This idea is nicked as much from the gym as from the newsroom, but bear with me.
It came to me the other day in the middle of the Fat Burn Circuits Class at The Gym (Madeira Drive — can’t recommend it highly enough). Our feisty instructor (Saskia, can’t recommend her highly enough) was about twenty minutes into the half hour punishment session when she looked around at us all beginning to wilt and beamed “Come on guys, it’s called fat-burn for a reason!”
Do you see what she did there? If not, try this — about ten minutes later, during the delicious cool-down phase (that’s when the pain is over and you’re lying on the floor trying to stretch rather than creak) Saskia said: “We’ve done a lot of leg-work today, so this is a good stretch for those quads.”
Twice in a few minutes, Saskia had given me a reason to do something. It meant that I made the connection in my brain between what I was doing, and what it was trying to achieve. It made doing it easier. And it made me realise how often in life and at work we chug along doing the same things the same way without reminding ourselves why.
But reminding people why they’re doing something can be very powerful. In my newsroom world, I’m more likely to be fired up about a news story on hospital reform if my editor has reminded me the latest audience research has shown that health stories matter more to our viewers than any other. I’ll accept defeat more gracefully when I’m told we’re headlining, say, the arty story instead of the sports story at 10.30pm — if I’ve been reminded it’s part of a six month strategy to improve audience perceptions of our arts coverage.
Whether you’re on your knees making a case for a decision, or on your knees longing for that post-circuit shower, being reminded why you’re there might help ease the pain.