Over the past few years, I’ve been coaching my eldest son at soccer. This has been one of the most inspiring and exciting experiences I’ve lived with my son. Each year, I have the habit of giving funny nicknames to my players. It makes the kids laugh and creates good team spirit. Over the year, I’ve called my own son Big Bill the Train on the soccer field (his real name is William 😉 ). There is a reason why he got this nickname. Just like a real train, he often takes a while to get up to full speed. While he shows amazing speed and strength on the field; he rarely use it during the first half of the game. However, once the train has started, there is nothing to stop him. Like a train, he will go through the field and never slow down until he reaches his goal. I’m trying to inspire myself from how he plays and become more like a productivity train.
I probably take more breaks than most people – as I’m working harder
When I see my son not giving a full effort at the beginning of a game, it always gets me as a father, but also as a coach. However, I must admit the apple didn’t fall off far too from the tree; I’m the kind of guy who takes lots of “time off” and doesn’t work very hard. I know that my “talent” can compensate for a good part of it and I don’t need to work as hard as my colleagues. Or more specifically, I just work better.
I love my breaks as much as I love to work hard. From September to December, I gave an additional push to my company. The results were amazing while I saw an increase in our revenue almost double between August and November. This is why I barely did nothing in December and simply surfed on my website successes.
Lesson #1: if you work hard, you must take even more rest
During last fall, I was working 2 nights from 8pm to midnight and going to bed around 1am since I couldn’t go to sleep right away. At the same time, I was working full time about 40 hours a week and waking up each morning at 5:45 am to have enough time to run 6km before going to work. Needless to say I was dead before the Holidays. But instead of working at the same pace all the time, I simply took a huge break of an entire month after a rush of 3 months hard work. This method enables me to give an extra effort as I know it is temporary and that I will allow myself some time off to recover and also enjoy the progress I’ve made so far. I’m now up for another round of hard work over 3-4 months before I leave for my RV trip!
I prefer being a sniper than a war machine
I often get the comment at my day job that I don’t give the impression I’m working hard. In fact, some people even think that I’m not doing much when they see me coming into work relaxed with my coffee in hand. Funny enough, I outperform year after year by “doing nothing”. There is also a trick for that; I don’t work for nothing. I’m pretty much like a sniper who patiently waits for the perfect aim to take a single shot at its target instead of playing war machine and shooting everywhere.
Lesson #2: identify added value tasks, focus on them and leave the rest aside
My secret to being successful is to focus on what truly matters. At my day job, it is easy to “shuffle paper around” all day. Therefore, I could work 10 hours a day and never get anything that matters done. Instead, I always start my day with activities that will generate value. At work, it starts by calling clients and reaching out to prospects. Administration work and writing my notes can wait. With my website I start working on Dividend Stocks Rock, providing value to my members. Then, I work on promotional content and articles that would show how much value I provide within my membership website. After all, it is with this site that I will be able to travel in 2016-2017. Funny enough, I will have even more time to work on DSR during my RV trip than I have right now! Answering email is always done towards the end of the day as most of them add little value to my business.
Productivity comes with passion
The last trick I want to share with you is rarely found in productivity books or articles. In order to be efficient, we often talk about optimizing processes, cutting expenses or focusing on added value tasks. We rarely talk about why we are doing things in the first place. I think this is probably the most important.
Lesson #3: ask yourself why you are doing this
I’ve discovered that when I do things I don’t particularly enjoy, I’m never productive. On the other hand, I can work for hours and get a huge amount of things achieved rapidly when I do the things I’m passionate about. It is not rare that I’m able to write over 5,000 words in a single day of working on my websites. This is because I’m passionate about writing and educating people. I get very excited thinking people will read what I’m writing. I want to make sure I help you, I give you ideas to inspire you. This is what truly drives me. Therefore, if you want to become more productive in what you do; make sure you really enjoy what you do!