When I told the audience at #LinkedInLocalPlano that 70% of their day is bullshit, it drew some laughter and applause. And the subsequent video garnered more than 60,000 views and 1,600 “likes.
I think it resonated because we all know it’s true. The claim that “I’m too busy” or “I don’t have enough time” is actually the top challenge with which people approach me for my coaching programs.
When one former client was repeatedly failing to complete the activities in her coaching program, she informed me that she was busier than anyone, except for maybe “Elon Musk.”
The truth is, some people simply don’t want to give up the wasteful things they do in their day.
So here’s the key to creating more time in your day:
Focus on Outcomes Instead of Inputs
When I first left my 9-to-5 and started my own company, I had a sharp feeling of guilt when I got all my work done by Noon. It wasn’t that I didn’t have a lot of work to do, it was just that I was finally working efficiently.
Having come from an office job in which we would waste countless hours on phone calls to plan for phone calls, to plan for the meetings, in which we planned for more meetings. The feeling of getting my stuff done early in the day was quite new to me. And I felt guilty
You see, we’re conditioned to focus on inputs like time (i.e., come in at 8:30 and leave at 6.) We’re told that success is based on the input of “first in the office/last to leave.” When you start focusing on real outcomes of success — such as getting your s**t done — then the hours you’re in the office or at your computer are irrelevant.
The Shortest Distance
The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. But when we’re focused on inputs instead of outputs, our day looks more like a squiggly line. Once you determine your outcome, work backwards from there and determine the simplest, shortest, straightest route to get there.
If that means you’re done with your work by Noon, then so be it. If it means that you allow your entire team to work remotely, so be it. But the key is getting your s**t done and moving on.
The time it takes to complete a project will “magically” equal the time allotted for that project. That’s called Parkinson’s Law, and it’s absolutely true.
Back when I initially felt guilty because I finished my work early at Noon, I started taking longer to finish my projects. Or adding in new busywork. I was so focused on filling up the day and less focused on completing the tasks efficiently and quickly.
Allot LESS time for your projects, and define fewer — but BIGGER — outcomes for your day. Squeeze the waste — yes, the B.S. — out of your day.
Work in your Strengths Zone
Each of us possesses 34 talent themes — those naturally occurring patterns of thought, feeling and behavior that can be productively applied. When you apply them, and use them intentionally, you can turn them into Strengths.
When we get to work in our Strengths Zone everyday, things flow. We’re more efficient because we’re working where we naturally excel.That’s why all of my clients always start by taking the CliftonStrengths assessment to determine their talent themes — and we work together to tap into that Strengths Zone.
So, the reason I made my comments at last week’s event was because three people at the event tried to explain to me how they were too busy to make videos, too busy to work on their side hustle, too busy to do a coaching program. And I told them what I’m telling you…
It is possible to create more time, and shovel the bullshit out of your day. You just have to want it bad enough and make the decision to do it.
Want to create more time in your day? Click here to learn more and sign up for my Create More Time coaching course!