4 Ways to Accomplish More

“I can be a good mom and wife, hit my professional goals, or stay fit and healthy this next quarter,” a coaching client recently told me, as the calendar was about to hit the halfway point of the year.

The keyword in her comment: OR.

It is a conflict many of us face. We have programmed ourselves to believe that in order to excel in one area, we must sacrifice another. Whether it is our professional goals, spiritual life, friendships, family relationships, fitness and nutrition focus, or any other area, we need to stop thinking in terms of “either/or” and start conditioning ourselves to think “either/and.”

Many of my friends and clients are in positions of personal production as well as leadership. They think, “Well if I really want to recruit, onboard, and develop others the proper way, there is surely no time for me to grow or even sustain my own personal sales production.”

I recently found myself falling into this exact same trap. Running workshops in various cities & states and doing business coaching was quickly filling up the 168-hour week. If I was going to take on more consulting projects and also work to build a team of other successful coaches, then I would need to lower my workshop goals. At least that is what I kept telling myself.

What shook me up and made me find another way was the success of my team.

How could I expect them to hit their workshop goals if I wasn’t willing to do the same? I’ve committed my professional life to the simple philosophy of “leadership through example.” Just as in my role as a father, I focus my parenting on the same principle: setting examples.

Of course we can’t do it all. We have to say “no” to certain things or we are the ones who suffer. But there are a few ways we can do more within the time we have.

Here are 4 simple ideas to help keep you from falling into the “either/or” trap:

Hold Personal Conferences with Your Team or Take Phone Calls during a Long Walk.

I got to know the UCLA campus through years of walking it with teammates while I was meeting with them. I found the conversations went better as we walked and we were getting fresh air, vitamin D, and exercise while working.

Listen to Audiobooks.

Do you spend time in a car? Could it be more productive? I love music, sports talk radio, and silence as much as anyone. However, I know the more I learn, the better I can be. I’ve committed that on any drive more than 30 minutes, at least half of it is listening to “growth material” – something that makes me better. Same with any run or hike more than 2 hours. This is a great time to put your headphones in and listen to a book!

Airplane Inspiration.

I fly a lot and find that most people either sleep, read junk magazines, or watch movies. However, some people use this is time for creativity and inspiration. For some reason, being 30,000 feet above ground inspires me! So any flight leaving Seattle is strictly for writing, reading, or working on myself. No phones, no email. Just a good cup of coffee and I’m all set to make magic happen. Any flight returning to Seattle will include some of the same, but I also mix in a little reward time for some personal reading or entertainment because, frankly, I’ve earned it!

Stretch or Workout during Your Favorite TV Show or While Watching the Game.

Some people think TV is evil. I find it great when consumed moderately – usually 60 minutes or less. It can be a chance to relax and decompress. Even so, I still want to make that time count. Just 20 minutes of light physical activity during a 1-hour show will add up quickly, help you sleep better, and reduce stress and anxiety.

The best strategy is to eliminate “either/or” from your life by simply making a decision to quit buying all the bullcrap excuses you are telling yourself!

If it is important enough to you then you will find a way. If it is not, then forget about it and move on or you’ll just keep making excuses. It is incredibly freeing to eliminate certain things in our lives that cause us guilt or force us to sacrifice things of greater importance. If something doesn’t align with your personal vision or goals for this week/year, then ask yourself if you can just stop thinking about it.

It is a victim mindset that says, “If I want to be growing in this area of my life, then I can’t in that area.” Find ways to think outside the dots so you are not sacrificing the things that are most important to you.

What other ways can you think of to accomplish more in your day?

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