Work isn’t What You Think It is

Have you ever wondered why its so rare to hear someone say, “Wow I feel like I get so much done these days!”

I’m going to share 3 eye-opening statements about the nature of work and time. Once you learn these you’ll start to realize that you can do WAY more than you thought – all without killing yourself. You’ll understand why you feel swamped and why its not necessary to live that way.

The amount of work that you can get done varies for reasons that have nothing to do with how much time you have.

We have thought of work as a linear effort kind of thing. “I have a task, it’s gonna take 6 hours.”

That’s a delusion. Here’s the reality:

The amount of time it takes to do a certain thing varies greatly, depending on the motivation, energy level, mental clarity and focus of the individual.

Lets suppose we had a task and we timed 100 people to to see how long it would take them on the average to finish it. Let’s say that on the average it took people 30 minutes to do that task. Some of the people in the curve would actually take a lot longer – maybe 60 minutes. But others would be able to get the same thing done in maybe 13 minutes.

Here’s the second eye opening statement:

The amount of time it takes YOU to do a given task can vary greatly, depending on YOUR  motivation, energy level, mental clarity and focus at the time.

Achievement is the confluence of effort, mental clarity, energy and motivation.

We often make the mistake of focusing on the time aspect. We’ll say, “Oh I won’t get that done because I don’t have time.”

It might be more accurate to say, “I won’t get that done because I lack mental clarity, energy and motivation, and I probably won’t put enough effort into it.”

Time is an element of the universe that is fixed. So why focus on something you cannot change, when you can focus on more influential elements that you can actually control? You can control the level of effort you put into something. You can manage your levels of clarity, energy and motivation. If you get that combination of mental clarity, motivation, energy and effort you will get things done you didn’t think you could get done. And if you practice this consistently, you’ll start to notice that you’re getting things done in significantly less time that it used to take you.

Sometimes we’re tempted to say, “There’s no way I can work out today, I have so much to do.” That’s a false way of looking at it.

Try this mentality instead: “I have so much to do today, that I will have to work out, or else I will lack the energy and alertness I need to get it all done.”

Tasks, even large ones, are made up of small quick things that take slices of time. We enlarge the tasks when we don’t take quick action to start. Have an attack mentality. Instead of looking for a way to avoid the task. Tell yourself or your team mates, “Ok let’s do this!”

Work has a mental aspect to it that we often overlook. Instead of focusing on how much time we perceive we have or don’t have, let’s learn how to focus on the elements of work that are within our control: Our mental clarity, our energy, our motivation and our effort. How will you get yourself mentally ready to work at your best today?