Getting Things Done via Push-Ups

I want to introduce you to a productivity tool that I have found effective in helping you knock off items from your todo list, energise you in Pomodoro breaks and help you to think more creatively.

This is a picture of my 100 press-up challenge collection page in my Bullet Journal from a while ago. (Also known as a 100 push-up challenge, but as a Brit, I favour the "press" word)

I had undertaken a press-up challenge in which I would do at least 100 per day. In fact by the end of the month I was doing 300 per day which I hadn't expected. Each dot represented 10 press-ups.

I could break down the press-ups into smaller sets, but I committed to doing what was required by the end of each day. On some days you would see me take a small break from work and knock out another 10. When I put my son to bed, before joining my wife I might sneak another 20 in.

By the end of 31 days I noticed that I actually enjoyed the exertion. I enjoyed moving through stiffness and slight pain by the force of my will - I wanted to succeed and every set was another step towards my goal, what I had committed to do. I also had bigger arm muscles and more defined shoulders and finally I felt so much more able. Not just able to do the exercise, but able to achieve work goals, tough conversations and difficult phone calls. Doing something difficult helped me to face hard things at work and push forward, to walk towards things that frightened me.

I'd like to suggest that maybe, if you're feeling stuck, that you also start a 100 push-up or press-up challenge.

Why will this help?

  • It will make you do hard things, every day.
  • It will make you keep to a plan. When the number goes up to 200 it hurts, but by then I was determined that I would not be beaten and you will be too.
  • It will make you develop good habits. And developing good habits is more effective than sheer willpower in achieving success.
  • It will make you fitter.
  • It might make you look better with fewer clothes on ;-)
  • It will make more blood flow to your brain.
  • If you're angry or frustrated it will help get it out of you.

I'm currently repeating this challenge this month, because I gained so much benefit. If you'd like to join me and play along, you can see the daily numbers required in this full page image.

And if you do choose to give it ago, why not become accountable by posting in the comments.  Good luck!