The Weaknesses of a Short and Moderately Arrogant Personal Trainer #1

I was in a job interview the other day.

I felt I had to wear a shirt.

At the moment I am pretty much square shaped so I imagine I looked as awkward as I felt as I nervously rocked up to the interview room putting on my bravest of brave faces.

I faced many questions that I nervously (far more nervously than usual) bumbled through but kind of did okay.

Then the question hit me out of the blue.

I stuttered. I made some ‘eerrrr’ noises. I panicked behind my little blue eyes.

I was asked “what are your weaknesses?”

Essentially I said something along the lines of ‘sometimes I let people get away with doing a few burpees less than I have written down.’

Clearly my life is fantastic and utterly without worry!


Or perhaps… in that moment I was a complete and utter moron.

(For the record I’m accurately informed by my partner that it’s the latter.)

So to make up for this hapless display I want to start a new series detailing my weaknesses, how I am going to tackle them and ultimately how I do at making these weaknesses not so weak!

I have a tendency to write articles that are far too long so I am going to tackle one weakness at a time.

(In no particular order)

#1 Prioritization

I try to do everything at once. 10 minutes or so on each task until they all get done (or never get done as is normally the case.) One of the biggest things is that because I’m trying to concentrate on 400 things at once it means that about 396 things get forgotten about and ultimately never get done even the very very important stuff like paying parking fines or texting a friend a message of support.

So again, I find it very difficult to prioritize tasks and try and do everything at once resulting in lots of half jobs, forgotten jobs and a damaged social life. About the only thing that is never forgotten is training and eating, these are the only two things I absolutely nail 100% of the time without fail.

And it probably makes a big dint in what I could be earning while we are being honest!

So what am I going to do about it?

Over the last week or so of obsession about this I remembered an article from the website called:

The Eisenhower Decision Matrix

Below is the matrix from the article itself:


Quadrant 1- This is things that if not dealt with immediately bad things will happen. Really bad things. It might be a deadline the next day, your wife might be in labour or you might be stuck in unexpected traffic on the way to a clients first session when you have promised that you are never late (WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT!?) (I TOTALLY HAVE BEFORE!)

Quadrant 2- This is where in an ideal world we would spend all our time. This is the quadrant of house work, tidying your car, planning your day or week, exercising, having a date night with the wife and so on. These are things that will be dealt with ‘at some point,’ which with me, has previously meant it probably won’t be done anytime soon! This is the quadrant that brings about that feeling of ‘getting stuff done.’

Quadrant 3- This is things that are quite trivial or irrelevant to you but need dealing with urgently. These might be interruptions when you are dealing with a client, phone calls, doing a chore for friends and family or receiving a facebook notification.

Quadrant 4- The least important of tasks like watching tv, doing crossfit (I had to take a dig at it somewhere,) scrolling endlessly through twitter or watching copious amounts of porn when you should be at work! These are the taks that make you feel like you are wasting your life away. If you are spending most of your time engaging with these tasks then you probably are.

They don’t need to be eliminated entirely, we all need to chill out for a while. Just not all the time. We have shit to do!

The Plan

First of all I am going to work through this pdf from the art of manliness article already featured:

The Eisenhower Decision Matrix

This should take me around 30 minutes!

So, if the aim is to spend as much time in Q2 as possible the first thing is to eliminate as many possible Q1’s as possible. The source of many of these are the house and car. So I need to maintain my house and car better so that there is less of a chance of running int these nasty Q1’s.

So I’m going to write a do to list of all the jobs that need doing around the house and assign times and dates to them to get the house in tip top shape.

Next and perhaps the most important is in order to spend time doing things that are important to you you need to establish what is actually important to you!

Essentially, you need to establish your core values (as do I.)

I am going to do this by following these instructions:

“1. Get nice and relaxed. Go to a quiet room and sit in a big comfy chair (maybe even sit in your closet; something about small spaces helps you think), grab the fishing pole and spend an hour or two casting your line into the ol’ fishing hole, or take a walk on a nature trail or around your neighborhood. Just do whatever works for you.

2. Have the proper tools. Have a pen and paper handy so you can write down your values as they come to you. I don’t recommend using a computer to do this as it’s pretty easy to get distracted from the task at hand. Write on something you won’t accidentally throw away and that will last for many years to come.

3. Ask yourself this question: “What’s truly important to me as man?”
Once you’re nice and relaxed, simply ask yourself what’s truly important to you. Think about those moments in your life when you felt completely whole and fulfilled as a man. Think about the times when you’ve been the happiest. If nothing comes to you at first, don’t worry. Just keep thinking.

4. Write down whatever comes to you. When you have a moment of insight about what’s important to you, write it down. Don’t self-censor yourself. Be completely honest during this process. No one else is going to see this, so don’t list the values that you think “should” be on your list. If it comes to you, write it. You’ll be able to go back and edit the list in the next step. For now, just do a total brain dump.

Also, don’t worry about prioritizing them yet. We’ll do that later. Our goal right now is to just get down whatever comes to you.

5. If you have more than five values, eliminate some. Think hard about what you truly value in life. Put a star by the values you’re sure about. Then take the ones that you feel are important, but aren’t sure if they’re top 5 material, and put them in pairs. Think about two of those values side by side, and ask yourself which of the two is more important. Then eliminate the other. Keep pitting the survivors against each other until you’re down to 5. If some of the values you listed are just two words describing the same idea. Combine them.

6. Prioritize. Once you whittle your list to five core values, prioritize them in order from most important to least important. Ideally, your core values compliment each other, but there might be times when two or more conflict. When that happens, which value will trump? If you know this before that choice presents itself, you’ll know how to proceed. And even if your values conflict in the future, look for creative ways to combine them. For example, family might be your top priority, but so is volunteering. When you have the choice of spending time with your kids or signing up to help at a charity event, do both by bringing the kiddos along with you.”

Once again, these instructions are from the great site

So once I’ve decided on what is truly important to me it should help me divide up my time accordingly.

I shall keep you posted on my progress!

Chris Kershaw

Occasional lifter of moderately heavy things


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