“We are just so impressed by how you manage to get so much done,” the couple said. Long-time readers of ETR, they had approached me minutes after getting offstage at the exciting Underground 8 seminar in Washington, D.C., last March.
I hear this comment a lot from readers of my fitness and Internet business newsletters, but the truth is I have the same 24 hours in the day as anyone else does, and it’s not all devoted to my businesses. I’m not a workaholic.
My workday is between 7–9 hours, just like most people. I sleep 7–8 hours, and I’m outside on the farm or at the beach with my dog up to 2 hours per day. Add to that my 2–hour morning workout excursion (includes the round–trip commute to the gym plus my stretching and my training). And finally, like you, I have some downtime with meals, reading and relaxing, and time with friends. There you go, the day is done.
So how do I get so much done?
My presentation on that early Friday morning was called, “The Right Habits of Success”, and included an essential section on how to triple your productivity. That’s not hype. You literally can triple your productivity thanks to a simple, yet powerful technique that I discovered the hard way back in 2004.
But it wasn’t until 2006 that I truly harnessed the power of this trouble–free method. Since then, I’ve been 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.
What’s the secret to tripling productivity?
I call it my Magic Time.
And the good news is that you have your own version of it, too.
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. All you have to do is identify that time, recognize its importance, free up that time, and then ruthlessly protect it from the time vampires who try to suck it away from you.
Back in 2004 I discovered that my magic time was early in the morning. Each day at 4:30am I would get up and work on my Internet business for twenty minutes 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.
Each morning it became harder and harder to pull myself away from the project I was working on before my real job began. I even worked on the bus ride downtown, and in the few minutes I had between clients.
After several months I was faced with a decision. Do I continue on with this ‘scrimping’ of magic time, or do I make sacrifices to free up the magic time so that I could take giant steps toward my ultimate goal of financial freedom through my Internet business?
You can guess the answer.
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) 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.
I could write articles in fifteen minutes in the morning, but these articles would take me three or four times as long later in the day. I kept my afternoon clients (when I was unproductive as a writer), and spent my mornings creating products and inspirational messages for my fitness email readers.
It hurt me at first, but paid off handsomely in the long run, and it can for you, too.
First you have to identify your magic time. It’s not hard to do, but it just requires a little exercise I learned 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 time 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 (and 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.
More importantly, you’ll also begin to identify your most productive work time. 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. Once you identify it, the next step then becomes crucial.
Now you must foster it and protect it. 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.
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.