If you could design your ideal life all over again, would it have more work days or more free time?
Dan Sullivan’s technique for substantially increasing your income is based on increasing your time off and working more intensely when you are at ‘work’. For entrepreneurs and executives the principle is to develop and train others to progressively require your input less and less.
To get more free days or time off, plug it in your diary and make it non-negotiable. Schedule in the days and weeks you want off ahead of time.
Sullivan allocates time according to three types:
- Free Days – a period from midnight to to the next midnight when you are not accessible to work and do no work related activity. No ‘checking in’, no checking emails, no reading professional magazines or books, no mobile phone or cell phone. This is time you are literally “off limits”
- Focus Day – do work that exhibits your unique talent and abilities for which you get paid. This needs to be at least 85% of your time spent on this direct income-earning activity. The trick is to make sure you get results from the time spent in this area.
- Buffer Days – chores, planning, prep work, administrivia and other tasks or activities you don’t get paid for but which need to be done. Days in this category need to be maximised. Work with the efficiency and intensity you apply to the day just before taking off on holidays or vacations!
For workaholics, they take off little time and so doubling it is relatively easy! For others, it’s about being clear on what your day is structured around and dedicating your energy to that.
I have friends who have never heard of Dan Sullivan or this method. Yet if I analyse their application to their business and life, they apply similar principles. They have established a great reputation in their field so attracting business is not an issue. When they are ‘at work’ they are highly focussed and productive. Their incentive for doing so is that they schedule time out every week and in some cases (especially in summer when the surf is up), daily! They have a very balanced lifestyle.
Keep track of how many days you have now – free, focus and buffer. Then work at increasing Focus Days, Reducing Buffer Days and having more Free Days.
- Meet with those around you at work to discuss how to create and maximise more Focus Days where you can apply your expertise and talent to get the best results and revenue
- Set up a time to meet with family and friends to plan more Free days in your life
- Schedule at least 4 vacations over the next 12 months – long weekends, a weekend drive to the wine district, a week holiday on the Coast, whatever, just book them into your diary
To make the days even more effective:
- List the 3 best results days you’ve had. Identify the common elements in those best days. Plan to include more of those elements in your future Focus Days and that will improve your results more
- List the 3 best Free Days you’ve ever had and , look for the common elements then schedule more of these elements into your future Free days.