Summer Reading Connections – Part II
Another really great article in my pile was by Thomas Oppong, Founder of Alltopstartups. Just look at all the connections for coach leaders who are always needing more time.
START AND END YOUR WORK DAY WITH THESE PRINCIPLES IN MIND
Time is the raw material of productivity. Time, not money, is your most valuable asset. Invest your asset carefully. Begin with building a system to protect your time. Warren Buffett says you can’t let other people set your agenda in life. There are 168 hours every week. Think about that. That is a monumental amount of time. Where could it go? Or better still where do you want to spend all those hours?
Principle 1: Start and end your day on purpose. “Either you run the day or the day runs you,” says Jim Rohn. If you have clarity of purpose every morning your focus will change. Steven Covey once said, “You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage pleasantly, smilingly, and non-apologetically – to say “no” to other things. And the best way to do that is by having a bigger YES burning inside.”
Principle 2: Manage your energy. Your brain consumes 20% of the body’s energy even though it only uses 2% of the body’s volume. This means that when your body lacks energy, your brain will suffer too. Concentration is like a muscle, it needs to rest to be able to function, and it shouldn’t be overworked otherwise it’ll simply burn out and take longer to get back into the swing of things. Build time in your day to take your mind off work and rejuvenate your brain. Work in sprints. Break up your workday into segments with 20 minutes between segments. We know the brain can only focus for 90-120 minutes at a time, so taking a break will bring renewal to the brain to have high performance. A break is biologically restorative. A break may include going outside, a walk down the hall, or a conversation with someone. A simple space of quiet – even 5 minutes – can allow your brain the time it needs to connect ideas bouncing around in your head.
Principle 3: Focus. Today, reclaim your ability to focus, to be mindful of what you are doing and you will create meaningful accomplishments every week. The more focused you are the higher the quality of work you’ll do and the more you’ll get done. The basic principle of success is focus. It is what makes the difference between those who are successful and those who are not, regardless of how much talent, resource, and energy that they have.
Principle 4: Start and end your day on purpose. This concept is not new. Build a work system for yourself. A system makes your goal real – it’s concrete, it gets you moving, and it helps you focus on long-term gains, instead of short-term wins. When you are in control of what to do, what is being done, and what has been accomplished, you will be in total control of your day. Work will be meaningful and fulfilling.
Yes, it’s hard, yet even a consistent application of even small habits will transform your life more effectively than striving for an overwhelmingly large goal without a consistent routine to achieve it. Be committed to building a habit of ‘deep work’ – the ability to focus without distraction. ‘Deep scheduling’ is a grand tool to combat constant interruptions and get more done in less time.
We know as a school leader these are challenging things to do – the work is demanding all the time. So, what can you control – what time of the day – once or twice a week? Being reflective about what you might do and can do will result in major focus on purpose – as often as time allows and it’s a beginning of a new habit that will give back more of that asset for play, for workouts, for fun!