Every once and a while I dream about a life where everything, other then my Vital Few, is outsourced. I believe this life is possible but takes time and deliberate focus to create. There are two aspects of this type of life that excites me. First, being able to go deep on the things that are most important or that I am best at. Dan Sullivan and Strategic Coach calls this stuff your Unique Ability. Second, the opportunity to provide work for other people.
Until I achieve this glorious state, like many of you, I need to take care of the little things that I will call necessary clutter. Necessary clutter is email, texts, voice messages, house projects, drafting a work process, scheduling meetings, taking care of post-meeting action items, booking and planning business and personal travel, budgeting, paying bills, etc. These things need to happen, but they are not a high value for my time.
One day, a couple of weeks ago, I had an idea. Like most great ideas, this came when I was concentrating on nothing in particular. In other words, when my conscious mind was off and my unconscious mind had the opportunity to present one of its gems.
Fridays used to be as follows:
I found that after my weekly planning was completed, I had very little willpower to get stuff done. That was annoying. Getting yourself pumped up for something fun and enjoyable is still worth it, even though it is difficult. But getting yourself pumped up for organizing your work tasks, booking flights and hotels, budgeting, etc. is well… it totally stinks.
My IDEA: Move my personal L10 meeting and my weekly planning to 5:00 am. Don’t check email before. Don’t do anything before. Just evaluate my life (in the personal L10 meeting) and plan the perfect week for the upcoming week.
The second part of my IDEA: Since my weekly planning is now done, I know what my perfect next week looks like. So, use the remainder of Friday to set up Saturday through next Thursday. In other words, get as much of the necessary clutter DONE and out of the way. I used to want to attack the BIG, important stuff right after weekly planning; but this idea suggested that I should spend a focused amount of time clearing the clutter, use the weekend as a mind break and then attack the BIG, important stuff then.
I have applied this idea over the last two weeks. The first Friday consisted of answering, acting on and sorting through almost 200 emails. It was rough. Nevertheless, when I was done, I felt free and excited that I wasn’t going to have to confront those emails on Monday. The second Friday was much more what I wanted it to be. I completed many small tasks, both professional and personal, that had been looming for weeks, some for months. This last Saturday through Thursday has been great! Without the clutter, I have been able to focus on some deep work projects. My stress level has been down. I am sleeping better and much happier. I haven’t tracked this, but it feels like I am getting more done and more important things done in less time.
I will continue to experiment with and learn from this. Two weeks has shown me that there might be something to this, I must continue on.
Thank you for reading.
*L10 or Level 10 Meeting is an EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) concept. It is meant for businesses but I also use it for my personal life. https://www.eosworldwide.com/
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