We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment.” —Jim Rohn
I got a text 15 minutes before a leadership coaching session, asking if we can postpone. He had a pretty exhausting music gig the day before, his guests didn’t leave until 2:30am, he didn’t get to sleep until 4:30am, and he was woken up early the next morning by an unscheduled visitor. He was afraid he would waste his time and my time if we met. Fortunately, I know this person pretty well and am happy to help him out on occasion.
The kicker for me is that during his last coaching session, we discussed scheduling and how to make things happen. Didn’t stick very well. You see, knowledge isn’t power—applied knowledge is. He had all the knowledge he needed to succeed at scheduling—he just didn’t do what needed to be done. So it’s good to get knowledge—and better to apply it.
That’s why you’re not where you want to be with your career—any career—or any project. You have not planned to win, purposed to win, and proceeded to win. We get better every day we accomplish our goals—we get worse every day we don’t. As American entrepreneur and speaker Jim Rohn so correctly states in the quote above, if you don’t discipline yourself to do the things you need to do daily, you will suffer regret or disappointment. I say you’ll suffer both. Plus, depending on our personality blend, it is harder for some of us than it is for others. Do you know your weaknesses here and do you have a plan to combat it so you can get to your goal? If not—it makes it doubly hard to succeed.
Either you plan your day and work your plan (rule the day), or be ruled by the day. Your choice. Serious studies have been done over the past 30 years that show you can save/gain up to two hours per day if you plan well and work that plan. I can give personal testimony that I am much more effective when I plan my day and work my plan—and I can get the testimonies from 1,000 other leadership trainers that have the same experience in their own lives as well as the lives of those they coach and mentor.
Did you accomplish all you needed to last week? Why not? If you can’t get the time in, you can’t get great at something. Greatness comes from hard work and doing the homework. Nobody is going to give you a trophy just for participating (at least not in the adult world). Did you spend too much time with friends? Watch too much TV or a movie or two? Play a lot of video games? If you reflect honestly on your own life (key word here is honestly), you will find many hours per week and possibly per day you can salvage and use for getting to your goal in your career—or building important relationships—like family. Wouldn’t it be terrible to look back and realize you didn’t make it because you didn’t put in the necessary time? Too many people realize this too late in life. Your choice. Now or maybe… never. If you procrastinate now, what’s to stop you from procrastinating later?
My Sample Schedule
I start at 4:50am. PT (Physical Training) for one to two hours pending on what day of the week. I hike, ride, do light lifting. My body has to be in good shape to be able to work hard and accomplish what I want to. So does yours. I also listen to books as I exercise. Get a couple hours of reading in (by listening) so I multitask exercise and Audible.com. That equates to 60-75 books per year just from listening! You can gain a lot of excellent knowledge during that time. Don’t know what to read/listen to while you exercise? Ask—I will give you a list of the 25 best books to make you successful. Seriously—ask me. Email me or comment below. Either I or one of my community leaders will respond.
6:30a look over the day (final plan) to make any last minute adjustments, read texts, emails, listen to voicemail and set them up for response or trash. 7:00a breakfast. 7:30a shower and dress. Work from 8:00a-6:00a. Make dinner and eat, then read or do other planned activities and meetings. I also plan free time. If you don’t plan your free time, it’s the first thing to go. When you plan your time and work it, you end up accomplishing the important things and the good things.
When you don’t plan your day, other people rule your day. And do you know what other people have planned for your success? Not much. Heck, I dare say I’m probably more interested in your success than the people that end up controlling your day. Don’t let others control your day without your consent!
Don’t Let Fear Get the Best of You.
Most people are afraid to schedule their time because they feel like it will stop them from doing what they want to do. It’s just the opposite. It’s like money. Money gives you options—having no money or little money gives you less options. Budgeting your money ensures you will have it when you need or want it. Living without a budget sends your money down a rathole—you’re always wondering why you don’t have any money. The same with not scheduling. If you don’t schedule your whole day and work that schedule—all your time—every day will look like it’s going down the rathole. You may have a lot of activity, but activity does not equal productivity. In 10 years you will look back and wonder where your decade went—because you surely didn’t grow your career—or anything else for that matter. I know way too many people with a lost decade.
Hey, I’m being tough on you because you need to know the truth in order to make your life—your passion/gifting/career—happen. As it stands, 95% will still not heed this advice—and never achieve their goals—or even get close. It’s those that are rabidly determined to succeed that succeed—those that get on target and stay on target. You can’t do it without being persistent—without tenacity.
Time to make a decision.
You can continue to be blown by the wind and end up working at Target or Starbucks at age 50, or you can dig in, plan your success, work that plan—daily—and get to your definition of success. It’s your choice. Want to know how to take your career to the top? It’s simple but not easy. Plan your work, work your plan—daily. Also, sign up to our email list to stay with us, read these posts for knowledge, encouragement, and accountability, and join us on our weekly group mentorship conference calls. We’re committed to helping you to be the absolute best you can be.
Otherwise, give me a grande, coconut milk, caramel macchiato, upside down, extra drizzle, with an extra shot, and two pumps caramel, two pumps toffee nut, one pump sugar free mocha, extra whip, in a venti cup… oh and I want that iced.
Your call—discipline or regret—there is no middle ground.
I don’t think that scheduling is uncreative. I think that structure is required for creativity.” —Twyla Tharp
Take the day by storm!
P.S.—Please share by hitting the share button below. And I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below, too—agree, disagree, or ask a question. I love answering great questions! Good leaders ask great questions!
Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I’ll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I’ll give you a stock clerk.