In this article, I share some tips and techniques I use to squeeze every drop out of the limited time I have — and how you can do the same.
1. Stay in “audit mode” to stop procrastinating
People might be surprised by this: Even though I run a $200 million agency, I’m an obnoxious procrastinator.
But I also get a lot done.
I stay in constant “audit mode.” I’m always leveling up what’s most important and prioritizing it in real time. I’m adjusting to the reality of my life in the moment I’m living it.
So, if something was super important yesterday, I can decide that it’s less important predicated on what comes into my inbox today. I’m completely obsessed with the thing that I deem most important in that moment. But “priorities” might get pushed back.
As long as I’m executing on something every single day, I know I’m moving the needle. I don’t get crippled by the amount of things I “need” to do, or the number of priorities I have.
Something might go from 2nd most important to 9th most important to 10th most important, and might not be addressed for an entire year. And that’s okay — as long as I’m constantly doing.
2. Don’t be crippled by the “unknown” problems in business
When it comes to dealing with problems in business, I’m not crippled by what I “don’t know.”
This is important. So many people struggle because they don’t have the perfect knowledge around every fire they have at work or in their personal life. They feel like they need to have the perfect plan to address every single thing that goes wrong.
But me? I’m just constantly doing.
If I’m in the process of addressing one fire and another more important one pops up, I’ll address that one. If fire #4 gets out of hand, I’ll switch my focus to that one.
I just recognize that my game is in perpetuity. I’m playing for the long term, which means I’ll have to keep dealing with fires one after another for years. So I need to be constantly adjusting, without overthinking whether I’m making the “perfect” moves or not.
3. Maintain motivation by loving what you do
The reason I’m able to maintain motivation without losing energy is because I love it.
I love doing the AskGaryVee show. I love flying all over the country for meetings. I love pitching clients and getting rejected. I love selling stuff.
It’s why I still go to dollar stores and garage sales to flip products on eBay even though it’s a horrible use of my time as a CEO “on paper.”
People who love the process are the happiest. I see this come in all different shapes and sizes — from the hedge fund guy or gal who genuinely loves the accumulation of wealth, to people who love the stability of working 9 to 5 and being part of two softball teams.
I love the process of the work. I talk about buying the New York Jets, but when I clarify it, I want the process of trying to buy the Jets — I don’t care about whether or not I actually end up buying them.
All the extra hours I put into Wine Library or VaynerMedia don’t feel like “work” to me because I’m not doing it to accumulate more stuff, I’m doing it because I love it.
4. Audit what you’re doing with your day
Nobody you know ever made it without putting in the work.
‘You might know someone who’s rich because their grandfather gave them money. But you don’t know anyone who “made it” on their own based on luck.
Sure, there are people like Lil’ Yachty who can make a hit song out of nowhere, but that rarely happens. You can win the lottery too. The truth is, most of those people who see on Instagram who made a million in a few months have been working on their craft for years up to that point.
But the dirt isn’t glamorous, so people don’t show it off.
You didn’t see Beyonce singing and dancing at 4 years old — you only see her on stage now. You didn’t see NFL coaches working as ball boys since they were 6 or 7 years old and dedicating their whole lives to the game — you only see them now.
The only “hack” I have for you is to love what you do. Because if you love it, it’ll get much easier for you to put in the work needed to win.
5. Go faster in the hours you’re working
Not only am I working 18 hours a day, but I’m working fast as hell in those 18 hours.
I think this part confuses a lot of people.
I talk a lot about not watching House of Cards and working harder. But there’s another variable:
Go faster in the hours that you’re working.
On a daily basis I’m scrutinizing my days, right down to the second while I try to fit in as much stuff as I can into those hours. We fight for minutes and seconds around my office. There’s not a moment that I spend messing around.
I’m fast in the micro, while being patient in the macro.
I really believe that 95% – 98% of people reading this have it reversed. They’re not squeezing every minute out of every day. They take an hour and a half lunch. They check Facebook and Instagram for 2 hours.
Most people worry about their years, while wasting their days.
6. Stop judging yourself
One of my big strengths is balancing being accountable with not judging myself.
I think everything is my fault. Everything that’s wrong in my company is 100% on me. There are hundreds of issues that I deal with everyday that I can’t blame anybody else for.
If an employee messes up, I hired that person. I created that process. Everything runs through me.
But at the same time, I’m numb to judgement — even my own judgement of myself. I know I’m doing the best I can.
Judging yourself is a huge vulnerability because everyone else is already doing it for you. And if you’re not in that place, you’ve got no shot.
Everybody else sucks at stuff too.[bctt tweet=”Don’t judge yourself. Everybody else sucks too.” username=”garyvee”]