SHIP 30 FOR 30 SERIES
What Matters More: Intensity or Consistency?
I once did a 100 Burpee challenge with 50 other people, and I learned something fascinating.
(Burpee: Drop to the floor, do a push-up, then jump up and clap overhead.)
The challenge goes like this:
- On the first day, do one burpee.
- On the second day, do two burpees.
- Up to 100th day — 100 burpees.
You can portion them out any way you like, as long as you complete them that day.
The ones who made it all the way through were the ones who created consistent habits to get the work done. They broke them into manageable chunks of 10, and did 10 chunks throughout the day.
Easy enough, right?
- First day, everyone thought “No problem!”
- Second day, “Too easy!”
- Tenth day, “Fine.”
- 18th day, we lost a couple, but almost everyone was still on board.
- By the 25th day, however, more than half the participants dropped out.
And on the 100th day, out of the 50 people who began…
…Only 3 people actually completed the challenge!
Think about it like this. Doing any more than 20 burpees at a time is exhausting, and it’s understandable the task became so overwhelming, people were inclined to drop out.
But the ones who made it all the way through were the ones who created consistent habits to get the work done. They broke them into manageable chunks of 10, and did 10 chunks throughout the day.
The formula for work = force multiplied by distance.
The formula for intensity = force multiplied by distance, divided by time.
A person who does twenty burpees in less time than someone else does work with greater intensity.
But if they stop after 20 and give up, the person who takes their time and completes all 100 simply does more work.
So what is the moral of the story?
If work output is the goal, it’s not about intensity. It’s about consistency.
This is an Atomic Essay from the Ship 30 for 30 daily writing challenge