. He knew that his "Thor" side wanted to spend time at home so every morning on his way to work, he would set his expectation for the day. He would tell his Thor side "All right, do you want to go home? Fine then all you have to do is make sales 10 presentations today and you get to go home! If we do 3 by 10:00 I'll reward myself with a Coke. If I get 6 I can grab an early lunch." Inside he could hear his Thor side say "Well then stop talking and let's go!" This was actually behind his success as he rose to become the #1 sales representative for three years straight in a company with over 400 sales reps!

For you , it might be an energy drink after 20 phone calls or taking a short 15 minute break once you've sent out a certain number of marketing emails or identified a specific number of customers. What ever it is, find it and use it against the immediate gratification tyrant wearing the "corny horned helmet" inside you to get that competitive, driven part of you to work "for" you not "against" you. Remember, your ultimate goal is to have a focused sprint like a person possessed until you achieve a predetermined measurable outcome you desire. At first you will probably have to reward yourself at smaller intervals such as every 30 minutes or so primarily because your undisciplined "Thor" is not used to waiting or having to run that fast (after all he does carry a heavy hammer). Eventually you will be able to push out your reward increments to reflect hourly and daily benchmarks.

So first determine your focus, set your daily processes. Then determine what that reward driven Viking inside you desires greatly, place it just outside his reach and go conquer your long-term goal! You'll find that you'll work harder than you ever have for a series of sprints in order to reach the reward rather than treating the day like it's a slow paced marathon.

Give it a try this week!

Written by:
Patrick Daugherty
The Biz Coach
by Patrick Daugherty
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Patrick Daugherty has a passion for coaching business executives and entrepreneurs to reach their personal and professional goals. To learn more about Patrick visit his blog: And full profile at:
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