Do THIS Every Morning To Accomplish More, Faster...
Plus 4 other tips for smashing your 2021 goals.
As you can imagine, most of my recent calls with fellow entrepreneurs have involved sharing 2021 projects, and priorities, and “Not To Do” list items.
I’m no productivity expert, but over the years I’ve found a few things that help me accomplish more, faster (and I wanted to share these 5 strategies with you).
Whether you’re writing a book (I’m working on my third!), building a company, or getting in better shape, try the following…
Schedule 2+ Hours Every Morning (And Ignore Everything and Everyone Else) To Work On The “Main Thing”
I try not to schedule meetings or Zooms before noon EST.
Instead, I tackle the “main thing” in the morning, and then I work on everything else, for everyone else.
Right now, I’m writing, editing, and promoting How To Build A World-Class Network In Record Time for the next month.
Then, by the end of January 2021, my mornings will be dedicated to fundraising for a stealth real estate startup I’ve been working on since August. That will likely be the “main thing” I focus on every morning until we complete our seed round of funding.
Sometime in Q2 or Q3 2021, after fundraising is completed, I’ll then figure out what the next “main thing” is, whether it’s sales, recruiting team members for the new startup and/or to help operate Meeting of the Minds as we scale, marketing and sales, or who knows what else.
You’ve likely picked up this suggestion from various productivity books, podcasts, or in reading articles on the “titans” like Elon Musk or Steve Jobs, both known for scheduling their most important tasks in the morning to combat endless “to do” lists and demands from staff, clients, press, etc.
But have you actually blocked off time on your calendar to work on your “main thing”? If not, do that now…
Then come back and learn about the remaining 4 strategies I’ll share with you today.
I’ll wait :).
OK. Let’s move on.
Some of the best money I spend every month is with my executive assistants / directors of operations / back office extraordinaires.
It wouldn’t be fair to say they are simply EAs.
The best part is that…
If they are getting things done, we are getting things done.
Whether I’m working on the “main thing” (see above), or I’m putting out a fire, or I’m doing something else altogether, we are still working towards our company goals.
To make Delegation work, we record Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for tasks that are done more than three times (such as preparing an interview to be posted to this newsletter on Wednesdays, or sending reminder emails to clients in advance of our monthly “Deep Dives”, etc).
Creating SOPs and delegating helps us:
avoid spending too much of my time on admin work like answering emails, sending invoices, and creating proposals;
focus instead on “high level” tasks ideally worth $500+ per hour of our time like marketing campaigns, big ticket sales, hiring great talent or developing meaningful partnerships, reading nonfiction business books, etc;
know when to hire interns, assistants, employees, or consultants as our workload expands and as we find more tasks to delegate, instead of bringing on help prematurely and wasting time, money, or trust in the delegation process.
Ultimately, if you can keep your schedule clear while other people are referring you clients, doing important work on behalf of you and your company, and assisting you with your most important projects, then you’ll accomplish your goals much faster.
Create Visual Cues In Your Environment
In my office, I have a whiteboard with monthly revenue and profit numbers listed, plus my quarterly goals.
And at home, we recently bought a Peleton which now sits in the corner of our bedroom, reminding me to get off my butt and workout.
These visual cues remind me of my goals, which makes it more likely that I’ll accomplish more, faster.
Earlier this year, I interviewed national bestselling author Benjamin Hardy (his work includes Willpower Doesn’t Work; Personality Isn’t Permanent; and Who Not How) and one of the things we spoke about was how to redesign your environment to pull you toward your future, rather than keep you stuck in the past.
You can watch our full interview above, but on the topic of environment and visual cues, Benjamin Hardy wrote in Willpower Doesn’t Work:
“The next evolution of high performance and achievement takes the focus off the individual and places the environment at the forefront. Thus, ironically, the future of self-help will not be focused on "the self," but rather, will be focused on the environment that shapes the self. At the core of this new thrust will be the installment of enriched environments.
While you're in an enriched environment, your desired behavior is automated and outsourced. You're fully present and absorbed in what you're doing, whether that's highly demanding work or rejuvenating recovery. Whatever you're doing, your environment has been proactively optimized to enable desired behavior.
Conversely, when you're in an ordinary environment, your desired behavior is not automated and outsourced. In most environments, you must remain conscious of what you're doing, and thus, you must use willpower to act in desired ways. That's because most environments are optimized for distraction, not high performance or recovery.”
Invest In Your Success.
Whether it’s hiring an executive assistant, joining a mastermind group, or training for an ultramarathon (I’ve ran and finished two!), making a financial investment towards accomplishing your goals creates an undeniable sense of commitment.
This is what it means to have “skin in the game”, which means you’re all the more likely to accomplish more, faster.
As an example, I’ve increasingly spent more money on my health in the last few years because I’m trying to build positive, life-long habits.
In August 2017, for example, I was 236 pounds and decided to run a marathon in order to get back in shape.
I told friends that I’d be signing up for a race in January 2018 (see below) and then bought my race entry online the very next day.
By running my credit card, I was “on the hook” to achieve my goal of crossing the finish line of my first-ever marathon and building life-long exercise habits in the process.
In the last 3 years, I’ve spent more money on entry fees for road races, day passes for gyms when traveling, a chiropractor to work on back issues I’ve had since June of this year , buying the Peleton, etc.
I’ve also spend tens of thousands of dollars on executive coaching, mastermind groups, and maintaining a staff of EAs / operations help (above) to help me grow my business and build what many consider a “world-class” network.
Put your money where your mouth is and you’ll get more done, faster.
Tell People You Admire About Your Goals.
Speaking of your “mouth”, telling valued members of your network about your goals creates positive peer pressure and even more incentive to accomplish more, faster.
Going back to the marathon example, the night before I signed up for the race I was at dinner with 8 friends in Chicago and told them of my goals.
I happened to be dining with a pro basketball player who’d overcome Crohn’s disease, a professional speaker who is a US Army Veteran still serving in the National Guard and completing triathlons while pushing his disabled friend in her wheelchair during races, and a few other inspiring entrepreneurs.
The last thing I wanted to do was commit to running a marathon, then go against my word and disappoint my friends who’d overcome obstacles I couldn’t possibly imagine, and yet still found ways to succeed in their chosen endeavors.
Needless to say, I lost about 20 pounds between August 2017 and January 2018, crossed the finish line at my first marathon, and have mostly kept the weight off ever since while running more races, taking on increasingly ambitious work projects, etc.
Posting your goals on social media can also help you achieve them faster, but make sure you do this in conjunction with sharing your ambitions in private with specific friends, family members, and mentors whom you admire.
Then, smash all the goals! 💪
What are some of your big, ambitious, lofty goals for 2021?
And how can I be helpful?
Reply and let me know!
P.S. - what type of content would you like to see from us next year?
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Jared Kleinert is the founder of Meeting of the Minds (motm.co), as well as a TED speaker, 2x award-winning author, and USA Today's "Most Connected Millennial".
Meeting of the Minds curates "super-connectors" and subject matter experts as invite-only attendees to 3 day summits in places like Napa Valley, Bermuda, and elsewhere, as well as “deep dives” such as this Marketing and Biz Dev strategy & implementation workshop. Members of the MOTM network include CEOs of 7, 8, and 9-figure businesses, creators of globally-recognized brands and social movements, New York Times bestselling authors, founders of pre-IPO tech unicorns, c-suite execs from Fortune 500 companies, and others.
Jared's career began at 15 years old when he started his first company, and took off at 16 while working as the first intern, and then one of the first 10 employees, for an enterprise SaaS company called 15Five, which today has raised over $40M and has almost 2000 forward-thinking companies as monthly recurring clients.
Later, Jared would become a delegate to President Obama's 2013 Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Malaysia, write multiple books including the "#1 Entrepreneurship Book of 2015", and speak at TED@IBM the day before he turned 20.
As a highly-sought after keynote speaker and consultant, Jared’s clients range from organizations like Facebook, Samsung, Bacardi, Estee Lauder, IBM, Cornell, Berkeley, AdAge, and the National Speakers Association. His insights on entrepreneurship, networking, marketing, and business development have been featured in Forbes, TIME, Harvard Business Review, Fortune, NPR, Entrepreneur, Mashable, Fox Business and more.
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