[Disclaimer: This post is logically based and designed to challenge your thinking.]
Fact: There are 24 hours in every active person's day for all but 2 singular days in their life, their date of birth and date of death.
Fact: Once a measure of time elapses, currently, there is no way to "get it back" or make it up. It's gone.
So, on any given day, we all have the same standard of time to work with.
Research suggests: The human body needs sleep to properly function. According to the national sleep foundation, you should have 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
So, the optimally performing human being has around 16 hours of consciousness per day.
Fact: Your schedule determines when you perform activities. Even if you don't write it down or track it, you still follow a schedule; it's simply more chaotic.
Research suggests: You make your best decisions in the morning, next best after lunch, next after a break in the afternoon.
Fact: Not every activity you perform has equal bearing on your results. Some activities are better than others. One activity, therefore, must be the best activity for results.
So, when is your most important activity performed? When is your least important activity performed?
Now, this can be applied in four different areas where the results matter: Self, Social (Friends and Family), Career (Active Income), and Money (Passive Income).
Have you thought through your process yet? Once the process is in place, the results become easier to achieve. You simply adjust the process as necessary.
Many people have their schedule backwards. They are more concerned with Work time (Time for others) than Play time (Time for self). There's a strategy to setting your calendar up for the best possible day, and we cover it in QL. Here's a brief glimpse into it.
1.) Use a Paper Calendar.
The screen on your phone is too small to give you context for your day/week/month/year. It is easier to overschedule yourself on your phone because it is easier to delete or hide events on your phone. By using a paper calendar, you force yourself to follow the constructs of your time: There is a LIMIT.
2.) Mark all your vacation time and days off for the next 12 months.
Who's going to take time for you? This is not selfish, it's essential to living a fulfilling life. What time do you have set aside for uninterrupted time with the ones you want to spend time with. As rude as it is that someone walks in your door late, or your work appointments overlap, it is ten times worse when you break away from personal time you chose not to protect.
3.) Block out 3-4 hours per work day for your single most important task.
This is to build and apply the one skill you need to master to accomplish that mission you've set for yourself. This could be skill building, lead generation, or production.
4.) On Sunday, make timeblocks for planning.
What does your week look like so far? Have you looked past today? The best have their schedules planned out months in advance: The top restaurants, the top venues, the top hotels, the top business people. Why are you any exception to that? Review your calendar weekly so you can make adjustments on the fly. You need to have the skeleton in place for those moving parts to work.
For more help on setting your calendar right, check out Gary Keller's book: The One Thing, Also featured on my QL Reading List.
Have you ever tried to get around town with an outdated GPS? Does your car show up in the middle of a corn field on a new road? Then the GPS doesn't recognize it, so it tries to redirect you to the closest road. You know the map is wrong, and you didn't update the GPS. When you go back, it does the same thing again even though you know you're on the right path?
Have you accomplished something you'd never done before? What did that plan look like? Who helped you out? Why did that plan work? Where did you get that plan? What did you need to change about that plan? Did you have to completely reject one plan for another?
Here's the secret of the ones who have their life figured out. They have the right map for them at the right time. They have thought through what they want to do and how they are going to get there. They found the roadmap that best gets them there in the shortest amount of time. They are not afraid to adjust. If you realize the path, the map, the plan isn't working, get a new one!
The truly successful people also made their own way. They designed their own path. They lived their life based on their choices, not the wants and wishes of others. Sometimes they line up, many times they don't. As long as you have your roadmap for what you want, you can never be lost. With careful thought and real time spent hashing out what works and what won't, any direction you go will get you closer to your destination.
You're not going to be so wrong you go in the complete opposite direction of where you want to go. You'll get there, and the journey will be fascinating with twists and turns and obstacles to overcome. Venture on.
Life happens. Parts of it can really be a let down. The question is, how long do you let those moments drag you down? 5 minutes? All Day? All week? All year? Forever?! Learning to bounce back is a skill that takes practice, and you need to be intentional about learning how to be great at it. This skill has been weak in my life and it wasn't until I took QL that I even realized it was something I could practice and master. The most important part about awful moments in your life is how you react. You cannot change what just happened; you can only influence what will happen next. When you peel back the layers of your reaction, there are two working parts. Action and Thought.
Train your brain to catch the gap between when you think about something and when you act on something. That precious split second can make a significant impact on your response. For some actions, the thought behind it is less than a tenth of a second. For example, typing. You think to type something and typically your fingers are moving several times a second to put the letter on the page. Now think back to when your were first learning that skill. Did you take you a while to figure which key was where on the keyboard? Did someone help you catch potential bad habits before they became ingrained in your brain?
Who do you have to help catch potential bad habits in your thinking? I believe that many people are down on their luck because that have developed poor thought habits and stop seeing the potential in a situation. I believe that if these poor thought habits go on long enough, they can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses that need a professional to break those mental habits. Making changes at that point can be tough when physically (or financially) your life can't get immediately better and you have to delay that gratification. You have to have a big enough reason to drive you through those barriers. Your "big why" needs to be a tank that can bust through the thickest barrier.
You have a choice in your reaction if you stop and think about it. Even for a split second. This is why you might hear me say "Ohp"; a quick non-verbal I use to catch my thoughts before I react. (It's short for "Whoa, hold please.")
It's not easy to build great habits. It's even harder to have the willpower to choose to stick to them. If you truly want to live an extraordinary life and you haven't been, you must make some pretty significant changes in the little things you do each day. In this relaunch of my blog, I intend to do just that. Here's my plan and the tools I'll have at my disposal to help me accomplish this.
1.) #6amSHARPie: In concert with the Miracle Morning routine (thank you Hal Elrod!) I'll be posting a simple A-Ha written on a 3x5 index card in sharpie to jumpstart my brain.
2.) The Miracle Morning Routine: My alarm is now set for 5:45am. After my #6amSHARPIE, I'll be following the S.A.V.E.R.S model before 7:05am.
3.) Red X's on my Calendar: As I complete the routine, I'll be marking my Passion Planner calendar with a Red X for each day in a row. It worked for Jerry Seinfeld when he started writing jokes, It will work for me as I start building my extraordinary life.
4.) Tweet Scheduling with HootSuite: I'm leveraging 5 minutes of my blog time in the morning to schedule 3 tweets in advance for the day from my list of QL A-Has (thank you Dick Dillingham!). I have 337 to choose from, so I'm attempting to mix up and not repeat.
5.) Short Blog Posts: As part of the Miracle Morning routine, we are asked to Scribe (also, Journal. Mostly because SAVERJ is not a great acronym.). You'll see these without much editing from my early morning brain after it is set up for success for the day from the MM routine. I'll try to keep them between 300-400 words and have them up by 7:10am. I know best practices say 600-700 words, I'm opting for shorter to start with and growing it from there.
So if there are any typos, I'm sorry. I'm adjusting to my new routine by CHOICE. It's simple, but it's not easy.
Any great author, screenwriter, or playwright will ask you the same thing when you go to write your greatest work. "How does the story end?" You need to realize your story ends however you want it to end, as long as you take control of your thoughts and actions. Your story is entirely your choice.
If someone were to write the book on your life, how would it end? How would you like it to end? Do those questions have the same answer?
If you've been around very young children in the past 20 years, you've seen a Disney/Pixar movie. They are incredibly well-developed stories, and it seems fitting that they follow a system and process to write them. Couldn't you do the same for your life story? You are the main character and the writer, and the director, and even the sound effects artist if you want to be. Emma Coats, a storyboard artist for Disney/Pixar shared their "22 Rules of Story Telling". Here are a few I've edited, of course, for living your life and not writing a fictional story.
You are communicated at constantly. Phone notifications, emails, alerts, commercials, and billboard are all trying to capture our attention to communicate AT you.
[In fact, there goes my phone now!]
Everyone wants your attention to tell you or sell you something. Ignore them. They are the 80% that you typically don't need to have in your life. Listen for the people who want to show you. They are willing to invest their time, their most scarce and valuable resource, to teach you something. Maybe it's a skill, maybe a concept. Either way, that person wants to add value to your life. Remember your favorite teachers in school? I guarantee you it wasn't the teacher who lectured on a powerpoint all class and rarely took questions. It was the teacher that showed you the how and why behind what they wanted you to know.
That's what we aim to achieve in QL Mindset. I want to show you how the best in the world are living their lives to the fullest. I'm NOT trying to sell you something, that's why registration is a suggested donation. I want to show you the systems and tools to aid you in your quest to reach your summit, whatever that may be. They work for me and I know they will work in your life, too.
Register Today, space is limited!
How do you know when you have enough money? We all know what it's like not to have enough money, but what is the maximum you would need to fund your life? The real question behind that is how big do you want your life to be?
Money is a game. It has rules and it has strategies. Rules tell you how to play the game: Income, Expenses, Taxes, Investments. Strategies tell you how to win. Here's the strategy you should adopt to be successful at managing your money.
[Concepts from Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey, The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham, and The Millionaire Real Estate Investor by Gary Keller. All those books can be found here on the reading list.]