In this post, we discuss how to structure your day to win, maximizing your family and business time while achieving everything that you want to achieve.
The question got asked earlier in our Facebook group, how do you structure your data when like how do you structure your data when to maximize family time and business time while achieving everything. You want to achieve. This is something that I spend a lot of time thinking about and obsessing about, and I have spent 30 plus years practicing structure and routines and discipline, and even spent 12 years of my life in the military getting trained on how to be a little too rigid with structure.
So what I wanted to lay out is my exact process for creating wins in my day and my life. This is a process that I share with students at our mastermind, my business partners, my family, and the feedback is always impeccable on how well it works. So when it comes to setting up your day to win, the first thing to remember, this is a tweetable, I’m going to make my own tweetable of this one cause I’m proud of this one.
A successful day is created with intention and alignment with an accurate measuring stick. Now, intention is self-defined. It’s intention. It’s being intentional about everything we do intentional about our bedtime, our morning time, our meetings are our writing, our creating, our conversations, like having a purpose and intention to make sure that it’s directed.
Alignment means it’s aligned to you. And there’s a couple levels of alignment. So the first level of alignment is your internal alignment. That what you’re doing is aligned with your head, your heart, and your belly.
Then there’s also external alignment where, what you’re doing is aligned to where you are going or the path that you’re on, or even the path of your company or the path of your employees and the path of your spouse to where your part of a bigger vision and what your working on intentionally is aligned into that vision, not resistant or an opposition to it.
Then the accurate measuring stick. Now the accurate measuring stick is probably the thorn in everybody’s side or the Achilles that’s the weak point, and this was my weak point for 35 years. An accurate measuring stick means actually creating a finish line that you can hit and not continually moving it right.
Entrepreneurs in particular are masters at moving finish lines, but they’re even better at moving starting lines. When I say an accurate measuring stick, it means that your day is one when you’ve planned it and chosen to be intentional, not because of the results that you create, your measuring stick has to be aligned, not the right word.aligned. Your measuring stick has to be based on your step forward and your progress and your ability to be play and run in the race, not what place you finish.
Life business, it’s a long game. It’s a very long game. The truth is, a lot of times we create finish lines, but even we don’t want to hit them, so we moved them, but when you become aware of the fact that you move the finish line and you become aware of the fact that your value in your day as one in your intentionality and your practicing of the game and not the winning of the game or the results that you create that’s mastery.
Think about it. You see businesses all over the worldfounders start this company, then they sell it. After 10 years, they cash out for 100 million and they can’t sit still for a week before they launched another company or launch another startup. They never really wanted to hit the finish line.
The fact is, is that the finish line probably was created out of fear or misalignment, and then once followed. You’re like, Oh crap, I really didn’t want to hit that finish line. And so then you have to go start another game. So, an accurate measuring stick means that you’re setting yourself up to win versus creating a game that’s unwinnable because your measuring stick is broken.
A successful day is created with intention and alignment with an accurate measuring stick. So the first step of setting your day up to win and ensuring that you can create it is doing an audit of your current day. Now, I want you to be really present when you do this. So there’s a couple rules before you audit your day.
Rule number one is you have to be 100% honest with yourself. Now, this happens a lot. I ask entrepreneurs to track their time when I coach them and I have them put apps in their computer or write it down and. The amount of times they don’t want to tell me the truth because they realize for the first time they actually spent seven hours on Facebook, not seven hours at work. So rule number one is you have to be honest with yourself.
Rule number two, and there’s four rules in this one. Whatever you document or you audit is perfectly okay. There’s no fault, no blame, no guilt, no shame. What you’re doing is you’re sticking a pin in the map so you know your starting location.
Not so you can be like, Oh my God, I’m so bad. There’s nothing wrong with your day. You’re doing amazing and you’re listening to this and you’re about to make my new tweaks and adjustments that move you from third place to first place because the game of business and the game of life is one, by becoming aware and then to making adjustments while continuing to move forward.
So step one is audit how you currently run your day. Be 100% honest with yourself, and then don’t beat yourself up and that’s even bad framing. Be gentle with yourself and love that you’re documenting your process and they are aware of things that you can shift. So I want you to track your day for at least two to three days, and I mean every moment of it, what time you wake up, where you spend it, what your first three things you do are. You open Instagram and spend 45 minutes on Instagram. As you snooze through it, you skipped your shower because you were late, like document all of it. Because the name of the game is awareness and big shifts and big results come when you are aware of what’s happening.
So I want you to document your entire day and then once you’re done documenting your day, step two is audit your day and look at your day from a very accurate and clear picture. I spent four hours doing this and I only thought it was one. I spent 30 minutes doing this, but I thought I was spending four.
I’m doing this, but this is not aligned to my day. I’m doing this, but this was not an intentional choice. This was reactive and done by somebody else. I’m doing this, but I don’t need to, or I don’t want to be doing this. So you have to do an audit of your day and really you get to make a couple of choices. You get to choose, okay, this has been a part of my day. Do I continue making this a part of my day? Is it aligned to where I want to go? Is it intentional and supportive? Is it intentional? Is that aligned to where. I want to go?
And then the last category is like, I can’t believe I do that. I’d never want to do that again. Great. Don’t do it right. So you have to honestly audit your day because nobody can run your day, but you, and so then once you audit your day, you basically eliminate all of the things that were a part of your day that don’t need to be there or don’t belong or were a distraction and then you ask yourself, what’s missing from your day? What am I not doing? Or what should I be doing more of that’s gonna move me forward. What am I doing? What should I do more of that’s going to help me achieve my goals or help me fill my tank or help me move the needle? And then you come from that place and you identify all the things that you want.
Well, let’s say you want to run a marathon in a year. Well, are you running right now? No. Well, maybe you add it to your day that a part of your day is running for five minutes a day for the first week. Things like that. So what you want to be asking yourself is like, how do you typically start your day? What type of work do you do? Where are you currently doing your work? Do you get distracted in any way? Are you tracking your results? When do you express yourself? When do you fill your tank? When do you take time for you? Do you walk enough? Do you stand enough? And I mean, you want to think about every single ounce of your day.
Here’s why. When you’re intentional and aware of every second of every day, you are driving the car in your life. When you are unaware or unconscious or unintentional, which means you may be only think about the first 30 minutes of your day. Other people, distractions, reactivity, bosses, jobs, negative reviews, bank accounts, ad accounts, and the things that happen in entrepreneurship or in business anywhere or in life, anywhere are actually driving your day.
So you have to be intentional about every moment. Now caveat, I’m not saying you have to fill your calendar. I actually don’t use my calendar much. You don’t have to fill your calendar with like 24 hours and 15 minute blocks. But you have to be aware and intentional about what’s happening so that you understand the inputs and the results that you create.
So you audit your day, you get rid of the things that aren’t working right, and then you add the things that you want to be doing. You’re aware of what you’re doing and what you are, and then you start to plan your successful day, and your successful day starts the night before. So how you treat yourself at the end of the day dictates how well your next day starts.
Go to bed late. Don’t sleep enough. Don’t eat right. Don’t drink water. Numb out with TV. Well, you’re going to wake up reactive and out of control and already negative for the day. Get grounded an hour before bed, have a bedtime routine. Darken your room, drink water, make sure you’re showered and rested. Read a book. Doing all those things will dictate your success the next morning because of how you set yourself up to win. So when it comes to the success of your day happening the next day, you need to set it up the night before. So you need to have a nighttime routine and it doesn’t have to be structured like crazy, but things that you do like ritualistically that are pre-framing the success of your morning, whatever that looks like. And so you create that for yourself. You create space. Maybe you meditate. Maybe you just lay in bed silently and stare at the ceiling until you fall asleep. Pondering the beautiful parts of life.
But there’s one very important thing that you must do before you go to bed. What you must do before you go to bed is you must write down the three things. The three very important things that you get to do the next morning that are intentional aligned with your goals and outcome based with an accurate measuring stick.
I’m going to give you an example, before I go to bed the three things that I write down every single night are that the next morning before I work, like before I start any work, I need to spend at least 30 minutes by myself in silence and solitude and reflection that I need to drink at least 16 ounces of water and I need to spend an hour with my son completely present.. Those are my three non-negotiables that I have to set my day up to win in the morning. And that means that I don’t check email, I don’t check my phone, I don’t get on social media, I don’t do anything until those are done because I have to honor myself and I have to keep my word to myself in order for my day to win.
So I start my day like that. And in full transparency, I consider my day an absolute smashing success when that happens every single day and anything past that point as a bonus, that’s my representation of an accurate measuring stick, not when I’m done with all that, I have to write 64 emails today that convert at 68% with unrealistic goals, and I expect success overnight. Nope. Not setting myself up to fail. Setting myself up to win. Caveat and by-product is when I do this, somehow I create more content with more clarity and better results every single day by eliminating the measuring stick and the unrealistic expectations.
So before you go to bed every night is you need to write down the three to five things that you must do to fill your tank the next morning that are non negotiables. And so then when you wake up in the next morning, you wake up intentionally, which means you set an alarm and you don’t hit snooze.
Because if the first thing that you do every morning is break your word to yourself, the rest of your day is going to be poop. And so I already hear the excuses, well I hit snooze cause I went to bed late. And when you hit snooze, you’re rewarding yourself for going to bed late rather than feeling the consequences of breaking your word to yourself.
If you get up without hitting snooze, you’re going to be tired all day and you know what you’re going to want to do. You’re going to want to go to bed earlier to get back into integrity. Welcome to your body and soul, aligning yourself to win. So you have to keep your word to yourself. So then when you go to bed, you have those three things.
You determine what time am I getting up?, and you get up at that time and what am I going to do when I get up? Those things that I wrote down, and maybe those things are work-related. So you have your morning routine, but it’s intentional. I’m going to shower, I’m going to get dressed. I’m going to be out of the house by this time, or I’m going to be in the house by this time, or do this and you, you have to be intentional and methodical with every single thing that you do.
So then you wake up, you take your morning routine, and I’ve made my three non-negotiable as part of my morning routine, but I’ve also done this before where I’ve just had a morning routine and then my three non-negotiables were work-related. And so then when I sat down at my desk at 9:00 AM I wasn’t allowed to check email, open social, or do anything until those three things were fully complete.
So then you wake up in the morning, you choose which path you take, and you accomplish your three things. As soon as you accomplish those three things, you need to immediately stop, take a break, and go celebrate. And I mean go celebrate. Go for a walk, scream and jump up and down in your office and be your biggest cheerleader.
Go post on social media. I won. I don’t tell anybody why. Just write I won whatever you want to do, but you have to celebrate those three wins and you have to celebrate them and reward yourself for already winning the day. And then to continue your day, you then pull your ideas and your outcomes from what we call a parking lot. and so there’s some process management in here that I’m not going to cover on this podcast, but I want to talk about. So when we think about days and tasks, task based thinking is horrible. It sets you up to fail because it keeps you in the weeds and monotony and eliminates thinking, makes us robotic and eliminates all the joy and so what we do is we focus on outcome. And so the difference here would be, you know, I’m going to write three sales emails today and build this page. Nope, I would, write, we’re going to complete this sequence and that might be seven emails, and I don’t worry about getting it all done in one day I say, I’m going to complete this sequence.
And so then it becomes an outcome and that outcome stays at the top of my list until I complete it. And we’re only allowed to have seven outcomes at any given time in business and in life. That’s our rule. And so outcome one might be finish this sequence and outcome two might be triaging my inbox, empty my inbox. Outcome three might be creating podcast episodes, and I list them out and everything that isn’t an outcome or in one of the seven goes into what we call a parking lot. And the parking lot is a parking lot of all the ideas and things that we want to get done. That are outcome-based but can’t be done yet because there’s no space to create them.
So that’s how we do our task management and project managing. And we cover that in one of our opt ins. But if you go to www.Mindofgeorge.com and join our Facebook group or check it, you’ll see it. We include that in our process management in our course and our lead magnets, and actually in everything we do so you’ll be able to find it.
Then once those three things are done well, then I look at it and I take a couple minutes to then plan the rest of my day. Now I plan the rest of my day and I created tight container. Now let’s talk about containers. So containers, have a left and a right side, or they have a bottom and a top, they’re not open. And one of the mistakes I used to make, and I see people make, is that they don’t create containers on their day. They’ll tell me what time they’re going to start working, but they never tell me what time they’re going to stop and so that creates the energy that you never have to stop and that you always do more which creates distraction and work addiction and things that aren’t there. And so you have to create tight containers. And so after I complete those three things is when I plan my day. And so I’m like, what time am I working till today? And I’m like, I’m working until 5.30 today. Non negotiable, which means I stop working at 5:00 PM and then that tells me that I have from 10:30 until 5:00 PM to get my work done. So then I look at my list and if I don’t have seven outcomes that I’m working towards, I grab one from the parking lot. I move it up, I plan my day intentionally, and then I start putting containers. I’m going to work on this for. 30 minutes and then take a break. I’m going to work on this for 30 minutes and then this for 30 minutes.
I’m going to fully work on this. I’m not going to stop in the middle. I’m not going to check email. I’m not going to get distracted. I’m going to put my phone on silent. I’m going to put my phone on do not disturb. You have to carry the intentionality into what you’re doing to give yourself the chance to get it done, and so then I plan the rest of my day, and then in that day includes me eating lunch, me taking breaks to kiss my wife, to pick my kids up from school, to go on walks with Tyler. Like all of these things are very intentionally scheduled into my day to where I probably have about four and a half to five hours of actual work time in a total of eight to nine hours of what “work” but four of it is considered filling my tank or being in process or doing busy work. Understanding. Distractions and things like that that are going to happen, but I plan for them. So I hit 5:00 PM and alarm goes off at 5:00 PM and I know I literally have 30 minutes to stop working and at 5:30 it’s, it’s a non negotiable, like it’s not 10 more minutes. The laptop closes and I walk away and the laptop doesn’t get open again until the next morning. And so that means at five o’clock I get to finish anything that’s open and wrap, and then whatever is left becomes my first three things the next day. And then I close it and I leave it, and then I repeat the process.
Now, a couple things that I want to hit a things to do and things not to do when you do this. This is my practice and I have a lot of friends that have very similar practices. We compare notes, we compare successes, and this is the most success I’ve ever been in my life in every aspect by honoring myself in this way.
One big focus, is you must focus on your win. You must focus your wins on progress, not finish lines. You have to fill your tank. And so the more finish lines that you can cross every day, the more momentum you create and the easier all of this becomes so focused your wins on progress, not finish lines.
Set real tangible and achievable KPIs or key performance index or goals, ones that you can actually achieve that you intend on achieving. So you can finish the race and make progress, right. One mile at a time. Release the rigidity. So one of the reasons that I don’t create blocks in my calendar for every 15 minutes or every 30 minutes is because I am structure, I and I want to be in flow. So I create containers. And so once my tasks are done in my current work day starts at 10:00 AM I have a container that from 10:00 AM till 12:00 PM I work on one of my outcomes. That’s my container. Now I flow in that on what I need, but then at 12PM I take a break, and that break could mean I go for a walk, I work out, I do nothing. I vege, and I’m out. And that break could be a half an hour to 45 minutes. Then I come back to work and I make another container, and I just set my inttention for what’s going to be in that container. I have found that when I make like 15 minute blocks, 30 minute blocks, and I create that rigidity, it creates anxiety and pressure and I’m eliminating the joy of what I’m doing.
I’m setting myself up to fail because now I’m focused on finish lines. Not progress. And I’m, I’m focused on the doingness of it rather than the beingness of it, which flow, creativity, connection, everything comes when you’re in flow and in process. So I create containers. So I tend to say release the rigidity.
Like creates space and then allow yourself to be in that space. Like you’re not a robot. I’m not a robot. Like we’re human beings and human beings modulate. We have emotions, we have feelings. You have to create containers, so that’s okay, and you have to honor those things. And so you’ve got to release the rigidity.
Next note, always fill your tank first. You cannot give from an empty tank. And so your day, your routines, everything should be designed that at any moment you feel drained or there’s a leak that you can fill your tank. That’s why I use containers, so my tank is full when I have my alone time in the morning when I spend time with my son and when I do what I do in my morning and so that fills my tank. So when I start working, I’m ripping and roaring and ready to go. But I also know that more than two hours of work, like focused work starts to drain my tank. And so I create containers. And so when I take those breaks, I don’t leave my office and then go to my family, I leave my office and go to myself andI go for a walk, I’ll go drink some water, I’ll go move a minute and I’ll check in and fill my tank an then , I come back and see my family and check in with them or my employees, and then I move forward again.
Next note, containers, and they have to be tight. You have to make containers. You have to put containers on meetings, you have to put containers on writing. You have to put containers on creation and on calls. And you have to keep them. Now, a container isn’t for rigidity and intake. A container is for integrity. A container is created for integrity and containers create environments that you can win.
Like can you imagine? I want to go run a running race. And like, yeah, I love running, and then I’m like, sign up for my race. You’re going to keep running until I tell you to stop. You have no idea when that may be. You may run 10 miles or 10,000 miles and it’s up to me. Now, you would never do that because there is no container. You have to have a container so that you have a measuring stick and a feedback loop and progress and closure. So you know that there’s a beginning and an end and you can operate in flow within that. You also have to create an environment that you can win in.
Your space is your container, and so you have to have integrity in your space. Do you feel comfortable where you are? Do you maybe need to move locations? Do you have to work in a coffee shop one day in a house the next day? Either way is fine. But you have to be intentional about it because you can’t create results that you love from working in a space that you hate.
You can’t create shifts and changes in the world and with your customers. By hating the process and how you go about it, your tank, your comfort from has to be full and it has to be integrous in order for it to be applicable and effective into the world.
You must be in integrity with yourself. You must keep your word to yourself. If you say you’re going to start working at 9:00 AM, that means you can’t open your phone at 8:45 you can’t open your phone at 8:50 you have to wait until 9:00 AM and trust me, it’s a trap to think that you can do more by doing more, or you can have more by doing more. It’s a trap.
You have more and create more by doing less, more intentionally and focused. And so you have to keep tight containers to set yourself up to win. They can stoicism the principles called temperance. It’s knowing when to pull back and every professional athlete in the world knows this.
They don’t train until failure. Most of them don’t train until they’re tired. They train until just before they hit that point of exhaustion so that they can come back and train again tomorrow and train again the next day and train again the next day. And you have to do the same thing because this is a long game, and so you have to constantly keep that container tight. So that you continue to have the stamina and the energy to play the long game and win.
And the last note that I want to leave you with is make sure you close your back doors. And this isn’t like a burn the ships thing. Closing your back doors means not allowing yourself to fall back into mediocrity.
And so you’re going to create a routine you’re going to create a container, you’re going to create, habits and things like that, and you’re going to mess up. You’re going to hit speed bumps. You’re going to get derailed. You’re going to miss containers. You’re going to go over calls. You’re going to miss your intentions. You’re going to have bad mornings. None of those are reasons to stop. They’re just reasons to forgive yourself and get back on the horse. That’s why I say release rigidity.
So what you can’t do is you can’t allow yourself to fall back into old patterns. So the way that you do that is like, that’s interesting. It’s 11:00 AM and I realize I didn’t do my morning routine at all. Cool. You go back to the very beginning and you become aware. And you do an audit of what you did the day before and what you did that day. You assess what’s there and you’re like, wow, that’s where it happened. You forgive yourself, discover what shifted, what didn’t shift, what you can do differently. And then you make a new commitment to yourself, and then you carry on. And, and I tell people this all the time.
If you fall out of practice or leak out of your container or make a mistake. It’s like getting a flat tire and you have two options. Either change it and keep driving or slashed the other three and get stuck. I used to slash the other three, I can’t believe I did it. I’m such a failure. I’ll never make it again. There’s no point in me trying and I was bulimic, and this was a bad problem with a bulimic and a food addiction. Like I’d be great for six months and then I literally would binge and I would, I would very unintentionally and very unconsciously binge. And I’d realize that halfway in, and I remember there were some dark choices and choice one was like just stop. And then it’s over. Or choice two was, well, you already ate half.t he pizza, just eat the rest of it.
And I spent years in the ladder, eat the rest of it, eat the rest of it. And that was me slashing the other three tires. And you know what I love now? Now I eat a half a pizza and eat the rest of it. And then I laugh and smile way through it. I’m like, God, this was great pizza. I’m just not going to have some for awhile. And I love every bite of it. It’s not me slashing the tires, it’s me choosing. And then see how I react and respond in the next moment.
So you want to make sure that you’re continually pushing or pulling or leading yourself forward, keeping momentum. And any forward momentum is progress. It might feel like an inch. It might feel like a mile or it might feel like 10 miles, but the key is to keep moving forward. And so close all your back doors. Create a practice, be intentional. Make sure it’s aligned to where you want to go. Sure that you’re setting yourself up to win with an accurate measuring stick and that you are the person driving the car of your life down the road to your vision and make it work for you