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The Secret Happiness Of A Structured Life

Written by: Deborah Lynch, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Back in the 1980s, if you needed to research a project, you went to the library and spent hour after hour searching for small pieces of vital information. Nowadays, such research is easily accomplished, often within seconds, via Google. That means the amount of daily work achievable today is significantly higher than was in the era of big hair, giant shoulder pads, and Yuppies.

Yet are we really more productive now than we were around 40 years ago?


In this brief guide, I address this question by championing the power of a structured life as a means to achieving much more every single day. This applies not only in work situations but also in maximising your accomplishments and maintaining your personal happiness level…


Fast-track to peak productivity: The gift of THREE days for the price of ONE


American author Ed Mylett is well-known for his highly effective time management strategy, i.e., in Ed’s reality, you can get the equivalent of THREE days of work done in a SINGLE day.

  • From 6 a.m. to 12 noon — he does the equivalent of a full day’s work.

  • From 12 noon to 6 p.m. — a time for connection, relationships, and getting things done: meetings, calls, interviews, and so on.

  • 6 p.m. to midnight — is occupied by yet more of the same activities.

This mind-blowing method really works. According to many high achievers who have adopted this special schedule the results are incredible.


Just think of the amazing effect that 21 days’ worth of work done in ONE week could have on your life. Stack that up over five years and your world is going to be dramatically different!


Such a high level of productivity will transform your working life, enabling you to achieve your goals faster, make more relationships, and accumulate many great memories along the way.


But it all takes discipline and commitment. Unfortunately, a lot of would-be high flyers don't realise that entrepreneurship burns-up way more time and effort than a standard 9-to-5 career. Many newbies cherish their freedom and assume their time is their own — which is probably the biggest fallacy on the planet. As an entrepreneur, you will have more obligations, more responsibilities, and more accountability than ever before. You most certainly do not have all the free time in the world. In reality, becoming an entrepreneur means taking on four or five extra roles.


It is likely that when you get started, you will mess up a few times. But if you remain committed to this strategy for several weeks, the new schedule will gradually become second nature to you.


The unexpected benefit of a structured life


You already know that having a structured life characterised by peak performance and high productivity will likely improve your life and career in general.


Nonetheless, there is a hidden benefit that almost nobody talks about:


According to leading New York psychologist, Dr. Steven Phillipson, unemployment is a mental health problem because an unemployed person doesn’t have a structured life.


Similarly, not having a relationship can be a mental health problem too. Let’s say someone has a job, but no relationship to go home to after work. This also looks like an issue because this person also needs a structured life after work.


I know this theory doesn’t sound politically correct, but it makes sense to those who have experienced unemployment and the singleton life for a long time. Also, a major study shows that the recently retired tend to have more anxiety and depression as well, simply because they no longer have a structured life.


Among the many individuals who have recently turned to entrepreneurship, the most common challenge is: “Okay, now I can plan my schedule, but it seems incredibly hard because now I must have self-discipline, momentum, and the consistency to be well-organized! Just thinking about those elements are causing me great anxiety.”


Fact is, when self-employed, you must create a structured life by yourself — because no one now tells you what to do every day (yes, I said must, not should).


In other words, a structured life improves a person’s mental health. This is extremely important as good mental health not only influences your state of mind and motivation but also directly impacts your physical health.


In his book Lifespan: Why We Age — and Why We Don’t Have To, Australian biologist David Sinclair states that he was very nervous in his 20s and 30s. Then, after studying more about the biology of ageing and lifespan extension, he became a very calm guy in his 40s and 50s. Now at 53, he looks like a 37-year-old. David says anxiety causes too much cortisol in the body and this accelerates aging.


The easiest way to deal with this is to monitor your gastrointestinal system. You may experience nausea or diarrhea due to too many stress hormones — and recent research shows that due to high levels of cortisol, heartburn is becoming increasingly common among younger people.


Hence, everyone would be well-advised to look after their mental health so they can live longer. A structured life helps to maintain the balance in mind and body, which is good for your longevity!


Use the 80/20 rule to your advantage


In business, success is much more important than busyness, which is why the 80/20 rule is very well-known. In essence this rule purports that since 80% of your results are created by 20% of your efforts, you should focus on the 20%.


If you are an ambitious entrepreneur who loves being in the thick of the action, chances are you’ve already wasted a great deal of time doing things that haven’t directly contributed to the results you are seeking.


Perhaps you got caught up in the excitement of organising events that don’t add to your bottom line. Perhaps you’ve been networking with people who aren’t high-quality customers/clients/business partners. Perhaps you’ve been carrying out plans that don’t put real money in the bank.


In such cases, the 80/20 rule will change the way you operate — you don’t have to be perfect in every way to have a profitable business. If you want to achieve more without getting burnt out, the most important action you need to take right now is to clarify the 20% of your efforts that bring 80% of your results.


More exactly:

  • 20% of your marketing efforts brings in 80% of the new business you get.

  • 20% of your tasks lead to 80% of your business success — measured in dollars, new customers, business growth, and other numbers

Defining the 20% of tasks that produce 80% of your results, will free up time, energy, and resources and enable you to become more productive and effective!


That being said, simply knowing the 80/20 rule wouldn’t make a difference. It’s doing it that matters.


Now I’m going to show you how to identify the 20% of your tasks that are high-leverage activities in your business.

  1. In the left-hand column on a piece of paper, list all the tasks you do in your business — e.g. talking to clients on the telephone, writing marketing emails, and so forth.

  2. In the right-hand column, list all your business’s Big Wins, e.g., getting a book deal, landing a VIP client, and so on.

  3. Now draw a line linking only those left column tasks that contributed to each of the Big Wins on the right.

Now you can easily see which tasks contributed to your Big Wins. These are the 20% of tasks you have to focus on. (By the way, in your business it may be a 75/25 rule or 89/11 rule. The principle is flexible.)


Don’t forget that the 80/20 rule also applies to specific areas in your business:

  • 20% of your revenue streams bring in 80% of your actual income

  • 20% of your clients/customers bring in 80% of your revenue

  • 20% of your clients/customers bring you 80% of your headaches!

Indeed, if you spend your precious time more wisely, you will have more time to spend on important things, e.g., quality time with family and friends, self-care, etc.


Which tasks are you going to get rid of because you know they don’t bring results?


Duties to delegate


Many new entrepreneurs feel overwhelmed by having too many things to do each day. That’s why you would be well-advised to delegate tasks strategically.


Let’s analyse all the tasks in your business by filling in the table below:


Which tasks in your business are challenging/comfortable and which are energising/depleting?

challenging and energising


challenging and depleting

comfortable and energising


comfortable and depleting

Here is an example (Dorothy’s analysis table):

challenging and energising

  • working with VIP clients

  • writing a strategic sales and marketing plan

challenging and depleting

  • online marketing

  • copywriting

comfortable and energizing

  • having Zoom meetings with overseas business partners

  • weekly team meetings

  • bank reconciliation

comfortable and depleting

  • responding to potential clients’ email inquiries

  • filing business documents

In actuality, everything in the right-hand columns should be delegated. That is to say, any activity that is depleting should be delegated to someone else (something you dislike doing might well be another person’s favourite task). Also, chances are you don’t like what you are not good at, so find someone good at those tasks and delegate to them.


I advised Dorothy to delegate everything in the right-hand column to someone else. As a result, since everything in Dorothy’s business is digital, she now has a virtual assistant currently doing online marketing and copywriting for her. This assistant is also responsible for admin work, responding to potential clients’ email inquiries, and filing business documents. (I recommended VirtualStaffFinder.com to Dorothy. This platform has many high-quality virtual assistants, mostly based in the Philippines).


Last but not least, let’s figure out how to manage the challenging/energising and the comfortable/energising tasks in the left-hand columns.


Frankly, you should want to be deeply involved in these categories which are at the very heart of your business. They should energise you. (I’d advise tackling ‘challenging’ tasks when your energy level is high and dealing with the ‘comfortable’ ones when your energy level is lower.)


Dorothy, for instance, writes her strategic sales and marketing plan and works with VIP clients from 6 a.m. to noon on ‘Day 1’ when her energy level is high. Her meetings happen after lunch. If she needs to do bank reconciliation, she does so after meetings, and that is her ‘Day 2‘ (12 p.m. to 6 p.m.). During ‘Day 3’ (from 6 p.m. to midnight), she reads books and spends quality time with her husband.


Now, Dorothy is a happy entrepreneur running a successful business — all thanks to a properly structured life.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Youtube, and visit my website for more info!


 

Deborah Lynch, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Deborah Lynch is THE global expert on embodying your personal presence (both online and offline) to achieve your dreams, influence hundreds of thousands of people, and achieve self-actualization.

Her mission is to help you build a thriving personal Presence that helps you succeed in business, in relationships, and in every area of your life easily – almost effortlessly!


She has built a successful speaking business, a successful coaching company, a successful Youtube channel, and a successful eCommerce store, and specializes in helping entrepreneurs succeed in today’s presence-driven online landscape.


Deborah’s Story


Deborah’s story is one of overcoming poverty to achieving triumph – and it is still evolving to this day! If she can do it, anyone can – including you!

At one point in her life, Deborah even found herself homeless, with nothing but a can of carrots to eat. At that point, she found a mentor who trained her on a specific set of skills and began her journey to success.


Deborah learned how to become a success both as an entrepreneur and in the corporate world, and eventually discovered the great power of Presence, which she used to become a professional speaker and present for over 150,000 people in 70 countries for 48 different luxury brands, including Dolce & Gabbana, Hugo Boss, and Gucci.


Upon reaching the height of her career, she realized she wanted something more. She wanted to use her Presence as a way to help others in every area of their lives – from personal to professional, and beyond.

That’s when Instant Wings was born, and along with it her Youtube channel Instant Wings1, where she now has over 51,000 views and over 5,000 hours of playtime (and counting!)


Today

Now, Deborah has turned her attention to helping you discover your presence. Because people with a powerful, magnetic Presence – and a message that turns their adversities into a superpower – can experience nearly overnight success in almost endeavour.


Your powerful personal presence can be used to transform your business, your relationships, your results, your health, and your happiness. Because all of these things depend on how you show up. And that’s exactly what Deborah is here to teach you.


Ready to master your Presence?

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