I was recently reflecting on a Monday holiday on what a surprisingly great week I had. I only had four days to accomplish what I normally do in five days. So, why was I so efficient? Why was my energy up and my mind focused?
Here are four mindset shifts necessary to make every workweek a four day week and still be the total ace you know you are:
Learn to Say No
Really? Should I tell you time is a construct? That's not going to help. Instead, consider saying: "I'm not going to make time for that."
The mindset shift is not that we don't have time, but that our time remains inextricably linked to our values and priorities.
For example, someone recently wanted to have a conversation with me that I knew would neither be productive nor insightful. It was going to deplete my energy. He gave me a pass by saying, "I know you're busy, so maybe we can do this next week." I'm not interested in saying no only to kick the can. Instead, I got clear and said, "I'm not going to make time for that conversation." Immediately, I was back in charge of my time... for what I want to do - what I see as valuable.
Put Pressure On Systems
They say if you want it done right, do it yourself. Well, "they" may have a point, but "they" come home exhausted and therefore never have sex. That's not worth it. I know you're a special little snowflake and no one does things just like you do. So embrace it. Look for the opportunity each time you say, "I'll just do it." CHECK YO'SELF BEFORE YOU WRECK YO'SELF.
Some people take the extra time to teach someone how to do the job, but that's not a sustainable plan. Instead, take the extra time to create a system in which a person can do the job for you. Think checklists. Think Trello. Once someone has a system, it's much easier to check on the progress by looking at the system rather than asking the person. Sharing this also provides insight into HOW you like things done and then other tasks are done according to your, now transparent and replicable, way of thinking.
I don't believe in putting pressure on people; I believe in putting pressure on systems.
Know Your Value
I'm a strong believer in not letting your clients pay you by the hour. It's truly as bad as it sounds. It clearly states you have no value beyond being this moment's flavor of hired gun. However, knowing what you make per hour can be useful.
Let's just pretend that you are now a millionaire. Sounds good, right? Millionaires make $480 per hour (at least this hypothetical one with a 40-hour workweek for the sake of my argument). Set your mind to the hourly equivalent of the position you are striving for. Don't do tasks unworthy of your wage. Before you argue with me, I'm not saying you're above it all. I'm saying don't do them. It's not a value statement. It's a choice. This isn't your article, so you don't get to insert your objection here.
Quit doing tasks that are "good for sales" or "good for marketing," but lack a humanizing element. I'm not saying stop using chatbots. Lord knows I think that's a good idea. Automated systems can be effective if they are customized and personalizing your marketing efforts.
Also, STOP writing emails to "just follow up" or connecting at random with people on LinkedIn just so you can feel that you "got something done." If you have no intention of writing to them with your own authentic voice, why connect with them in the first place?
If you get it all done by Thursday, I encourage you to take Friday off. You know what I'll be doing (see point 2). How can you prep for a short week? Who's with me? Share your advice in the comments below!
Looking for more insights into how to kick ass and make the most out of your busy workweek?
I'd love to share more of my entrepreneurial wisdom at your next event!