Remember, there are really only four ways to change your life. You can either:
1) Start something.
2) Quit something.
3) Do less of something.
4) Do more of something.
Well, today I want to talk about the last two and give you some ideas on how to apply them to your life.
But first, let me tell you a quick story about something that happened last week.
My wife and I were having dinner with some friends when at one point we pulled out our phones to try and schedule a regular meeting time.
“What about Saturdays?” my friend asked.
“I could do Saturdays, just not in the mornings because I usually work,” I said.
My wife smiled and said, “Yeah, if Josh didn’t work Saturdays he wouldn’t even work 40 hours a week.”
“What?” my friend asked.
He looked at me like he just found out that my name wasn’t really Josh and that I had been living a lie all these years.
This particular friend has a habit of telling me how many hours he works every week (usually between 50–80).
So I’ve never felt like mentioning the fact that I rarely work 40 hours a week (usually it’s more like 30–35). I felt like doing so would put my Man Card in jeopardy.
But now the cat was out of the bag!
“Well, just to clarify,” I said looking first at my wife and then over at my friend, “Those are actual working hours. So when I get up to make some coffee I stop the clock. So those are a solid 30–35 hours.”
I went on to point out that most people aren’t working a full 8 hours in a work day, especially in an office environment, hoping this would soften the blow to my hard working friend.
I laugh when I think about this now because it’s just so silly to think that working more hours is somehow better, or something to strive for in business.
But when I really think about it I’m happy with my decision to work the hours I do, while still finding ways to grow my business.
Personally, I think this is the mindset I need to embrace if I’m going to really make the transition out of self-employment and into entrepreneurship. I must find ways to leverage my time and resources. And “working more hours” is not leverage.
So sorry for that detour, but back to my original idea: if you want to act more like an entrepreneur and less like a worker-bee then spend a few less hours working next week and a few more hours thinking.
Personally, I like to think when I walk. Some of the best ideas I’ve had came to me while on a long walk (30–60 mins). I love those times. And I don’t do it enough. So I’m challenging myself in this as much as I am you.
Work has gotten busier for me but that’s just a sign I need to do this more.
As Greg McKeown says in his book Essentialism:
“The faster and busier things get, the more we need to build thinking time into our schedule. And the noisier things get, the more we need to build quiet reflection spaces in which we can truly focus.”
It’s true. McKeown goes on to talk about how Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn, practices this:
“He schedules up to two hours of blank space on his calendar every day. He divides them into 30-minute increments, yet he schedules nothing. It is a simple practice he developed when back-to-back meetings left him with little time to process what was going on around him. At first it felt like an indulgence, a waste of time. But eventually he found it to be his single most valuable productivity tool. He sees it as the primary way he can ensure he is in charge of his own day, instead of being at the mercy of it.”
So that’s my challenge to you: work less and think more. These two things will change your life.