How long are you going to snooze for?
Do you really have nothing else to do? In the time you repeatedly hit the snooze button, you could train for a marathon, start a business, get a promotion. But it is easier to stay in bed.
This, like all first world problems, is not a new one.
“At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: ‘I have to go to work- as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for – the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?’” ~ Meditations - Marcus Aurelius
What is new is the level of distractions. Email, IM, Netflix. These are snooze buttons in disguise to keep you from being present. To keep you distracted from “your job as a human being.”
So, how long are you going to snooze today before you start moving towards your goal?
People are always saying to me that they have no time. No time to do what's important. To do things that will get them promoted. To do things to develop themselves. To read a book. To spend time with family.
Looking around, no one, and I mean no one, can run a meeting . Not even the top of your organisation. Does this sound familiar, waiting for a senior to come into a lower level meeting and they are always late? This has a cascading effect throughout the organisation and it shows others that this is acceptable. When others get promoted, they also stack their meetings back-to-back and are proud that they are late for everything because they are so important and so busy.
No one is thinking like Tim Ferriss' quote: "Busyness is a form of laziness. Lazy thinking and indiscriminate action" 80% of senior managers are just busy and it cripples organisations.
It stems from the "being in the office" culture. It does not matter what you do, as no one knows what anyone else does in a large organisation anyway. It only matters what you are seen to be doing.
It does not matter that two senior managers who can't use excel spend until midnight filling out a new tracker by hand, not using formulas and calculating things on their phone and typing it in. It does not matter that someone else could have done what took them 6 hours of work in 10minutes. They are lauded for burning the midnight oil, for going the extra mile.
So, no one is thinking about meetings because it is an easy way to stay in the office longer. Yet, for people that are truly busy (they cannot get the work done which is needed to keep the organisation running, even if working all waking hours), they must prioritise. And they the easiest thing to cut is meetings.
Don't go to them. Leave after your part (hardly anyone does this, because meetings are a jolly, especially off site ones). Or actually pay attention and move them along, even when you are not the leader.
Running meetings is hard. It should not be left to chance. Like being mindful of your time is hard if you do not focus on it consistently.
If you are a neophile, you must be up to speed with product hunt. What better way by keeping it next to you in your pocket.
Get the app, be ahead. Simple
Given the number of articles on the subject it is now a truism that most successful people have an effective morning routine. This is the definitive book on the subject.
If you are thinking that you are not a morning person, then join the club. But I promise you that the opening chapters of this book will inspire you to try it. After a few weeks, I was waking up at 5.20am without an alarm clock raring to go with all the energy of a toddler. This shit can change your life.
Goal setting and following your vision is not new, it has been a struggle for millennia. This has been repeated throughout history (see Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill). To truly get to success, you need to know what you are aiming for.
Excerpt from Letters from a Stoic:
“For whatever we do ought to be in harmony with this; no man can set in order the details unless he has already set before himself the chief purpose of his life.”
“The reason we make mistakes is because we all consider the parts of life, but never life as a whole.”
Procrastination is trusting your future self to be more motivated, have more energy and be more in control than your current self. What are the chances of that if nothing changes?
Why not force your future self to do more, by doing something small now that forces your future self to carry on?
Want to start business?
Register the company. Now you have to file some shareholder’s paperwork.
Hire an accountant; register for VAT. Now you have to make a sale.
Force your future self to do what you do not have the motivation right now. See what you can achieve by managing your energy and doing something small when you are tired. Build habits.
Everyone has their thing. What's your thing?
I have no interest in Rolex watches. When the Apple Watch came out everyone was saying “£500? That’s expensive, what does it do?” Well if it just told the time, it is still only 10% of the price of an entry level Rolex.
So, what is the real question?
That people in the know, know how much it is? A Rolex to me looks the same as £50 watch, but I am not in the know. An Apple Watch is definitely more functional, as in it has more functions, but you definitely do not need one.
How much value is an object adding to your life? Maybe a lot? Is it bringing you the same happiness as financial freedom?
Everyone has their thing, but if you can minimise your things, happiness is behind them. Would you rather have a Rolex now or £500k 40 years later. Most people aren't thinking like this, even when they are buying their £3 latte’s three times a day. It adds up and compounds.
Buy what you want. But if you can want less in the short-term, you will have to work less to get freedom in the long term. Realise it is a choice.
How much work left outstanding is acceptable?
No one is leaving work having completed everything they must do. So how much work left outstanding is acceptable?
It seems to be arbitrary.
If you are in the office for eight hours then if you have stuff left over that is okay?
What if Jane get twice as much done as Greg. Why is it acceptable for Greg to leave twice as much outstanding? Why is it not acceptable for Jane to work four hours and have the same amount of work left for tomorrow?
In the corporate world, no one is thinking like this. Like they have finite time on the planet.
If you can do a day’s work in half a day why are you working full days? Because they have paid for your time, not your results, despite what your annual review says. And no one cares, as long as they see you around looking busy.
The most important decision you can make is what time you are going to stop work today. But realise this is for you and your family, not because you have done enough work for the day. There is always more to do. So why not do something you love to do?
"The ordinary man is always doing things,
Someone will always have it worse than you. Yet there are examples of people being successful from every background.
The market does not care about your excuses. Wherever you are coming from there will be opportunities that others will not have.
Started homeless? Rags to riches tale, free PR
Started as a minority? Automatic niche, word of mouth
Started rich? Access to capital
Everyone has their own shit to deal with.
Is your life filled with excuses or things that spur you on? The only difference is your mind-set.
I love headspace and Yoga Studio fits right alongside it in my morning routine. Starting the day with breathing, mindfulness and stretching can really set you up for the day. Give it a try.