What system are you using to manage your time and life? Is there a system that effectively does just that and helps you find the elusive holy grail of work life balance?
Some would argue yes there is a system, a time planner that does just that. I’ll argue that’s not the case at all. Sure there’s the Franklin Covey planner, Daytimer, your iPhone calendar, google calendar, etc., and they all have value. But don’t they all really do the same thing?
They all provide a organization method for scheduling appointments, reminders, and contacts. But none of them manages your time. See, time is not something you can control. What you can control is what you do with the24 hour day you’re given.
In other words, if I give you an hour and ask you what you plan to do with that hour, you may give me a list of to-do’s. That’s not time management. That’s to-do management. Now, given the same hour, you can decide to focus on improving your skills, your health, improving your teams efficiency, etc. Those are all strategic items that are life oriented.
You don’t need a fancy planner or organizer to be strategic. All you need is a legal pad and a pencil. Your priorities, in other words, where you place your emotional value is how you’re investing your time. You can’t control the 24 hours in a day, but you certainly can control how you prioritize your activities that command your focus.
So don’t think of a day as a series of “to-do’s”. Rather think of the day as; what are my priorities and how will invest of myself in them today? What results then am I after?
If you operate under those guidelines and start managing your priorities, instead of time, you’ll be far more productive, far more successful, and significantly more fulfilled. Guess what, that work/life balance thing will start to become your reality.
Are you burning out, do you have friends or family burning out, or do you fear burn out happening? Better question to start is probably, what are the symptoms?
Fatigue, withdrawal, depression, loss of appetite, missing deadlines, tension headaches, suddenly a normal workload feels heavy and yes escapist behaviors like drinking, drugs, smoking and overeating. If you have any of these, or know anyone that does, odds are you've failed to take care of yourself. So what can you do, or a better question why are you burning out?
People who burnout haven't made it a priority to take care of themselves and they haven't found a passion to live.
First, get some exercise, any exercise. You'll build energy, and energetic people are forward moving and don't burnout. You'll also build endorphins and they make you happy. Happy don't burnout. Next, drink lots of water. Drink half your body weight in ounces per day. Keep fueling your system with water and clean it out and the toxins. You'll also increase your energy level, and you guessed it - energetic people don't experience burnout.
Stop taking yourself too seriously, and de-clutter your mind and space around you. Give yourself a spring-cleaning of sorts. Get around and hang out with anyone you feel has achieved a success you desire. They'll immediately make you feel better and cause you to raise your standards. Read a book and learn something new. When you learn, you grow, when you grow, it fills you up inside.
The last item thing I'd recommend is find out what you're passionate about and start doing things related to that passion and incorporate them into your everyday professional life.
Burnout is a symptom of a life without drive and a life without energy and health. Take responsibility. Find your passion, live your passion, and start treating your body as a temple. Burnout will disappear immediately.
What are you creating in your mind?
Roger Banister was the first person in human history to break the 4 minute mile. When they asked him how he did it, the answer surprised many. To this day it still surprises many.
He said that they key wasn't in all the training, nutrition and practice. While all of those are important, the biggest single factor was that he saw himself breaking the barrier over-and-over again in his mind. He visualized his success so often and frequently, that it already felt like he accomplished this feet.
All the nutrition, training, and practice were not possible without the vision. He said he learned he couldn't create anything in reality until he first created it in his mind. So this begs the question, what are you creating in your mind?
Most people are so focused on the demands of the moment, they never create a vision for what's truly possible. Once you do so though, that's when a whole world of possibilities opens for you. When I first heard this story of, Roger Banister, it resonated deep inside me.
The most successful people I knew of all preached having a vision, but this story locked it down. I applied visualization to my goals and the results have been beyond what I thought were my wildest dreams. When you feel it deep in your core, your heart, mind and soul, anything is possible.
Visualization is one of the 5 largest keys to all of my success. I challenge you to step up and start visualizing. The life of your dreams is within your reach if you first create the reality in your mind. Only then will you know what steps to take.
How are you prioritizing your life, or are you letting someone else prioritize it for you?
Let's assume, for arguments sake, that you know exactly what you want out of your life for your health, finances, professional success, relationships, etc. How are you prioritizing the activities and projects?
Most people don't prioritize effectively, or at all, and ultimately wind up working someone else's priorities. Yes you may work for someone other than yourself, but you can't let them control your ultimate destiny. How, what and when you spend your time on says everything about where you are going in life.
There are many "prioritization methods" out there, and they all work if you use them. By far the simplest and easiest to implement is, the Pareto Principle, a.k.a., the 80/20 rule.
This rule states that you will receive 80% of your success from 20% of your efforts. So you must focus your attention on the highest value items that give you the biggest return on your time, financial and effort investment. For example, if you have a project that has a 100 tasks required to achieve an outcome; odds are you really only need to focus on the roughly 20 items that give you the biggest return on your effort investment and you'll achieve your outcome without doing the remaining tasks.
Those 20 items are worth more than all the rest combined, so put your focus and effort there. Usually, though, the highest value priorities tend to require the most effort and you end up procrastinating them because of the pain associated with taking action. To break free of this procrastination, success expert, Brian Tracy, says to "Eat Your Frog" first thing in the morning.
If you eat your frog, your highest value priority, first thing in the morning, the rest of your day will be easy because you will have achieved your desired outcome. So get your priorities accomplished early, get your results early and then the balance of your days will fly by.
One of the greatest keys to your success, is investing your time on the highest value priorities. So what and how are you prioritizing your life? Use the Pareto Principle to your advantage and then Eat Your Frog first thing in the morning.
How you network and the strategies you use are incredibly important, but frankly, they have zero value unless you're networking in the right places. So for now, forget how. More importantly, "where" are you networking?
Are you making connections and building relationships in all the usual places that have netted modest results? Or, are you raising your standards of who you're willing to connect with and who you're not willing to settle for?
Here's what I mean. I recently conducted a training at a very high-end hotel and conference center. This particular, and well-known hotel attracts high-profile celebrities and captains-of-industry.
Without dropping names, I met 3 A-list movies stars filming a movie, and arguably the greatest men's tennis player of all time in the course of 2 hours. I didn't just see them, but rather had quality conversations with them. It was normal for them at a hotel such as this one. I'm not writing this to impress, but rather to impress upon you that while this was exciting for me, I also made connections and had meaningful conversations with a number of other high caliber professionals.
These connections were far more important than any celebrity meetings, because they add value to my life and I certainly will add value to theirs and their businesses. These types of connections would not be possible at a traditional networking event as most know them.
These new connections have already led to business discussions and new friendships. These people play life and business at a higher level and in higher places. So I put myself in proximity. What can you learn from this?
The bottom line lesson is if you want more from your networking efforts than raise your standards of where you network. You can have all the best networking how-to's, but if you're not doing them in the absolute best locations, then they are worthless.
So, where are you networking?
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