It's useless to plan your work for the day after the day has started.
That's like deciding to drink more water when the only option available is a fire hydrant. Buckling into the rollercoaster along the way. Tying your shoes while running the marathon.
Your personal mileage may vary.
Seeking solutions under stress forces your own hand. You grab at any available option knowing that none of them are optimal.
The result? You might feel better in the moment, but the relief is temporary. In a day or two you'll return to the mayhem that is your afternoon work schedule.
Take enough trips on this looping treadmill of failure and you will feel helpless.
Even worse, after a few weeks you begin to realize that you are powerless to escape.
Not having a sense of agency at work is negatively correlated with every possible good outcome.
You begin to really really not like work, resenting the challenges or striking out on a path of avoidance. Your career trajectory drops sharper than your portfolio did earlier this year.
One day you wake up to realize:
- You are a professional Netflix binger.
- You haven't finished a project in months.
- Discipline in other areas of your life is non-existent.
How do I know all this?
Three months into my first sales job I came dangerously close to completely burning out.
I loved the focus of the company. The customers I talked to were crazy inspiring. And I was suprisingly good at my job.
The first problem was I didn't control my calendar other than the start, end, and lunch parts of my day. Customers could book at any time.
The zoom break I had counted on in the afternoon would evaporate. One in four calls would bail, leaving ten minutes to establish contact and just 15 minutes to try and get something productive done.
The second problem was the variable reward structure. I didn't set my own goals as an SDR. My target for this week was never the same as next week. And as soon as I hit a target, the threshold changed.
Work was beginning to feel like a bad drinking game that I could never quite learn the rules to actually win.
- Success was fleeting and felt more like luck than any skill I had developed.
- I stopped working out in the morning, as my evenings were full of catching up on work.
- Without small wins, my mood was total crap and my family felt it.
Which is why I want to share this with you.
Planning the first hour of your day to target your top objectives places you back in control.
In the time since my near burnout, I've had time to reflect and research on what exactly happened to me.
As a business owner for more than 15 years, I have been in control of all aspects of my work. For better and for worse. Part of me just wondered if this was me...or if it was what work had become in the internet age.
If I could go back in time I would have told myself two key things.
First thing: "Dude, sales isn't for you."
I thrive building long-term relationships. The short cycle of sales was all first date but no chance at commitment. I didn't know it at the time but now it's very clear.
Second thing: "Focusing on what you can control will help you stay sane and successful."
I let my calendar rule my day and sense of professional worth. In pushing back against the pain I experienced, I overlooked what was within my domain.
By remaining focused on the most critical tasks, you can start every day with intent. By changing this first hour, can you reverse the trajectory of your typical day. Start connecting these days in a streak, and now you are on your way.
- Work becomes something you look forward to doing.
- Start your day on track and already successful.
- Free up the mental space needed to handle the pace of daily work.
- Develop the skills requited to process, organize, and execute all your work.
Success is Not About Being Smarter
Getting smarter is the game that everyone else is playing. Courses, classes, coaches...all good, but required.
Let's invert the process of improvement. Instead of needing new knowledge to get better, what if you could reduce and eliminate your mistakes?
One by one. Tweaking, changing, smoothing out the rough edges.
What used to take an hour with 80% accuracy now takes 20 minutes with 99% accuracy.
I am sharing this information because you need to know that you aren't alone. That there is a way out of the rut you are stuck in. And that you can start tomorrow.
First thing, of course. 👀
I want you to be successful on your chosen path.
As a coach and consultant for almost 20 years I have seen every possible combination of skill and lack of confidence.
Improving your skills develops confidence. While confidence is intangible, skills are measurable. Repeatable. Transferrable.
The 12% Project Launches in March 2023.
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It's a simple and effective method to organize and execute the first hour of your day.