Don’t Get Bogged Down by Tiny Details

November 2, 2018

Geoff Asks: How many minutes between eating healthy food and consuming caffeine and vice versa, should people wait, so as not to inhibit the macro and micro nutrient absorption. For example, I’ve heard caffeine blocks vitamin C and that this impacts protein utilisation and related processes.


Okay. Hold the press. I’m not going to answer this question and I’ll tell you why. I’m going to use this question as an example of people’s tendency to get bogged down in the finer details. People have this issue of trying to get these tiny little details in line. These tiny things lined up and working and perfect, when they’ve forgotten the big picture. They haven’t got the macro set up, and yet they’re focusing on the micro. So the focus here, needs to be on let’s get the big picture sorted first. Let’s use the analogy of a car. You have a car sitting there. You put some speed stripes down the front of that car. You polish it up, you clean it, you spend hours washing that car. It’s shiny and it’s perfect. But what I haven’t told you is that under the bonnet, this car has no engine and it’s got no wheels.

So you’ve spent this time focusing on these tiny minor details and the car doesn’t actually work because there are no wheels to turn and there’s nothing to turn the wheels. The focus here needs to be work on the big picture first. It doesn’t matter if your car is dirty, as long it’s got wheels and an engine. This is what you need to do. Stop focusing on these tiny, little minor details. Focus on the big picture first. If we were to put every single element of your health, every metric of your health, be it physical performance or body composition, or your mental acuity, your mental health, anxiety, depression, everything you can possibly measure about your health, if we were to give each of these metrics, a line on a continuum like spokes on waggon wheel, to maximise your performance, to maximise your health, what we need to be doing is trying to get everything to a seven out of ten.

So if we look at these continuums on a scale of zero to ten, zero being really troubling and low, ten being the absolute ideal, Olympic level goal. If we can get everything sitting at a seven, then you’re really healthy. As opposed to someone how focuses on getting a couple of tens and then has some ones, twos, or threes, down the bottom as well. The danger to your health is your broken spoke. So whichever of these measures is lowest on this continuum of the scale of zero to ten, that’s what you should be focusing on. So don’t worry about these tiny minor details. We’re not trying to get from a seven to an eight, from an eight to a nine, from a nine to a ten. We’re trying to get everything from a five to a seven. And if everything can be sitting there, you’re maximising your performance, your health, your fitness.

So, apologies Geoff, for not answering your question. But I hope you don’t mind that I used that as an example of how we can get bogged down in the finer details, when we haven’t got those big details lined up.

Dan Williams

Dan Williams


Dan Williams is the Director of Range of Motion and leads a team of Exercise Physiologists, Sports Scientists, Physiotherapists and Coaches. He has a Bachelor of Science (Exercise and Health Science) and a Postgraduate Bachelor of Exercise Rehabilitation Science from The University of Western Australia, with minors in Biomechanics and Sport Psychology.

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