They get so much done in a single day or week that it makes you wonder whether they have superpowers. In fact, they do. Their superpower is extreme focus and efficiency.
We've all experienced times when it seems like inspiration comes out of nowhere, and you get so much done, it's almost unbelievable. The reason is quite simple - where focus goes, energy flows.
Focus is key. Sometimes we get into a trap thinking that our outputs are linear, but what we do, how we do it and who we do it with are sometimes more important than how hard we work. Our outputs are based on the quality of focus and work we are putting in. Successful people know that, and now, so do you.
Do you always feel like there is never enough time? Do you often feel like you are majoring in minor activities? Here are the 5 tips on how to make the most out of your week, especially with the Coronavirus creating more space in your schedule.
1). Focus on prioritizing 3 main things
The best life hack for a great life is to do less, more often and get better at it. High achievers don't like doing for the sake of doing because they understand that it's never about getting MORE things done. It's about getting the RIGHT things done. They focus only on a few things that really make a difference and pursue less with discipline. They know that they can't be great at everything and that 4 hours of focused input don't have to produce just 4 hours of output. So they focus their 168 hours a week on only a few essential activities that add value and produce exponential results.
2). Have a routine
It might seem that successful people often improvise with their time, as their schedules are packed with activities and are all over the place. That's not the case though. There is a lot of structure in their schedules, a certain pattern, and almost always, a ROUTINE. From the time they get up in the morning and go to bed, to their meals, workouts and hobbies, everything is scheduled.
Some might say that a routine doesn't allow space for creativity and play. On the contrary, it creates more opportunities for high achievers to be creative as they don't waste energy on figuring out what they should be doing next or instead. They are proactive in their approach and spend less time reacting to the events of the day. Routine provides mental clarity and reduces decision fatigue that comes from dealing with all the non-essential decisions of the day.
3). Set time limits for tasks and stick to them
High achievers know the value of their time and respect deadlines. They know that done is better than perfect and set time limits on their activities. Successful people also don't like to let themselves down so they don't over-estimate their abilities to complete tasks and add additional 50% buffers to make sure that they are in control of their day. They eliminate time wasters, their breaks are efficient and their calls and meeting rarely run over the allotted time limits.
4). Surround yourself with doers.
Highly productive people don't major in minor activities and audit their schedules regularly. They eliminate any tasks or interactions that don't add value and enjoy spending time with people who do the same. Add humans to your team who get things done and respects deadlines. Surround yourself with people who deliberately focus on only a few main things that add to their purpose.
5). Slow 'Yes' and a quick 'No'
Once you establish your 3 main things where you can have the highest contribution, it will be easier to say 'No' to all the additional activities that come your way. Clarity of purpose helps to say 'No' with grace and without guilt as you focus on achieving the essential. High performers ruthlessly exercise the power of choice. They purposefully choose where to spend their time and energy so they can achieve exponential growth.
Now that you know the secret, it's time for you to narrow down your priorities and create your own routine. Take a piece of paper, draw 3 overlapping circles and write down all the things you are great at, passionate about and want to see improved. The part in the middle is your main focus, so all your activities should add to that purpose.
Take a day planner or your phone and structure your day efficiently.
You might have to iterate it a few times and try a few things before you find your perfect routine.
Schedule your wake-up and going to bedtime, with 7 or 8 hours of sleep per night. After that, schedule your workouts, whether it's every day or 3-4 times a day, put them in your calendar.
Then your work hours, hobbies and any other activities that happen regularly and add to your purpose. Commit to your new routine for at least 21 days until it becomes a new habit.
As you get better at completing the main commitments, you can start scheduling 5-15 min meditation sessions, gratitude and coffee breaks, 'cause those are also essential.
The secret to becoming a high achiever is simple: know the value of your time, know that you can achieve anything you put your mind to, have a purpose and a routine.
High performers get the same 24 hours per day as everyone else, but they know the value of their energy and use it wisely. They still sleep 7-8 hours a day, but schedule tasks during the other 16 hours in a way that maximizes their output. Every day is a new start, a new opportunity and another 24 hours to make a difference. We all get the same 168 hours each week, the difference is in how we use them.