XX Your Life

And now for something completely different…

This week we take a break from our regularly scheduled programming. Instead, you’re about to discover a “thought & action” experiment that Matt Smith and I are undertaking. It is codenamed, “Operation 2X“. Let it be a call to action for you…

Think for a moment about how busy you are (or how busy you feel you are), what you have accomplished this year, and what you wanted to accomplish.

Now I want you to do a thought experiment with me.

Right now you are working at 1X. That’s your speed of progress right now.

But it’s time to find a way for you to operate at 2X.

To do this, you need to ask yourself, “What are the blocks and obstacles in the way of me accomplishing TWICE as much in the remaining days of 2013 as what I had planned?

Do you need more free time to write? And by free time I mean finding time when your head is clear from other obligations so that you can sit and create at a faster pace. (Essentially, do you need more “magic time”?)

What about your health habits? Is your nutrition slowing you down? This is often an overlooked component of mental work rate, as any fitness expert will tell you. But the average person doesn’t realize that the fuel they put in their body also impacts mental performance, not just physical appearance. It’s possible that you are sacrificing 1-2 productive hours every day because of your meal choices. That’s nearly a full workday every week, and more than a full work week every month, just because of your diet.

These are the choke points in your life.

And if you eliminate these choke points, just imagine what you could accomplish.

Are there daily chores that you are doing that interfere with your flow?

This is a BIG question to ask, and it takes a BIG mindset shift for many budding entrepreneurs to answer honestly.

I remember watching a video by Eben Pagan, Internet business guru, where he described with near disgust about how an entrepreneur friend of his that still did his own laundry. He was incredulous.

Now that might sound bizarre to you. After all, who doesn’t do their own laundry?

The answer is someone that is operating at 2X (or more) output levels, that’s who.

Someone operating at 2X has done what my friend Bedros Keuilian calls “the 95-5 exercise”. That’s where you take a look at the 95% of activities in your life that you can delegate to others, leaving you with the 5% of critical activities that allow you to achieve 2X output.

The average person cannot even comprehend this thought process. If I explained this to my mother or majority of my relatives, they’d look at me like I was being a lazy, good-for-nothing.

And they’d be half right.

It IS lazy.

But it’s only lazy in that it allows me to work better at what counts, at becoming a 2X operator in the 5% activities that allow me to be a more productive person than all of my relatives put together. (I don’t mean that to belittle their work…but on a scale of helping others, you don’t improve the world by doing your own laundry…you improve the world by bringing elegant solutions to the problems of hundreds, thousands, and millions of people through your website).

That’s a politically incorrect truth, but it is a truth.

So take 30 minutes today and identify the choke points in your life.

Then identify how you can eliminate the choke points on your progress.

You’ll be amazed at how many useless distractions/chores/habits you can find in your life that are literally getting in the way of you doubling your rate of progress.

What you need to do is:

  • Continue to identify, isolate, and integrate MAGIC TIME work into your life
  • Delegate your 95% (this is an almost never ending process & you need to make sure things don’t slip slide away from you) and focus on your 5%.
  • Critically evaluate what tasks are important…prioritize your tasks, develop the habit of being able to focus on top priorities while minimizing distractions, OCD loops (i.e. checking Facebook and email every 20 minutes), time wasting, and time vampires. This is not easy, but then again, if it were, achieving a 2X operating level would not be a big deal, right?

So let’s start there.

And I’ll leave you with one last politically incorrect mindset shift that you MUST make.

Don’t feel bad about this process of delegation and elimination. In fact, you need to understand that it would be worse for you and the world if you did NOT adopt this. It would be worse for you to continue struggling than it would be to fully adopt this principle. Remember the lives of others are at stake here, because you haven’t brought your solution to the world. And the reason that hasn’t happened is because you are NOT yet operating at 2X.

From here on forward you must think like this:

Change your mindset from “I’m just an average person trying to build a business or improve my career” to “I’m a fighter jet. I require specific conditions for ultimate performance. I’m not like everyone else. My performance is superior and more important. I am high maintenance. I require only the best fuel. I am not to be used for insignificant work. I am not a toy. I am not average. I do not do average things or average work. I’m a game changer. I am a 2X operator.”

Switch your mindset, and big breakthroughs will come faster than ever.

I look forward to hearing about your 2X achievements in the coming weeks.

I’ll be working at the same pace.

[Ed Note: Craig Ballantyne is the editor of Early to Rise (Join him on Facebook here) and the author of Financial Independence Monthly, a complete blueprint to helping you take control of your financial future with a web-based business that you can operate from anywhere in the world – including a coffee shop, your kitchen table, or anywhere around the world where there is Internet access. Discover how you can achieve the American Dream and your financial independence here. You’ve never seen anything like this before.]
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  • Great fighter jet affirmation: thank you. And no, I am not wasting my time: I am showing gratitude and aligning myself with a like minded person, both 5%, high value activities, which cannot be outsourced.
    There is so much pressure out there to not be ‘uppity’ (the nail which sticks out is hammered down) and to be average as a way to prove humility.
    Thank you for standing up for the ones who recognize in themselves the exceptional calling.

  • Rebecca Tabbert

    Once again love it. I don’t clean house for this reason, it’s not in my top 5% 🙂
    And yes last visit i asked her to pull sheets off bed and even clean up the bbq. i felt a twinge of guilt but keeping it needs to be done, its bugging me but its not top five. However, I know I can take another look and cut out so much more.

    Today ill start with how I work with my assistant. It’s inefficient.

    And I will work harder to get to bed on time so I have more magic time which is definitely early AM for me. Staying up late for one more thing robs me of precious time in early AM when in bound to get more done.

    Thanks for another great post

  • I like what you’re saying and I agree with it Craig. And it’s doubly true if you can find somebody who feels it’s their calling in life to clean laundry (if they gain personal satisfaction from turning a pile of dirty clothes in to a clean one).

    I’ve been working with solopreneurs for a while now and I’ve brought up this outsourcing concept you described above, and they’d love to be able to focus on their 5% activities but the problem is they #1) don’t know what those 5% activities are and #2) they aren’t being paid enough for them to outsource. I’ve even talked to a couple people who have outsourced the 95% in order to really focus on the 5% and they ran out of money before their activities generated sufficient funds to keep it going (there was a group in my area that really pushed for this idea of focusing on your “soul purpose” and outsource everything else to others whose soul purpose was to do those other things).

    So it would seem that you’ve got to make enough money while doing your own laundry to make this outsourcing concept work and then you can hire out the laundry and really move forward, but is that incorrect? Is there a better way to outsource and really be able to focus for the average individual?

    The concept is great–it’s the practical application that I’ve only been able to apply to those who are already excelling.

    Thanks for the article Craig!

  • I AM TRULY INSPIRED CRAIG!!! That was an amazing post. I feel like running through walls and ripping my shirt off. I have always believed that human performance has never reached its potential and there are way too many people who believe they have hit that potential. This post provides a way that we can increase our potential and do better than we were doing yesterday. That’s all that counts. FANTASTIC!

  • eva

    Well, Craig…super post…I started a business in April and it is now starting to take off…and I have found myself resenting the time doing the basics of housework and meals…because it it taking me away from the business…now to determine how to streamline my life…fighter jet…yes!

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Great work, Eva.

  • Daniel Razowsky

    This article plus the ‘Power of One’ together is really changing my mindset on focusing what I actually want accomplished! As always, thank you for sharing with us.

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Happy to help!

  • Bethany ODell

    So true, My fiance has always delegated or tried to but I am like no way we are paying someone to clean the house and do the laundry. I was a successful Real Estate Broker and work 70 plus hours a week. Yes my house was messy. But, the way YOU puty it it makes so much sense. I will have to tell my fiance that he was correct- ugg!

  • T

    “On a scale of helping others, you don’t improve the world by doing your own laundry…you improve the world by bringing elegant solutions to the problems of hundreds, thousands, and millions of people”

    Now THAT is a quote.

    • Craig Ballantyne