So how has the "drill sergeant in your pocket" been treating you?
Confused? Check out last week's Feature Article over here to learn about the 5-day challenge.
So, here comes the money question...
Did you do it?
Did you take the 5-day challenge and use the simple little index card strategy we outlined last week?
Or did you not have enough time to get to it?
When we first started using this strategy it became pretty clear that:
A. We didn't have enough "high value" tasks occupying our attention.
B. We were spending a lot of time checking email, getting the latest fantasy pool updates, channel surfing and updating our LinkedIn profile while monitoring how many "connections" our colleagues were making.
We got caught up in life's minutia.
Spending a lot of time in the "Not Urgent" and "Not Important" category.
It feels good spending time with that sort of thing but one day you wake up feeling pretty sick of it.
When we started putting things like "go see 5 investment properties today and make an offer" as Urgent and Important activities things began to change.
All of sudden we weren't caught up in months worth of deliberations over which property type in which neighbourhood is the very best investment.
We did our homework and then went out and made some offers.
And then we had a property.
That lead to the next Important and Urgent task on our little index card...
Figure out how to manage it.
And B-I-N-G-O the momentum had begun.
Test This Strategy
After a few months of using the little index card "drill sergeant" strategy, it's interesting to go back through last week's cards and look at what you've been spending your time on.
You know what?
You'll be shocked at how many things you were able to accomplish.
And you know what's even better.
You'll be upset at all the important tasks that you didn't get accomplished.
Hopefully, you'll feel horrible.
Why is that better?
Because if you start associating a cost with each of the things you didn't do it'll make future Important tasks even more important to you.
Then when you're about to get distracted you'll remember that awful feeling and it'll force you to stay on track.
This forces self-discipline.
For example, if you have "Play soccer with my son tonight for 1 hour" and you didn't get it done that time is lost forever.
How much is that hour worth to you?
Instead, you were caught up on your crackberry checking some pointless email chain that really didn't deserve your attention.
Good job, hopefully, you saved the world.
Or how about during your little review you notice that you always write down something like, "spend 90-minutes learning about direct response marketing for my new garden product business" but never seem to get it done.
How much is that costing you?
What is the cost associated with not getting things done?
What are the emotional and physical costs of constantly being so distracted with Facebook updates that you're skipping your most important activities?
Ever considered that?
Reviewing these cards every week is almost like a reviewing a journal of your life.
It can be a game changer.
Time to get excited about what's possible when you focus!
One more topic to cover...
"But I just don't have the time.
For the record, we have lots of things that we want to get done that we haven't.
So we can't win any perfect citizen awards over here.
But we consciously work towards accomplishing the things we want regularly.
Let us ask you this...
Do you remember New Year's Eve 1999?
A few days ago we entered into a new decade.
That's right, DECADE.
Ten years have passed.
How do you feel about what you have accomplished in the past 10 years?
Did you travel to the places you wanted to?
Did you create that cash flow you've been talking about?
Did you spend time with your family?
Did you develop that new hobby?
Look, we'll let you in on a little secret that took us some years to accept.
There really is enough time.
If you act with purpose.
When you're building a house, like the Rock Star Mansion we've been showcasing on the blog, there's a set of blueprints for it.
That's the only way all the clay and stone and granite and glass gets organized into something livable.
Why can we accept that we need a blueprint for building a house but we have don't have time to create a blueprint for our lives?
Please don't confuse this message as being purely about accomplishments.
We are both big believers in taking time off and we have our own guilty pleasures.
This is more about lifestyle design than it is about getting 30 things done every day.
But you need to get serious about creating your own blueprint.
Creating your own life.
And starting with a daily blueprint is easier than figuring our your life's purpose by tomorrow before lunch.
Using the little index card strategy is a great way to start acting more purposeful every day.
Stop sleep walking.
We all get caught up saying "yes" to too many needless activities.
Having that little drill sergeant in your pocket makes it easier to say "no" more often.
And maybe that's the biggest change you can make for yourself in 2010.
Saying "no" because the drill sergeant in your pocket is forcing you to say yes to the important.
Get started today.
2020 is just around the corner.
Until next time ... be a Renegade!
This was a very powerful post.
I will be honest, I tried the drill sergeant activity for 2 days last week.
During the two days that I tried it, I was impressed at the fact that I was only focusing on the urgent tasks that needed to be accomplished.
After the two days were up, I simply forgot about the task. However, reading this post again today reminded me how much more productive I was during those 2 days.
I think that humans get so used to their routines that we all fall back into doing what we believe is the most comfortable thing to do. Much like how I fell out of routine with the drill sergeant activity. I just reverted back to my normal daily routine.
It was nice to read this post today, and get a reminder from you to stick with the task because it was very helpful to me.
I think we all need a 'kick in the butt' sometimes from others in order to stay on track, stay motivated, and stay focused on our goals.
Onwards and Upwards,
Hey Neil, great feedback, thanks for sharing!!
Nick and I know that "we're our own worst enemies!" and work to control our desire to check email and get the latest sports/investing/tmz.com gossip!
We had a mentor share with us that he fought the very same distractions every day ... the difference between what he was able to accomplish over the last 30 years and others ... self discipline.
Great comments Neil!