How often do you find yourself feeling unfocused, stressed out, and overwhelmed by the number of things you need to do and end up working overtime to catch up? In all my years as a coach, I’ve heard too many agents tell me they believe that working around the clock like this is how someone becomes successful. But it’s important to remember there’s a difference between being busy and being productive. And if you keep doing the same thing, you’ll never do enough to reclaim your life.
It reminds me of something that the great Earl Nightingale once spoke about – an insanely easy method for prioritizing your duties and streamlining your productivity. That’s what I’m going to share with you in this short blog, and although it might even seem too easy to be effective, I dare you to give it a try and see if it works in your life. It did in mine.
Let’s start with where this idea came from…
Earl Nightingale’s Theory of Productivity and Success
Earl Nightingale was an author and radio announcer in the 1950s and 60s who is today remembered as one of the greatest personal development speakers of all time. (One of my dad’s most important early career roles was working for Earl, where he was responsible for overseeing 1300 salespeople.)
Earl stressed the point that our lives can be reduced down to days. The success of your life, your year, and your month is built on a day-by-day basis. And if you continually have successful days, you’re basically guaranteed to have a successful life.
With this idea in mind, he gives us a recipe for creating a masterpiece day, every day.
The Formula for a Productive Day
Like I said, the idea couldn’t be simpler. Tonight, before you go to bed, get out a pen and paper and set aside five minutes. Then, all you need to do is write down the six most important things you could do tomorrow which would drive profit. Notice I didn’t phrase this as a to-do list full of busy work. It’s not about errands or things you feel obligated to do. This is about activities that truly move the needle.
Next, assign each one a number in order of their importance and rewrite them in that order. When you start your day, keep the list out in front of you and work on the first item until you complete it if that’s possible. If an appointment comes up or there’s something else that’s time-sensitive, get it done and immediately get back to where you were on the list.
And what if you can’t complete every item, or even a single item on your list?
Conserve Energy for Tomorrow
Often, there is simply too much for us to realistically accomplish in a day and we just have to accept that. If you’ve honored all your appointments and done the absolute essentials while knowing that you’ve made at least some progress on your six biggest items, you’ve earned the right to feel accomplished for the day.
So, set the time that you get off work, whether it’s 5:00 or 6:30 (it’s your business) and then stick to your goal and leave at that time, ready to set yourself up for a great day tomorrow. Agents often forget that one of the most important parts of today is preparing yourself for tomorrow and exhausting yourself isn’t going to help. Spend time with your family, do your nightly routine, write or update your six things for tomorrow, and get a good night’s rest.
Productivity is Measured Day by Day
The success of our lives is built by what we accomplish daily. Keep this in mind, because whether we like it or not, this is the small increment of time that we can control. It’s not about what we do one day, but what we do every day and how those efforts build up.
If we’re going to make 2023 the best year we can, it starts right now. All you need is a pen, a few pieces of paper, and the discipline to carry through.
The idea couldn’t be easier, but only the committed will actually try this, and I dare you to be one of them. Good luck!