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A New Take on the To-Do List

Here is how I work: I will make a to-do list at the end of the day for what I want to accomplish the following day. A lot of people talk about making to-do lists, and I know there are a lot of mobile apps out there that can help you make a to-do list. I use a pen and paper.  I do feel that as scattered as my brain is, and as many things as I have going on, I have to, HAVE TO, keep a to-do list.  At the end of the day I will re-organize that to-do list to ensure that I am effective and efficient. It also helps me sleep at night. A New Take on Time Management : The New To-Do List Wikipedia’s definition of time-management discusses the origin and organization of your typical, as-you-know-it, to-do list.  “Task lists are often tiered. The simplest tiered system includes a general to-do list (or task-holding file) to record all the tasks the person needs to accomplish, and a daily to-do list which is created each day by transferring tasks from the general to-do list.” That said, I came across an article that talked about a new way to do, To-Do lists.  This author, Josh Linkner, The Road to Reinvention: How to Drive Disruption and Accelerate Transformation states that we should make our To-Do lists and break it up into three different categories:  More, Less and Stop. What Do You Need More Of? Under the More, “what do you need more of in your life”.  Where are your efforts that deliver the highest value.  These should be the items that you know you should be spending more time on because you are delivering the highest value (ie. Money, or simply you should focus more of your time and energy on this item because you value it).  For example, more strategy meetings, more coaching clients or more reading to your kids, more feeding your brain! What Should You Focus Less On? The second category, Less.  What do you need to spend less time doing?  Less time surfing Social Media, less time gossiping, and less time texting your friends.  Fortunately, I have no time for any of these but I do see a lot of people pissing away a lot of time.  I probably need to do less of the smaller tasks on my personal side and more of picking up the phone and calling prospects. Minimize Actions That Are Not Productive Third, what do you need to stop doing?  I thought this was really interesting, none of us really have a stop-to-doing list, as everything on our to-do lists is an actionable item, so on the stop is “what is unproductive”.  What are you doing that is unproductive?  You know what this is, it’s your excuse! What You Need To Do More Of: Maximize Your Time At the end of the day when you think “I should have called 12 more clients, stopped by 3 more offices…..”, “I should have scheduled more meetings”, “I should have read to my kids”… okay, great, what did you do that took up all your time that you should have not done?  Then write that down. For the first thirty days – I welcome you to the Hugo and Marie 30-Day Challenge – make three lists.  In order to produce the highest value, what do you want and need to do more of?  What do you need to do less of (which you know better than anyone else)?  What do you need to stop doing? Send us your list and your story and I will give you a free 2 hours of consulting!!! I would guess that the workflow would be that the “what do I need to do less of” would move to “what do I need to stop doing” and thus free you up more time for your more to-do list. Call it a hunch lol.

Tabata Is Like A Business

I took an exercise class with my wife, a class that she takes a few times a week.  The class was a Tabata class.  It was the first time that I have taken a class like this.  For anyone that does not understand Tabata – you business exercise for a period of time, “You do 20 seconds of any high-intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest, for 8 rounds (4 minutes total)” and then you have a minute off.  Then you do 4-5 sets of these 4-minute rounds.   You use dumbbell weights, and risers – it is a high, high-intensity workout. Never Rest What I noticed is that there are some people who decided during the in-between (the 1-minute rest) of exercise intervals, the “moment off”, that they would rest.  Then there are other people, who instead of resting, opted to continue their workouts in various manners.  This was fascinating to me and is a lot like business.  There are people that will do just the bare minimum needed in order to get by, who take every single break that they can possibly have – they get excited for the next break, instead of excited for the next job. Those Who Rest Vs. Those Who Don’t Stop I found it interesting to look around the room and see the type of people that decided to not work through their break compared to the people that decided to work through their break.  In the Tabata exercise, there are people that held the plank position (if you know what that is – it works your core) when other people rested. I tried to hold the plank a few times and then collapsed, but it was the choice to try and push myself. There are other people that decided to start the next exercise early, or continue the last exercise longer through the “minute break”.  You can guess, the type of people, and the physical fitness levels of those people, that decided to take a rest and the ones that kept working during their break – was a night and day difference.  That is a lot like business. Be Too Excited To Take Breaks! I see a lot of people just moping around, that is slow, that is excited about the wrong things- to take lunch – excited to gossip around the water cooler.  They are choosing not to be happy with where they are, and what they are doing.  Then I see other clients who are extremely excited, who are very passionate, who are fired up, and who are doing extremely well. These winners are crushing it in business, and they don’t take breaks.  These people can’t even find time to go to the bathroom.  These guys will sit at their desks. They’ll run around and meet with people for four straight hours before they will even take a breath. Choose your Time Wisely: Be A Winner So, just like in Tabata, there is a night and day difference between the winners and losers. Winners are people who choose to take on more. They’re the people who choose to expand their brains, their knowledge base, and their comfort zone.  Conversely, there are people who choose to find time to take breaks. They actually look forward to how much less they can do. What direction do you go?  Do you rest in the middle of Tabata?  Or do you push forward and take it as a challenge to hold the plank position?

When YOU Present What Can YOU Do Different?

Last week I was listening to a podcast on my way to giving a seminar in Charlotte and Raleigh in North Carolina. I was reviewing my presentation, and going over my opening lines. To start, I planned to compare a financial product to Vegas. I then would explain how certain parts of finance are like Vegas and gambling .  It was going to be edgy, I thought. This presentation was going to be different. During my drive, I was listening to an audio book that is called Fascinate Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation. In a section of the book, the she said, “You don’t have to be great. You just have to be different”. And so I thought, “what can I do that is totally different than what they are used to?”.  Yes, I am going to have my PowerPoint. I am going to preform. I am going to communicate. But what can I do that is remarkable? I needed something that would stick in their minds and get their attention. What Can I do To Stick In their Minds? As I was driving, I was brainstorming what this “different” will look like. I started to sketch on my notepad how my idea was going to unfold. Its going to work like this, and I am going to do that, and I want to talk about this and am going to pause here…. I decided to go to the bank and pull out $250 in cash to be “different”.  I used this money to illustrate investments going up and down.   It was a lot to do on my drive in. Why not just stick with what I created and be happy with all my weekend work? Why make changes last minute and stress myself out? I literally pull up in front of where I was going to be giving the presentation, open the laptop, spent twenty minutes cranking out the new slide. Catching My Audiences Attention Luckily, I double checked all my numbers and I got them all right, but I went in, I did the presentation the but my hands were a little e shaky handing out that money.  At one point I did hand out the wrong change and the audience was laughing and joking around but I tried to stay focused. The second day in Raleigh, North Carolina was much easier. I did the whole thing, I learned where I messed up and that I should count and organize the money ahead of time, continuous improvement (in japanese it’s called Kazen) 🙂 by the end of the second day the compliments started to flow.  It wasn’t great but it was different. So, from a personal challenge, what can I do that is different then than everybody else in my industry? What can you do that is different in your industry? What can you do to differ from everybody else? Is it a better quality of service? Perhaps a different type of service? Are you letting your passion out more?  Make sure you’re getting excited! Do something different than everyone else, as soon as you see/hear “normal” that should be a trigger to stop and put some brain power into changing it!

You Don’t Get Paid to Catch-Up On Work

I had a meeting earlier this week with a potential client.  When I walked into his office for Work, our conversation went like this: I asked him, “How’s it going?” He said, “Busy.” I said, “That’s great, better than being slow.” He replied, “Yes, that is very true.” I responded, “Other than you need some time to get caught up.” He looked at me and smirked. He said, “You don’t get paid to catch up.” You Don’t Get Paid To Catch Up I said that was so true and I asked him if I could steal his phrase.  “You don’t get paid to catch up”.  If you think about that, he is 100% right.  What are you doing today to be as productive as you possibly can?  There are 168 hours of Work in a week.  What are you doing with that time?  Yes, you have to sleep, so we can subtract 58 hours for sleeping, and you are left with 112 hours. How are you going to make those 112 hours the most productive time that you possibly can, again, just as my prospect – who will hopefully become a client – said, “you don’t get paid to catch up”. Your Competition Is Passing You By If you want to get caught up, get through your inbox, and try to go to “inbox zero”.  Try to get caught up with all the work that you have to do, on your to-do list (Check out this article on the new to-do list- A New Take on the To-Do List) – are you working at night?  Are you working on Saturday?  Are you working on Sunday?  If not, you are getting passed.  Whoever your competition is, they are passing you by. So, what are you doing in those 112 hours to be the most productive that you possibly can? I Don’t Have Enough Time vs. That’s Not A Priority For Me I just read an article that was very insightful. The author wrote, “I hear the phrase all the time: I don’t have enough time.”  Instead of saying, “I don’t have enough time,” the author suggests that you say instead, “That’s not a priority for me”. Wow just take a minute and think about that, I was almost offended when I heard that. Then I thought, that is awesome!  Here are a couple of examples that he sites: Instead of saying, “I don’t have time to exercise 30 minutes a day”, you should switch that to, “my health is not a priority for me.” I don’t have thirty minutes to learn something new today; to dive into how to flip houses, to dive into how to make a podcast, to dive into how to do better in my job.  You should re-phrase that and say, “learning something new is not a priority for me.”  “Getting better at my job is not a priority for me.”  “Creating a podcast is not a priority for me.”  And that’s okay if it’s not – that is totally fine.  Then just don’t say you don’t have time. As a takeaway; focus on the items that are a priority by switching your brain and stating “that is not a priority to me”, that will help your brain stop and think and say, wait that is a priority to me”. Make the most of the 112 hours you have, and get fired up!

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