To get better results, you need to ask better questions.
Is a 40 Hour Work Week Possible?
I listened to a great podcast while on the elliptical this last week. It was Tony Robbins interviewing Tim Ferris about the greatest takeaways he got from writing his latest book Tools of Titans.
One of the very first key lessons Ferris discusses is that to get better results, he learned that he needed to ask better questions. For example, “Why can’t I accomplish my 10 year goals in the next 6 months?”
I love that question. Why not, right? But for you to accomplish your 10 year goals in the next 6 months, you would need to significantly change the way you think, behave, take action, and collaborate with others for it to become a reality. What a challenge! I love it.
It got me thinking back to the point in my career when I started to ask better questions. About 7 years ago I was struggling with my own productivity and really close to burning out. I was a new 1st time mommy and had just accepted my first D 1 head coaching job of a bottom 20 team in the country and had no full-time staff for my first 3 years. I was wearing a lot of hats, working a ton of hours, and trying to do things the way I was comfortable with and had always done them. As you can imagine, I was mentally and physically exhausted after a while.
Having a child to get home to was what ultimately forced me to ask better questions if I was going to continue to stay in the profession. The question that I started asking was, “Is it possible to only work 40 hours a week as a coach, get the results I was after, and still be sane?”
At first, with the circumstances of my situation being what they were, that question seemed impossible. But for the sake of my pride, my career, my health, and my sanity, I knew I had to find a better way.
After asking the question, these were a few of the possible solutions I came up with.
- Eliminate things on my to-do list that weren’t giving me a good return on the time and energy I was putting into it.
- I needed to figure out how I could create big chunks of uninterrupted work time.
- I needed a better system of keeping track of who, when, and how I was communicating with recruits.
- I needed to figure out how my energy levels waivered during the day and find a better way to keep my energy up.
- I needed a better system for making sure I was working on my top priorities, staying on track, and working with urgency.
By the time I was done brainstorming, I had a full page of questions and I believed if I could find the answers, it would help me get better results and my work hours down to 40 hours.
I can’t truly pinpoint one source that I got this idea from, because I had been reading a lot of different business books at the time.
Book after book, what stood out is that tracking is one of businesses best practices. Really great businesses track all of their important metrics (leads, closes, sales numbers, etc.) so they know where their time and resources are best spent.
What completely sold me on tracking as I was trying to get my question answered was the saying that 1 hour of testing could save you 10. 10 hours saved would get me 10 more hours with my kids or 10 more hours building my program in other ways. It will be well worth it.
I am going to use these numbers to figure out where I am getting the best ROI in time and resources. Tournaments, letters, or other tasks that we are not getting a good result from, will either be tossed out or a better way will have to be found.
If you have other ways that you have been testing or tracking, I’d love to hear it. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.