We all have 24 hours in a day, so why is it that some people seem to get more done in the same amount (or less!) time?
They are clear about where they are going. They know their purpose, they know their destination, they know how to get the most out of each and every day.
If you’re looking for similar time-saving strategies and techniques, this episode of the LeaderQuest Podcast is for you! The LeaderQuest Podcast – Episode 10 is going to give you three time saving “how-to” techniques to maximize your day.
This week, we’re talking “Time Saving Strategies” so that you can eliminate distraction, gain clarity, and reach your goals in less time.
Take It Further
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When we left Denver for our California move, it was Valentine’s Day 2017. My wife boarded a plane with our four kids (and my mom) with a one-way ticket to Los Angeles.
Most of our items were onboard a semi-truck moving company and in transit already. After I dropped them off at the airport, I took our minivan loaded with only essential family possessions and my camping gear and headed west. With a full tank of gas and a queue of podcasts and audiobooks, I plugged my ending destination into the GPS system on my phone and took off.
Fourteen hours later I had made it. I was halfway through the trip, and after a quick one night stay at a campground, woke up early the next morning to finish the trip.
At regular intervals, I would stop, fill up the gas tank, grab some food, stretch my legs, and start a new audiobook.
Even when I stopped, got rerouted because of road work, or got stuck in traffic, my end destination stayed the same.
I had a clear goal and objective in mind: reuniting with my family.
Everybody ends up somewhere. A few people end up somewhere on purpose. Those are the ones with vision. – Andy Stanley
Somewhere on Purpose
Life works the same way. So does business. Family. Hobbies. Income. Education.
You are going to end up somewhere. The only question is if it is where you wanted to be.
To get where you want to be, you have to have a vision. Practice Intentionality. Cultivate solid habits. Engage in Discipline.
To get where you want to go, you have to be clear in where it is you want to end up.
If I had simply entered “California” or “West” into my GPS, there is a strong likelihood that I wouldn’t have ended up next to my family.
In life, if your only goal is to end up “not here,” then you probably won’t. But that also doesn’t mean the destination is any better.
Like a good GPS system with a final address, our life needs to have a clear end destination in mind. A clear goal to reach. An objective measure that we have arrived.
As a success and mindset coach, that’s much of how I work with my clients on a daily basis.
But success doesn’t have to mean financial. Maybe it means that it’s having just enough to be able to take trips with the grandkids. Success for some might mean living long enough to see a family member take over the family business. For another, it could be to lose weight and run their first 10k.
Success for one former client was to start her own business and never work for someone else again.
For another, it was to build a speaking platform and tour the country providing health lectures.
Ending up somewhere on purpose doesn’t happen by accident.
So, if you’re ready to end up somewhere on purpose, here are five tips to help you get started.
5 Tips to End up Somewhere on Purpose:
1.) Create a list of the non-negotiable elements of your life. Key relationships, experiences, and mindsets are always foundational.
2.) Visualize your success. Create a vision board, write it down in your journal, practice intentional meditation. Whatever it is that works for you, spend time actually thinking about and picturing yourself in that future state.
4.) Share your vision with someone you love. Life is best traveled with someone you love. A spouse, friend, mentor, or coach can encourage you during the downtime and help you push through the tough moments.
5.) Stay the course. It won’t happen overnight. Real Talk: It may not even happen in a thousand nights. But if you are faithful, day in and day out over the course of a lifetime, it will.
I’ve spoken with clients who felt like the 4th of July was only two weeks ago.
Our oldest turned ten this year.
I’ve been out of high school fifteen years already, and college more than ten.
The number of people who have told me, “The days are long but the years are short” are only half right.
What do you do when even the days are short?
The Power of Journaling During Change
In my doctoral program, I was introduced to a way of “checking-in” emotionally during a changing season. It gave space to everyone in the room to acknowledge, own, and share their feelings in a safe environment.
Over the years, I’ve also used it with my clients and with myself during seasons of change. It’s a quick focusing technique that can empower us and it’s a great place to start journaling.
Journaling may be a new idea or discipline for you, and it can feel tough to get started.
If so, here is the technique for you to use that won’t eat up a bunch of your short days, but give you immediate power.
Plus, as you continue in this discipline and the journaling and writing process comes more easily to you, it becomes easier to expand on these ideas and create that daily journal to reflect on.
The power of journaling during change is that it gives us memories to look back on. To see how we’ve grown. To see what we’ve overcome. To see the victories.
The power of journaling during change is that it gives us the power to own our narrative. Experience healing. Embrace transformation. To remember that every day is a season of change. That no matter what you’re going through, “You got this.”
How To Start A Daily Journaling Habit
The easiest way to start a daily journaling habit is to remember the acronym S.A.S.H.E.T.
S – Sad
A – Angry
S – Scared
H – Happy
E – Excited
T – Tender
At the end of your day, journal your emotional state using these words. Maybe you experienced all of them in a day. Maybe only one or two. There is no “right answer” only what is true for you now.
As time unfolds you’ll also begin to expand on these. Like the keys on a piano, being able to identify more emotions will expand your “playing range.”
Great pianists can play the full range of the keyboard. Similarly, people in tune with their emotions will be able to feel, experience, navigate and lead from a wider range of emotional states.
A simple journal entry could look like this.
Today, I’m checking in with myself. One thing that made me scared today was when I was running late for work. I thought it would make me look bad to my boss and fellow employees.
I was angry when I got home from work and saw that my kids hadn’t done their chores as I had asked.
I am excited about our upcoming family vacation. I really need that time to relax.
I am feeling tender at the moment for my oldest. His birthday is coming up soon. I see the man he is becoming and it makes want to parent more intentionally.
Consistent journaling will serve us well in a couple of areas
1.) It gives us the power to own our day. By owning our emotions we can then own our actions and work to get better.
2.) It expands our emotional keys. By consistently checking in, we may soon discover that these words are not enough. Soon enough, something will happen where you won’t merely be ‘happy’ but ‘elated.’
3.) It allows us to reflect. The best time to plant an oak tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now. The same is true of personal growth, writing that book you’ve always wanted, and growing your emotional intelligence. The best time to start journaling was twenty years ago. The second best time is now. Soon enough, you’ll be able to look back at last week, last month, and the last several years to see where you were, what you’ve overcome, and how you’re growing.
4.) It allows us to shape our future. If we can see where we’ve been and know where we are now, we can better navigate our future. We notice trends, can see recurring patterns, and break out of destructive habits, relationships, or no longer important goals.
Do you journal? What have you learned about yourself? Leave a comment below!
The power of journaling during change is part of our week-long look at how to navigate the “changing seasons” of our lives. To receive exclusive access to all of the content, get an easy to read recap of the topic, and receive my free five-day course on productivity, joinmy community newsletter.
After my college graduation, I had a conversation with my older brother about what was next in life. Everyone, it seemed, had a keen interest in me up to that point. They always wanted to know I wanted to be when I grew up, what college I was going to, and what I was going to major in.
But I never had one conversation about what happened after that. How do I start a successful marriage (I didn’t do that one well)? How do I grow in emotional health (took a lot of trips to the therapist’s office)? How do I pass on key values to my children (still figuring that one out…)?
The problem was that no one had taught me how to set goals for what came after graduation.
I wasted a lot of time (and hurt a lot of people) because I was a goalless drifter.
People without goals are people without a future.
Ready, Set, Goal!
One key to sustainable success is the daily habit of setting, reviewing, and reestablishing goals.
One of my practices is to use Michael Hyatt’sFull Focus Planner. I’ve used it for over a year now and absolutely love both the structure and order it gives me, while also allowing a great deal of freedom in the process.
I’ve also discovered the power of paper and what it means to write goals down. It’s easy to think, “My goal is…” because we often forget it. But by writing goals down, it not only gives us a visual reminder of what we’re trying to accomplish but cements it into our brain better.
By getting clear and specific on what we are aiming at, we gain a strategic advantage to sustainable success. The key discipline though is to make our goals S.M.A.R.T.E.R.
When you’re ready to say, “Ready, Set, Goal!” you must begin by making sure you have the right format.
S: Specific. Make sure the goals you set are clear on the intended destination. Don’t think, “Lose weight.” Instead write, “I want to lose twenty pounds.”
M: Measurable. Similar to specific, measurable makes sure that what you’re aiming for can actually be hit. Avoid using jargon or filler words in your goal-setting times. Don’t think, “Be more productive.” Instead, write that you want to, “Use my time wisely by spending no more than thirty minutes a day on social media.” Ouch. That one may hurt a bit, but it’s measurable. You can use apps or the integrated Apple Screen Time (if you’re an iPhone user) to track how you’re spending your time on your phone.
A: Actionable. Start your goals with action-oriented verbs (as opposed to “to-be” verbs). This focuses your attention on what needs to be accomplished. Don’t write, “Be better at date nights.” Instead, try, “Take my spouse on one date night every week.” Now you know how to take action to accomplish your goal.
R: Realistic. This one can be challenging, and we’ll talk about short and long term goals in a second. But realism is important in goal setting. Too often, goals fail because they either don’t inspire us or are unattainable. Realistic goals should do both. “Complete my ebook and submit to the publisher by the end of quarter three.” This goal meets the first three points and is entirely realistic (even if you’re not very far into your book). However creating a goal like, “Establish the first hotel chain on the moon by the end of the year” meets the first three steps in the process, but not the last one. To take action that inspires, your goal must be reasonable.
T: Timely. Put some hustle in it. This is where I work hard with my clients to push ourselves on our goals. Strive for greatness and see what you can do. If your goal is to gain three new speaking opportunities for your business, fantastic! But put yourself under a time constraint to reach that goal. “Acquire three new speaking opportunities by the end of August.” It’s clear, concise, and gives you a visible target to know if you’ve hit your goal. It also pushes you to keep working and avoid drifting from your goal. The end of August is coming up quick after all.
E: Exciting. Your goals should scare you a little bit. If not, you’ll never grow. This is honestly one of my big descriptors for the clients that I work with. We always work a little scared. If you’re making $50,000 a year and want to work with me, and your goal is to make $50,000 next year as well, we probably won’t be a good fit. You still might have some great goals, but I want my clients to push themselves. My clients are making $50,000 but want to make $125,000. They know they need to get serious about pursuing their dreams.
And it works in all areas of life too. Want a better marriage? Don’t take your spouse on four dates a year, take them on two a week. That shows me you’re serious about reprioritizing your schedule to thrive in your relationship.
R: Relevant. This one matters, but more in the daily habits of life. I regularly review my goals to make sure they are still what I want. Every year, I sit down and try to project out a year to set goals throughout. A number of times I’ve set a goal in January, gotten to May, and then realized it was no longer relevant. That’s not a bad thing! Those goals pushed me and stretched me in new ways that have forever changed me. But in that growth process, I realized that I needed to rechart my course and set a new destination.
Don’t be afraid to reevaluate your goals and start a new direction. That’s the fun part of goal setting.