Many of us have big goals and most of us work hard to achieve them and yet many times we do not hit those goals despite working very hard. There are various reasons why we may not achieve our goals despite working very hard, but perhaps one of the biggest reasons is that we are working hard on the wrong things. We may be working on things that matter but we are spending way more time on things that don’t.
The way to make the most profitable use of your time is not to do more things but to do things that matter more.
If you want to get bigger and muscular, you focus 90 percent of your time compound movements such as squats, deadlifts and benchpress to quickly add muscle mass. If you spend most of your time doing cardio at this stage, it will be a waste of time even though it is technically a fitness related activity.
Similarly, as a businessperson, you focus only or at least mostly on things that make you the most money, everything else is an inefficient use of your time even if you think it is work.
Most organized and productive people have a to do list and having one is very important but many times, the to do list actually kills their productivity.
The reason is that they have added so many things to their list because they think it is work, while only a tiny percentage of that list actually makes them money. They then toil hard ticking off all the things in the list but still wonder why they are not getting any results.
The key is also to do a few things that have a high ROI but do them much more often. That is to increase their frequency. Most people fail because they do a lot of things that don’t matter much, don’t do any of them enough and do them in a mediocre way. They don’t give enough fuel to any of the rockets. So all launches fail!
If you are a wood cutter and want to put food on the table for the day, is it better to strike one tree 200 times or strike 200 different trees once? The latter actually takes more effort because you have to move around 200 times as well but produces close to zero results in terms of getting the job done because one strike won’t take down any tree.
It’s the same thing with focusing on too many activities in business because you are not bringing a single one of them too completion. Or you become so slow that it takes a lot longer and gives you a lot more stress. The problem is that most of your time will be devoted to things that have a low ROI as compared to the main things you know will give you the highest returns. When the ROI is low, it doesn’t matter how hard you work, you are still less productive.
From a profit point of view, it is better to do a few things that matter the most and do them on a massive scale.
- Just because you are busy doesn’t mean you are productive. Just because you splash in the water doesn’t mean you are swimming.
- Ask, “is what I am doing, making me get measurably closer to my goals?”
- If you can’t stop doing things that don’t directly correlate with your goals, at least ask yourself why you are doing them?
Here is the stuff you can spend less time on:
- Non urgent emails
- Non urgent phone calls
- Pointless meetings that can be done on the phone or not needed at all.
- Admin/Clerical tasks that can easily be delegated
- Tasks that can easily be automated.
- And a lot of other stuff that does not correlate with revenue.
I would like you to do an exercise
- Make a list of all the things that you are doing today that you think are work.
- Ask yourself, which of these have the highest Return on Investment (ROI) ? Pick three of them. The majority of your time should be devoted to these activities.
- Now take a look at all the remaining things, ask yourself, how much do activities generate in terms of money (or what potential they have of generating money
- If they are not essential, eliminate them. If they are essential, ask yourself, do they require your presence or can they be done by someone else.
- Identify what your hour needs to be worth. If you want to make 10 lakhs a month and are willing to work 200 hours a month to make it, every single one of those 200 hours needs to generate an income of Rs. 5000.
- Now ask yourself when it comes to any essential activity that does not make you Rs. 5000 per hour, are you willing to waste Rs. 5000 spending time on that activity? Or is it better to use a service or hire a person that does that in Rs. 1000 per hour.
- Delegate everything that can be delegated. Automate everything that can be automated. You will be surprised to know how many automation systems are available for free or for a very low cost compared to the time you spend doing the things by yourself.
- Once you have eliminated/delegated/automated most of the things on the list, make your to do list as small as possible and only stick to doing things that make you the most money AND absolutely require your presence to be executed.
- Eliminate what is not required
- Automate/Delegate what does not require you.
- Do only what is required that requires you!
- Don’t do more things, do things that matter more!
- Finally, do them really well and do them on a giant scale.
About the Author
The author of this article, Anubhav Srivastava is a trainer, author and director of Carve Your Destiny, a first of its kind inspirational documentary featuring some of the most famous personalities from diverse fields, who teach the viewers how they too can make all of their dreams come true. The movie itself has been seen on Youtube by almost 1.5 Million people. Anubhav has also been featured in numerous International and India Media outlets such as BBC , The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Rediff.com, Leicester Mercury and many others.
As a speaker, he has trained participants from various reputed companies and organizations such as KPMG, Star Union Dai-Ichi Insurance, Center of Development of Telematics, Telexcell, National Thermal Power Corporation, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, Telecom Consultants of India Limited, Exide Life Insurance, iVentures Capital, Mother Dairy, members of IIT Madras, IIM Indore, IIT BHU, All India Management Association, National Cadet Corps, Institute of Chartered Accountants and professors from Punjab Agricultural University.
Email Anubhav Srivastava for coaching, consulting or motivational speaking queries at email@example.com. Facebook Profile: http://facebook.com/anubhav981
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