One of my clients was only 40% of the way through my new course, Clear Workspace, Open Mind and he literally got an entire day’s work done by 9:30 am as a result. He was in amazed disbelief. How is this possible? What did he do?
He saw through the clouds.
I promise I’ll explain. I’ll tell you what he did–it was actually very simple. And I’ll give you a free tool to see how you can do it for yourself.
This kind of result is actually not unusual for the (unfortunately) few people who take the process seriously and think about time management the right way. You can get very well-organized and not breakthrough to this kind of awakening. This is one of the problems I solved with the course, because proper mindset and orientation is everything. It’s sort of like how in martial arts it doesn’t matter how great your technique is if you panic. Context is everything. You can have break-through level productivity like this, every day, and so can the employees you’re mentoring. It starts by changing the way you think about time itself, and open yourself to the possibility of something you’ve never experienced before. I often think of the brilliant and hilarious scene from the animated film, “Over the Hedge” when Hammy the squirrel consumes an energy drink and demonstrates Einstein’s special theory of relativity: that as you approach the speed of light, time appears to slow down. You predict the already crazy-fast squirrel is going to get even faster, but instead time seems to stand still and he slowly and easily goes about his mission. And he’s the calmest squirrel he’s ever been in his life. Be the squirrel.
You don’t need Einstein to tell you that time is relative. We experience time as anything but absolute. Time flies when you’re having fun, as we say, and it grinds to a halt when we’re bored. And we all know that the older you get, the faster the days go by (because each day is a smaller percentage of your entire life). Time is entirely relative experientially, and when you get this in your bones you can do more in a day than you ever thought possible–but not by working harder.
Time management is like martial arts. You don’t train speed. You train economy of motion. It’s the same in learning a musical instrument. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. You address clumsiness that’s in the way of speed, and the speed comes on its own. The process of learning speed is often through painstakingly slow, methodical movement. Any athlete or musician knows this, and the importance of technique and patience. A good martial artist can play with you until you gasping for air and they haven’t even broken a sweat.
Remember Morpheus in The Matrix? “You think that’s air you’re breathing now?” It’s not magic, and it’s not doing more. It’s about doing only exactly what’s necessary. No extra thoughts. No extra movements. No extra steps. You become the shortest distance between two points. It’s not quite as easy as just taking the red pill, but it’s not difficult either. It just requires a little training and the willingness to have a totally different experience of work.
Have you ever had a day where you cut through your tasks like a hot knife through butter? You were Hammy the squirrel on the energy drink. You’re undistracted, clear, focused. Everything just seems simple and easy. You’re getting a lot done, but don’t feel like you’re moving fast. You’re calm, centered, and methodically moving from one thing to the next, almost like you’re on a moving sidewalk. You know this place.
Some people have had a few experiences like this, but have no idea how to cultivate and replicate them. Those days seem like luck and then you’re caught up in the daily grind again, wondering where all the time is going. But what if every workday could be that effortless?
Consider this: that flow-state is the natural way of things, and you’re doing things every day to prevent it. Every day is a clear day if you can see through the clouds. But you have to be able to see them, before you can see through them.
And if you’re a manager, there’s an even bigger question: What if you could give this gift via employee mentoring? Generally, we think people work for money, but you already know time is far more valuable. What if you could mentor your employees to give them more time, every day, for the rest of their lives? What would be possible? And, of course, while they’re working “for” you, you’re benefitting just as much as they are. That’s a win-win!
With the horrifying employee engagement statistics out there, more managers recognize the need for employee mentoring. But mentoring an employee to improve at their job doesn’t give them everything they need. Mentor your employees to improve their lives! This is less intuitive, but far more impactful.
Employee mentoring is ideally about life skills: time management, project management, focus, conflict resolution, deal negotiation, mediation, service, goal-setting, staying inspired, enrolling others, etc. These are contextual skills that serve us everywhere–things we should have learned in high school. When employee mentoring focuses on these kinds of skills, ones they will use everywhere, they’re forever grateful. This is what creates employee engagement, because it appeals to healthy self-interest. It’s for them, for real. When employee mentoring focuses only on the content of the job, your people understandably and unconsciously resent you, because it’s all about serving you ahead of themselves. And we wonder why employees aren’t engaged? Because they should be thrilled trading half of their waking hours to serve someone else? Ha.
What if your role as a manager was to serve the careers of the people you mentor, long past their last day working “for” you? What would your relationship feel like then, if once a week employee mentoring was about using their job to help their life? With a little practice, you can easily learn how to do this and it’s part of the training you get as a Clear and Open Member.
And if you’re not a manager (yet), you can do this alone, even if your manager isn’t helping. What are your personal goals and how can you use your job to become the person you need to be to achieve them? This is the question to which Clear and Open is dedicated.
So what did my client do to find his clear and open state? He stopped checking email in the morning, and eliminated some social media browser tabs that were distracting him. From partly cloudy to mostly sunny in a few key steps. That was all it took. But those were his clouds. Want to discover yours? Take this free fifteen question assessment that’s part of the course. It will take you less than five minutes. The lower your score, the greater your opportunity for change. It may show you exactly how you’re getting in your own way. Life will never the same when you realize the sun is always shining.