It’s the elusive white whale of the business world: how to get more out of less. More money for less invested and more money with less time and human resources invested.
Maybe it's a fool’s errand like a leprechaun chasing after a winged Pegasus Unicorn, but through my research and interviewing many top performers on my Hidden Profit Path show, I realized there are three simple things you can do.
This study done at the University of Texas shows that the way you practice and the focused strategy you use makes a huge difference in how skilled you are and the results you get. The study is a bit dense, so here is an excellent “layman’s” recap from Creativity Post.
The big reveal is the amount of time spent and more repetitions didn’t lead to better performance. The context of where they did their work, how they handled mistakes and “strategically slowing things down” did improve performance.
My co-founder Joshua B. Lee and the other two top performers in this article, Chad Goldwasser and Hal Elrod, share new insights about getting more from less in books they’re releasing before 2015 is done.
Related Article: Motivation First: The Steps to Building a Mindful Company Culture
Meditate and Delegate – Joshua B. Lee Style
Meditation and delegation are not related at all except for the fact they rhyme.
You deserve to meditate because mindset is the foundation for all your results in life. Meditation is one way to “strategically slow things down.” It is a key reset and clarity tool for your mind. It allows you much greater focus after your meditation session. It's like any other practice to build up stamina or increase your muscles’ abilities. The more meditation sessions you do, the longer you can go and the more useful focus and clarity you'll achieve.
Meditate about a recent mistake you made, big or small. Visualize what led up to that mistake and what you’ve learned would have worked had you done that course of action instead. The sooner you can go back and correct your mistakes (even if the only way to correct them is in your mind) the better your performance will be going forward.
Meditate about a big upcoming meeting or sales presentation you have. Visualize the steps that led up to you making successful presentations in the past. Relive those steps in your mind. Now play those steps out in your mind, applying them to the current context and setting of your upcoming meeting. This form of visualization where you pull evidence and proof from past experience is much stronger than just wishing and hoping for the best-case scenario to play out.
Delegation is a huge topic that many books have been written about. The important part of it for the context of this article is your mindset around delegation. Be open and willing to delegate. Have your eyes open and be okay with that little uncomfortable feeling of knowing with absolute certainty that the team members you’re delegating to aren’t going to do their respective tasks exactly as you would. But just as there were many different roads that lead to Rome there are also many different ways to achieve a successful business result.
Transform Your Morning Into Miracle Time - Hal Elrod Style
Early mornings are a critical time with far fewer interruptions than normal business hours. Rarely will somebody call you one hour before your work or business starts. The biggest thing then is to control yourself by not going to social media, not checking your texts, and staying out of your inbox. These activities steal more time than you realize. Set a kitchen timer for 10 minutes the next time you go into your inbox or Facebook. It will probably shock you how much time you spend in those two places.
Doing the critical work that will grow your business in an hour or two before normal business hours is a fantastic way to get more productivity from less time. It’s more like the 95/5 rule that Hal Elrod and Tim Ferris talk about. This is the theory that’s backed up by a lot of evidence that 5% of your activity leads to 95% of the desired results you get.
Hal wakes up at 3:30 AM seven days per week. He’s so motivated because years ago, he was struck head-on by a drunk driver. He died for six minutes and after waking, was told by doctors he’d probably never walk again. He was devastated at first but remained resolute. He was soon walking again and on a mission to improve the world.
One of the biggest things he shares in helping people transform their lives all before 8 AM is, doing those one or two most important tasks instead of getting caught up in the supposedly urgent tasks. He’s created an entire “Miracle Morning Movement” around this concept. Context matters for productivity.
Related Article: Open Letter on Mindful Leadership
Start With an Intentional Wake Up Thought - Chad Goldwasser Style
The wake-up thought sets your foundation for a successful and productive day… or the alternative. This must be an intentional wake-up thought. If you don’t have intention and just allow a haphazard thought to pop into your mind upon waking, you’re setting yourself up for a bad day or at the least a less productive day than you deserve and are capable of having.
Chad wakes up at 5:30 AM every workday. The wake-up thought is the first thing he does as part of his ”Creating my Utopia” mental process. He outlines the specific steps in his book, but at its core it’s about creating a vivid and detailed mental picture of what your ideal life will be like 20 years from now if you create and take consistent action today.
“I’m going to improve the world in one small way today.” “I’m going to present in a clear and compelling way, so their only logical choice is to say ‘yes’ to me.” These are a couple of the wake-up thoughts I use. Chad has between five and 10 of these that he rotates through to keep his mind fresh and excited. Do this before your feet leave your mattress and hit the floor.
It’s a simple little thing but are you doing it consistently? You may think it’s too simple to be useful. Just test it out when you wake up from tonight’s sleep. You’ll likely be amazed at the better days you have when you practice this one simple thing consistently.
You only have so much creativity and productivity in you per day. You can build this stamina and have more creative productivity for longer hours just like working out builds your stamina and makes you stronger. But there is some finite, upper limit. It’s critical to use strategies that fit your style best so you can achieve your maximum focused productivity.
These three strategies can help you recharge and boost your creative and productive mental faculties. They are also big keys to helping you get more out of less.