I want to start this article with a very simple but powerful question… Given an extra 30 minutes every day, what would you do to do what you want?
Would you spend that time with your children, with your spouse, with your best friend? Would you take that time and invest it in your own personal education? Consider donating this time to your favorite charity, investing it in growing your business, training employees or starting a NEW business you’ve been thinking about…or just spend this time lounging on your back deck sit and enjoy a little peace and quiet .
What would you do…. with an extra hour every day? How about 2 more hours every day to make a difference in your life… and the lives of the people you care about most?
If you ask people what their biggest problem is today……. I daresay most of us would say that we just don’t have enough time in the day to get the things we want done. With all the chaos and craziness in the world, it seems like we’re busier than ever, but we seem to be getting less and less done.
We all have 86,400 seconds in our days and we can’t do more of that. There is no 25 hour that we can magically make appear. The only thing we can control is how we spend our time.
As I’ve discussed in previous articles, our time is the most valuable asset we have not only as businessmen but also as human beings. The biggest problem I hear from people around the world is that they don’t have enough time to achieve their dreams or their vision for the future. It’s a common problem for all of us, regardless of our income status, where we live, what we do for work, who our friends are or how many children we have.
Every day that goes by is a missed opportunity to make the greatest possible difference…
We all know that in order to work smarter, we need to make sure we’re spending our time on activities that get us the most bang for our buck and delegate, automate, or eliminate the activities that tend to get us stuck in the mud to let.
The Pareto Principle states that 80% of our results come from 20% of our valuable activities, which means the other 80% of our time only gets us 20% of the intended results.
I think it’s time for a NEW philosophy of how we determine where we spend our time, I call it the “Count 95/5 Principle”…95% of our positive results come from 5% of our effort. The challenge is to determine what that 5% is, and then ONLY DO THAT!
How can we become more efficient in EVERYTHING we do so that we free up our time to reinvest in things that will bring us greater results and bring joy to our lives?
Just play with me for a minute… Let’s say you evaluate how you spend your precious time each day and you discover that you can free up another 60 minutes each day by being more efficient with your schedule and list of priorities…. and let’s also say that you decide to reinvent this time in your education, you can choose the topic.
It can be sales, marketing, accounting, branding, leadership, time management, gardening, raising children, finger painting, card tricks, bartending, playing the flute, ostrich training, learning the fine art of chess, meditating, cooking, bird watching, the stock market Invest, become a social media whiz, or something as simple as learning how to make the best chocolate chip cookies the world has ever seen.
If you invest just 60 minutes a day in your education, I guarantee you will be at the absolute TOP OF YOUR FOOD CHAIN within 1 year. Can you imagine how amazing you would become if you spent 365 hours becoming an expert in your field? That’s the equivalent of 45/8 hours a day learning how to master anything, and keeping the edge of your sword sharp.
This may sound daunting, which is why 99% of people on this planet DO NOT make daily study a part of their routine. It’s scary and potentially overwhelming, but I promise that if you make this commitment to yourself, in just one year you will become one of the greatest experts in your chosen field.
Would that completely revolutionize your business, your life, your attitude? You bet it would.
And learning can come to you in a variety of forms…… read a book or magazine, listen to a podcast or audio book, watch videos, take an online class or attend a workshop or seminar, or talk to a group of peers.
So here are some tips on how to incorporate some daily learning into your lifestyle.
#1- Create a Time POD dedicated solely to your education. Some people are morning people, and some do their best work at night. I’m certainly a morning person and I spend the first 60 minutes of my day immersing myself in my education…from listening to podcasts to reading books to watching instructional videos.
Once you have determined when this POD of Time will take place, make sure you do everything in your power to avoid disruption. If you’re distracted for just 15 seconds (like reading a message you just received or reading a Facebook notification), it takes 10 minutes to get you back to the mental state you were in BEFORE the interruption .
That leads straight to #2 – Turn off all notifications on your devices and let the outside world know NOT to be disturbed during this time. I realize this won’t always happen, but it’s important that you brace yourself for success as best you can.
For example, if you’ve been focused on how to create effective YouTube ads for your business and got knee-deep into a video about choosing a demographic group, you suddenly hear “Vvvvvv, vvvvvv.” The first inclination is to pick up the phone and see who has texted you or reacted to a Facebook post.
In fact, I bet that reading the “Vvvvv, Vvvvvv” your body had a physical reaction and you thought of looking at your phone, or maybe you were looking at your phone. That’s why it’s so important to turn off your notifications and keep distractions at bay during this POD time.
#3- Keep a journal and TAKE NOTES no matter how you study. It’s a proven fact that if you write something down on paper, you’re much more likely to remember it later on… and if you write it down and then review it 1-2 times in 24 hours, that retention increases exponentially. I’m not talking about typing your notes into a computer, I’m talking about the old-fashioned technique of writing them with pen and paper.
It has been proven time and time again to lead to increased brain activity and brain synapses and much higher retention of information. So if you hear or read something that you remember or want to use later, write it down and re-read your notes 1-2 times in 24 hours.
This is beneficial whether you are a student trying to pass advanced cell biology or a frontline salesman trying to learn all about the art of selling.
#4- Make sure you stick to your goal. The 21/90 rule states that it takes 21 days to form a positive habit and 90 days to turn it into a lasting lifestyle change. Commit to your goal for 21 days and it will become a habit. Commit to your goal for 90 days and it will become a part of who you are.
It also takes 21 days to break a bad habit. If you can replace a negative habit with a positive one, the world can be yours and nothing will stop you from becoming an expert in whatever you choose!
See how easy that was?
Written by Mitche Graf.
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