One of the most important qualities of almost every millionaire I know is that they are laser focused on managing their time. Personally, I always have a hard time with the term “time management” because in reality, you can’t manage time. But you can manage action. So what this chapter is all about is helping you master the art and science of action management.
I’ve spent thousands of dollars on different programs and seminars looking for the one perfect time management system. Unfortunately, that perfect system doesn’t seem to exist. But by taking pieces from each one and some of my own, I came up with what I believe is as close to perfect as possible.
What I’ll be sharing here is the exact action management system I use on a daily basis to keep myself laser focused on producing results while maximizing my free time so I can enjoy it with my family. You see, I believe wholeheartedly that because I manage my actions so well, I can get done in three hours what the average person
does in eight. The key to being an Unemployed Millionaire is producing massive results while also having tremendous levels of free time to do what you love. There is absolutely no reason you can’t have both!
Here’s the first golden nugget of advice involving time management. Stop telling yourself, “There’s just not enough time in the day.” Every time you utter that statement, you strengthen your identity as someone who doesn’t have enough time. The more you say things like that, the more you make them real and end up stuck
in this vicious cycle of lack and scarcity. Bottom line—that statement is weak and every time you say it, you make yourself even weaker.
That may sound harsh, but it’s that harshness that I had to use with myself. You see, that seemed to be my daily mantra. Every time I said there’s not enough time in the day, I was shifting blame to something other than myself. I always had an excuse if I didn’t get everything done. After all, it wasn’t my fault! It was the fault of
Here’s how I turned it around. Every time I started to think or say to myself, “There’s just not enough time in the day,” I’d turn it around and tell myself, “There’s more than enough time in the day.” I had to change my internal programming as it related to time. I had to reprogram my subconscious to believe that I had plenty of time to get everything done. When I changed my programming, I made a quantum leap in my ability to produce.
Now don’t get me wrong. Are there days when I don’t get everything done I want to do? Of course. But by shiftingmy internal beliefs about time, I now stand from a place of power instead of a place of weakness.
The first step is taking responsibility for the fact that there is plenty of time every day to do what you want to do. We all have the same number of hours in a day. Time is not the enemy, your belief about it is.
Unconscious Ego Management
Before I get into the details and how-tos of action management, let’s address one of the overriding reasons why so many businesspeople are completely out of balance. This may sound strange, but formany people, their overriding personal values require them to be a workaholic, stressed out, and out of balance. Consciously, they may say to themselves and others that they want more free time, but they’ll never achieve it because it doesn’t support their stronger personal values. Deep down, they actually want and need the stress.
I can hear it now: “Matt, you’ve been okay up until this point, but now I think you’ve gone off the deep end.” Let me explain.
Here’s the game I was running. I would work seven days a week, 80 to 100 hours, oftentimes sleeping in my office because I had so much to do. Many nights I would drive home at 2:00 in the morning completely exhausted and dead tired. But even though I could hardly see straight, I would have this huge sense of accomplishment for being such a hard worker.
The one word that really explains it all is significance. One of the reasons we’re driven to do what we do in life is
based on our core values. At that time, even though I didn’t realize it, my highest personal value was significance.
By being a workaholic, everyone talked about how hard I worked, how much discipline I had, and how they worried that I was working too much. All of which completely fed my ego and garnered enormous levels of significance.
I was always stressed out about my business and how much responsibility I had on my shoulders. No matter how much stress I had, I always seemed willing to take on more responsibilities because the stress fed my need for significance.My brain was wired to believe that high stress equaled important businessman. And important businessman equaled massive levels of significance.
Even though my body was breaking down, I was tired all the time, and approaching burnout, I was addicted to the feeding of my ego. I essentially “got off” on the pain.
It wasn’t until I was completely burned out that I finally opened my mind to the possibility that there could be a different way . . . that I might actually be able to get happiness not just from working hard, but by actually enjoying my life.
Once I finally stopped looking at my life from the inside out, the reason for my pathos became patently obvious.
Watching Yourself in a Movie
Being able to identify what drove my actions came from the ability to identify the “me” I was living versus the “real me.” I believe we all have two versions of our self. There is your ego, what I’m calling “me,” and then there is the real you. Most people live their lives being controlled by their ego, never realizing that there is the real self, or their higher self. The higher self is infinitely more powerful in controlling your thoughts, feelings, and actions.
The real you can watch as if seeing yourself in a movie.
When you put yourself in your higher self, you’re able to watch yourself and separate the true self from what your ego is feeling. The real you looks at your ego and says: “There I am being hateful”; “There I am being depressed”; or “There I am feeling completely overjoyed.”
Once I realized that a higher self existed within, I was able to look at the way I lived and say, “There I am working like a madman and making myself miserable because I’m looking for other people’s validation to make me feel important.”
The moment I separated myself from my ego and realized what truly drove my actions was the moment when I finally had the power to make a shift. Once I identified that desire for significance was my primary driver, I decided to make a radical shift in my core values. I made a list of the values that were driving my behavior based on the way I was living. My list looked something like the following.
Looking at my primary values, it was no wonder I was so completely out of balance. The next step was identifying what primary values I was committed to adopting since I knew they are the dominant driver behind
why we do what we do.
I decided to make a new list that looked like this.
3. Health and vitality
5. Playfulness and fun
9. Growth and learning
With my new set of primary values, I’d like to say that my actions completely shifted overnight. But the reality was that they shifted a little right away, and a little more and more over time. The key is staying committed and focused on your primary values. To keep myself clear on the purpose behind my actions, I keep this list of primary values in my planner to refresh my memory often.
It’s a simple sheet of paper that says: I Constantly Move Toward:
3. Health and vitality
4. Etc. . .
If it hadn’t been for this realization of the ego self versus higher self and the consequent values shifting process, I would most likely still be in the same “work myself to death” routine just so I could feel significant. Based on that shift, I experience infinitely more joy because I’m fulfilled not by significance, but by the values I choose to live by.
For more information please visit: The Unemployed Millionaire
It will look like this: Action Management for Peak Performance