Time is of the essence in any kind of business. It doesn’t matter what stage you’re at. Making the most efficient use of your time would be the wisest thing to do. That takes discipline, patience, and planning. In today’s episode, host John Laurito is back and shares the proven and tested rule that can help you manage your time more and effectively boosts your productivity.
[0:34] Welcome back, John!
[2:09] Riddles and more
[4:14] The struggle of managing your time
[5:57] How to say yes and what to say yes to
[7:05] The 3-2-1 rule
John Over the last two decades, I’ve been on an insatiable quest to learn everything I can about leadership. What makes the best leaders so good? After running companies small and large over the last 20 years, today, I speak on stages all across the world to audiences who are interested in that same question. My name is John Laurito. I’m your host, and I invite you to join me on this journey as we explore this very topic and what makes the best leaders so good. Welcome to tomorrow’s leader.
John All right. Welcome to the show. Welcome back. I should say that to myself. Welcome back, John. About time you showed up for your own show, you big dummy. Any event? Yes, I am back. And I am. I have missed you much more than you’ve even missed me. I appreciate all of you reaching out of concern. Like, okay, it’s been a month, John. You’ve been really consistent with these. I had actually a kind of big boast was the fact that I went three years without missing a week. And then here I go and I’ve missed several weeks. So it was unintended. No, I was not sick. No, I did not get kidnaped. No, my studio equipment didn’t get stolen. Nothing. None of that other than the fact I was in 22 cities in a week’s period of time. Yes, 22 cities. That’s more travel than I have done in that period of time in my entire life. That’s probably more travel I’ve done in four or five months before. But I will tell you, it was awesome. What a great start to the year. Got to go to some great places, see some amazing people, and do some incredible things. I loved it, loved it, loved it.
John But I did not have studio time. I did not have even the downtime I had. I turned out not to be downtime. So bottom line is, I’m going to take full accountability for this. I am going to make sure that I plan accordingly. Now, moving forward, even during the busy times, because I don’t want to miss you again and I don’t want to have you miss me the way that you have so, so much to catch up on, so much to talk about. Let me start with the important stuff, the riddles.
John So I left you hanging there a month ago with a riddle that had stumped many of you. And I did finally get a couple of weeks, but I finally did get a correct answer. And that riddle was, I am strong as steel but full of holes? What am I? I am strong as steel, but full of holes. What am I? And the correct answer is a chain. That is correct. A chain is the correct answer that was given by Tom Terwilliger. So, Tom, great job, great guests that you were the first one to get it correct. So props to you, my friend. So today’s riddle. Okay, let’s shift it around a little bit here. Again, I don’t know. Some of these I feel are going to be really hard and you get them really fast. Sometimes. The easy ones you don’t get, it’s I just don’t know. I don’t know what this is going to be.
John So. All right, here we go. Today’s riddle is am easy to pick up yet hard to throw. I am easy to pick up, yet hard to throw. That is today’s riddle. If you know the answer for it to it, text me, email me, call me whatever. You have all my info and let me know. My my phone is 860-573-723. Oh yeah. That’s my phone. Text me, and let me know what you think. So And while you’re at it, let me know some ideas, topics, Things that you want to hear discussed are guests, great guests that you have. I’ve got a lineup of some really cool guests, but I’m always interested in guests that you have in mind for this show. People that have led their own lives effectively or influenced other people to lead others effectively, that’s the type of people I would love to have on the show, people with great stories or interesting people you’d really enjoy hearing from. So shoot me a note, give me buzz, and let me know.
John Okay. Today’s topic. This is a simple but really effective method or tool that I’ve used myself and I’ve used it with many, many, many people. And it came to mind because recently I was talking with somebody who was really struggling with managing their day and kind of that feeling. And I know that everybody deals with this for a period of time, and I’ve used this phrase before where you’re in the passenger’s seat of the car and you feel like you just have no control over your day. And I cannot tell you how common this problem is and how important it is. And when I think and I get a chance to work with and and and see the most successful leaders and individuals out there, there are people that are just so deliberate and intentional with what they do and how they spend their day and how they spend their week. We all have the same amount of time. They just tend to be better at how they use their time and what they do.
John And it’s actually not in many cases, and surprisingly in many cases, it’s not that they work longer, they just tend to do the right things and more of the right things. Some of the most successful people that I know, I mean, truly that run incredibly successful businesses and make incredible. Amounts of money. They don’t work that hard and they don’t work that long. They’re just extremely effective. And to my point, they are extremely deliberate and intentional. Okay. So I’m going to give you and this is going to tie and I’m going to kind of do this in two parts.
John In today’s episode, I tell you what you have to do and how you set up your day for success. I’m going to tell you kind of part two and the next episode, which is equally important. And so today is about how to make sure you say yes and what you say yes to and structure your day. The next episode is going to be about how to say no and what you need to make sure you say no to. So here’s the key. I used this strategy. I was talking to somebody and they just said, listen, I kind of feel like I’m just losing control over the day everything has happened. Everything is coming at me. I’m very reactive. I respond to stuff, but I ultimately am not doing the things that are really important but not urgent. I do the urgent stuff that a lot of times it’s not even that important. It’s just coming at me and I’m dealing with it. Here’s a key to how you can leave your day. And I asked this person, I said, What are the things if you were going to say just today, what are three things that are mission critical that ultimately and I don’t care if they’re small little things, but three things that you feel are important and that you need to get done today that you want to get accomplished today.
John I’m not saying putting out the fires. I’m talking about three things that you want to make sure you get done and accomplished today before the day even starts. And I just want you to write those down. These are your three critical things. And I use a 3 to 1. What I mean by that is my goal is I know I’ve started to work on this a little bit differently than I had in the past, So I’ve always kind of thought about what are those three things that I want to make sure I get done in that day? And I started playing a game a little while ago and I said, Okay, can I get at least one of those things done before noon? And I started getting pretty good at that. And then you kind of dial it up and say, okay, can I get two of those things done before noon? So if I’ve got three things that are on my list for the day that is really kind of key, they’re important that if nothing else happens at the end of the day when the dust settles, but those three things happen, then I’m going to feel really good about the day. Then make sure those are the most important things and let’s get two of them done by noon. Because if you get two of them done by noon, your chances are you’re going to have a phenomenal day. You’re going to get that other one thing done because you have the whole rest of the day to do it and you’re going to feel great. And that’s the key thing. It’s got this positive ripple effect, right? So if you can’t find the time to do that, make the time to do that, it’s that important.
John They wouldn’t be part of your critical three things unless they were really critical. Three things, right? Do you have to have to make the time for that? Think about this. If if the other stuff didn’t get done, the emails and all that kind of stuff didn’t get done, but you got those three critical things. It would be a productive day, right? You’re always going to find time to do the other non essential critical stuff. You’re just going to figure out how to do it. You’re not always going to figure out how to do the most critical things. They just keep rolling from today. To-do list, to-do list over and over and over again.
John Okay, So real easy. Three, two, one. What are the three critical things that I got to do today? Write them down and then plan them. How am I going to do it in two of them before noon? How do I get done? Two of them before noon now and then the one will be in the afternoon. Now, here’s one of the things that somebody was telling me. They said, you know, I’m dealing in a business where I get these calls from clients and customers all the time. And you know, part of my value proposition is I respond, I’m very, very responsive. And I said, okay, I get that. But there’s a major significant cost to that. And the cost is that you ultimately because this was a person running kind of a one-person operations, it was a small, small business. They had a staff person and it was them. And I said, So the cost, though, is that you’re not able to drive the business forward because you’re always responding to things.
John I said, What if you just told your clients and the customers that you you’re available three times? You have somebody that’s at the front desk answering phones. And if you just said, hey, listen, I’m available from 8 to 9 in the morning, 12 to 1 in the afternoon, and then 4 to 5 in the afternoon. And those three times are working on them when I’m going to return phone calls. And that person that answered the call said, hey, you know, he’s tied up right now, but he’ll give you a buzz back at 12. Is there something I can help you with? Is it something that’s urgent? 99% of the time people are going to understand that and that’s going to be totally fine. If I called somebody and they said, Hey, he’ll give you a buzz back at 12, I’d be totally fine with that.
John It’s just a few hours away now. If it’s a day or two days, it’s a different story. But. What that allowed that person to do is control their day and rework the way they ran their day and the rhythm of their day, and then apply these three things, Hey, how am I going to get these three critical things done? Two of them were done by noon. And I promise you, you’re going to feel phenomenal. Your whole day is going to change. You’re going to have control. You’re going to start getting major things done. Your productivity is going to go up. You’re just going to feel better. You’re going to be less stressed. You’re going to feel like you’re making massive progress and the reason is that you are. So take that for what it’s worth. I hope that helps. I know that’s helped me in the past when I’m slammed with a whole bunch of stuff.
John Okay, let me just simplify it. What are the three things? And it could be a small thing. I mean, honestly, sometimes one of the three things might take me 2 minutes. And so it’s I’m not talking about things that maybe take an hour. Sometimes it’s a quick phone call I going to make. And that’s the beauty of it. It’s not time-based. It’s just results based, right? It’s a return on that investment of time. But it wouldn’t have happened had I not been incredibly intentional and deliberate and stubborn. That was the word I used with this individual. I said, You have to be so stubborn with your time. It’s precious. You own it. If you don’t own it, somebody else does.
John Think about that. If you don’t own your day, somebody else does. So why would you let other people run your day? You run your day. So you have to be stubborn about what you do, and that’ll lead to the next step. So we talk about the other important thing is how you say no.
John So I hope this was valuable for you, as always. Like share, subscribe, all that kind of good stuff. Go down below, and give a five-star review. I appreciate you. Thanks for your patience. I’m back.
John Thanks for joining us on today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader. For suggestions or inquiries about having me at your next event or personal coaching, reach me at John@johnlaurito.com. Thanks, lead on!