It’s time for hardcore practicality. So let’s start with the five rules for time management.
Never spend time on irrelevant things
Rule number one says, never spend time on a regret. One of the most time consuming irrelevant things people spend time, energy, effort and simply, their energy and well being on is regret. If I’m doing something and it didn’t work out, if I did something that turned out to be the wrong call, regretting it will not change it. Spending any time on the past, thinking about what could be better if I would do something else is a total waste of time and will block you from making quick, rapid decisions later which is very important. So never spend time on regret, never dwell, never over analyze your mistakes.
It is important to learn from our mistakes, obviously. But in my opinion, learning from your mistakes is dramatically overvalued. Learning from your mistakes is nice but it’s not as effective as learning from success. Because learning from a mistake helps you to know what might be the wrong thing to do, truthfully it doesn’t even do that. Because if you’re doing the right thing and you simply didn’t practice enough or you missed some minor detail or something, it might not work. It might feel like a mistake, even though you did the right thing. This is the way people find themselves, limiting themselves not doing the right things.
For example, think about it, let’s say be in work or in the relationship you trust someone, a huge mistake and then they betray you, they hurt you, they steal from you, whatever. If you overthink, what was I doing wrong? What they have to learn from it? I should not have trusted this person. What is the lesson you are supposed to get out of it? To not trust anyone This is a lesson. Many people tend to take from those situations, “I wouldn’t trust people anymore,” you will end up limiting yourself by doing that.
So the problem might not be that you trusted this person but maybe that you trusted them with something specifically that you shouldn’t trust, that maybe you did not check it well enough, maybe you trusted him, I don’t know. But you need to find the specific mistake and that’s very hard sometimes.
It’s easier, simply do it again, do something else and find something that works. Instead of trying and wasting time on trying to fix what doesn’t work and this is something that I found for myself, many, many times both in business and my career and everywhere else is that it’s better to simply find something, one thing that’s working and go all in on this one thing that works. I think that in my old computer, I had a folder with all the keynotes and I had like 30, it means I actually wrote 30 seminars like one day, four hours, six hours, three hour seminars. At the end of the day, I actually ran only two or three of them more than once.
Because many of them were like I was doing them, not not so many people actually came and it was nice but it wasn’t incredible. So instead of trying to fix it, I simply started all over again and started with something new. Once I found one or two seminars, one or two subjects that actually created a lot of interest, many people wanted to come and I realized that many people are actually getting a lot of value from those seminars. They simply did the same seminar 20 times and only minorly adopted it and improved it every single time. It’s the same thing with every single business, think about it.
McDonald’s is still selling hamburgers. Makes sense. Domino’s is still selling pizza. They have many other products. But at the end of the day, they’re still selling pizza. Because it works. Make sense? So never spend time on regret, try to learn as much as possible from your victories, not from your losses, from the things that work and not from the areas you fail.
Set clear expectations
Rule number two is always set clear expectations before you start working with other people. One thing that will steal your time is doing something with other people with no clear expectations. There’s the saying that if you want to go fast, you go alone and if you want to go far you go together. So we want to go fast and far. So we have to go together but we have to have very clear expectations, we have to let every person move as fast or almost as fast as he would have moved if he was alone.
So before you move in with your spouse or get married, you set clear expectations, what is going to be my part of the deal and what’s going to be his part of the deal? Before we were having children, we’re setting clear expectations, what’s going to be my part of the deal, and what’s going to be his part of the deal? And maybe we are flexible, and we are willing to change it along the way. But we’re setting clear expectations. Let’s say we’re hiring someone or starting a business partnership, what’s your job, what’s my job?
Most managers fail because they don’t set clear expectations with their people. They give them a job description and expect them to simply do something and then when they are trying to do it. The managers many times are over intervening or over micromanaging their people and not actually letting them feel the job description and in today’s society, everyone wants to be a manager, everyone wants to feel good. So they’re giving them fancy titles. But truthfully, they’re giving them no real responsibility, no room for mistake.
So it creates a major conflict because the expectations are set by the job description while the reality is set, by the way you are actually acting. And that’s a big problem. So every single time, you should create clear expectations.
Clarify exactly what you want
Rule number three: clarify exactly what you want for yourself and for others. The more clarity you create, the more power you have. If you know exactly what you want, you will be able to be more effective, more productive and to spend less time doing stuff that is not related to what you truly want. Before I had Alex, who is in charge of every business cooperation we’re doing with everyone else. If someone wants to make a special suggestion to create some sort of partnership with us, it’s Alex’s job.
But before we add Alex and while Alex was just getting into his job, I gave him a very, very clear outcome. I told him, we want partnerships that will specifically help us teach NLP to more people. If someone comes with an offer that has the potential of us teaching NLP, more people, let’s talk about it and if it’s very interesting, you can call me in and I’ll come to the meeting. If someone wants to create a partnership, that will create anything but this specific outcome, we’re not interested. Don’t spend your time on it.
If it’s a partnership that is supposed to make us more money, don’t even bother, nothing else. We want to teach NLP for as many people as possible. The only type of partnership we’re interested in, this was in the start, now we’re a bit more flexible. But in the start, if you are not going in your suggestion, in your offer, get more people to study what we are teaching. Then we’re making no deal. This is what we want.
So many people offer us, tell us, tell your students to come and learn whatever, sales and marketing, extra whatever and we’ll give you money for the marketing, we said no every single time, not because it’s a bad idea, not because I believe that my students should not learn how to sell or market themselves, they should. It’s a matter of focus. If we’re not focused on what’s truly most important to us we’ll end up being very busy doing what everybody else is once.
We have now a really nice cooperation with a community of people who are divorced. There’s a huge community of people who are divorced and right now we have a special course, NLP course, just for people who are divorced that it’s going to happen just maybe 30 minutes away from here and there will be 100 people have them divorced, maybe they’ll hook up or something who’ll learn NLP together and we were willing to pay the person in this community to arrange it. We don’t mind paying for it. We want to teach NLP for as many people as possible. So we need to be very clear regarding our outcomes, regarding what we really want.
This is a very important rule for saving time and this one is something that I know many of you struggle with. Not every single one of you but many of you.
To make unimportant decisions instantly. This rule is also hard for me, I used to have a hard time making decisions myself. I remember when I was on my way joining the army, I had two options.
I could go to the Air Force or I could go study computer engineering and I was contemplating this thought, this decision for, I think six months until the officer in the Air Force called me and said, “You’re joining the Air Force” and I said “I’m not sure this is what I want.” And he said, “What do you want?” And I said “I don’t know.” So he said, “You’re joining the Air Force.” So I joined the Air Force and when they kicked me off the air force, I said, “I don’t know what they want.” So they told me, “You’re going to drive a tank” and I said, “No, I won’t.” They said, “Go learn computer engineering.” So I said, “Okay.” And this is how most people make decisions. They fall or fail to hold the stress from other people so they make their decisions.
So it was hard for me as well. But today or over the years, I developed the skill of making decisions quickly and especially unimportant decisions.
What are unimportant decisions? There are two types of unimportant decisions.
The first type of unimportant decisions is a decision that both the best and worst case scenario won’t have a dramatic impact on your top outcomes, on your top goals, on your top ambitions. Always try to make those decisions instantly. Do you want to wear blue jeans or black jeans? Black. Why? Doesn’t matter. “No, I understand why.” “Okay, blue.” Spend as little time as possible on the minor decisions, spend as little time as possible making an important decision.
Second type of unimportant decisions and I’ll give you a third bonus one. Second type of unimportant decisions that might seem important because they have a big impact. But when both alternatives or all the alternatives are just as good or just as bad.
For example, the people who were here last week remember we talked about it. If, for example, you want to invest in real estate, you decide you’re going to take some of your hard earned money and invest in real estate. I’m not saying it’s a good call or a bad call. I’m not an expert but let’s say you decided it and you are faced with a very important decision. Should you invest in building A or invest in building B. Building A has between 6 to 8% return rate, approximately, approximate that you’ll have 6 to 8% return every year. Building B has 5% to 7% but it’s closer to your home, just a little bit. Unless you’re planning on becoming a professional real estate investor and you actually are willing to create most of your money from real estate investment returns, the answer is that it actually doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t really matter. You don’t actually know how much any of those projects will return.
There is a chance that this project will be more profitable, but it’s not sure and you don’t actually know. It is an important decision because it’s a big decision, you’re spending a lot of money. It’s not like buying sneakers. But still, because both alternatives seem to be just as good, it makes it an unimportant decision. So you can make it instantly. The same is true when it’s a bad decision, when you have to decide between two bad alternatives. If they seem to be just as bad, you can simply make the decision instantly.
Let other people make decisions
The third bonus type of unimportant decision. These decisions you can let other people decide that will not kill you or your business. If you can let other people make decisions for you with the small but very important distinction that those decisions are not going to kill you or your business, you can make them instantly and you can let your people make mistakes. I got or we hired a few months ago, a new marketing director, new marketing person to the company and she looked at the most important assets, marketing wise of the company, the landing page for the main course we’re teaching and she said
“it’s too long, it’s not good. You should make it shorter. People will never read it”
and I know it’s wrong. I know it’s good. I know it works. So I asked,
“Okay, what do you want to do?” She said,
“I want to rewrite it to make it shorter.”
So I told her, “I don’t think it’s a good idea.
I think the longer version will help more people sign up because they will understand better what’s in it. The more information you provide, not everyone has to read it. But the more information you provide, some people actually want to have this information.” But she said, No. Too much information. People will tell themselves, I’ll read it later, they won’t, they forget about it and they will not sign up.” So she asked me this,
“What do you think? What do you decide?” She asked me to make the decision.
So I told her, even though it’s seemingly an important decision because then 70% of the revenue of the business comes from this specific advertising. I told her to make the call but didn’t. I told you what I think, you have what you think you get to decide but you have to decide right now. So she decided to change it. So she changed it and it didn’t work. So in three days what she was doing, she changed it back. So three days we had, I don’t know, a few less sales. But she got a lesson that would cost me so much more to teach her, if I was making the decision instead of her.
If I could tell her to keep the long one. It would stay [inaudible 19:56] opinion and she would always by herself when she’s building new things, we’ll try to make them as short as possible because this is what she believes And if I would always criticize her, she would be depressed, sad, she would feel unvalued, which would be true. When I told her, do whatever you want and she did it, and it failed, now she understands, there might be something in explaining and giving more information to people.
So she tends to give more information to people in everything she does. I knew that she could reverse it and I know that those 3, 4, 5, 6 days and if she would have been incredibly dumb, two weeks, would not kill the business. It’s not like I thought that this page would not work at all, it would simply be less effective, less profitable, less people.
If you can let other people make decisions that will not kill you, when I pack today, to wherever, usually Leah packs for me and she usually makes mistakes. I don’t get exactly what I want but it never killed me so far. I spend less time making decisions, what do I need? What do I need? If there’s something that I know I absolutely need, I tell her, that’s it, very easy, it saves me a lot of time.
Don’t let stuff get in your way
Rule number five is don’t let stuff get in your way. When I say stuff, I mean anything. Usually, the way most people work is they have a goal, be it they consciously actually designed it or they got the idea from someone else and they’re simply pursuing it. But they have a goal, every single one of us has goals and they go for it. The problem is that they don’t go for it for as long as it takes to achieve it. They go for it until something distracts them.
So business I think is the most relevant and the easiest example because most so many people, especially in this area are trying to create new businesses, trying to create new projects and they’re going for it not for as long as it takes to actually build one and sustain one and to make something that actually works. But until their family starts to get upset or until their bank account manager starts to get upset or into someone draws their attention to something else until they put on too much weight because they work instead of exercise. So something distracts them.
The easiest way to make sure that things do not distract us is to try to proactively manage every single area of our life.
For example, if I am going to learn and I’ll teach you how very soon, I’ll teach you how to plan a day, for example, how to plan a week. If I have one goal in my mind, if I want to create a business, for example, if I want to lose weight, doesn’t matter and I plan with only this one goal in mind. It will never work in the long term. There is a very small percentage of people, very, very small percent of the population who can be very happy by doing one thing. It exists. It’s very rare but it exists.
For example, some athletes can play their sport every single minute of the day and be incredibly fulfilled and that’s fine if you are this kind of person forget what I’m about to say. But for most people, in order for us to be happy, we must have everything in check. We must have our family in check. We must have our health in check. We must have our hobbies in check and we must have our career and finances in check, we must have everything in check.
If one thing is out of balance. We’re not happy. If our career is amazing, our health is amazing and my marriage starts to decline. Most people will be depressed, deeply depressed. If their marriage and family is amazing, their health is amazing but their career starts to break off. They’ll be deeply depressed. If their career is amazing and their family relationships are amazing but their health sucks. They’ll be deeply depressed.
So for most people, we must manage everything proactively. We must have everything in check for us to be happy and you should know yourself, are you the type of person like 99.9% of the people who needs everything in check and then you should pay very close attention to what I’m going to teach in the next 10 or 15 minutes or you are the type of person who can do one thing and be incredibly happy and then it’s perfectly fine as well. But most people need more.
So we must be proactively manage every single area of our life, we must make sure while we chase our business goal, for example, while we do everything to start a business, we must make sure that we proactively approach our well being, our health so that the doctor won’t call us in six months and tell us we must come to visit. We must proactively manage our relationships so that we won’t start having difficult conversations with close family members we truly care about because they will think our business ruins us. We must proactively manage everything. If we want to lose weight, we must proactively manage what we’re doing for a living so that the bank manager won’t be pissed at us. So you should be as proactive as possible.