“Education is inoculation against disruption” – Robin Sharma
Time-management strategies are a huge point of discussion of anyone with things to do. With so much going on in our lives it can get hard to find the time to do what is important, but I have always believed that if it is important enough to you, then you will make the time. However, even once you are at the desk, working for hours on end with some sort of project it can still be hard to produce great results. Why is this?
There are two recent books that I have read that have led to a profound mind-shift in how I look at work and productivity. These books are “The Monk who Sold his Ferrari” by Robin Sharma and “The Power of Full Engagement” by Jim Loehr. The basic premise of the two books is that it is not time-management that is the key to success but managing our energy. Before we get into the details I want to stress the importance of reading for achieving success. Robin Sharma says “to double your success, triple your investment in self-education.” After hearing similar sentiments by many successful people I believe this to be true.
In a presentation, Sharma highlights a myth in our society that being genius or talented is something innate to the individual. That Bill Gates was meant to be billionaire, Mozart a famous composer, Kobe Bryant a perennial all-star and the list goes on. But this is a lie told by society to keep us small. Science says that genius is less about genetics and more about how you practice, how you deal with failures, genius is about continuing to develop your craft.
Four tips that overlap between the two books to be productive are to: be undistracted, be an active learner, continue the task through the full extent and that change is intense so we must train our brain. In a world with social media we have trained our brains to process content by skimming rather than focussing on the material, I know I have. Research shows that the average person gets distracted every 11 minutes and spends 2.1 hours distracted per day. If you want to do what only 1 percent do, then you have to be willing to do what only the percent will do. Imagine what more you could do with an extra 2.1 hours a day! You have not only the opportunity to be successful, but a responsibility to reach your potential.
In a presentation Sharma gave his principles of success. First, genius is less about genetics and more about will power. Keeping this in mind it is important to note that every expert was once an amateur, every master was once a beginner. He also noted that this is more likely to be done in a talent hub, suggesting the importance of surrounding yourself with people living the lives you want to be living, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Second, your growth is built around your discomfort. I acknowledge discomfort can be scary, and our natural reaction is to try to get back to comfort as soon as possible, but without this you cannot grow. Growth occurs on the edges of your current state. The seduction of safety is more dangerous than the perception of uncertainty because that is where true performance lies. Next, he noted that it is your natural responsibility to be great, and that creating a life that is legendary is the secret to happiness. Another important point is that the goal is the process, and that it is not completing your goal but what the challenges you faced made of you that is the real value. Be in love with the process of moving to mastery rather than the accolades. Lastly, he noted that the secrets of all great success are in transformation. He pointed out that, success is not about one win on a sunny day but about constant wins day in and day out.
Consistent little tiny wins over time amount to an avalanche of results.