Identify The MAGIC TIME to Get More Done
“We are just so impressed by how you manage to get so much done,” the couple said.
I was approached by these long-time readers of ETR minutes after getting offstage at the exciting Underground 8 seminar in Washington, D.C., last March.
That’s a comment I hear a lot from readers of my fitness and Internet business newsletters – how do you get so much done?
I know that there’s a question behind that, too:
Do you even have a life when you’re that busy and have THAT much work to do?
The truth is I have the same 24 hours available in my day that everyone else has…
And I’m not a workaholic. I don’t give 100% of my time to my businesses.
In fact, I’ll spend about 7-9 hours working each day – just like most people.
I like to sleep 7-8 hours. Most days I’ll be working outside on the farm or at the beach with my dog for up to two hours.
Then theres’ my 2-hour morning workout excursion (which includes the round-trip to the gym plus my stretching and training)…
Plus I like to have some downtime going out for meals with friends, reading and relaxing, or doing something I just enjoy outside of work – same as you do.
That’s my day – so how do I get so much done?
My presentation at Underground 8 that early Friday morning was called “The Right Habits Of Success”…
And I spoke extensively in one section about how to triple your productivity – and not a word of it was hype:
The “Magic Time” Secret to Tripling Productivity
You literally CAN triple your productivity thanks to a simple yet powerful technique that I discovered the hard way back in 2004.
(Hopefully you’ll add it to your routine faster than I did – it took me almost two years to truly harness the power of this trouble-free method).
Since then, I’ve been working on perfecting my daily schedule and today I’m running on all cylinders thanks to this little secret along with my ability to resist my email inbox well into the workday.
I call it my Magic Time.
And the good news is that you have your own version of it, too.
Everyone does – let me explain:
We all have a time in our day when we are literally THREE times as productive as any other time of day.
You probably already know when you’re at your most productive, and when it’s a struggle to force your mind to concentrate and focus.
If we spend those precious, highly productive minutes checking emails or reading the newspaper, we’re wasting the most valuable opportunity to progress towards our goals.
There’s a three-step formula to creating your own Magic Time routine:
Identify Your Magic Time
Back in 2004 I discovered that my Magic Time was really early in the morning.
I could write an article in as little as fifteen minutes in the morning when my brain was switched on and my productivity was through the roof…
But if I tried later in the day that very same article might take three or four times as long to produce.
Once I had figured that out I would wake up and work from 4:30am for twenty minutes on my Internet business before hopping in the shower and racing to catch the city bus into downtown Toronto (where I was a personal trainer to CEO’s and entrepreneurs).
Eventually – as I built more and more progress and gathered momentum – it became harder and harder every morning to pull myself away from the project I was working on before my ‘real job’ began.
I even worked on the bus ride downtown, during my lunch break, in the few spare minutes I had between clients.
And – let me tell you – I got things DONE by knowing when my most productive time was and putting my most important work there.
Your Magic Time might not be 4:30am. For all I know you get a huge boost of energy towards the late afternoon.
The specific hours that make up your Magic Time don’t matter (although for most people they’ll probably be early in the day)…
What DOES matter is knowing that Magic Time exists – and finding out exactly when that is for you.
You can learn more about building discipline around your routine with the ‘Operator’s Mindset’ in this article.
That led me to the second step to implementing the Magic Time routine:
Get Clear On Your Most Important Goals FIRST
After several months of my early morning routine I was faced with a decision:
Should I continue on with this ‘Scrimping’ of Magic Time…
Or do I make the sacrifice to free up my most productive hours so that I could take giant steps towards my ultimate goal:
Achieving financial freedom through my Internet business.
(No prizes for guessing the answer)
I made up my mind to sacrifice short-term income (by introducing my morning client to other trainers who could service them with the same attention to detail that I did)…
And I devoted as much of my magic time as possible to my most important long-term goals.
That decision made all the difference in the world.
It’s up to you now to identify what you most want to achieve in the future…
Do you want to build a new online business like I did?
Do you want to grow your existing client base by 200%?
Are you already overwhelmed by the amount of work that goes into running your successful business and looking to free up some of your time?
If you don’t know what you WANT, then it’s hard to dedicate your most productive time of day to actually achieving it.
Sometimes, this is quite hard and requires you to delay gratification…
I made up my mind to sacrifice income in the short term (by introducing my clients to other trainers who could service them with the same attention to detail as I did)…
All so that I could have more of my magic time devoted to my long–term goals.
This decision made all the difference in the world.
It hurt me at first, but paid off handsomely in the long run – and it can for you too.
Next, we must…
Take Effective Action To Move The Needle
There were a number of things I could have done with my Magic Time back in 2004 to progress towards my goals:
I could have written articles and posted content online that would have built my presence…
That time could also have been dedicated to answering customer support questions, or studying internet business skills I hadn’t mastered yet.
But the one thing I was capable of doing that COULD build progress and momentum was write.
Magic Time is for moving the needle and taking big, bold, effective steps towards your goal. It’s about knocking out the most important activity that makes the most impact right now.
Write down your important long-term goals and milestones that you want to hit in your personal life and business…
And identify a list of three to five core activities that you can do – every single day – to continually move the needle towards achieving them.
That’s what you focus on in your Magic Time.
Unless you’re starting something for the first time ever and you have no idea what you’re doing or where to start, study and learning isn’t an effective use of these highly productive chunks of time.
If you’ve already got an established business that you’re trying to grow, those ‘Keeping The Lights On’ activities like team meetings or customer service don’t count as Magic Time.
Focus on what it’ll take to get you where you want to go: Build your audience, find more customers, create that new product, market the heck out of it and obsess on what gets progress TODAY.
For me, writing was one of those core activities. It built my audience, brought new clients and customers to my business and made a difference every single day.
Everything else was left to the Magic Time left outside my day.
You’ll notice something funny happen when you take this ruthless approach:
You don’t have to grind so hard or so long to feel like you’re hitting your goals.
That allows you to free up your spare time to take care of your health, be with your friends and family, or do things outside your business that you enjoy.
There’s a compound effect to this:
When you’re not working as much to see better results than ever before, you’ll feel more refreshed and rested and excited to turn your mind to business.
Eliminate The Unnecessary & Unimportant
I learned a little exercise from George Ross, Donald Trump’s right hand man and long–time business lawyer years ago at a Dan Kennedy SuperConference.
George was one of the keynote speakers – it was in that speech that he introduced me to Donald Trump’s time journaling method.
It’s a simple little task that will help you identify your Magic Time, as well as the habits that rob you of your productivity each day.
All you need to do is get a journal or notebook and write down your workday in fifteen minute increments on each line.
For example, if your workday starts at 8am, you’ll have a line dedicated to 8:00, 8:15, 8:30, and so on, all the way to the end of your day.
I actually recommend doing this for all of your waking hours.
Your next task is to simply record what you are doing in each of those fifteen minute increments.
If you find yourself surfing the web aimlessly at 9:15am, write that down. That’s one of the bad time habits you’ll need to fix.
Here’s another article about how to break bad habits and change them for good.
More importantly, you’ll also begin to identify your most productive work time – and when you are at your most productive.
For example, you might find that you can really crank out the work in the final two hours of the day.
That might be your magic time.
You might find that you’re building a lot of traction in your business by writing articles (like me), or doing sales calls, or training your sales team to improve their conversion.
Now we’re matching the pieces together – and the next step then becomes crucial:
You must foster and protect your Magic Time and the concentration you give to those important tasks.
You’ll need to take your phone off the ringer, shut down your email alerts, keep yourself blocked from the Internet, and avoid all distractions.
I’m not talking about taking a digital detox every day – Magic Time is more like a sprint than a marathon.
We’re seeking a massive increase in productivity with one small but powerfully effective tweak here.
No matter what your business looks like, it can survive without you for a few hours a day while you work ON it, not IN it.
Finally, I want you to…
Get A Head-Start
When I was running my fitness coaching business online I discovered that one of the key advantages my most successful customers had was better planning and preparation than ever before.
They took the time to strategically plan out how they’d fit exercise, cooking and other parts of their health routine into their week.
They’d plan out things like meal prep, food shopping or exercise so they didn’t waste a second of their already limited time working towards their goals.
I want you to do the same thing.
Most entrepreneurs don’t have enough planning and preparation – and this starts the night before you begin your Magic Time.
No matter what you work on in that time block each day, give yourself a headstart by writing an outline of what you’ll do BEFORE you sit down to do it.
If you’re writing an article (like me), come up with a headline and a few points you want to cover.
If you’re dedicating your Magic Time to creating a new course, list out the flow of what you’ll teach in that program so you can get right to it when you sit down at your desk.
Andrew Carnegie, the famous steel magnate, knew the importance of getting a head-start on tomorrow’s work before bedtime.
First, it allows your subconscious mind to get to work on the problem for you while you sleep…
And second, it turbocharges the productivity of your Magic Time because you’ll be able to get off to a fast start rather than organising yourself or collecting your thoughts.
Your magic time is priority number one, because you can truly triple your productivity in this time.
It’s so simple, yet powerful.
If you can use this to get more done in the limited time you have for work, it will mean freeing up more time for the activities you enjoy and the people that matter the most to you.
Take your Magic Time very, very seriously.
Identify your Magic Time. Work it. And guard it like my dog, Bally, guards his dinner dish.
Don’t let anyone else get their greedy lil’ paws on your Magic Time. Protect it ruthlessly and you will prosper.