If money drives you, think about placing a dollar amount on your day equal to the effort and efficiency you put forth. This is one of my clients’ favorite strategies for enhancing productivity and assessing their performance at day’s end.
For example, imagine a day where you put forth your 100% personal best. What dollar amount might you tag to a day like that? $1000, $5000, $10,000? Let’s say $5000. A $5000 day assumes that every task on your list gets done, done well and delivered. The next step is to assign, according to the time needed per task, complexity and priority, a dollar amount where the maximum total for the day = $5000. For example:
- refining a clear description of your business model = $500
- making 5 cold calls to prospects = $1000
- clearing your desk and planning your schedule for the next day = $1000
- sending out the three proposals you’ve been putting off = $2500
Therefore, accomplishing all these tasks would earn you your max for the day ($5000). Consider attaching greater dollar amounts to the most undesirable, but essential tasks on your list.
At day’s end ask yourself : What did I pay myself today? What did I earn? $500, $2000? $4500? Where did I jip myself and how can make more tomorrow? You can also use a self-rating scale from 1 (total slacking) to 10 (personal best) and resolve the next day to beat the previous day’s rating. If you easily made your quota, perhaps your allotments per task are too generous, or you can fit more into your day and pay yourself more.
Let me know how this works for you! Need help being productive in not so ordinary ways? Contact me at [email protected]
Don’t think for a minute that motivation is available 24/7 to high achievers. Many successful entrepreneurs need to jump-start their day with morning rituals, strong coffee, prayer, lots more prayer etc. Others go to outrageous extents. For example, I met a couple who hired a former Navy Seal to burst into their house, yell and call them names until they finished their big projects… (I took his number, just in case!)
What make these jump-start activities effective is what they do for our brains. These activities release extra calming (serotonin) or energizing (dopamine, endorphins, BDNF,etc) brain chemicals. The release of these chemicals brings us to action. We love the Seals, but they can be rather loud and expensive. Instead, consider a simple, practical and self-driven method that creates just enough spark to get you started − called “A then B.”
1) Select a physical activity (Activity A) that will spark enough motivational juice needed for your must-do activity (Activity B). Activity A should be a desirable activity that puts you in a good mood and pushes you physically a bit beyond your comfort zone. Activity A should take no longer than 30 minutes.
2) Identify the task (Activity B) you need to complete or get started on. Today, for example, I have a boatload of writing that I love to do, but it means a few sets of two hour stints in a chair. It being a sunny and warmer Sunday, it’s the sitting for hours part that I’m not psyched about.
To get my brain’s chemistry working for me, I have elected a winter bike ride (Activity A). It is a physical and mental challenge greater than the mental challenge (Activity B) that awaits. So, today I suited up for a cold and windy 30 minute ride. I pumped up my tires (already uncomfortable) and chose the nastiest bunch of hills I could find (really uncomfortable). As I pushed up those hills, I could feel my brain’s juices ramping up, as I surpassed my comfort zone to the top. I said to myself with a big grin, “If I can do this, then I have the fortitude to sit for the rest of the afternoon and pull off some mighty good writing. It will be awesome!” My KITA (I’ll let you figure out what that stands for) bike ride, gave my brain enough of a boost to hunker down and meet my writing quota for the day.
You don’t need to go to those extremes. Just be sure to add some self-mentoring talk to Activity A as you take a fast walk around the block, or do 25 good pushups and 20 jumping jacks, or bicep curls with cans of tomatoes− something that gets your heart pumping and your mind in gear to execute Activity B.
Let me know how the “A then B” strategy works for you!
Need some help in getting things done well and on time? We can do this! Read more about my Core Four Coaching for COREageous Entrepreneurs. Write to me at [email protected]