One of the most common reasons for not working on your goals and dreams we hear is ‘I don’t have time!”. It’s a contradictory, as we tend to create our own misery by prioritising things that are not important. If you don’t maximise how you use your time, you won’t be able to see what you can do at your full potential.
Many women think we are not capable of doing something, but the fact is that we haven’t really tried and the reason we are under-achieving is not due to our capabilities but to the way we waste our time. Procrastination can really hold you back from reaching your potential, and your dreams.
Maximising our time doesn’t mean one should function life a machine for the full working day. Just imagine if you’d work at your full potential for two hours each day. It doesn’t sound like a big ask, does it? Imagine what would happen if you used that two hours a day to work on your dream or to create a side project that could over time become your second income. Imagine if you’d do something that would make a difference to the people around you for just two hours a day!
Sales and marketing guru Perry Marshall says 20% of what we do yields 80% of the results. This applies to everything in life, not just business. When you become aware of this principle and you can bake that 20% – ie working at your full potential – into every working day. In essence it means dedicating two uninterrupted hours doing things that are going to change your future outcome.
What should you work on now to radically change your future outcome?
This concept applies whether you have an amazing career, are at home with kids or if you have a business. Ask yourselves every day: Am I working on things that are going to make me happier, healthier, and richer in the future?
So what do legos have to do with this?
Quite a bit!
If you don’t have kids the concept of legos on the floor is unfamiliar, but you can replace it with any everyday chore at home or in the office. Emails. Meetings. Company gossip. Parent-teacher-association meetings. Buying birthday presents. Any mundane task.
One of the best techniques to create that two hours is to ignore things that are not critical and simply ‘walk over legos’. If you work from home there is a great temptation to keep picking up toys and cleaning the house everyday. But to work on your full potential it’s time to let other standards fall, dramatically. No cleaning legos off the floor. No reading of every single email in your in-box.
The benefits of batching
Once a week there is a massive effort to put the house in order. Pick every single lego. Arrange all toys into their correct place (cars in the car box, characters in the character box and so on). Same goes for all other tasks. Allocate one hour each day to get through important emails and that one hour should not be in the morning when you’re most productive.
You can batch meetings (Tuesdays and Thursdays), shopping (Monday’s and Fridays), seeing friends (every second Saturday) as an example.
Tim Ferris introduced the concept of batching in ‘4 Hour Work Week‘ and compiled a comprehensive list on batching in his blog.
Batching requires some planning. Here’s to get started:
1) Make a list of all the things you can batch.
You can batch….
– food shopping, clothes shopping, kids’ presents shopping, kids’ clothes shopping (all online)
– travel planning and booking
– emails, meetings, social media activity, blogging
– banking, paying bills, planning finances
– work, focusing one part of a project at a time
– meeting with friends, phone calls
2) Batch batches together
I often double batch all home related ‘batches’, such as food shopping (online), buying presents & clothes (online), planning travel (online), planning school activities (online) and do them all in one go.
3) Allocate 30 mins to 1 hour slots for each batch in your calendar
You should try to minimise the time you allocate to non-critical things in order to maximise the time you can allocate to things that matter.
4) Make sure you complete
You must make sure you finish the whole batch in one go, otherwise you loose time in re-starting and trying to remember where you left it last time. Doing an unfinished job means you will end up doing it again and spending twice as much time on it!
5) Use the time you have created to work on what matters
When you radically lower your standards on unimportant stuff, you have created time you didn’t have for your dreams and your goals
Or was being busy on mundane tasks just an excuse not to step outside comfort zone and start the journey to a ‘bigger life’?