Most of my clients are constantly short on time. That's why one of the things we work on in coaching is to change this situation for the better.
And even those who have enough time often feel that they are not making the most of it.
For many, the solution seems to be better time management. And that's where the problems really begin.
Because if you're trying to manage time, you're sitting on a misconception and wasting your... well, yes: time.
Why is that? Here are three reasons why time management doesn't work (then, in point 3 is the way out):
It's simple: you'll fall far short of your potential in life and in your career if you don't have a handle on your productivity.
Most leaders I know - and people in general - either feel overwhelmed all the time, or they're not sure they're investing their time in the most important activities. Or both.
What's the key to massively increased productivity? It's what I call "time mastery": you decide what you invest in every minute of your life.
Maybe that sounds idealistic, but think about people you see as exemplary on the topic of productivity and success. Do they give you the impression that they are constantly controlled by others? Quite the opposite: they determine their priorities themselves - at least significantly more than the average person.
When you ask sales managers and salespeople how they can get better at selling, you usually get answers that relate to methods:
"We need to get better at phone prospecting." Or, "We need to contact more prospects." Or, "We need to get stronger at closing." And so on.
That's all well and good. Except that, in my experience and observation, there are two other factors that are even more important for sustainable success in sales: Mindset and personal productivity.
We'll cover the former elsewhere. Today, we're talking about productivity.
Imagine a salesperson creating 20, 30, or even 50% more in the same amount of time: how much more could they create and sell? What I'm saying is: the leverage of productivity in sales is enormous.
The question "Do you want to get better?" is, of course, a rhetorical one. After all, who doesn't want to? But what most overlook is that to get better in a sustainable way, you need a system.
That's exactly why, when it comes to certain things, after a short learning curve at the beginning, our skills keep us on a plateau from which we hardly improve.
What we need to improve continuously and significantly is what psychology professor Anders Ericsson describes in his book Peak as "deliberate practice."
Here, however, I am concerned with something that lies even before that. Because the reason why we don't really peak, even if it would be absolutely beneficial for us, lies elsewhere. If you are aware of that, you can deal with it accordingly.
Yes, I know the headline sounds a bit sensational, but it's still true: if you consistently apply the tips I'll give you below, you'll be able to do twice as much in the same amount of time.
It's just that, as with many strategies, they're relatively easy to understand, but by no means easy to apply consistently. What's getting in the way? Our deeply ingrained beliefs and our habits.
And yet, on certain topics, you are already 10x or even 100x more productive than someone who lacks knowledge. A top programmer, for example, programs up to 100x as fast as a beginner.
So, what strategies do you use when you are exceptionally productive? Once you know the answer, you can apply it to everything else.
Few things are as critical to your personal success as your productivity. You can have brilliant ideas and be great at convincing people. However, if you don't put the famous "horsepower to the road," it will all peter out.
If you're wondering how to increase your productivity (and hopefully you do on an ongoing basis), you'll probably fall back on tactical tips like goal setting, avoiding distractions, and more, as most do.
These tips are important, too, but they often come to naught if some foundations aren't in place. What do I mean by that?
Well, applying measures to increase productivity almost always requires a change in existing habits. And these habit changes are always difficult if the foundations I mentioned above are not strong enough.
The first quarter of the year ended a few days ago, and you have been given another 91 days. The crucial question is: are you making the most of them?
Both fulfillment and success also come very much from being aware of the finite amount of available time you have in life. That doesn't mean panicking at all. But it does mean that great things are usually only achieved when there is a certain urgency attached to them.
Otherwise, we all too easily postpone the necessary and sometimes unpleasant actions to the never-never day.
You know that, of course. The only thing is: I see far too few leaders (and people in general) who, for example, choose clear and challenging goals for the next quarter when one ends.
If that doesn't happen, you and your team are unlikely to reach your full potential in the future. That's unfortunate and dangerous.
This is the last article I will write for you. I give up. Even after creating and distributing countless blog posts, I see mediocrity and low standards everywhere. I still see people acting as if some other authority led them to their destiny. I see CEOs who are indecisive and hiding. I see ambiguity and fuzziness.
But wait, today is April 1 - Fools Day!
Therefore, no, I'm not giving up, I'm continuing my journey towards excellence and top performance even further. Why? Because that's my mission. And because it is often rewarding and fun!
Will you support me on this journey? Then define ONE item today that you could move a little towards excellence TODAY.
Yes, today! What of your own behaviors can you change or where can you influence another person to make a step forward and move something from mediocre to outstanding?
From one of the best leadership and success gurus, Brian Tracy, comes this simple thought model to 10x your success: if you just improve yourself by one-tenth of a percent (which is one thousandth), you will be 10x as good in a few years. The underlying reason is the power of the compound effect.
You can be 10x more productive, 10x happier, and 10x wealthier.
And here comes the point: couldn’t you improve much more each day? Let’s say one percent? The effects will be even more breathtaking.
Now you may ask, if this is so easy, why are more people and businesses not living this philosophy? The answer: because it is easy to understand, but amazingly difficult to execute. Why? Because we need to change habits. Each day. Little by little.
A common challenge for my leadership coaching clients is weak communication. Even among experienced leaders, I notice a high barrier when it comes to producing short videos and writing articles. Both are extremely relevant to effective communication.
I will take up the video topic another time. Today, let's take care of writing articles in less than 30 minutes, from a "blank slate".
It starts in your own head: for many executives, article writing is an unpleasant and energy-sapping task. The root cause is usually a lack of process and, related to that, the idea that writing an article takes hours or even days.
Building on my experience of writing now about 1000 blog and magazine articles, I have developed a process that allows writing a roughly one-page article (about 300-400 words) in under 30 min, starting from scratch.
Simply enter your name and email and hit "Submit".
Important: You will receive an email with information on data privacy, which you must confirm in order to register effectively. Please check your email inbox.