Making commitments, eliminating decisions and having your 3Ss in place is one half of the battle. The other half is what happens just before you execute. It's the decision before the decision, the moment prior to acting. Ultimately, it's the hinging task that your success of execution hangs on.
Everyday you'll face your precursors, and your ability to do what you need to do relies on how you approach the situation. You might overthink, have an excuse or lose the battle to a shifting priority. Chances are, though, if your ability to execute is compromised, something about your structure, strategy or system has changed.
That's where becoming hyper aware of and mastering your individual precursors is so critical. Just as you want to eliminate the decision of doing, you also want to eliminate the decision that comes before the action.
Are You Choosing The Path Of Least Resistance?
- How many times have you put on your gym kit in the morning and not trained?
- How many times have you got an entire week's shopping and not cooked your meals at home?
- How many times have you put on your running shoes when you've arrived home from work and not done your cardio?
In each situation, it's the moment just before the action that's critical. The gym kit, the shopping, the running shoes make or break what happens next.
Battling The Negative Precursor
Precursors aren't inherently always positive. For example, when you're waiting in a queue, that may be a precursor for you to pull your phone out. When Friday night comes around, that may be a precursor for a big meal out with a heavy drinking session after. You see where I'm going with this?
One example I often hear is people finish work having already made the decision not to carry their gym kit with them. Instead, they've said they'll go after having dinner at home. The problem here is they've combined two precursors that'll make it harder to leave the house once they're there - the simple act of getting home and the eating of a meal. Both will trigger relaxing and shutting down for the day - the opposite to the original intention.
By using positive precursors, such as changing into your gym kit before leaving work, you'll guarantee an increased rate and intensity of sessions completed. This will make it harder to fall back on the 'relaxing' precursor of training after dinner.
The key lesson here is to look at the structure of your day and be self-aware enough to know which precursors are serving you, and which are setting you back. The goal is to unlock more mental capacity and remove the 'should I do this now?" battle in your head.
Minimising Decision Fatigue With Precursors
Historically Positive Precursors
Finding Your Precursor Domino
If you are intrigued and want to find out more about how to identify your specific precursor domino I talk about it a lot more in my book Transform Your Body. Transform Your Life. The book gives you all the tools you need to achieve your goals and become the best version of yourself.