We all dream for a day when we can go to sleep and wake up at the perfect time, a day when we can enjoy our mornings with no distractions and feel like we’re in complete control. However, is the concept of a perfect day achievable in both our personal and professional lives? In this episode, learn the three aspects of achieving an ideal workday.
Be enlightened as to why it matters to prioritize important things more than those that are urgent. Discover what prime timing your day is all about and why it’s crucial to achieving success. Get to know how a countdown timer can help you maximize productivity with little time and effort. Finally, explore the four-million-dollar habits that are critical for you to reach the next level.
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Anatomy Of An Ideal Workday
In this episode, you will learn three key insights which I believe are critical to making you a highly skilled ethical influencer. You will discover what prime timing your day is all about and why it’s critical to your success. You will discover how to use a countdown timer to maximize your productivity. You will discover four $1 million habits that can help you reach the next level and make more than $1 million a year. This could have a significant impact on how you can quickly and easily win the hearts of others.
Imagine a perfect day, not just the perfect workday, but your ideal personal and professional workday. You go to sleep at the perfect time. You wake up at the perfect time. You feel like you’re in complete control. You have an alarm when you go to bed at night and you have an alarm when you wake up. You own your morning. You don’t allow any interruptions or disruptions get in the way of getting stuff done.
You block out time so that you have prime time to get things done in your way, not in other people’s way. You do things that are not just urgent but important. You know that you live into a day that is important but not urgent. You’re not living for other people’s agendas. You own your own agenda. You have time for personal interactions with family, friends or loved ones.
You move through your day without having disruptions that get in the way of what you need to get done for that day. You move through it, where you’ve accomplished what you wanted to accomplish, but you’re advancing your projects in a faster, better and easier way. Does that sound like something you could live into? Let me tell you what the ideal workday looks like because that’s the topic, the anatomy of the ideal workday.
I believe I’ve had thousands of ideal workdays ever since I started crafting them and making them possible. The ideal workday is about planning. Whether you like the plan or not, without a plan, it’s impossible to have spectacular achievement. Dr. Robert Schuller once said that “Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular planning.” What does planning allow you to do?
It allows you to anticipate your day. When you anticipate, you grab back control of your day. I believe that setting the alarm on when to go to bed is the first step to have the ideal day the following day. That decision of setting the alarm at night is when to go to bed. If you have an iPhone, this is already built in for you. If you have another type of smartphone, you can figure this out of when to set the alarm so that within 30 minutes you’re in bed.
Most people set the alarm at night to wake up in the morning. I like to have an alarm at night because sleep is always underrated. Without enough sleep, your brain and body doesn’t work properly. You don’t have that mental capacity to advance a project with all the interruptions or potential disruptions that will pop up.
I have a go-to-sleep alarm and that’s around 10:30 at night and then I have a wake-up alarm. When I set the wake-up alarm, the decision to wake up in the morning has been made the night before. That decision isn’t being made the following morning, that’s planning. You make the decision when you set the alarm.
I’m not a big fan of snooze. I hate clicking snooze because that’s indecisive. I set the alarm when I’m going to bed and when I wake up. I generally sleep six and a half to seven and a half hours a day. Sometimes I get less, but if I can help it, I will get more than six and a half hours a day. Doctors are telling me that eight is ideal, but I can’t pull that off, so I go for seven.
What’s prime time? Prime timing your day and why it’s so critical to your success is blocking out time. They’re time block off segments in your day. I like to have that in the morning. I own my morning. Zero distractions, zero interruptions, the intention is to own your morning because there may be some planning you have to do for the rest of the day in the morning.
Whether you’re a morning person, we call them morning glories or you’re an evening person, we call them night owls. With our assessments, it doesn’t matter. The goal is to control the early part of your day. If you want to be productive, then you might as well learn the five-word definition of productivity. Productivity, I would define is the maximum results in minimum time. Many people chase productivity as if it is the thing.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you want to get more sales. You want to get more revenue into your business. You want to have the right team in the right place doing the right thing. You want to get on the right bus, sitting in the right seats. That’s borrowing from Jim Collins, a bestselling author. Productivity isn’t the only thing. Productivity is the maximum results in minimum time.
I’ve had adrenal fatigue at least twice in my life being productive. Productivity isn’t the thing. As an adjunct, it needs to be added with priority. Productivity needs to have an adjunct of priority. Priority is maximum productivity with minimum effort. Productivity is knowing the difference between what’s important in your life and what’s urgent and doing what’s important first. If you have three days to live, it doesn’t matter who you need to enroll or sell.
It doesn’t matter who you need to influence, you would get the important things done. You probably call relatives, friends, maybe people you haven’t spoken to in years and told them you love them or you forgave them. When people have a few days to live, and I’ve known people like that, their priorities change. They don’t focus on what’s urgent because that’s someone else’s agenda. They focus on what’s important.
Once again, productivity is the maximum results in minimum time. Priority is maximum productivity with minimum effort. This brings up the idea of discipline. Many people are haunted by their ideas, their friends, their team, and everything else in their life requires more discipline, and I disagree. I believe discipline is what you need most when you’re at the beginning of a habit. Productivity is a habit. Priority is a habit.
Priority is about sequencing like in a cake recipe. It’s not just having the right ingredients, it’s putting the right ingredients in the right order. The principle of discipline is when you’re building a new habit and starting one, you need to be disciplined in something new, like working out, if you decide to read in the morning or if you decide to write in the morning. Disciplinary work is only done in the first few weeks.
For me, it’s about a week to two weeks. It doesn’t take me three weeks to develop a habit. I get totally focused and zoned in on what I want to accomplish. Discipline is overrated because you don’t need it once you have a habit. When you are habitual about anything, you’re almost unconsciously competent. One of the great disciplines to align yourself with is the power of a countdown timer to maximize your productivity.
The reason a countdown timer is so important is let’s say if you’re looking at the clock and it’s 9:17 AM. You know that you have about 45 minutes to complete a particular project you’re working on, which would be about 10:00 AM. There’s no tension with that process. There’s no countdown. There’s nothing leading down to zero, which builds tension. Think about a rocket taking off from Cape Kennedy, “Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, liftoff.”
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When you have countdown, there is tension. When the body has tension, it relieves itself and you can fill in the blanks like the bathroom. When you have sexual tension, then you procreate. When there’s tension with a deadline, whether in business or leaving for travel, it causes massive shifts. Not only viscerally for you, but in the way you think of things and how you feel things.
You get more done the day before a vacation probably than at any other time because there’s a natural organic countdown happening. What if you created that so that there was a countdown every time you were working in a prime time setting? I like to set my countdown timer somewhere between 30 to 50 minutes. I don’t like to go any more than 50 or any less than 30.
One of my copywriting mentors, Eugene Schwartz, used to set his countdown timer to 33 minutes and 33 seconds. I did that for many years, but I like to keep it around 50 minutes and take a ten-minute break. The key to having a countdown timer during prime timing by day, I have three prime time hours a day. I don’t recommend that to start with because it’s not a habit yet. It requires a lot of discipline. We’re talking no text, no email, no Facebook, no interruptions from family or friends, no calls.
It’s not easy when you’re starting. It requires discipline. I require three hours a day. I would recommend that you start with one hour a day. It doesn’t seem like much, but it becomes over 225 hours a year and when you triple that, then you have 800 hours a year of sheer productive time that’s prioritized. Important but not urgent. It changes your life. It takes you not only to the next level, but it takes you many levels beyond that.
It’s the perfect day where you’d take back control. When you can do that, prospecting becomes easier. Conversion from prospects to clients becomes a lot easier. Training becomes easier. Product creation becomes easier. Service becomes easier because you are in control. You’re not doing it as a default. You’re doing it intentionally.
The Alexism for this episode is that wild success in business is nothing more than doing ordinary tasks consistently so that you produce extraordinary results. I mentioned tension. Tension is important with a countdown timer. Getting more done faster and better with less effort is important. That’s in all types of performance. I mentioned what they are.
Four Million-Dollar Habits
What do you do during prime time hours other than doing the stuff that you need to get done? For example, I don’t like to solve problems during prime time. What I like to do during prime time is four specific things: intentional reading, these are million-dollar habits; intentional copywriting; intentional planning; and intentional thinking. Let me repeat million-dollar habits during prime timing your day, for me, is about four things.
Intentional reading. I like to set a timer to 30 minutes and read. Intentionally I like to slow read books so I get the experience of the author. I read it four times. I read it once through. I skim through it, then I highlight, then I underline and then I do tabs. I’ve soaked up and extract as much nectar from that book as possible.
Next is intentional copywriting, I liked to write the ads of other great writers such as Eugene Schwartz or Gary Halbert or many other great copywriters that are both living and no longer living. That’s intentional copywriting. I do that for 30 minutes.
Read for 30, write for 30, and when I’m writing with someone else’s already written final version, imagine, I’m thinking like that copywriter. I feel what that copywriter felt. I’m acting exactly like that copywriter acted to sell, in some cases, millions of dollars worth of merchandise. The results I could get is copying that writing. That’s why they call it copywriting.
Many people think this is insane. “Alex, you actually hand write ads.” Yes, and I do it in pencil. You may not even know what a pencil is. I grew up with pencils. They have erasers. Intentional copywriting. I get better at writing by doing that versus writing my own stuff.
There’s intentional planning. I love planning the rest of the week, huddles I may have with other people later in the day, planning an outline of a curriculum, a talk, a webinar, Facebook Live or an agenda. Intentional planning 30 minutes a day is not much, but I get away with it. Five times 30 minutes each week, if you’re planning a great life, is always preceded by planning.
[bctt tweet=”Million dollar habits include intentional reading, intentional copywriting, intentional planning, and intentional thinking.” username=””]
Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular planning. Planning isn’t sexy, but it works and it’s super powerful when you do it properly. You have to set prime time hours for it. I set half an hour.
Number four is intentional thinking. These are million-dollar habits. I have critical thinking time where I’m thinking through negotiations. I’m thinking through things before planning them because everything starts with an intention, a thought. By having intentional or critical thinking time, I set aside about 30 minutes a day to do it. I avoid lots of big mistakes I would have made because I thought things through.
Million-dollar habits include intentional reading, intentional copywriting, intentional planning and intentional thinking. What’s the common word for all four habits? Intentional.
A review about the insights you and I discovered is prime timing your day is blocking out time so you have no interruptions or disruptions from physical human beings, animals who maybe in the house, email, text, phone calls and Facebook. No distractions, assembly line theory. You’re mono-tasking to get stuff done. It will change your life. Next, was learning how to utilize a countdown timer.
This is simple. Set it to 30 minutes, set it to 40 minutes, I set it to 50 minutes and it will maximize your productivity, which has maximum results in minimum time. With a countdown timer because of the tension it builds, you will get more done during that timeframe because it’s like a game, it’s fun. Finally, the million-dollar habits to help you reach your next level faster, it’s about reading, copywriting, planning and thinking, but they are all intentional.
Go back and read what I had to say because it can change the way you do business forever. Remember, these insights could only work for you if you work them. Speaking of reviews, if you haven’t done it yet, I want you to go to AllSellingAside.com/iTunes. This is what I would like you to do for me. I want you to type in your biggest takeaway or a-ha moment you experienced during this episode.
You can do it in the review section of iTunes and when you do it, iTunes will request to rate this episode. I hope I’ve earned five stars from you. If you’ve already done this, thank you. It means a lot. If you haven’t, please do it. It will take about three minutes out of your day, but what you declare to yourself and to the world could provide you with a lifetime of learning. If you’ve already done it, you can write you’re a-ha moment in an index card and please keep it.
As a final gift to you is a complimentary copy of my book titled Alexisms: Useful Life Lessons from a Recovering Serial Entrepreneur. You can instantly download it for free at AlexismsBook.com. It’s available on Amazon for almost $20 but you can get it for free as a result of becoming a subscriber to All Selling Aside.
I hope our paths cross again for All Selling Aside. This is a show dedicated to making an ethical influence within your reach so that you can achieve and even exceed your sales potential. When it comes to selling or ethically influencing others, productivity and priority are super important, which is what we talked about. Do whatever it takes to join me again because our topic is going to be how to influence others like Mahatma Gandhi. This was a special man and he was very influential.
I encourage you to invite a friend or bring a study buddy because it’s more fun learning with others. Please subscribe and give me your review, when you share your rating as well. I can’t wait for you to connect with me then. Bring a friend or a colleague and if you know someone who has English as a second language in their life, bring them here.
I encourage all my students overseas, whether it’s from Brazil, Asia or other parts of the world where English is not a primary language to join into All Selling Aside because learning a new language has never been easier, when you learn how to make more money at the same time. All good wishes.