I am often asked about how I get so much done in such a short period of time, so I only have to work 3 days a week. It’s not rocket science it’s just a series of habits that I follow everyday.
THE ‘CAN DO’ LIST
First up I spend 20-30 minutes organizing my head. I make three lists, things I can change, things I have changed, and things I can’t change. So I am focused on only working on the things I can change that day. This is not a ‘to do’ list, this is a ‘can do’ list.
Then I typically spend about 30 minutes on personal development, watching video or reading articles, anything to improve myself.
For the rest of the day, I block things into 15-minute work intervals. I choose 15 minutes because I have a firm belief if you can get it done in 30 minutes you could probably get it done in 15 minutes, if you focus.
That doesn’t mean that I only work on a project for 15 minutes, it just means that I challenge myself, so it becomes a kind of a ‘race’ to get things done, on time.
Now you might think that blocking your day into 15 minutes sounds like a lot of work. Surprisingly I can chunk down my day in about 5 minutes, and that sets the pace for the rest of the day.
THE RACE IS ON!
My ‘15-minute’ idea came about from my passion for motorsport. As an amateur race car driver the one thing that pushes you, is your lap times. There’s a euphoric feeling the sweeps over you when you are faster than your last lap. That’s what I wanted my day to feel like. So, the obvious thing was to turn it into a race.
When I first started this process I quickly realized that I was wasting 32% of my week. In short, my lap times were terrible. So I thought, ‘what’s typically happening when I cut a good time at the track’? The answer was simple, I was best when I was not distracted by anything and I was totally focused on what was going on in the car.
To help focus and remove the distractions from the day, try making these simple changes:
- Turn off alerts on your email.
- Turn your cell phone to silent.
- Only have one file at a time open on your desk so you’re focused on what you should be working on, not what you could be working on.
- Before you start work on a project take a look at the time you’ve allocated, and consider if there is a more efficient way to execute the project.
With this simple process, over time, I was able to turn a 60-hour week into a 24-hour week. And still to this day the ‘race’ is to get 5 days of work done in 3, and be on the beach by 3pm with my wife and the kids making sandcastles.