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Is Work Getting the Best of You? Here's a Solution.

Is Work Getting the Best of You? Here's a Solution.

August 06, 2009

I'm still bothered about a conversation I had with Jay Conrad Levinson.

If you don't recognize his name, I'm sure you'd recognize his books as the father of Guerrilla Marketing. It's great summer reading and I highly recommend picking one up. In fact, he's our featured guest on this month's teleseminar we'll be sending out to Gold Members, but after the call was over he told me something that continues to stick with me '

We had stoped recording the call and like I do with all my guests we continue to talk about some of the ideas discussed and other projects we may be working on. The ideas and energy that flow from the calls are amazing that we usually end up talking long afterwards.

That's exactly what happened after our recording with Jay. He already shared tons of terrific counter-intuitive advice about marketing but he had one more to share.

The secret to a 3-day work week

Most people I know are busy ' so busy in fact that they're racing to get things done.

They're working until 1, 2 or 3 in the morning for weeks and months at a time trying to get everything done. Not Jay. He works just 3 days a week. He's a self-admitted procrastinator and has troubles pulling himself away from the Internet in the mornings to get himself going. But he's still managed to write 60 books, consult to some of the largest corporations in the world, speak at one big name event after another, enjoy skiing and travel the world!

And it's not that he's retiring or just starting his 3-day-a -week work schedule, either! He's been doing it since 1971 at the height of the last big recession.

After working from some of the largest ad agencies and working the typical 9-5 jobs he went out on his own and found he could get more work done working less. How? He no longer had meetings. People were no longer interrupting him with no-work talk. Suddenly, he found more 'on-time.'

This is something I advocate for anyone who wants to get more things done in less time (and who doesn't want that?)

Where are you spending your time?

There are three types of 'time' we need to manage.

1. On time or what I call 'Super Productive Time.'
2. "Off time."
3. "Prep time."

'Super Productive Time' is when you are solely dedicated to a project or a task. For example, everyone who works with Jay knows he's not to be interrupted between 9 and 6 pm three days out of the week. If you need him, ask him after 6 pm. Otherwise, 9 am - 6 pm is his SPT when he dedicates all his time to writing and working with clients so he can spend that time being the most productive.

'Off time' is just like it sounds. But here' the key, 'off time' does not mean you're checking your email or returning messages while you're away from the office. 'Off time' is just that. I just got back from vacation for instance and I didn't check messages, email or talk to anyone from the office. That time was my 'off time' so I could be 'on' with my family, recharge my batteries and rest. You're 'off time' is just as valuable as your 'on time' because you need that time to rest, meditate and enjoy living.

'Prep time' is also important and is often overlooked. You can't just be super productive or off. There are other tasks that have to be done such as research a topic for a presentation, prepare background material for a meeting with a client, place orders, follow up with phone calls or emails, etc. This is all PT ' it's time you need to prepare for your 'on time.'

The question is where are you spending most of your time? Most people find themselves working mostly on prep time or in none of the three categories I described, which is simply just wasted time. Start looking at your time in one of these 3 categories and you'll soon start to see how you can eliminate or delegate time spent on things that don't matter as much so you can commit to being super productive.

Jay's 3-day work week may not be that far-fetched after all.

Taking you from where you are to where you want to go,

Jon Goldman, CEO