Structure. Equals. Freedom.
What? How does that make any sense?
When most people hear, "Structure equals freedom," it confuses them as the word structure conjures up thoughts of limitations or making people follow certain terms or rules, etc. But that is not the structure I am talking about. I am talking about the structure you implement into your life that allows you to regain control and freedom on your terms.
Most people don't take the time to plan and decide what they will or won't do on a weekly basis and thus are at the mercy of everyone's needs and whims. From work to family and other actors, our time is constantly getting taken away from us by outside influences. Do you ever feel like there is not enough time in the day to do all the things you know you need to do? You're not alone. And this happens because we haven't implemented the structure in our lives to take back control.
It starts with taking your time back. You can do this by setting parameters for those around you for your time and availability. The easiest way to accomplish this is to set specific times when you are available and when you aren't. For example, my teams have specific days and times that I am available for their needs and they can schedule a time with me during those blocks to work through them. I also block times in my calendar for Ironman training every day as well as family time and fun/personal time, etc.. These times are non-negotiable and if someone tries to book time during one of these blocks, it gets denied and then can go grab time in one of the open slots.
In the end, this simple tactic allows me to dictate what times I am available for others and the focus for those times, instead of them just taking any opening in my time they wish. In doing this, I have trained others when I am available and am able to focus much better and be more productive with them during those times. By implementing this simple structure, I have given myself more freedom in my life to be able to do everything I want/need to do and meet all of my obligations in my businesses.
How about you, what areas can you implement structure in your life to give yourself more freedom?
No matter who you are or what you do, in order to perform at your best levels, you must take time to recharge and clear your mind - each day. I've experimented a lot over the years looking for the best ways easily charge my energy and senses back up during the day and help my mind to be the sharpest it can be. Some things worked and others didn't and I can say that some things will work better for some than for others. But I've found 5 ways to recharge and clear your mind that should work for most people and want to share them here.
1.) Get Up and Take a Walk
This is pretty easy. When you start to feel fatigued or your head is feeling "cloudy," get up and taking 15-20 minute walk outside if possible. This will get your blood and oxygen flowing and get you refreshed. Another thing you can do is schedule your work out time(s) for the day in a way that they give your breaks after working for a period of time.
2.) Do a 10 Minute Yoga or Meditation Session
If you are not a walker, you can also do 10 minutes of guided Yoga or a meditation session. You can find free ones on Youtube from beginner to advanced. It's amazing what 10 minutes of this will do to clear your mind and help you think better.
Most people hardly stretch their muscles and this causes all kinds of problems for them that they don't even realize. Muscle tightness can cause tension, it can cause fatigue, it can make it harder to concentrate. If you take a few minutes each day to stretch your muscles, you will be amazed at the benefits and it helps you to have more energy and be refreshed. Try it!
4.) Do 10 Minutes of Boxed Breathing
A lot has been studied on breathing and its benefits. In fact, if you have an apple watch, it has a breathing app and reminder that comes with it. I am big fan of Boxed Breathing, it is simple and easy to do. In fact, here are just some of the benefits.
Add this to your daily routine and use it as needed to help you.
5.) Leave Your Office Environment and Do Something Non-Work Related
This is another way to recharge and refocus - just remove yourself entirely from things for a little bit. Go play a game, hang with the dog, talk to your significant other or your kids - just do something that doesn't have to do with work.
Bonus! Clear Your Mind by Writing it All Down
If you feel like you are overwhelmed and have too much on your plate, take 5-10 minutes and just write everything out from your mind. Make a list of everything you need to do or that is in your mind. Then leave your work area for a few minutes and come back and review it. It will help you get clarity.
There are a lot of things that go into being successful and maintaining success. Hard (and smart) work, grit and the ability to keep going, seizing opportunities and actioning them as they present themselves, dedication, focus, and many more.
I could write many posts about the ingredients to consistent success, but I feel it especially important to write about one characteristic I've seen consistently across almost every entrepreneur I meet or interview.
That characteristic is this: It is not one major thing that they do that sets the apart from their peers and competition, but a lot of little things done just a little different or better that add up to a huge advantage for them.
Many of these things are thing that all entrepreneurs do - lead people, work with clients, make sales, manage finances, create and work toward a vision, etc.
The key difference is that the most successful entrepreneurs either do these things differently or more uniquely than others or focus intently on how to be better than even the best they are up against.
For example, I recently interviewed Alicia Jarrett out of Australia. Alicia invest in real estate in the US and is highly successful to the point where her "competition" is coming to her and her business partner to teach them what they are doing to succeed. Alicia's secret is in a couple areas. First, her and her partner have a developed a unique process to mine and manage data to find the absolute ideal prospects that are currently in a position to sell their property at a discount. Next, they market to them through not just one method, but multiple. Additionally, Alicia has carved out a very specific niche in that she buys vacant land that prospects have had for many years that has potential, but usually has a couple roadblocks that had kept it from being developed. Alicia and her team have put together everything they need to alleviate those roadblocks, so they can buy the property at a discount taking the burden off the owner's hands, then fixing the issues, and selling it for a great profit.
As you can see Alicia does a number of things uniquely and differently and her obsession with fine tuning prospect data to find the perfect lead is better than others. These things all combined give her a great competitive advantage and have made her and business partner consistently successful.
How about you? What areas can you get just a little bit better than you biggest competition in? What things can you do in a more efficient or unique way that will help give you an advantage? Start thinking on these questions and jotting down your thoughts and you'll find there are a number of opportunities that present themselves. Use this critical element to success to your advantage!
Life is so precious. We forget that. While, for those of us that have accepted Christ as our savior, we are just passing through on our way to our eternity with our maker, this life still is a wonderful, incredible gift that we have been given. And it goes by very fast. A blink of an eye and someone is there, then gone.
Mark Eaton was a guest on Misfit. I did an interview with him about a year ago, but the audio came out bad and I was never able to release it. I had reached out about scheduling another interview, but Mark and I had not been able to pin down a time. If you don't know Mark, he was a top former Pro-Basketball player with the Utah Jazz - a future Hall of Famer, who had retired and had taken the lessons learned on the court and applied them to business. He was a top rated speaker and consultant who was really becoming big in the space. He died just over a week ago from a bike crash. He lived in Park City Utah and had gone out for a nice summer ride for some exercise. Somehow, he ended up crashing his bike and was found by a car driving by. He was rushed to the hospital but didn't make it.
As a competitive Ironman triathlete, I spend a lot of time on the bike and know how just one wrong move or someone not paying attention while driving can cause severe injury or death. Just like that, Mark was gone and he had a lot more to share and give to the world.
I share Mark's story because it is a great reminder of how precious things are. It is sad to see someone's life end before we think it should (although we must trust in God's plans) and it should spur us to think deeper about how much we need to cherish our lives and those around us. And it should bring us closer in our relationship to our maker and learn how to use the talents given to us to be what we were born to be to the world. We must not go through life without giving our best to the world to make it a better, more meaningful place. I know Mark's impact will live on and you can learn more about his teachings at https://www.7ft4.com/
Cherish it. Cherish it all, because we never know when our time in this short life is up as we pass through.
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