Most of us here in the Kenzai community spend our days drenched in information. We push our frontal cortexes hard as we rapidly find the relevant data for the task at hand, cross-reference that data with our background knowledge and experience, and make tough choices about the next step.
Whether you're a designer working on a new logo, a stock analyst looking for a good buy, a lawyer looking for a new approach to a case, a developer writing a tricky bit of code, or a stay-at-home parent orchestrating a day's worth of activity for multiple children...
... you're doing work that's one part research, one part creative iteration and one part skillful execution.
There's rarely a manual we can follow. Most of this information work is novel, requiring leaps of creativity and risk-taking. It doesn't always work out. You might have to retrace your steps, redo work you thought was done, or scrap projects entirely. In this we're like explorers of older times, tentatively finding our way into new lands without a map.
This kind of modern work is interesting and often rewarding. But it can just as often be tedious and infuriating. One thing for sure is that it's exhausting. When at work, our brains are an electrical storm of neural activity as we put together ideas and problem-solve. The brain is a body part, and just like any body part its subject to fatigue and overstimulation. A common expression we hear among the Kenzai staff at the end of a busy day is "My brain is fried."
When you take a full day of work AND add the need to do a workout on top of it, a lot of people feel exasperated. They think "I'm already maxed out, how am I supposed to squeeze a workout in too?" If you've felt like this, here's an invitation to alter your paradigm and see your workout in a new light.
Compared to the challenge of information work, a physical workout is child's play.
You literally just open the workout, do the exercises in the order they appear, and hit the complete button. There's no research, cross-referencing, data-analysis, or tough decision points. You can let your frontal cortex chill-out as your reptile brain takes care of moving around and flexing muscles at the right time.
When you think of it this way, the workout starts to feel like you're sneaking away from the work day for a bit of goofing-off. Other people might see you sweating and panting, but you know you're actually slacking off from the really hard mental work that you do the rest of the day. Suddenly the workout changes from another chore on your list to a bright point in your schedule that you look forward to.
The beauty is your workout isn't slacking off at all. It's an important part of body hygiene which will reward you with a clearer mind and better work performance. It's a vital part of staying productive in the information age. But don't let your brain know this.
Stay in the paradigm that your workout is the time of day when you get to slack off for an hour. When your workout feels like a sneaky treat you know you're in the right mindset!