Last week the founder of Leads Magazine (
www.leadsmagazine.co edit: 072417, link no longer valid) asked me: What is ONE big inspiration or tactic you can share with entrepreneurs and small businesses about being more successful?
My One big inspiration tactic for being more successful is I treat the 168 hours we have each week as I would carefully earned dollars. I decide in advance how I will invest, save and spend those hours.
My morning routine sets the stage for the day I will have. Not the weather, my emails, the latest news or political unrest – but my own personal focus in the first 90 minutes. When I get out of bed I enjoy the first 10 minutes walking through my house, looking out the windows for the first signs of the sunrise and early morning rabbits, deer, squirrels and birds that make their home on our property. The next 20 minutes I invest in quiet mediation and contemplative prayer. Then one hour of exercise, combining stretching, yoga and treadmill – at that point my mind, body and spirit are prepared for whatever the day can bring.
For the remainder of the day my biggest productivity tip is that I work in uninterrupted, focused blocks of time. Not grabbing 10 minutes here and there but dedicating 3-4 hours to one important task at a time in my office where there is no phone, no email or text messages and no opportunity for someone to pop in to see me.
I simply focus and work on my projects. We know it requires 18 minutes to return to the previous level of involvement in a project following an interruption. Unfortunately, many people never have an 18 minute time span that does not have an interruption of some kind – phone call, text, tweet, person popping their head in your door, email arriving, etc. That prevents any real depth of working on a project. You’ll never see your best work if you allow constant interruptions.
Even though I don’t have a “boss” and can work on anything I want, I certainly don’t just wait to see what seems most important at the time. In a recent podcast from Andy Stanley he described a verse that has been transformational for him. It’s found in Nehemiah 6:3 where the writer says, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?” Do you know what your “great work” is?
If you are distracted and redirected every time you have an interruption or get an invitation, you are saying the interruption is more important than what you were working on. Once you identify your “great work” you will be less likely to allow yourself to be interrupted.
Incidentally, Nehemiah rebuilt the entire wall around Jerusalem in 52 days. What could you accomplish in 52 days if you focused on your great work?
Here’s My Time Allotment — in a typical week
There is a Time for…………..
CREATING 50% — Research and Writing (25 hrs)
Guest Articles, magazines, websites, books, ebooks, manifestos
New products, promotions, attending seminars and workshops
SHARING 20% — Speaking, Teaching & Coaching (10 hrs)
Live Events, Paid speaking engagements, Coaching sessions,
Lunch apts, Interviews – Radio, TV
COMMUNICATING 15% — Email responses (7.5 hrs)
Coaching Mastery updates, 48 Days Mastermind interaction, Coaching with Excellence group,
normal email responses
PLANNING 15% — Business Meetings (7.5 hrs)
Bill Paying, Strategy, Making it Work
What one tip do you have that has made you more successful?