Do you have things on your “to-Do” list that you keep avoiding? I find that tasks that require laser like focus for repetitive tasks are particularly challenging for me. Last week, I was crawling through the task of loading an online course onto a website. It required laser focus and I found I was depleted by the repetition. I was making very slow progress.
I decided to play to my strengths to get this task of loading a course online completed. In the Strengths Finder world there is one strength called focus. People who have this strength are incredibly talented at focusing in on one task. It is not one of my strengths. Yet, one of my strengths is strategic thinking. I do some of my best thinking when I create space and time to think big. I often find that I do this best when I am moving.
Thus the Strengths Biathlon.
I knew I had to get the online class loaded and was running out of time before the class started. I also knew just pushing through with laser focus was never going to work for me. I designed a biathlon that played to my strengths.
I loaded up my backpack with my computer and got on my bike. I rode to the ferry terminal and crossed the San Francisco Bay.I pulled into the ferry terminal, found the first free Wi-Fi I could find and loaded one week of the class. I then got on my bike again, and rode for 30 minutes thinking big; dreaming out into the future about where I wanted my business to go. I then stopped at a Starbucks, locked up my bike, turned on my computer and entered another week of the course. I did this five times. Each leg of my biathlon I would use my strategic thinking strength while I riding my bike around San Francisco Bay and then stop for a very focused 45 minutes to load the next week of the course.
I crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, pulled into Sausalito, one more stop; one more week loaded for my course. I biked to Mill Valley, one more week loaded for my online course. I finished in Tiburon 22 miles later with five weeks of my class completed and loaded onto the website for University California Santa Barbara.
Lesson learned, play to your strengths. I was able to focus for 45 minutes at a time because I knew when I got back on my bike I was able to think big and imagine where I wanted my company to go next, I leveraged my strategic strengths.
What biathlon could you design?