Yesterday, I spoke about facts, and a real opportunity that will help you change the facts that are holding you back both personally and professionally.
As always, my goal with this blog is to forward along many of the great inspirational & motivational pieces I come across IE: Read - So that you too can implement them into your life, and take advantage of them...
Let me give you an example. Let’s say you and I are going to race from Los Angeles to New York City. We both have planes. You have a 747, which travels at a cruising speed of 875 mph. I have a mere Learjet, which travels at 400 mph. Now, if I fly straight through, but you have to land and take off in the 10 states in between—taxiing, parking and going through your preflight checklist before taking off again—who is going to win? Me. Even though you travel twice as fast in the air, I will still win because instead of wasting time repeatedly stopping and taking off, I just stay in flight. Even if I am traveling slower, I will still win—by a large margin.
This is how most people spend their days — constantly starting on projects, stopping to do something else, and then having to once again go through the process of getting their head back into the project and recapturing their rhythm - We've all done this - including me!!!
If you spend your day “multitasking,” you may not be getting a whole lot done. Days turn into weeks, months, years, and finally into a decade of constantly taking off and landing and not getting very far.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Recently I stumbled upon a strategy called Success Compression. The concept is that you can get more quality output by being supremely focused on an activity, by staying “in the zone” for a sustained period of time.
Upon learning this principle, I decided to start structuring my goals around 90-day cycles. Depending on what I wanted to accomplish, I would break the tasks into compressed chunks within those 90 days — three 30-day cycles.
When I read that my mentor built a large national distributorship faster than anyone else, for example, I've decided to follow his approach and focus solely on recruiting for 30 days.
Focusing on this task, and this task alone, I know I can get into a solid rhythm, getting hotter and hotter each day. I know I can recruit more in 30 days than I could in almost an entire quarter when mixing that activity with everything else.
The next 30 days could be dedicated to training those new IBOs, and the final 30 days within the Success Compression, I’ll be focused on their recognition & sorting leaders.
After that, I’ll start another 90-day cycle.
By compressing key tasks into extended windows of time, I believe staying in flight at the 400 mph rate will not only be easier, but I think that I'll truly start flying faster with the same energy applied and that my success was compressed (time)—and even multiplied (results)!
There is another great value to working in Success Cycles. We can only push so hard for so long without breaking down and burning out. The mind and body desire oscillation. Without it, we will turn to artificial means if needed: caffeine, amphetamines, alcohol, drugs or sleeping pills, etc. You cannot keep an intense focus for too long without time for recovery. When we relentlessly spend energy without allowing for sufficient recovery, we become mental and emotional flat-liners. We slowly, but inexorably, wear down.
Flavius Philostratus (170-245) wrote training manuals for Greek athletes and perfected what he called “work-rest ratios.” Russian sports scientists resurrected his principles in the ’60s and applied it with stunning success to their Olympic athletes. The theory explains that a period of activity must be followed by a period of rest to allow the body to replenish fundamental biochemical sources of energy. This is called compensation.
There are two common problems that affect performance: under-training and over training. Under-training is obvious, but over training causes equally damaging performance consequences that include persistent injury, sickness, anxiety, negativity, anger, difficulty concentrating, loss of passion and mental staleness. Over training causes toxins to build up inside us that lead to burnout and breakdown.
To build muscle, you must use focused intensity to stress and test the muscle. But only in recovery does it grow back bigger and stronger than it was originally. If you keep challenging the muscle without giving it time to recover, you will only continue to break it down.
Ever see a marathon runner? Even though they are working their muscles, they typically have little muscle mass. They are constantly destroying their muscles without giving them a chance to recover and rebuild.
That is what happens to your creative potential if you do not build recovery time into your annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly, and even daily cycles. Without recovery time, you hurt your performance and stunt your growth.
Here is what was suggested to me...
You're going to break your year down into quarters. You'll then pick a main theme for each quarter—one major area of focus. Then you'll break down the three months into supporting acts to the play of the quarter. Then pick a few key behaviors to focus on during each month in that quarter.
Let me give you an example that I read...
During one of the quarters last year, my mentor decided he was going to figure out and get serious about this social media thing. He didn’t even have a Twitter account (didn’t really know what it was or what it was used for), hadn’t been on Facebook more than twice ever and had about 20 connections on LinkedIn. He decided it was going to be the quarter of social media.
Then he picked a platform for each month: Month 1: LinkedIn, Month 2: Twitter, Month 3: Facebook. He chunked it down even further so that for the first three days of each month, He did nothing but learn everything He possibly could about that one platform — how it worked and how to work it.
Then he devoted an inordinate amount of time to that particular social media platform compared to the rest of my responsibilities that month.
The bottom line is, after that quarter, he had built a following on each platform (LinkedIn: several thousand, Facebook: almost 5,000, Twitter: 58,000) bigger and faster than many people I know who are still “multitasking” with it.
After that quarter of focused effort, he spends very little time maintaining those networks, but they continue to grow on their own because he put so much effort into getting them off the ground. It’s like the rocket example: Ninety percent more energy is expended getting it 3 feet off the ground than is used to orbit all the way around the earth. Most people don’t ever expend enough focused energy to get off the ground.
Here is the recommended formula:
1. Pick a theme for each quarter of the year that represents a major priority to accomplishing your overall 2010 goals.
2. Break the quarter down into cycles: three four-week cycles, two six-week cycles or four three-week cycles—whatever makes the most sense.
3. Define the key behaviors needed for each cycle.
4. Spend the first few days of each cycle “launching” the cycle with intense focused effort.
Here's hoping this all makes sense to you. I re-read this strategy a couple of times before it truly sunk in for me.
I am committed to trying it - question is, are you?