Your Best Just Got Better shows you how to tackle productivity and performance with the best techniques to help you work smarter, get more done and stay inspired.
Have you ever tracked your time down to the minute? I have. The results are shocking. At the end of even the longest work day, you’ll add up the hours and think: “Hmm, that’s not that long – where’d the rest of my time go?”
The reason it’s hard to tell where the missing hours went is that we didn’t outright waste them – you’d know if you watched a long movie, for example – but that they’ve been taken from us in five minute increments. Interruptions from friends and co-workers, distracting messages on Facebook, a few minutes added while going to the toilet, these things add up fast.
Your Best Just Got Better helps you deal with that and more, by giving you a simple framework for tackling goals, working smarter and staying inspired without getting distracted.
Here are my 3 favorite lessons:
- Follow Nike’s slogan “Just do it!” to figure out what’s really important in your life.
- Learn to value your own time more.
- Stay connected to the why of your tasks by writing down “sothat” statements.
You might know the quote:
Good, better, best. Never let it rest. ‘Til your good is better and your better is best. – St. Jerome
Well, what would happen if we made your best even better? Let’s find out!
Lesson 1: Live a Nike life: Just do it!
Nike’s logo and slogan together make for one of the most iconic, recognizable brands in the world. The reason it’s taken the world by storm is that it’s much more than that. What if you truly lived by that motto?
Of course, we’ve all cited it to friends when we wanted to encourage them: “Hey, you know, do the Nike thing, Just dooooo it!”
But what if you went home, looked in the mirror and really asked yourself: “What does the ‘it’ mean to me?” For me, the ‘it’ is a business I can run from anywhere, which makes me financially independent from anyone, so I don’t have to rely on a few individual people to pay my bills, and that allows me to spend most of my time on meaningful work that matters to me.
That’s the thing I just have to do. Not going for it is not an option. I’d regret it forever.
Once you have that figured out, you can return to the mirror each evening and ask yourself: “What did I do today to bring myself closer to my goal?” It’s the ultimate accountability.
Lesson 2: Make every minute count – 15 minutes is longer than you think!
Figuring out what you want and holding yourself accountable to it is good – but you have to back it up with actions to make it matter. One way to make sure this happens is learning to really value your own time.
For example, when a lecture in school is cancelled, a meeting falls through, or you get a longer break than you thought you would, what do you do with that extra time? Do you adjust to it and use it? Or do you slack off and instantly switch to vacation mode?
Most people do the latter. If you really want it though, going for it means making every minute count. 15 minutes equates to roughly 1% of your day – doesn’t sound like much, does it?
But you can get a lot done in 15 minutes: it’s enough time to send a thank you note, answer a couple messages, glance over your weekly schedule, book an event online and come up with three headlines for an article. That’s a lot of stuff!
Don’t let the world suspend your momentum. Value every second, because you don’t have as many of them as you think.
Lesson 3: Write down “So that…” statements to stay motivated.
We’re talking a lot about “Why?” here at Four Minute Books. It’s one of the most important words ever, I think, and the first thing I ask in almost any situation. But even if you lay out your why very clearly before taking on a new goal, it often fades over time and you slowly lose the connection to why you’re doing things, especially when it comes to small, boring tasks that just have to get done.
One thing you can do to make sure you don’t lose touch with your inner purpose is writing what Jason Womack calls “So that…” statements. They can either be on a high level or about very specific tasks. For example, you could write down “I work extra shifts so that I can invest twice as much and ‘retire’ at age 40,” just as much as you could say “I post on Instagram six times a day so that I can turn my profile into a business in just nine months.”
You can write down a handful of these and put them up in places you see every single day to keep you inspired to work on the things that really matter to you.
My personal take-aways
This is a really cool “look and pick” book, giving you many options for techniques to try. Which ones you end up implementing into your life is up to you. Take a look at them all, integrate what works, make up your own system and leave the rest. Very helpful!