There should be no illusions about this fact: great results come from hard work. There are no overnight successes, despite the way it may be reported, represented or seen from the outside.
We often only hear about the “event” (e.g. receiving seed funding, a buyout, or going public, etc.), versus the actual “process” – the blood, sweat and tears poured into a project to get it to that final “event”. If life were a movie, the “process” would be quickly glossed over as a 1-minute montage, complete with cheesy soundtrack.
To build something awesome takes time – time to learn, time to implement, and time to build and grow.
But where does one find the time? Where do people find the time in this busy world to start new projects? Where can YOU find the time?
You may have heard this analogy before:
What would you do if you were given $86,000 every single day of your life?
The catch is that you had to spend it by the end of the day, every day. You can’t save it, you can’t invest it, you won’t earn interest on it, and none of it will be carried over to the next day.
What would you do, how would you spend it? Dream about THAT for a minute…
Now, what if, instead of $86,000 dollars, it was 86,000 seconds – every day, a finite amount of time that you MUST spend. 86,000 seconds that you’ll NEVER get back, get to carry forward, or bank for later.
Ponding this can be a bit overwhelming. So much so, that it makes me think: I love spending time with my family, playing with my kids, walking the dog, etc. These things fill me with energy, love, pride, and a whole host of good feelings. So then what the hell am I doing spending time doing this other stuff: writing this post, marketing on social media, attending work meetings, watching TV (still a guilty pleasure), aimlessly scrolling through Facebook, etc. These things don’t give me the satisfaction I get from spending time with loved ones.
And what about the activities that are downright hard, annoying or time-consuming.
How can you rationalize doing things that you enjoy less right now, in order to achieve things that are more important to you later?
Case in point: I have a day job that I work at for 8-hours a day (less desirable), so I can afford life’s basic necessities (desirable), to be able to go home to enjoy time with my family (most desirable). On top of the time spent at work, how can I justify spending the minimal free time that I have on “chasing dreams” or testing muses that may or may not provide any benefit to the things I deem as being desirable-to-most-desirable in my life?
Technically it’s even worse than less desirable, because at least with a good day job, you know you’ll be paid for a day’s work.
You need a leap of faith.
You need to have that understanding, belief, and courage to say: yes, this is hard work now, but I expect to reap the benefits later. I will do the extra work, learn new skills, and take action in order to create an environment of potential for good things to happen. And when things start to happen, it appears to others as “luck” (the event), but it was actually dedication the whole time (the process).
Results through “Luck”
One of my all-time favorite quotes is “Luck is the residue of design” first said by Branch Rickey in Sporting News (Feb. 21, 1946). To me, this sums up what I know to be true: you create your own luck.
“I am a great believer in Luck. The harder I work, the more of it I seem to have.” — Coleman Cox (1922)
Work hard, but smart; put systems in place, and collect the dividends that you’ve earned.
How do I personally find the time to put my system in place?
Every day I make it a habit to do something incrementally: write (create), brainstorm (think), learn (consume), take action (implement) – and not necessarily in that order.
I wake up early to read, listen to podcasts and/or write journal entries. While on breaks at work, I brainstorm and make notes. When walking the dog, I almost always listen to an audiobook. And finally, during the evening – after the kids have gone to bed – my homework is just beginning… it’s time to implement all of the learnings I’ve accumulated throughout the day. But it’s not a drag; it’s invigorating.
And when my head hits the pillow, I’m out (and apparently snore now).
It’s crazy. It’s busy. And it almost never seems to be enough. But don’t underestimate what you can accomplish in life’s nooks and crannies. Over time, the sum total is massive.
“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” ― Bill Gates
We’re all blessed with the same +86,000 seconds per day. How are you going to spend it today?
On a scale of 1 to 100… how productive are you (really)? I bet you can take a guess, but it’s more fun to take a quiz! Productivity expert Michael Hyatt has just released this awesome quiz to help you determine how productive you really are — and how you can grow!
The quiz only takes a couple minutes – is 100% free – and once you have your score, you’ll know exactly how productive you are… and how productive you could be. Click here for the free productivity assessment, before it goes away:
Now that you’re considering new ways to find more time – we need to use it more efficiently. Our next blog post is going to focus on some productivity hacks that you can use to get more done, in less time.