This article comes from Entrepreneur.
I’ve asked the following five questions to thousands of my clients, from Hollywood actors to 9-figure entrepreneurs to pro athletes to the world’s no. 1 rodeo star (nope, I’m not kidding). And I love seeing the light turn on in their mind when they finally “get it” and realize just how simple it is to make time for the things that matter most.
Let’s do the same for you.
Billionaire entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey told interviewer J.J. McCorvey that she hates meetings. Despite being one of the most successful and acclaimed women on the planet, she spends only a few days per month in the office and spends most of her time on her 42-acre estate in Montecito, California (which is two hours away from her HQ).
To stay in the loop, she has her team send detailed email summaries with project updates and important tasks that she can look at on her time.
Think about that. Oprah identified something that she hated and then “made the world play by her rules” saving herself a ton of time in the process. Now, we’re not Oprah. But we can still apply this same principle in our lives to some degree.
Arguing on the Internet. Watching reruns of The Office for the third time. Rearranging your office supplies in an OCD manner. Having meetings about other meetings…
We all waste time on mindless, worthless, and useless tasks that do nothing for you – and that steal time from you. Think about what happened if you removed these tasks from your schedules. Nothing would change for the worse. Your businesses wouldn’t implode. Your family wouldn’t leave you. Your employees probably wouldn’t even notice.
In fact, by eliminating these tasks, you would get better results (because you’d have more energy to focus on the things that matter — and more free time on your calendar.
Sit down and make a list of how you’ve spent your time over the last two workdays. What did you do that someone on your team was hired to do? What activities do you (irrationally) refuse to let go? What chores are you doing out of guilt that you hate, should stop, and are not your job?
Be the Oprah of your business. Start doing the things that only you can do. Imagine how far you could go with this Empire Builder approach to your time.
Be honest, what time sucks are you personally responsible for in your life? Is it Fantasy Football? Online Shopping? Happy Hours? Hangovers? YouTube motivational videos? Twitter political rants? Listen, we all have distractions. Yes, even me.
My friends may call me the “World’s Most Disciplined Man”, but that’s only because they don’t see me compulsively “killing time” on Instagram every night before dinner. Sure, my monkey mind justifies the behavior. After all, I make most of my money selling on social media so, “It’s ok to check it again…and again…and again.” But I know this distraction doesn’t serve me.
And I’ve taken strategic steps to overcome it and reclaim that time. How?
Well, writing this article and getting public accountability is one thing that keeps me away from temptations. But there are plenty of strategies you can use to eliminate distractions and get control of your time and life.
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