Is it really possible to learn how to manage time so you can earn more by working less?
In a word… yes.
I know this because I’ve experienced it. Today, I work half as much as I did a few years ago…
But earn 5X more.
I used to work-work-work until 7pm… 8pm… 9pm at night. I’d then take calls and maybe do some more work in bed (as a grumpy, disgruntled girlfriend lay next to me).
These days I finish at around 3pm. The odd call in the early evening, maybe… but I’m done and ready to pick up my little girl from nursery or my son from school.
I work less than I ever have, yet earn a lot more than in the past.
How the hell is this possible?
It’s all rather simple, really…
And I’ll explain why in this article (and how to manage time), but first I’d like to point a finger at a few folk!
Influencers like Gary V, Russell Brunson and Grant Cardone are to blame. It’s not their fault, per se. It’s not that I don’t like them or think they are world class at what they do (they clearly are world class).
But what they have done is help create an obsession towards “The Hustle”
- Work 80-hour work-weeks because if you don’t, you don’t want it enough …
- Wake early and work long into the night, because this is what entrepreneurs do …
- Work harder and longer, for this is the only way to make the almighty dollar …
You don’t have to scroll far on Facebook or Instagram to see this entrepreneurial mindset of millennials at work. It’s an epidemic that has to stop, because not only is it burning out an entire generation, it simply does not work.
Those who work hardest DO NOT see the greatest success.
You have to work hard, sure…
You have to commit to the cause, 100%!
But the hardest workers take home the spoils? Really… is that truth or fiction?
- If that was the case, wouldn’t the slaves of yesteryear been the master?
- Wouldn’t today’s underpaid public servants make more than 90% of folk?
- Would those on the factory floor doing the work not rule those in the corner office?
We’re tricked into thinking the hard-working hustler is the one who wins.
This isn’t down to down to Gar V et al, for all this began long before them.
Our education system is built on a flawed & outdated notion.
Our teachers today teach in a way that industrialists invented.
They set-up education to prepare the future’s working force to comply, work hard and stick to the rules. It wasn’t created to create the best men and women… they created it so YOU would make them richer.
But again… they are not solely to blame.
In his book, Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari talks about the different stages of human evolution.
Arguably the biggest and most disruptive period is when we transformed from nomadic foragers into agricultural farmers. Before the farm we didn’t work that hard as a species. Life wasn’t necessarily easy, but it was what we made of it.
We weren’t greedy. We gathered enough and hunted when we had to… and then LIVED!
But then the farms came, and with it:
- The early mornings…
- The late finishes…
- The endless hours of graft…
- The mentality that if you worked hard, you got your reward…
So you see, our obsession toward hustling’s ingrained deep within us.
From the continuous bombardment of today’s social media culture, to our upbringing at school and at home, and dialled into our DNA through thousands of years of evolution… we’re tricked into believing hard work pays off.
Hustle hard or go home…
Hustle and bustle or die trying …
Well I say #FucktheHUSTLE!
I tried it and didn’t like it.
Worse, it didn’t pay off.
I lived feast or famine, struggled with consistency and focus, and generally went around in circles.
- More (consistent) money …
- Less hours …
- More energy …
- Less stress …
Life is still chaotic and far from an easy ride, but it’s far easier now because I’ve changed how I think.
I no longer believe the hardest worker wins, or the earliest bird snags the worm.
It’s those who learn how to manage time, think smart and FOCUS… who come out on top.
So what was my Tipping Point?
Simple… this girl:
In the summer of 2017 I learned of Imogen.
I saw her for the first time, inside a blurry image on an old hospital monitor. Rosanna and me would soon be parents to a little baby girl. On top of this, I had a soon-to-be five year old son growing up fast.
We wanted to move in together, buy furniture and have a family…
But there I was, hustling and struggling to earn my way in this world. Something had to change, and that something was me: my thoughts, my actions, my decisions…
I knew what I had to do.
I had to commit to ME!
The time had come to stop dipping my toe into everything, and instead focus and commit to ONE thing.
Be a master. Go a mile deep with someone. Build momentum doing something.
And at the same time… achieve all this while starting work later in the morning and finishing earlier each evening — so I could be there for the school run. so I could help Rosanna. so I could be a good dad …
This was my tipping point.
I opened my eyes and saw what I was doing.
I realized how I worked wasn’t working.
I noticed how I began each day with a fresh batch of 1,440 minutes. The same amount of minutes YOU get each day, and that Richard Branson, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos has.
- World class leaders …
- Elite athletes …
- Serial success stories …
- The best authors …
They all wake up with 1,440 minutes, but some make more out of them than others.
Something else all these people have in common with you and me:
A finite amount of energy …
A limited amount of focus …
Time … Energy … Focus … we all have it, and we all tend to waste it.
But it’s our most precious resources, so don’t you think it’s time you learned how to manage time so you stopped shitting it away?
I decided to when the realization of fatherhood and responsibility slapped me across the face. The stupid thing is I didn’t need impending change to change me. I had the power to change at any point I desired.
Just like you do.
Just like you do Right Now!
If you like to work long and hard, living the hustle and bustle lifestyle… fine. This isn’t for you.
If you enjoy having no time for you or to work on the “big” picture… fine. This isn’t for you.
If you love the standard view of the entrepreneurial mindset of millennials… fine. This isn’t for you!
If you want to know how to manage time so you can:
- Build a legacy that lasts the test of time (not just a business) …
- Have purpose that goes beyond making money and spending it …
- Transform and impact those you serve, rather than merely “sell” to them …
- Have more time for you so you can live this ONE life you’re given …
… I hope you keep reading. I’ve written this article for you.
My friend AJ Leon sums it up rather well, when he replied to my question about what success means to him. To paraphrase, he told me how he cannot fathom it when people say their goal is to make billions or have millions of users (or a workforces in the thousands) …
With your sights set on grandeur this, you can only ever go an inch deep with those you serve.
Whereas AJ… AJ desires to go a mile deep with everyone in his life.
Deep down, I think we all want that.
We all wish to go a mile deep.
We’re all driven to make a true impact.
If all you do is “hustle” you will never go more than an inch deep with anyone in your world.
But if you would like to go a mile deep and do something worthwhile, keep reading because this is how to manage time so you can escape the hustle and grind …
How To Manage Time and #FucktheHUSTLE!
There are many secrets on how to manage time, but a lot of the stuff you read on Productivity and Time Management are tactical hacks that only help if you lay some killer foundations.
That’s what I want to focus on today…
Not the Tactical Hacks. Not the “listicle” items that looks good but don’t achieve anything.
I’m talking the foundational magic that sets you up for long term success.
This is what’s worked for me in my pursuit to escape the side hustle, and I hope it will help you too
1: Focus on LESS ⇒ Focus MORE.
You are human. Not a robot!
Your energy and focus is finite, so the further you try to spread yourself the thinner the layer of magic you’ll create. It doesn’t matter how talented or clever you may be. You can only do so much.
The more things you try to focus on, the less focus you will give to any one thing.
Focus on less.
Focussing on less allows you to focus more.
You can go deeper and create more value. You’ll find flow. You’ll uncover the answer. Your true skill set will shine through. All because you commit to doing less throughout your day.
I struggled with this for a long time!
I’d commit to several different projects at once. Each day, I’d flip between them. I wouldn’t spend much time in any one thing, and I wouldn’t allow myself time to rest or reflect.
- No flow.
- No focus.
- No time for you.
- No momentum.
Once I commited to less projects, less clients and less distractions… the more I could focus on that in front of me and give it 100%.
So focus on less.
The more you try to focus on, the more you have to hustle.
The less you focus on, the easier it is to find your flow.
And once you find your flow… you can break free from that hamster wheel for good.
2: Mastery Exists within 20%.
The Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto once noted that 20% of Italy’s population owned 80% of the land.
Soon, other people began to notice how 80% of output would often come from only 20% of input.
It’s not an exact science by any means, but it’s amazing how true this principle flows throughout life:
- 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your clients …
- 80% of your output comes from just 20% of your time …
- 80% of your success comes from 20% of your ideas …
You can revolutionise your productivity and how to manage time by embracing this principle inside your work and life. What 20% of tasks are you best at? what 20% do you enjoy the most? which 20% creates the biggest impact?
Your mastery exists inside this 20%
If you begin to focus the majority of your attention and energy on this 20%, the sooner you’ll grow and the quicker you will scale. More money. More time. More resources. More opportunity.
Because if 20% of your input creates 80% of output…
… then 80% of your input is basically a waste of time!
That means 80% of what you currently do only creates 20% of your success.
What’s the point!
Get rid of it for it’s not worth your attention. Delegate it to someone else. Automate it. Just GET RID!
Your time and energy is finite. You have none to waste on wasteful endeavours.
By focussing on the 20% of things you should and need to, you free up so much time. You can use this free time to step back and escape the side hustle, create an even bigger impact and reap the rewards.
3: The Most Powerful Number is 1,440!
You have something in common with:
- Oprah …
- Elon …
- Jeff …
- Warren …
You also have something in common with history’s other starlets:
- Albert …
- Steve …
- Leonardo …
You guessed what it is yet?
It’s a number… the most powerful of all.
The number of minutes you get each day. Whether you live on the poverty line or fly in style inside your own private jet, paupers and moguls alike share this in common.
Each day, you get 1,440 minutes to spend as you wish.
It may seem like you have no control, and in part I suppose you don’t.
After all, you need to:
And the reality is you have loads of other responsibilities that you must do. Even so, you get to choose how you spend this time, but the harsh truth is most people don’t spend a second thinking about this.
They work, act, do, hustle, grind and repeat day-in-day-out …
Before long, another week passes. Then a month. Then a year. Then a decade.
Time passes quickly, but time goes as quick today as it did when you were seven-years-old enjoying a long and incredible summer holiday.
So why does it seem to pass quicker these days?
I’d argue it’s because you don’t take the time to appreciate, nor even notice TIME!
It’s the most precious resource you own, yet you flick it from your fingertips like unwanted honey having spread some on toast. After all… tomorrow will bring another batch of 1,440. Who cares, right…?
You should! If you want to escape the hustle and actually live your life… YOU should care.
- Take notice of time …
- Take notice of YOUR time …
- Take account of your 1,440 …
Take control, because if you aren’t in control of your time management then it means somebody else is.
4: Busy Working or a Busybody?
On the odd occasion I used to finish my work by 6pm… I would anxiously twiddle my thumbs and find something else to do.
I had to be busy.
I had to do something.
If I didn’t then it meant I didn’t want “this” enough!
So I’d keep myself working on something all day long, proud of the fact. This is what entrepreneurs do, after all. There’s always something you can work on. There’s always something you “should” be doing.
REALLY? Is this fact, or is this simply your own fear and insecurity?
You know the answer. The busiest people tend to be the laziest of all. They refuse to do the work they need to. They use “busyness” as an excuse to avoid what they should be doing.
So be honest with yourself right now… are you busy or are you a busybody?
I used to be the latter.
To this day I struggle with the inner voice.
I finish early and am tempted to do some more work. But I stop that voice. I tell it to shut up. Instead I go for a run, read or … think.
I do my best work when I … think.
I come up with my best ideas when I just … think.
I imagine you do, too. But if you keep yourself “busy” at all times, you give yourself no time to do so. It ensures you do nothing but hustle and work hard for the sake of it.
Whereas the best-of-the-best realize how pointless this is.
Because it isn’t how hard you work, but rather how smart and effective you work.
5: What The Hell is YOUR Purpose?
Everything — and I mean EVERYTHING — boils down to this…
What the hell is your purpose?
- What are you doing all this for?
- Why are you doing all “this”?
- What do you want?
- Where do you want to be?
- Who do you want to do it with?
As I look back on my last few years I realize I kept busy because I didn’t know what I wanted.
I hedged my bets and focussed on more than I could handle because I had no vision.
I took advantage of time because I no purpose to keep me accountable.
Those who hustle past the point of needing to are those who lack a true purpose.
The biggest change you can make to your life today is to think about what yours is.
- What is your purpose?
- What is your vision?
- What does success mean to you?
- What does happiness look like to YOU?
Once you have this, time becomes that much more precious. You appreciate it more, and find it easier to spot where you’re going wrong.
You find strength and bravery, and the conviction to say NO.
NO to that opportunity.
NO to that bad client.
NO to that coffee.
NO to that noise.
NO to everything that doesn’t push you closer toward your vision.
Because if it isn’t in aid of your vision, it’s at the detriment to it.
You have no time for that.
You have no precious time to waste.
I began to realize all this before Imogen, but I didn’t truly appreciate it until she entered my life.
She stirred something within me.
She AWOKE me.
I saw the light. And the great thing about light is, it makes it easier to see the finer detail that surrounds you. So if you want to:
- Build a legacy that lasts the test of time (not just a business) …
- Have purpose that goes beyond simply making money and spending it …
- Transform and impact those you serve, rather than merely “sell” to them …
- Enjoy true freedom so you can live this ONE life you’re given …
- Learn how to manage time so you can work less so you can earn more …
… Flip the switch and shine a light on how you use & abuse your precious time.
Fuck the Hustle. There’s no value or glory in it. There’s no success hidden below its surface.
It’s a means to an end.
It’s not “the” end.
It’s not “the” point!
Yet so many people are stuck doing it because they only know what they know.
But the great thing about “knowing” is, you’re only ever a moment away from knowing something new.
- Maybe this article is that awakening you need.
- Maybe it’s reiterated what you already suspected.
- Maybe you already knew it, but needed that little push.
Whatever… just make today the day you take control and learn how to manage time
I have no course for you right now, or a program.
I have no Facebook Group to invite you into.
But I do have a book that follows a “successful” but lost millennial entrepreneur who, like so many, got lost in the Hustle as he strode for a version of success defined by someone else.
If you enjoyed these words, I suspect you may enjoy the words inside this book.