We recently talked about getting your maximum output by optimizing the hours you work. You may do that by working longer or you may be better off working less.
We often equate working harder with working longer. We think they are two different things.
You can work hard without working long. You can work long without working hard.
In fact, it’s possible to put in a lot of hours and not accomplish anything at all!
Today we want to dive into working harder. How can you get more done by putting in more effort in the time you work?
Your portfolio of activities
Think about your day like you would a portfolio of investments. We have learned to diversify, diversify, diversify.
We may hold some assets that offer high returns but they’re volatile. To balance that, we may hold some assets that don’t return as much but they don’t fluctuate as much either.
When we combine these two types of assets in our portfolio, we get a higher return given the level of risk we’re willing to accept.
Now to translate that to your day and getting things done, you diversify by combining periods of high intensity with standard activities and low-intensity tasks.
Short bursts can make all the difference
After all, you can’t turn yourself on all the time. However, you can turn yourself on some of the time. And that can make a tremendous difference in how much you get done.
Let’s say that, when you do turn yourself on, you can produce 10% more than you would otherwise. Assume you work 10 hours a day. You decide to turn yourself on for an hour a day.
You would add 2.5% to your output under this scenario.
Now we know 2.5% doesn’t sound like much. But life is a game of inches. That little bit extra may be all it takes to make you stand out.
That little bit extra may be what gets you the promotion.
Or the contract with that customer you’ve been going for.
And pretty soon … 2.5% grows to 5%. 5% grows to 10%.
3 ways to get the most of short bursts
- Turn yourself on by finding your natural rhythm.
You may find that you have a lot of natural energy early in the morning. Maybe you’re a night person. Discover what works best for you and plan your short bursts around it.
- Turn yourself on with variety.
When you do the same thing over and over again, it loses its zest. Learn a new skill. Take up a hobby. Do something – anything – to spice up your life.
- Turn yourself on by turning yourself off.
Isn’t it amazing how much you can get done when you get a good night’s sleep? Force yourself to wind down. Develop a going-to sleep ritual. When you do this, you send a signal to your brain that it’s time to call it a day. So you can fall asleep easier.
We’ll close with a quote from Sam Parker, author of the book 212: The Extra Degree. He said:
“At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. And with boiling water comes steam. And steam can power a locomotive. The one extra degree makes a difference.”
We think it makes a bigg difference … because it leads to bigg success!
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Thanks so much for reading our post today.
We recently got called to task by one of our listeners about a recent show. Please join us next time when we’ll revisit the best investment you can make right now.
Until then, here’s to your bigg success!
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(Image in today's post by Spiralz)