Have you ever wished you could get more done? Have you ever looked at the highly successful people in the world and wondered how they can get so much done in the same 24 hours everyone else has?
Want to listen? There's an audio version below
The truth is, we all have the same amount of time in a day. From the richest of billionaires to the poorest of the poor, everyone on the planet has the same amount of time in a day.
I'm often asked how I get so much done. I've been called a “content creating machine.” But I don't feel like I'm doing anything special, and I'm not doing anything other people can't do as well.
Managing yourself and being more effective comes down to two things:
I create a system for almost everything I do. If I'm going to repeat a task more than just a few times, I create a system to help me do it faster.
I also have a purpose for almost everything I do. I schedule down time with as much intensity as I plan my work day. The key is to ask yourself if what you're doing at that moment, or if the task you're about to schedule, will help you get where you want to go in life.
If not, don't do it.
If you're not going to prioritize the tasks which will help you be more effective, achieve your goals and live the life you want to live, no one will do it for you.
But I've written about systems and purpose before so I want to do something different. Instead of high-level strategy, let's look at the specifics of how you can manage yourself better and be more effective.
26 Ways Be More Effective, Enjoy Life, and Accomplish Your Goals
1. Get organized early – Whether it's a long trip or your afternoon plans, get organized. If you don't get organized, it's much easier to get overwhelmed and lose sight of what you want to accomplish.
2. Prioritize time for your personal development – Even when I worked in Corporate America I would block off time on my calendar to focus on myself. I'd schedule my lunch hour so I could read and I wouldn't let someone else take that time away from me.
3. Create systems and build frameworks – As I mentioned before, if you find yourself repeating tasks, create a template for it. Not only will systems allow you to get similar results every time, but they also eliminate any guesswork and let you get things done faster.
4. Automate as many things as possible – You can read more about things you should automate here, but you can be more effective by not wasting time on things that can be streamlined or automated.
5. Cutting corners is bad; short cuts are good – At worst, cutting corners gets people killed. At best they introduce unnecessary risk to the equation. On the other hand, shortcuts can help you get more done in less time.
6. Leverage technology – Technology is a wonderful thing. I leverage technology to handle all of my scheduling without needing an assistant. I leverage technology to sell and distribute products, hold conference calls with people around the world, and access my data from any device anywhere.
7. Delegate – Any task don't have to do yourself could be delegated to either a virtual assistant or to technology. Do only the things you can do, and you'll be more effective.
8. Failing to plan is planning to fail – From lunch meetings to attending conferences, you should always have a plan. Wasted time is time you will never get back.
9. Be flexible – Sometimes crap happens and adjustments need to be made. If you're not flexible, you'll break. Add buffers before and after events, allow for rest and recuperation, and be cool under pressure.
10. Schedule your day or someone else will schedule it for you – I schedule time for emailing, recording podcasts, writing, hanging out with my wife and a variety of other things. Own your calendar or it will own you.
11. Ask for help before you get overwhelmed – Entrepreneurs love doing things ourselves. We want to be in control and get things done. But we also tend to not ask for help and we end up getting behind. Don't let that happen; ask for help before you need it so you can be more effective.
12. Spend time discovering and learning who you are – It took me 26 months after I started blogging to figure out my purpose in life and what I wanted to be known for. Even with daily effort, it will take you time to figure out what you want to do, what you want to accomplish in life, and who you are as a person. Invest the time to figure out who you are and why God put you on this planet.
13. Learn to say “no” to the things you won't enjoy – It's not that successful people ONLY do things they enjoy, that's far from true. However, don't do things that will make you miserable. If you're miserable, there's a good chance you're also wasting time. Stop it.
14. Know your strengths and connect with people who can help you with your weaknesses – At the recent THRIVE Conference in Las Vegas, I had the chance to meet Gary Vaynerchuk and hear him speak. Gary' Vs formula to be more effective is,
Stop trying to fix your weaknesses and start betting on your strengths.
In fact, Gary V said we should “triple-down” on our strengths. He admitted to being terrible at 99% of things, and he focuses on what he's great at. We should do the same.
15. Have goals – Not much to add here other than most people don't set goals. And those of us who do rarely take action to achieve those goals.
16. Don't try to do everything – Opportunities are everywhere, especially once you make your goals known. Focus on the opportunities that align with your goals and leave everything else for everyone else.
17. Read more and watch TV less – The more TV you watch, the more stupid you'll get. I don't have a scientific study to show you, but deep down you know it's true. Even the NatGeo channel won't help you start, build, or grow your business.
18. Spend money on experiences, not things – In 5 years, you won't remember what cell phone you're using, what movie you saw, or whether or not you got a pedicure. What you will remember are the experiences you have with loved ones. I don't remember every speaker at every conference, but I do remember enjoying having Ashley at them with me.
19. Don't waste time on people who don't have your best interest in mind – In this post, I outlined seven types of toxic people you must avoid if you want to be successful. Surround yourself with people who will have your back and help you get what you want out of life. Get the people who aren't fighting with you in your corner out of the picture.
20. Think win/win – It's incredible what we can achieve when we think about collaboration instead of competition. Anyone can think about themselves; it takes a truly capable and success-minded individual to think about how everyone could win.
21. Grow your network – I recently had the chance to see Shaa Wasmund speak in Las Vegas. Shaa said,
Relationships are the single most important thing you can have for your business.
The key to a strong network is subtraction, not addition.
Grow your network but also ask yourself who you need to eliminate. As your goals change and as you grow as a person, the people with whom you surround yourself may need to change as well.
22. Be more intentional with your time, money and resources – Have a purpose for every dollar and minute. Know where both your time and your money go. You can make more money, but you'll never get more time, but you'll never make a lot of money if you don't invest what you already have.
23. Focus on the people and things who will be there 5 years from now – Ya, do that. Focus on the long game and invest in the future.
24. Have an opinion on everything but don't always voice it – That should say “educated” opinion, but it doesn't. You should have an educated opinion on everything, but that doesn't mean you should always share it. Silence is golden.
25. Know a little about everything so you can connect with anyone – One technique I use to always have a way to connect with someone is to learn a little bit about everything. From NASCAR to current events, if you have at least a couple of things you're able to chat about, you can connect with anyone and grow your network.
26. Don't stay somewhere you hate for longer than you have to – This includes crappy jobs, bad movies, and even traffic. Don't waste your time and life away thinking it will get better because it won't. And even if it does, you've wasted your life waiting for it to happen.
If I've learned one thing about managing myself and being more effective, it's that we all need to be a little more selfish. We need to prioritize goals and ourselves be selfish with our time, and take steps in the direction of our destination.
You don't have to step over other people to get to the top. In fact, you'll need them to not only get there but to stay there as well.
Over to you! How do you get things done? What is your best tip to manage yourself and be more effective?