I admit it… It’s unusual.
Running a business in 2 hours work per day, with little desire to work more, is unusual to say the least.
I’ve dedicated a large portion of my time to mastering minimizing work.
... The lazy science: I.e. getting stuff done as good and as efficiently as possible.
In fact- People ask me all the time:
“Rob, what do you do? I never see you work.”
They’re wrong. Because I do work of course, I just work smart.
And many would say I have indeed got it down to a science. A science I’m about to give you.
These 7 life hacks are of use to everyone: Whether it’s an internet business you own OR group of optician practices OR setting up your first website OR providing services like photography OR even useful tips for studying through college.
Often people make the mistake of assuming this only applies to an ‘internet business’. That’s not true, these principles have helped many of my friends across many different industries… Because with the right plan and staff in place, almost any business can be run in a extremely focused few hours a day.
NOTE: I will not waste your time with buzz words like ‘10xing your business’, ’vision boards’ or ‘sticking to goals’. We all know we need goals, I won’t repeat stuff you’ve heard a thousand times over. I’ll only present real techniques I use every day.
So, how do I run my business working less than 2 hours a day?
Step 1 – OFF your communication.
If you’re going hard (and you’ll need to focus in order to get everything done in 2 hours flat), then you’ll need to achieve a new level of focus.
So let’s cut the crap right here-
Texting, talking and working don’t mix, especially with quality work.
We all do it, and as joyful as it is to have an excuse to procrastinate every few minutes… It massively interrupts your creative process and work flow. Example:
Page written uninterrupted. Time elapsed – 15 minutes.
Page written with texting breaks. Time elapsed – 90 minutes.
The difference is staggering.
So please, turn your phone off, or put it somewhere not in immediate reach.
You can’t be texting that new girl or guy you’re seeing and expect to focus on your latest project… It’s just not going to work. Stop kidding yourself and put the restriction in place now.
Hard rule: Turn off your phone or put it on silent in a drawer when you’re working.
This one tip alone will help you IMMENSELY if you can follow it through.
Step 2 – Proactive first, reactive later.
It is critical to your success that you realize the difference between proactive and reactive work.
Proactive is strategizing your latest takeover.
Reactive is replying to emails and the daily tasks that keep your business ticking over.
When your energy and focus is at it’s highest, you must use the time. It’s a gift. Be proactive. Doing ANY reactive work during this time is simply a waste.
Get to the meat FIRST and leave the filler for later. And if you’ve got so much ‘filler’ that it clouds your mind from the good stuff, then your running your company wrong- It’s time to hire an assistant or an employee for whatever is DRAINING most of your time.
I always do proactive work as a priority, and save the reactive for when I’m feeling tired. Because it requires significantly less focus, and can be done kind of ‘half assed’.
Stop taking forever to answer each email or muck around fixing things that are already ‘good enough’…
Stop procrastinating and focus on the REAL stuff you need to be doing – Whether that’s studying up on the latest techniques, building affiliate websites or getting new clients for your consulting company.
Step 3 – The computer is for work. Nothing else.
This is a big one.
In order to cut down your work day to 2 hours, your computer needs to become a tool for work, communication and nothing else.
Stop wasting time on facebook, stop messing around on Skype and for heavens sake STOP watching youtube or other more ‘adult’ videos.
Then when you do sit down at the computer, all there will be to do is get stuff done.
No more distractions. And the best part is your brain will actually become accustomed to this and you’ll become more productive.
Now I’ll admit I’m a bit loose on this one and do often get distracted watching football clips on Youtube (my one vice) but hey… I do my best
Step 4- Claim back your lost hours by hiring… smart.
For the business owners among you, this is huge.
… And I’m not talking about hiring ‘good quality employees’. I think that’s an obvious one and like I said, I’m not going to waste your time with mediocre advice.
Obviously though, quick note: Be very selective when hiring a new individual. Hiring a bad (or lazy) egg can often go fully un-noticed how badly they are performing for YEARS and can cost even a small business hundreds of thousands in lost productivity.
But no, the tip I want to give you here, is hire with one goal in mind- To give YOURSELF back hours in the day.
We’re all guilty of it at one point:
That one stupid activity you find yourself doing over and over, that takes up all your time, and takes time AWAY from doing the proactive good work.
Whether it’s graphic design…
All these things, likely pretty much EVERYTHING you do (expect big decisions and networking) can be done by someone else if you hire someone of sufficient skill.
It’s a mad concept. But think about it for a second.
And providing your business is stable and can support another staff member, then you’re only doing yourself a DIS-service by not hiring an extra person.
Because you’re spending your time doing tasks that could be done by someone else which would free up your time to do more important things, like work on new projects and ideas. Or heck, more time to sit around and do nothing, if you’re more the content-with-what-you’ve-got type.
Step 5 – Designate a ‘work time’ each day and be REALISTIC.
Did you know the first 45 minutes when you wake up is when your brain is at it’s most creative state for the day?
In fact, this is often when I like to get new projects (proactive work) underway. In the mornings.
And then there’s times when you shouldn’t work at all.
For example, I can’t work at night anymore.
… I don’t know why, I just get tired. I want to socialize or chill out in the evening. The last thing I want to do is sit staring at a screen hoping for pages to come to life.
So now, unless it’s an emergency, I don’t.
And it’s that simple! Pick the times of day you feel most inspired and most full of energy and designate THAT as your work time. The morning is great because your mind is fresh and you get it out of the way ready for an enjoyable rest of the day.
At the same time, be STRICT with yourself. Like the last point, If you’re sitting down for 2 hours to work, then you better work. Don’t sit there for half of that time browsing Facebook.
Step 6 – Getting inspired by increasing your alone time.
Creativity and inspiration have been the life blood of my business.
I’m not talking about painting. Coming up with new ideas is the key not only to the growth of your business, but it’s very survival.
Whatever your game is, you need to stay on top of it. Ahead of the curve.
And this is my number one secret for getting inspired and being creative right here. Every one of my business ideas have stemmed from alone time like this.
Without question, uninterrupted long stints alone are when I get my absolute BEST work done. These are great inspirational and reflective times for any business owner.
There are numerous ways you can achieve this:
A few days away from your ordinary life can have a phenomenal effect. New surroundings and none of your usual distractions can give you some great ideas.
Go for a walk. So simple but so effective. There’s no better way to break procrastination like this. Exercise triggers the brain and allows the mind to focus much clearer when you do find yourself once more in front of the computer.
Or you can do this without going anywhere. Spend at least an hour in your own office or at home on your own each day. This is critical to you analyzing and running a successful business.
Don’t underestimate this, you need to be strict and give the mind ROOM to wander, only then will it present you with new ideas and opportunities.
Step 7 – Reward.
Yep, you’ve worked a solid 2 hours…? If it’s been 2 hours of intense brain activity with no breaks… Then you’ve earned it. Seriously.
Even though it might seem ridiculous, 2 hours of PROPER work can be a long time. And it’s important you reward yourself.
Try something outside too.
I can’t tell you how hard it is to sit around watching movies and then to transition back to working, especially if you’re still at home.
You need to get out, in order to be focused when your sitting down.
Exercise if you can. It really does help IMMENSELY with work. It doesn’t have to be an all out 2 hour triathlon. But even a walk in the park will help with your mental clarity, so that when you do sit down, you’ll be focused and ready to kick the days ass.
These are the seven simple every day principles I always try to utilize to enable me to run my businesses in just 2 hours a day.
They may seem simple on paper, but have the discipline to actually put them into action and your business will reap huge rewards.
It’s all about the discipline:
You must actually use these for them to have an effect.
Go ahead, try one or two of them out. If it helps, just commit to doing it for a week at this stage. But start it now, and I guarantee you’ll notice an effect quite profound.