Life happens. And some days … a lot of life happens!
I always say that the more prepared you are, the better you will be able to navigate the seas of the unexpected.
Earlier today, I read an email from an old friend who had received some information on my upcoming productivity workshop, where I’ll be teaching on time and attention management. Her request (though a bit sarcastic!) was not any different than what I hear from my coaching clients all the time. Here is what she asked me:
“Will you have a special section during your productivity workshop on how to manage my job and kids and still have adequate time for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snap Chat and working out -- Please!?”
Although she meant it as a joke, it is also true! No matter what our field of endeavor or where we are at in our careers ... most us feel as if there is never enough time in the day.
Time management and remaining productive amidst all the distractions is a real challenge most of us face.
So, how do we get past that and make consistent, real progress toward our goals?
Let me share a quick anecdote with you before we talk about that question.
Just this past Saturday, I was catching up with a relative at a family wedding in Chicago. We were discussing the craziness of our lives, and I’m not sure I even realized how much I have going on until I heard myself saying it all out loud:
- Maddie (my daughter) is five and just started kindergarten and soccer; EJ (my son) is three...going on 23!
- Nancy (my incredible wife) is still killing it in sales and loves her work, as well as the folks she works with every day.
- The Molitor Group is doing well, and I love having my own business despite the craziness that goes along with entrepreneurship.
- I’m working on three book projects right now, and a brand-new keynote based on my life story
- I will be doing a webinar series, as well as releasing a slew of products over the course of the next two months.
- The Molitor Group is starting a Virtual Mastermind coaching program, which we will launch October 1st, (I cannot wait!).
- I am currently looking for new volunteer opportunities, and reviewing a couple of board member opportunities.
- My golf game is brutal ... I have only played a few times this summer.
- I am training for the Lake Geneva triathlon in September (and yes, I realize I am not getting any younger….thank you!)
It sounds like a lot of competing roles in my life, but over the years I have developed a process that helps me stay dialed in and moving in the direction of my goals. When I step back and look at all I have going on...I don’t feel overwhelmed.
I feel excited, motivated, and energized!
I spend a great deal of time with clients on becoming the best version of themselves, and helping them discover how they can get from where they are at now to where they want to be. There are many different areas where we work, and the key to their success is how committed they are to their process and how effectively they execute daily.
During my time as a college athlete and coach, I always had structure in my day. As a matter of fact without that structure, I would have been utterly lost. There was a singleness-of-purpose in everything my teammates and I did during that time. Our priorities were:
- Getting a great education, and
- Taking care of things off the court by being a good citizen and making smart decisions
These were the only things we focused on...day in, and day out.
After I left college coaching and entered my professional career, I noticed the absence of consistent structure in my day. As I began taking on more roles and building my career away from basketball, I became surrounded with people who have different agendas and expectations.
Days seemed to get away from me, and weeks flew by.
I was constantly “looking for the edge” and “trying to avoid the shiny object syndrome”.
That is when it hit me: I needed to come up with a process that kept me dialed in and empowered to focus on work that consisted of high-value activities.
After a lot of trial and error, and many years of working on dialing in my process, I now have a framework that I follow every single day. This helps me maximize my productivity and effectiveness, and is the reason I can feel energized and excited by all the priorities I have to juggle...rather than overwhelmed, overworked, and exhausted.
Here are the tenants I created that are the backbone of my daily routines:
#1 - Gratitude
The first thing I do each morning before I start my day is make a brief journal entry with a
gratitude list...just a few things I am grateful for that morning. It is nothing mindblowing or extensive, but I try to keep it simple, and pay attention to the little things. This exercise helps me stay connected to the what matters in life and reduces my stress. Science has proven to us that it is physiologically impossible to be both thankful and stressed at the same time. That is why when a client of mine is struggling with stress and overwhelm, I recommend gratitude walks or workouts where they take 15-30 minutes to get their hearts going while thinking about the things they are grateful for!
#2 - Intentionality with my approach to the day
I check my attitude every morning when I wake up. The four things I am intentional about bringing to the table every day are (1) a servant mentality, (2) positivity, (3) a growth mindset and (4) a passion and fire to get after pursuing my dreams. Those are non-negotiable. The people in my life know they are going to get these things from me every day, and that they can rely on me to deliver.
#3 - Loyalty to the process
Put “committed” in place of the word “loyal”, and that will work as well! I use “loyal” because I pride myself on being a very loyal person. Trust plays a huge role in my life. I trust my process, because it works. Not only for me, but also for countless others. The foundation of my process is built on my core values, and I try my hardest to align everything I do with my core values. When you know what you stand for, it makes decision making much easier.
#4 - High-value activities are my Oxygen
If it doesn’t move me closer to my goals and dreams, then I do not have time for it! That approach is not selfish or self-centered, because my goals and dreams serve others. Everything I do must have a purpose, and I try to align my purpose to do the best job possible of helping others work toward maximizing their potential. Low-value activities cut off my oxygen supply, and suffocate me to the point I want to lose my mind!
#5 - Leverage strengths
One of the bigger professional breakthroughs I’ve had in my career was realizing I had a good number of strengths...and shifting my mindset away from always trying to work on my weaknesses. Our strengths are what makes us go, offer the best version of ourselves, give us self-confidence, and help us be passionate about what we do every day. If you have not taken the Clifton Strengths Finder assessment, call me! The results were an eye-opening experience for me, and I can assure you it would be for you and your team as well. This one tenant changed the course of my business, and the business of many of my clients.
I could add a few more things to the list, but I will save those for another time. I wanted to show you the value of just a single day. The tenants I mentioned above have helped me balance my day, master new job skills by improving my behavior skills, become a better father and husband, and better serve those I work with. Basically...they have helped me to keep improving in every facet of my life, and enjoying the process along the way!
If this message resonated with you, and you’d like to learn more next Monday night at my productivity workshop...I’d love for you to join me! You can sign up right here for free:
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