It’s All About Playing Offense
I use the term “Playing Offense” to symbolize taking control of life. The sad reality is that most people don’t control their life, rather they react to it. This is particularly true when it comes to day to day business.
A reactionary mode leads to low productivity and high stress as one moves from “fire” to “fire” and is forced to work longer hours accomplishing projects and tasks that they did not have time for earlier in the day.
Successful Business People Do It Differently
Do you know or work with someone who always seems to have low stress, is constantly one of the most productive people in the office yet, doesn’t put in a ton of hours?
Most of us know a few people like this. Normally we dismiss them as having an easy job (or at least having photos of someone……), but the truth is these people are part of the one percent that truly are in control of their day.
All It Take Is Five Things
The good news is that anyone can transition from being “reactive” into “owning” the day. All it takes is dedicating oneself to the five incredible powerful things successful people do every morning:
There is tremendous pressure to get out of bed the minute the alarm goes off (or least after the third “snooze” cycle), get up and charge into the day. However, successful people ground themselves with 15 or 20 minutes of meditation, whether it be prayer, reflection, or chanting.
Meditating allows you to start the day well centered and with a clear head.
The health and mental benefits of exercise has been backed up by so much research that it can almost be taken as fact. However, here’s a less cited benefit of exercising daily: it gives you time to think.
When you have time to think you can formulate solutions to projects, problems or initiatives your currently working on. This allows you to walk into the office one step ahead of the issues likely to be thrown at you.
I would argue that the second most powerful thing successful business people do is each morning is make a list of the 2 – 3 top priorities they need to accomplish that day.
Notice I said 2 -3. Beyond that, mental fatigue and the normal course of business (meetings, phone calls, fires) seal one’s attention.
Prioritizing clarifies the critical few items that need to get done that day which is why it’s the second most powerful thing successful people do.
Which brings me to the first:
The Most Important Things Come First
Successful people don’t start their day with e-mail, the internet or chatting. Rather, they start their day by working on their 2 -3 top priorities. This allows them to address the most important things when they are mentally fresh and focused.
Getting the top priorities done first ensures steady progress toward accomplishing goals, projects and initiatives.
They Consciously Build A Network
Business doesn’t get done without engaging other people. Successful people consciously allocate time each morning to building relationships across their organization (finance, logistics, marketing, etc). These people help their effectiveness by:
- Providing insights and advice
- Allowing them to build cross functional teams to help address issues
I’ve often said, I’m not the most talented person in my organization, but I am the most connected. Which is why I’m able to get things done.
By now you’ve realized that the items above take time. But here’s the key: It’s not about spending more hours doing these things, it’s about using the time you have more effectively.
Dedicate yourself to the five key behaviors for 30 days and it will transform your professional life. At first it will be tough as you break old, well established habits. But the long term reward will be worth the short term pain.