Congratulations to the Winners and Perfect-Scoring Competitors of the Third Ultraworking Pentathlon
The Ultraworking Pentathlon runs two weeks and three weekends, four times per year.
It’s structured as a competition — but similar to a marathon, the most important thing is competing against yourself to be the best and do the best you can.
The goal of the founders of Ultraworking is to have every Pentathlon be a shot in the arm of peak performance, but also lead to permanent gains in effectiveness, productivity, and control over one’s life — in short, more thriving.
On this page, we’re really pleased to celebrate the winners of the most recent Pentathlon, along with some lessons of why they won.
Winning Team: Gemini
Every person in the Pentathlon is scored individually, and is also on a team — teams get to choose themselves if they want to, and how to communicate. Some of them doing daily sync-ups, meet, or otherwise message and encourage each other on a regular schedule.
The winning team for Pentathlon III was Team Gemini — Maximilian Schöenberger, Caroline Poser-Carrilho, Thomas Görblich. Maximilian additionally put up perfect scores for the Pentathlon, going 600/600 every single day of the competition.
“I went into monk mode. I was quite invested emotionally. Set up the environment to be as simple as possible, and minimized obligations, so I could focus on doing my most important work everyday. I worked to build a new website every day, alternated working out with weights and yoga, and then spent some time learning and went to bed. In the past, I've had problems with procrastination… but I realized since that it was a planning problem. Why’d it go smoothly on the Pentathlon? I planned everything out and set up the environment to be perfect to work.”
“I set really achievable goals — not easy, but goals that I knew if I did them for two weeks, I wouldn’t burn out. The rest of the team was really motivated to put up perfect scores; Max contacted all of us and set up a Slack channel, which was really cool — we had a bit of a back and forth right at the beginning, which helped, and from the beginning we joked about getting perfect scores — it was out there that everybody had the motivation and wanted to do well. For the first week, everyone put up perfect scores — so it was like, okay, I’m going to push a little bit harder and put up a perfect score. The team aspects helped a lot, as did the momentum from being on the team."
“I was blown away by the system — seeing it in action. It’s not the first time I read something about productivity and how to organize your day, self-help in the grand scheme of things, but seeing it put into action for the first time… it really opened my eyes and I realized how to do it in a very practical way, down to starting, stopping, setting up the time schedule, fixing the five or six important things in your day… that was actually very very worthwhile. Caroline was participating for the third time, and she probably knew a bit more about this than us… obviously we benefited from having some hints on productivity planning and the things she brought in. The others were very helpful — very dedicated, and into getting not only something out for themselves for their own setup and boost, but also try to push forward the team as a whole. It was not really the pressure, but I realized everyone had the intention to stick to their goals, and I think that was one very important thing for the motivation for everybody.”
On Pentathlon III, there were six perfect scores. We already mentioned Maximilian Schöenberger above; also scoring perfect were Kendra Kinnison, Diarmuid Kidney, Mike Taschuk, Michael Smith, and Mony Chhim.
"I do really well with structure and teamwork, and the Pentathlon has that plus people I identify with as my tribe — which I don’t get very often. The structure works really well for my natural strengths, you add the structure and teamwork, and that’s that."
"I learned a lot from doing the first Pentathlon, so I knew what it would take to get it done. It was tough — really rough — since I was away for half the time doing full-time reserve duty with the Irish Army. I had to make a commitment to get up early, and do the most important work an hour before everyone would wake up, and get another hour done when we had a bit of downtime. It was tough, but I managed to do it — that was a big takeaway for me: I used to think I couldn’t do most important work when on army duty, but that belief was wrong — I thought I couldn’t get work done unless I had a lot of time, but I realized I could find two hours each day to get it done, and I did. The guys were really supportive of it. The style of training we did worked with it — it wasn’t 48 hours on the ground which wouldn’t have been practical — but this was practical and I was able to do."
“At times it was a struggle, but given this was my second time, I knew how to set goals and how hard to push myself. On my first Pentathlon, was too aggressive with sleep goals (3 year old to put to sleep every night). This time, I set good soft targets and exceeded them halfway through, it got better and better as it went. I started with goals that were very achievable. Also, one thing that really lit a fire under my ass is being teamed with Kendra… being on the same team with her made it clear I better take it seriously. It raised the pressure, the feeling that "this is going to be awesome" — and that I gotta step up my game."
“I made a decision I was going to win, that was the #1 thing — I made a commitment. I was f’ing determined not to miss a single day — other people were clearly not missing their days. Most of this stuff is just showing up and doing it — so I did it.”
I’m usually quite disciplined and organized person, and I wanted to improve my productivity levels and have better habits, so this is the reason I decided to go for the Pentathlon. Why I was successful on the Pentathlon? First is the gamification — I really wanted to get the green checkmarks every day. Only a few days into the Pentathlon, I thought I wanted to have some slack — but then I thought, I don’t want to let my teammates down. I need to get back to work and stay consistent in my habits. That happened me keep a perfect score. Then the reminders were very motivating, good to get messages when my team was thriving, and the Work Cycles really helped me structure my time. Before the Pentathlon, I was pretty bad at figuring out the time it would take to complete a given project. But now I take the time to really assess, and take past performance into account. I’d really recommend the Pentathlon to any person who wants to learn ways to work better, to have maximum performance for two weeks, and more importantly, to really learn some lessons to be able to implement lessons in his life.
Congratulations to Team Gemini, the six people with perfect scores, and indeed, everyone who competed and thrived in the Pentathlon.
Pentathlon IV will be held from Saturday July 7th to Sunday July 22nd, we look forward to seeing the leaderboard and set of perfect scores grow next time.