Successful people don’t get more done, they get less
December 12th, 2012 by Agent Kevin Miller
Want the secret to finding time for the important things in your life that consistently get overtaken by all the urgent things? Get selfish. Read on…
People come into Free Agent Academy because they want and believe in something better for their lives. Viable dreams and convictions and values lead them here.
The #1 reason they quit? Well, they say “I just don’t have time right now,” but that’s just code for, “This is not priority enough for me right now.” Which really means, I have my time so filled with other things which doesn’t allow time for this pursuit of freedom and purpose.
Now you’d expect me to give all the pithy statements about “We all have the same amount of time” and “We do what’s most important” and so on. True, but those quips don’t really help us. This is why our recommended first group in Free Agent Academy is ‘Priorities’. Three new members just posted their personal inventory work in there today!
Here is what I find with people achieving success in the important areas of life:
They do less than most of us.
We generally think of successful people as super disciplined and doing MORE than the rest of us, right? It just isn’t true. And they aren’t great time managers either. They just don’t do so many of the time wasting activities ‘normal’ people do, and they are much more discerning with what they commit themselves too.
So you want the formula for getting more time for the important things? Just whip out a calendar and think through your days…listing out your activities and the time for each. List it all out, but especially the scheduled and routine events.
Actually, we’re pretty much just talking about the things aside from basic personal hygiene and work. Out of all the engagements:
- Entertainment (TV, reading, browsing, sports, shopping)
- Kid activities (all the sordid events schools have kids doing)
- Social events (including church and volunteer work)
- Listening and reading to various media, self-help, whatever (podcasts, blogs, books, magazines, newspaper)
- Running errands
Some of things are crap and you know it. But many of them you would rate as ‘good’ things. At the end of the day/week/month/year/decade though…all those ‘good’ things got in the way of the ‘great’ things.
And that right there…is what separates one person with an average/good life from someone similar who is achieve and realizing some truly great fruitions. Not letting the good get in the way of the great.
Hey, I’m preaching to myself as usual. I have 7 kids and live in a small town with a tight community. We’re involved in our church and social groups. And quicker than Santa can wink, I find myself having said “Sure” to so many ‘good’ things, and having no time for the ‘great’ endeavors of my life.
So I have to constantly stop myself and discern and often say “No” to the flattering requests to help lead a church or city event. I say “No” to the kid event where my kid will just be a head in the crowd for 30 seconds while they all mumble some recital. I save up for the special kid events. My kids get far more from focused time at home than me coming to every freakin’ school activity. I don’t run the kids to every thing they want to attend, my time is valuable and the healthier I am overall and taking care of me, the better I am for them when it counts. They don’t need a run-down chauffeur, they need a joyful Daddy. I say “No” to media. No to TV, one movie a week at most, no sports viewing, no newspaper. And that goes for self-help stuff too, most just use it for positive entertainment, they aren’t taking action on it…it’s not changing them, it’s just taking up valuable time. I say “No” to running an errand across town at any time and instead conglomerate my trips to be efficient. Or just do without. I say no to a LOT of good volunteer requests, which is hard…sometimes feels selfish. But I have to know my values and priorities and I’ll serve more people when I keep sacred what I know to be best, then if I just offer myself to anything and everything.
I could go on, but you get the point. We often budget our money, but not our time. And nothing is more precious. The most successful people I know…the people who are changing the world and greatly influencing other’s lives for the better…are incredibly selfish and discerning with their time. They do less. But what they do…counts.
So look at what you give your time to. What you do and don’t give yourself to shows the value you place on yourself and what you choose to invest in. And it will decide who and where you are in the future.
Someone please remind me of all this next week when I’m sprinting around like a chicken with it’s head cut off and I haven’t gone for a run or read my Bible in three days…
If you’d rather hear the show where I expanded on this topic:Right-click to download / Listen or subscribe via iTunes