Time Management Mastery Super Move #4 from the business coach – You must block out time every week for your highest and best use activities only
If you can’t keep from being distracted in your office, you need to work from your truck, a hotel, the middle the forest, or anywhere other than my Man Cave (which is where I will be). Do whatever you have to do to block out the time for your highest and best use activities. Turn your phone off, turn your e-mail off, and get it done. When I first met David Robinson (the NBA Hall of Famer), I was shocked to discover that he had multiple cell phones, until he told me that one is for his wife and kids and the other one is for everybody else (myself included). This was smart because as a two-time Olympic gold medal winner, NBA Champion, and former MVP who has since gone on to become a big-time investor in a $300 million investment fund, his phone never stops ringing. He had to find a way to create clear boundaries for himself and by having two cell phones, he was able to do that.
“A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”
-Tim Ferriss (Bestselling author of The 4-Hour Work Week, venture capitalist and podcaster)
Time Management Mastery Super Move #5 from the business coach- Create an “I’m going to stop doing this” list
As a business coach, I run into so many people who keep doing things because they’ve always done them, until they reach the point of exhaustion. You must start delegating or deleting things from your list if you ever hope to move on to doing bigger and better things.
Years ago I worked as a business coach with a gourmet dessert company whose owner was fascinated with the concept of making gourmet cupcakes that were super time consuming to make and not at all profitable. In all seriousness, it was well documented so she knew that she could only make at best 50 cents per cupcake on each gourmet cupcake she sold, but she was loyal to this dysfunction. She would routinely turn down purchases from customers who were willing to pay big dollars for her gourmet cakes, because she could not stop making those unprofitable, resource-draining, and time-consuming cupcakes. She would say “her customers loved them” and she “didn’t want to upset her customers” and “the customer is always right.” She literally could not afford to fix her delivery van when it exploded because she continued to cling to this belief in her cupcakes. I wish this story ended well, but it did not. Even after my wife and I decided to buy her a van to help her, she still would not stop operating out of dysfunction. We realized that we were working with someone who was loyal to dysfunction and so we just let her kill herself slowly by making those God-forsaken unprofitable cupcakes.
Just because you have always done something does not mean that you have to keep doing it. If you are having routine computer issues, accounting issues, human resource issues, or other issues, you must be committed to making changes, regardless of whether they are uncomfortable or not.
Unlocking the Power of Disciplined Time Management
Whenever I speak to people about the importance of disciplined time management, they tend to make the same face as if you were about to disclose all of the sins they have ever committed. Don’t freak out about disciplined time management. In fact, as a business coach, I encourage you to greatly simplify this idea in your mind because it is not as overwhelming as advertised. At the end of the day, disciplined time management comes down to controlling just six simple variables:
1. Make sure that you are working at the right time of day. For me, I simply cannot get things done while my teammates, their emotional baggage, their questions, their joy, their pain, and their issues of the day swirl all around me. I must plan my day from 3:00 AM to 9:00 AM. This is what I call my “meta time.” It is the time each day when I can truly think above and beyond my current circumstances and can get massive quantities of work done and done.
The word “Meta” comes from the Greek word meaning “after” “beyond” or “higher.”
“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty four-hour days.”
-Zig Ziglar (Bestselling author and renowned motivational speaker)
2. Make sure that you are working in the right environment. I am writing this book from within the beautiful confines of my speakeasy-themed Man Cave. This room is almost sacred to me as it is a place where I can shut off the outside world, crank up the bagpipe music that I often listen to, and just get it done. Back in day before I could afford to build a speakeasy-themed Man Cave, I had to work out of my apartment with my phone off and with headphones on to escape from the interruptions of the world.
“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.”
-Alexander Graham Bell (Inventor of the world’s first modern telephone)
3. Make sure that you turn off all distractions. As I write, I am celebrating my 38th consecutive hour of having my phone turned off. I don’t check e-mails, I don’t answer the door, I just crank up my bagpipe music and I get stuff done. I am not interested in social media updates or who may be calling, I am just 100% focused on writing the best business book in the history of the planet so that you can change your life and so that I can fulfill my mission to mentor millions before I look like the late, great Andy Rooney.
Andrew “Andy” Rooney was an American radio and television writer who was best known for his weekly broadcast “A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney,” part of the CBS News program, 60 Minutes from 1978 to 2011. At the time of his death, his eyebrows each looked like a fully-grown adult cat.