The Theory and Practice of 50 Minute Sprints
“It’s a must,” said Matt. “If there is no change in what you do, there will be no change in your results. The key is determining: are you reactive or do you plan the work you have to do?”
The keys he said are “research, enquiry, list and plan. The Planner will always finish first.”
Slow Down To Speed Up
The environment is always perfect for business. Why? Uncertainty is always there. You cannot control the environment – the business environment.
What you can control is how you think about it and how you plan to implement our business.
To achieve your goals, you must:
- Take ownership
- Be Accountable
- Be Responsible
What will defeat you is if you
- Blame others
- Make excuses
- Live in a state of denial about the reasons you are not achieving your goals.
The Power Of Planning and Written Goals
The power of having written goals cannot be overstated, according to Matt. 70% of business people have no specific verbal or written goals; 27% have verbalised their goals but not written them down, so they can be reviewed regularly.
3% have detailed written goals and, according to Matt, achieve 98% of the wealth derived from business. The message is clear: wealth goes hand in hand with written goals.
Matt said his KEY point is having a STRATEGY to achieve your goals, once they are written, but being committed to the strategy is more important than the strategy itself.
(Author’s note: commitment and action will build momentum)
What is a strategy? It is a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.
(Author’s note: Strategies will be amended, redefined and changed as the year progresses and various results make themselves apparent or opportunities present themselves.)
The First Step Is To Decide On Your Top Three Business Goals, For The Next Twelve Months.
The reason it is so important to commit to the STRATEGY is because people overestimate what you can do in one year – but under-estimate what you can do in five. Being committed to a strategy means you can learn to ride the wave, as your business builds momentum.
Habits: control us – so we need to choose to implement good habits.
Discipline: is doing the harder of two things, only one of which will move you closer to your goals.
(Authors note: For me, my three top business goals, for the next twelve months, are:
To be generating $80,000 of income each year from my businesses by the end of twelve months.
Build Stories My Nana Tells to a premium subscriber list of 700 by the end of twelve month
Start recording stories as podcasts.
Remember this, the next time you consider doing something pleasant and recreational – is it moving you closer to your goals?)
Your Net Worth Follows Your Calendar
The more planned you are, the most success you will achieve in meeting your business goals.
To set up your plan, following Matt’s guidelines, you will do the following:
- Use a YEARLY planning folder
- Start by organizing at least ONE full day to complete your plan for the year
- Put your holidays and time out into your yearly plan FIRST.
- Make a decision – this will be your best year EVER.
We are all familiar with the story of how much you can get into a jar or glass – using rocks, pebbles, sand. Put the BIG ROCKS in first – your holidays, your time out with family or for yourself. This gets your priorities in the right order and lets you have personal time to which you can look forward.
The pebbles – the important business tasks will fit in between the rocks (your personal time out) and the sand (whatever you have to do to achieve your goals) will flow over everything else, to take up whatever time you have in your life.
Matt made the point that if you have to learn something new, to achieve your business goals, be prepared for that to take time to learn but that it gets easier as you do it more often. For him, it has been learning to present Webinars – like the one from which these notes are drawn.
Be clear about what you want – not just in $$$ terms, but in other measurable results.
Be super clear on what you want for yourself – more than just $$$ but in terms of life style.
- By How Much
- By When
- By How Often
Are You Not Seeing Success, To Date?
FEAR holds us back.
Most of our fears are not even real – we make them up and then allow them to hold us back. We must move out of our comfort zone and when we look back, we will see the fears have evaporated, because they never were a real threat to our success – unless we allow them to be so.
Do A Yearly Planner – And Choose Your Time Slots For The BIG Actions – To Achieve The Big Results.
To do this, set out themes for your Quarters, depending on your type of business. Do you need to theme around the seasons? If you are a gardener, that makes perfect sense.
If your business is sports related, your themes might be
- Playing season
- Finals season
(Author’s Note: Teachers and educators theme around semesters; fashion gurus will following the seasons, but six months ahead and accountants and financial planners have their themes and events set for them by regular monetary events.
If your business is online, plan your themes around building momentum for a new eBook; a series of new blog posts on a particular topic; the release of a new product; think ahead, rather than just having a bright idea and launching it without any planning or buildup. Create a theme – develop anticipation – deliver with clout.)
Theme your Quarters with specific targets: Money, Goals, Numbers. Keep moving towards your overall yearly goals with every action.
Your planning has to be for next week, next 90 days and for a year. Build momentum – every week.
Weekly Planning – Theme Your Weeks
Start with a blank weekly planner each week and your week can start any day of the week that suits you. Just be consistent.
Decide what activities you need to undertake each week on a regular basis and set a theme style for the week.
- Marketing Mondays
- Scheduling Facebook and Twitter posts Tuesdays
- Networking Wednesdays
- Selling Thursdays
- Blogging, podcasting, webinars Fridays
are just suggestions on how you might want to theme a week, so you can plan your tasks, appointments and meetings (face-to-face or online) to maximize your working time. Get some structure around your week and don’t over commit, in the beginning. If you over commit and fail to meet your schedule, you are less likely to try again.
First write it up in pencil and when you are happy with your planning for the week, copy it across to Outlook – so that it will come up and set you up for the day, every day.
(Author’s Note: or whatever daily calendar you use, but it needs to be something that is going to remind you during the day of what tasks you have set for the day)
Check in regularly, that you are moving towards your goals. Moving towards……… you may get there before the year is up – it may take a little longer – but you need to be moving towards your goals all the time.
Each day you need to commit to completing the following:
- Writing down your Gratitudes
- Speaking your Affirmations
- Completing your set Tasks
- Reviewing your Planning
Discipline and Control Your Mind.
Discipline is a learned habit and the sooner we learn to exercise discipline, the easier it becomes because we see the results, by achieving our goals; our written goals.
Daily Action Sheet
Matt set out a strategy of using a Daily Action Sheet, where specific results are recorded every day. You can click on the picture above, for a bigger view.
- Achieved today (three specific results from completing tasks)
- Productivity – % (your estimation of how productive your day has been, in moving you towards your own goals
- Want to achieve tomorrow (three specific results from completing tasks)
- Grateful for today (five specific declarations of gratitude for your experience of the day)
- Major Goals (three specific major goals for the next twelve months)
Next, write up your Day Planner for the next day – listing no more than twelve tasks for the day; prioritize them in order of their Decision Making Importance and then by priority.
A KEY part of planning your tasks; creating your themes and keeping in touch with how well you are moving towards your goals is to align your focus with the zone in which you are most productive and where you achieve the most for the energy you expend.
Matt says until you have achieved $1M (yes, $1,000,000) in turnover – 50% of your activity should be in Sales and Marketing.
The relative values of Decision Making Importance cannot be overstated, according to Matt.
Major decisions are life changing decisions = 85% of your decision making time and energy, when they are needed – but you don’t make them every day.
Medium decisions are business goals = 50% of your decision making time and energy – but once set, these should not need big changes until you do a yearly review.
Minor decisions are the tasks you need to complete to achieve your goals = 25% of your decision making time and energy.
They are minor decisions, because they are simply the steps you have to take to achieve your business goals. They don’t require much decision making – they are part of the strategy. Instead, spend the time prioritizing them, as A, B, or C tasks.
Don’t procrastinate on minor decisions which will not have a major impact on your life. Filter out what is not necessary for you to do. Think about “What do I need to start saying “No” to, instead of saying “Yes”, when it does not fit my strategy and will not move me towards my goals.
Work From Your Centre Of Genius
Imagine your working time as a target – and the bull’s eye is your planning. Your Zone, where you do your best work.
The next ring is Demand – what you know is both “Urgent and Important”
The next ring is Delusion – what you imagine is urgent but is, in fact, not important.
The final ring is Distraction – what is neither urgent nor important but which distracts you from being in the Zone.
You must remove the “bricks” – little things that distract you from being in the zone. Get a PA and leverage your time and your skills. Make a list of the things you WILL NOT do and outsource them.
Manage Your Energy – NOT Your Time
According to Matt, one hour of inspired work is better than six hours of static work.
Use Your Timer!!
Do 50 minute Sprints.
Be totally focused on ONE task for 50 minutes.
- Turn off your email
- Turn off your Facebook and Twitter
- Turn off your phone
- Turn on some background music
STOP at 50 minutes. Take a 10 minute break.
THEN decide IF you will continue on the same task.
You will be amazed at how your productivity will increase, doing 50 minute sprints. Because what is on your task list no longer requires any decision making to start doing them, you will burn through your task list like never before.
Start with one 50 minute sprint in a week and then build up to one or two a day, in the defined format – absolutely no outside distractions; just doing the job!
- Overcome your reluctance to get things done by committing to the strategy
- Work from your centre of genius
- Theme your days and quarters
- Manage your energy.
With thanks to Matt Malouf – who provided the material for this blog post
(with Author’s notes in italics)This article took five fifty minute sprints – and four ten minute breaks – to write from the notes taken during the Webinar. At each break, I decided to continue until it was finished, because 50 minute sprints are now a key part of my productivity. I include at least two every day, in my planning.
Dear Team GTi family
Killarnee Targa South West has come and gone and what an event it was, this May 2012.
Many of you were either present or had family and or friends participating and will know what a magnificent event the organisers put on in 2012.
The GTi Girls were thrilled to run alongside their new Team Green Colleagues at Thompson Racing and benefited greatly from the team’s collective wisdom and generous support. Mitch and Paul and all the boyz made the girls feel very welcome.
It is indeed wonderful to work with people who share our values – family, friends, racing – and who work as hard as we do to promote the sport, the sponsors and the good times that we are all fortunate to enjoy in this country.
Likewise, the GTi Boyz were pleased to show off the Perana in her first Targa hit out. With a late change in the co-driver’s seat (Jurgen, an experienced motorsport competition driver and instructor agreed to jump in next to Simon given Murray Armenti’s unexpected absence during the weekend) the boyz were a new team in a relatively untested car – and they delivered the goods. The car was a standout with the crowds decked out in traditional Ford racing colours and the [Read more...]
An Invitation to Breakfast on March 9, 2012.
I was fortunate enough to enjoy the exceptional quality of several of the Proteus Leadership Breakfast series in 2011 and in fact took the time to write one of them up in my blog. ‘Fess It Up and Fix it
Proteus have generously offered the opportunity for me to invite nine friends to their first Leadership Breakfast in Perth as my guests and I would like to extend the invitation to you, to be one of the nine who join me for an inspiring session at the Pan Pacific Hotel (formerly the Sheraton).
Richard Dore’s advice to “Fess It Up and Fix It” was an engaging session on empowering staff to respond to customer’s issues and fix them, rather than escalate them; that good customer service pays off and teaching staff how to provide good service is an investment rather than a cost. Empower them, he said, and then get out of the way while they get on with it.
Proteus certainly endorses learning and networking as key elements in developing Leadership Skills This is a gift – to introduce you to their business and their remarkable leadership workshops. I hope you will join us!
Please send me a SMS to 0417925502 to confirm you are accepting this invitation and we will be in touch closer to the date.
When sending emails or written correspondence to Members of Parliament, it is good etiquette to use their correct titles of office and any other suffixes that are appropriate for them individually. There are correct forms of address when contacting your (or any) Member of Parliament, depending on their role in the Government or Opposition and in which house they sit.
The Premier and the Cabinet.
Each Member has an email address (to their official office) listed along with a link to their individual websites through which you can send a personal message to The Premier and each Cabinet Minister.
Their Office Telephone Numbers and Fax numbers are also listed.
The Premier of WA and Cabinet Ministers
All Members of Parliament
Members of the MLA (Legislative Assembly) are in the lower house and from which Government is formed. Members of the MLC (Legislative Council) are in the upper house and review of legislative bills put forward. Members of the current Government are drawn from both the lower (MLAs) and upper (MLCs) and the various Shadow Ministers of the Opposition are similarly sourced.
This list has some excellent options, such as being able to collate:
- email addresses
- office locations
There is a range of search options available as well as the facility to print off mailing labels.
These links provide valuable information about the processes of Government in Western Australia and we request you respect the offices of our Elected Government Members.
Why are we providing these links?
Because Stories My Nana Tells is a passionate supporter of conserving our unique native forests and wildlife and this will be a way to help you contact your local Member of Parliament and the Cabinet to express your views.
Channel 10 Perth News Broadcast after interviews at Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Rescue Centre in the Perth Hills on Jan 16, 2012
These links to the offices of Elected Politicians have been sourced from the official website of the Western Australian Government, with the expectation that should any changes occur within the Government of the day, the websites will be updated accordingly and the information should remain current. Leaving this website to use any links means you accept that this website has no control over the information provided on external sites.
After a short visit to the US, (to attend a financial planning conference) I flew to Canada to visit my two sons and the young ladies who became their wives. By then, all four of them had temporarily stopped roaming around the world and were living in Toronto. In the early hours of an 1994 Easter holiday morning, while a snowy blizzard howled outside, those words spilled easily from my heart and soul to write a poem and a story for my second son.
Pointed, painted Christmas stars,
flags of white marking off their boundaries.
Red-legged bellies span my early morning walk
with webs to catch my steaming breath. [Read more...]