How can you be more productive each week? How can you stay focused on daily activity so you can achieve the results you want this year?
After identifying their goals for the year, one of the first things I ask a team to do is to make a list of every action step they would need to take within their process. What are the actions that need to be done each day, week, month, quarter and year? Our clients look at me like I am crazy when I ask this question, but we cannot move on until they literally write down every single action step. Once we have written down a list from A-Z, then we break up the list into three categories:
1. Energizing Activity
2. Live With Activity
3. Draining Activity
Energizing activity is something that you love to do. It brings tremendous value to your company or clients and yes… that’s right… it literally energizes you! It is activity that is special to your unique ability and you can do it for a long period of time without getting burnt out. Energizing activity for me personally, is client coaching calls, presenting in a seminar, client upgrade or cross sell meetings, staff training workshops, and teaching specific martial arts classes.
· You uniquely gifted at this activity
· It brings value to the team or organization
· You love to do it
“Live With” Activity
We all have certain action steps that we need to do each day, week, month, and year. These action steps need to get done in order for you to complete the energizing activities, and it potentially clears your head to focus and get shit done. These are the “To Do’s” and the mundane things that we have to do in business. “Live with” activity can be checking email, returning calls, organizing or preparing for a meeting, or anything that isn’t your most productive activity- but has to get done.
· You can deal with doing them
· Not the most productive activity
· Organizes, prepares or clears your head to focus
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure this one out, right? Come on… it is all the activity that you fricken hate. It steals your energy, you might suck at it, and it drains the hell out of you. You may have a ton of items on your list that you can identify as draining. Now as a business owner, your job is to identify all the draining activity and DELEGATE it to your team. This way, you can maximize your time doing more energizing activity that will generate more results within your company.
The team members that you hire should be good at the activity that you aren’t good at and that you do not like to do. A smart team will diversify their players and distribute the responsibility of actions steps that need to be completed. This is how to deliver the best product, service, or process for a client experience. The action steps and activity that drain me and I suck at, are actually things that my team is better at anyway…and for the most part- they love to do it. This mindset frees me up to be more productive and produce higher results within our organization.
Now if you aren’t the owner of a company, then you may be saying… “How the hell can I delegate any of my draining activity?” In reality, you may not be able to unless you talk to the owner of your company and inspire him or her to create a team around you to maximize everyone’s performance. Twenty-five years ago I was the one man show. I taught all the classes within my first martial arts business, but I was also the sales person, administrative person, janitor, book keeper, and promoter. Once I understood this concept of identifying activity, I invested into developing a team and began to slowly delegate the activity that drained me. I began maximizing my results and productivity because I was able to focus on the things that brought more value into our business. Now I am able to operate nine companies and employ over twenty five people within our organization. I narrowed down my energizing activity to around 3-5 main action steps within my martial arts business while our team handles all the things that not only drain me… but I totally suck at anyway.
Once you have identified what action steps are Energizing, Live With and Draining… now we must Time Block. In order to maintain focus, you must schedule every activity that you do in a given day. I don’t know about you, but I lose focus from time to time and get distracted by meaningless activity that isn’t productive, and doesn’t enhance my results. Think about this for a second… if you have a doctor’s appointment, dentist appointment or even a parent teacher conference meeting…it is scheduled. I schedule all my client coaching calls and all my student client meetings into our calendar. All of these Energizing Activities are scheduled into our appointment book. But what about when you don’t have a scheduled meeting? For the most part I bet you lose focus and get distracted doing bullshit tasks that aren’t as productive. I like to schedule and “sandwich” my activity with Live With Activity within the first and last 30-60 minutes of my work day. I get all the bullshit tasks that need to get done, I time block them into my calendar and only work on those tasks for that time period. Once that time period is up… now I schedule and time block my energizing activity into a consecutive long period of time. Why a longer period of time? Because I want to create momentum, confidence, and get myself into the zone.
Have you ever ran or worked out for longer periods of time? Hopefully yes. But imagine you are going for a long run -let’s say ten miles- and half way through, something happens. Maybe a friend stops you on the road and wants to talk to you. You begin to cool down and lose your momentum, and as you do it is difficult to warm back up and continue the run. That is why I time block all my energizing activity back to back. As I complete this blog… I actually made an appointment with myself to finish this activity. Earlier I spent an hour doing all my live with activity, cleared my plate, and mind… and now I can focus on completing this activity. Once this is done I have four consecutive coaching calls in a row, then I will literally walk out of my office and have an additional two more meetings scheduled in a row. Today is a total focus day on 70-80% of my day on Energizing Activity. I would recommend that you have at least two days out of the week that you can schedule 70-80% of your work day on consecutive energizing activity, with the first and last part of the day with the live with activity.
Think Like a Surgeon
Some of you may be saying, “Sure, that is easy for you… but how can I plan my day out like that?” Well, decide that you are going to schedule and time block all your clients, meetings, appointments and activity into your calendar to create momentum. I teach my clients to think and act like a surgeon. When I had knee surgery, the surgeons office said to me, “Mr. Melella, Doctor Podoriano does surgery every Tuesday and Thursday. He meets with the clients in the office on Monday and Wednesday. He has the following dates available for surgery:”
I didn’t dictate what days and times, he did. My dentist, doctor, auto mechanic and my kids fricken 4th grade teacher tells me when I need to come in to see him. And when I went in for surgery, the Doc worked on me and then went into another room and another room and another room. BOOM! He was focused and I bet no one interrupted him while he was performing surgery either. So I think of energizing activity like performing surgery. Time block as much energizing activity back to back and generate momentum, confidence, and be in the zone like a professional athlete.
Please be sure to leave a comment and remember to share if you care. If you have any questions, you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and it will be my honor to serve in any way I can.
If you would like to find further information about how Empowered Mastery can help your personal life or business… please visit our website at www.empoweredmastery.com.
Live Life to the Fullest!
Master Paul Melella Jr.
Tips from this article
- Make a list of all the activity you need to do within your process
- Identify Energizing Activity, Live With Activity and Draining Activity
- Maximize and time block 70-80% of consecutive Energizing Activity to create momentum
- Sandwich your Energizing Activity with 10-15% of Live With Activity in the beginning and end of your day