There’s this guy I know. I’ve known him for about 8 years. He can be a bit immature sometimes. But most of the time he’s really impressive.
He finds time management, or personal productivity, really easy. For him it is not a discipline, or a chore, or any such hard work.
He just flows. He is effortlessly focused on doing his high-payoff activities – the key activities that will deliver his goals. He relishes them. He can spend hour upon hour on them and he never gets tired because he’s in the zone…that place where what you do is not hard work, it’s living…like playing the guitar, or driving a racing car, or whatever it is you can do that requires a lot of skill but for you is easy, almost effortless.
He suffers no distraction.
He does not eat when in the zone. It’s not that he chooses not to. It just doesn’t cross his mind. There are one or two HPAs he is not comfortable doing, so he delegates them without hesitation and does so effectively. He makes it clear what he wants and when he wants it done (usually now) and he does not tell those to whom he delegates how to do whatever it is – he is only interested in the result.
All the small stuff sent to drag him off track is as nothing to this guy. He simply doesn’t see it. I was talking to someone the other day and they told me that sometimes when they speak to him he seems not to hear them. He doesn’t react. Or rather, he doesn’t react to them. This person told me, in all seriousness, that he thought the guy might be hard-of-hearing.
He’s not hard-of-hearing.
He doesn’t get distracted by email. The first email I ever sent him – it took him eight weeks to respond to me. Eight weeks. With a six word answer. Doesn’t he know who I am?
How does he do this?
How is it that for him, time management is not a chore, it’s the default? For him, dealing with all the nonsense in life is the chore. He is focused on the goal, knows what needs to be done, works like a demon, delegates like a machine, doesn’t sweat the small stuff and gets exactly what he wants, on time and in full.
For him it’s easy – he has a purpose statement. He blurted it out to me the other day. Well, in pieces, over the course of the day. It wasn’t well formed in his mind but because his purpose is so meaningful to him, wasting time on anything else isn’t an option. His purpose drives him, satisfies him completely. So why would he willingly spend any time on anything that didn’t serve the purpose?
I cannot tell you his purpose…
…but the form of it goes like this –
“The purpose of my life is to be……(put adjectives and nouns here),
and to..….(put verbs and nouns here),
so that..….(put the outcome you want here).
Here’s a (boring I’m sure, I’m just about to make it up) example –
“The purpose of my life is to be a diligent, attentive and effective teacher, and to practice and perfect my teaching skills, so that I am most able to help others to develop themselves and have a more fulfilling life.”
In fact it’s not so boring when I look at it.
Now if the idea of a life purpose freaks you…
…make it for the next 30 days. Or a year.
Today, this guy I’ve been talking about has such a purpose. I expect his will change and be different next year. But today, he has it, pure and true, and that’s why, for him, being effective is a walk in the park.
He’s only 8 years old, as you’ve guessed, but he’s non-trivial. And I’m not saying that just because I’m his Dad. Yes, I’m a biased observer, but it’s part of my purpose to help him stay on his purpose, whatever he defines it to be, because then he’ll find things a damn site easier, and a lot more fun.