Picture of John Pyron, the Business Doctor

John Pyron, the Business Doctor

Getting More Done in Less Time

This year alone, the topic “How to Get More Done in Less Time” has been brought to my attention on countless occasions. Over 20 one-on-one clients have all strikingly similar things to say to me: “John, I just don’t have enough time.” “John, how can I get more done in less time?”

To give an exact number, we all have 168 hours weekly. No more, and no less. It doesn’t matter if you’re Bill Gates or my 9-year-old son. We all have the same amount of time in any given week. If you’ve known me for any time, you know I speak highly of Grant Cardone and Rory Vaden. Recently, I’ve also begun to follow John Lee Dumas. These three professionals emphasize that how we spend our time determines our productivity.

Effective Planning.
First, you must eliminate the old-fashioned to-do list to get more out of your life. It doesn’t work anymore. All it does is lay out a list of things you must do, and you feel discouraged when you don’t finish them. A better solution is to use a calendar and block out time segments. I will admit, in the past, I made futile attempts at having a successful to-do list, but I have always found them unsuccessful.

Billionaires block time and use calendars. I say this because I once read an article about this very same topic. A guy interviewed 10 billionaires with the intent of figuring out how they prioritized their time. Remember, we all have 168 hours in a week. He discovered that each of these 10 billionaires did not have a to-do list. They each had their calendar. It would not have been done for these successful people if it hadn’t been on their calendar.

Morning Routine.
You can have the highest level of success if you begin your day correctly. It all comes down to your morning routine. Consider this question for a moment: How are you starting your day? First, you must have a set time to get up every morning. I’ll give you an example: I wake up at 5:00 am. After you wake up, you need to initiate your morning routine. I’ve reflected on what I’ve been taught, and from this, I’ve created my system.

Here’s an advanced tip: Take what I’m teaching you today and implement, modify, and adjust it based on your personality.

After I’ve woken up, I go to my office and get out a blank sheet of paper. I write out my Top 5 Goals. These are NOT my Top 5 Goals for that day. They are the goals that I’m going after in life. These are the things that are firing me up the most. What’s interesting is that these goals change as time goes on. Once these goals are written down, I read for 30 minutes. Two books that I’m currently reading are “Money, Master: The Game’” by Tony Robbins and “The Entrepreneur Rollercoaster” by Darren Hardy. With a highlighter, I highlight notes and write down key points in my journal that I can take away from these books. After reading, I take five more minutes to say, “Okay. out of all my ideas, what is one thing I can implement today?” This idea goes on my calendar. I picked one thing I could implement today because that is what I could control. I can’t control anything else other than what I do.

Once this is done, I listen to meditation music. Lately, I’ve been listening to Kelly Howell. I have this music playing for 29 minutes, and while this is happening, I focus on three things:

What are five things that I’m grateful for right now?
What are the appointments that I’m running today?
What is it going to be like to achieve my Top 5 Goals?

I’m quiet after this meditation is over. The key is to allow my mind to be free. These thoughts regarding solutions for possible problems are very powerful.

I have my plans for the day when this is said and done. I’ve already written out my Top 5 Goals. I identify five other tasks I can do that day to help me move one step closer to my goals. Note that I don’t just write it down. I time block it because I want to make sure it happens. I use an app called ToodleDo. It’s where I keep my master task list. If I look at my calendar, I’ve got things I will accomplish today that will help me reach my goals. One of these things is an idea I’ve taken from a book I read. Oftentimes, there are blank spaces on my calendar. I time block every task I must do that day, even social media. I have a very specific process that I go through when I review my tasks. I learned this technique from a book titled “Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time” by Rory Vaden.

When I look at any task, I ask myself:

Can I delete it? If the answer is yes, I delete it.
Can I automate it? If the answer is yes, I automate it.
Can I delegate it? If the answer is yes, I delegate it.
However, if I can’t delete, automate, or delegate it, I ask myself, “Does it have to be done TODAY?”

If the answer is yes, I have a choice to make. I can either eliminate a task from my calendar or reschedule something else to get this done.

If the answer is no, I give myself permission to procrastinate on it. It’s no longer on my calendar; it’s on my task list. This way, I don’t have priorities on the document; it’s just a list.

By going through this process every day, certain things might be important one day but will not hold the same value the next day. Looking back at my calendar, I realize all my time should be filled. Everything from time with my wife and kids to when I sleep is on my calendar. My virtual assistant laughed at me and pointed out that it was ridiculous that I had sleep on my calendar. My immediate response was, “That’s right. It’s time blocked.” I get twice the amount of stuff done when it’s scheduled.

An advanced technique I’ve learned is to treat every appointment in my calendar like I would with my most important client. Gary Keller, in his book ‘The One Thing,” makes a great scientific point that we can’t multitask. It’s humanly impossible. All we can do is switch our focus. People who will get the most done are the people who do one thing at a time. Imagine you have a task that can be done in 5 minutes. Now add that you’re doing five other tasks at the same time. That first objective you had to complete didn’t take 5 minutes; instead, you spent 25 minutes trying to finish it.

The Importance of Self.
Earlier, I mentioned having a good, solid morning routine. Now, you might think, “Why is that?” Well, imagine this: you’re on an airplane, and as the flight attendants are going through customs, they tell you that you must make sure you put on your oxygen mask first before you help your child put on their oxygen mask. Now, it makes no sense if you’re a parent like me. However, when you understand why, it makes absolute sense. How can I care for my kid if I’m not caring for myself? How can we take care of our clients if we’re not taking care of ourselves first? That’s why morning routines are important.

I asked one of my clients to tell me about his morning routine. What I discovered was that his routine was reactive. He would wake up, and without a plan or system in mind, he would go about his day. I taught him about morning routines, and his immediate response was, “Really? Do I have to do this? It sounds corny.” Two days later, after he committed to try it, he said, “I’ve gotten more done in the past couple of days than I have in a long, long time. And not only that, but I have solved challenges I’ve had in my business that I couldn’t work through.” Now, there are some days when he falls off the wagon. The key in this situation is to catch yourself after falling.

Treat yourself as important as your client. How many of us put something off because a client calls us? Realtors that I converse with often say, “I don’t have enough time.” If you watch your realtors for any time, they’re constantly checking their phones. They’re multitasking because they think they’re being productive. I’ll be in a meeting with a realtor, and they’ll be checking their phone while I’m in the room with them.

I always ask realtors, “What would you like to have? More buyers or more sellers?” 10 out of 10 would prefer more sellers. Now imagine this: somebody you’ve been trying to follow up with suddenly calls you during a meeting with a potential seller. First of all, would you take the call? The correct response would be, “Well, of course not, because I’m sitting here with another presentation.”Well, would you respond to a text instead? If not, then why? Is it because you’re still having another appointment? Consider this: if you treat another person with that high importance, why don’t you treat yourself more importantly?

The solution is simple: Focus on completing the task you promised to do. You can focus on what I’ve taught you today and plan a successful day. However, if you can’t commit to attending an appointment on time or even being focused while you’re at it, this won’t work for you.

I mentioned ToodleDo before, and now I will talk about Evernote. It’s an unbelievable application that works on every device. You can store anything and everything on it. Rather than spending hours searching for important folders and documents, Evernote makes locating these things less of a hassle.

Delegation and Automation.
Because you’re all business owners, I want to talk to you about delegation. Take a risk. Hire an employee or a virtual assistant. The popular response is, “Well, I don’t want to hire someone.” My response to that is, “Why not?” You can never build a business or company without employees. It’s not going to happen. You create better leverage through people than without. You need to list everything that needs to be done in your company for it to work. List everything that you currently do. Make another list of tasks you’re not an expert at or don’t want to do from that list. You’ll have two lists: One of the things you want to do and the other of things you don’t want to do. When this is done, ask yourself, “What can be automated or delegated?”

For me, it’s email. I discovered I spent 5 to 10 hours a week on my email. The very first thing that I outsourced to my assistant was my email. She has my username and my password. I’ll schedule a time to call her when she reads my email. Afterward, I told her how to respond, and at the end of our time together, my inbox was at zero. The biggest benefit is that after about five days of doing this, she has started to learn my habits. She now knows what I consider to be spam and what I consider to be important. You can make your virtual assistant a training process for handling the assigned task; then, you move on to the next item. Soon, all the stuff that’s been taking up your time will be successfully delegated through virtual assistants, contractors, or employees.

A daily huddle is the most powerful thing you can do with your first employee. This should last no more than 10 to 15 minutes. First thing in the morning, you discuss with them:

What’s on your agenda
What’s on their agenda
What you’re delegating to them for that day

You tell them to send you a summary of everything that was done. Once this is done, you both do your work for the day. There’s nothing that can come up that’s an actual emergency. If it is, then call 911. If they have any questions, they can save them until the next daily huddle tomorrow morning. Having this daily huddle will also amend the open-door policy. People misunderstand what the open door policy means. It’s supposed to mean that your employees are free to come to talk to you. However, to them, it means that they are free to come to interrupt you with a question.

I want you to go back and look at your daily routine. Modify it. Make it better. Time block your day. Treat yourself as the most important appointment and the first one you have for the day. It will not only duplicate your time, but you’ll get so much more done.

Magic Move.
Pick a time at the end of the day when you will stop. Have an end-of-the-day routine. What I do is I sit down, and I return to that first piece of paper that I had during my morning routine. I wrote out what my big successes were for that day. I pat myself on the back and then write out my goals again. I quickly glance at my calendar for the next day. I’ll send out a quick email for any appointments that need to be confirmed, but above all else, I end my day on fire.

When you’re done with your work, and you’ve celebrated your successes, you’re 100% there. When you’re with your spouse and your kids, you’re there with them—not just physically but mentally.

It will take time for this to become a habit, but you won’t want to return once you’ve achieved the benefits.

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