As Peter Drucker famously said, “What gets measured gets managed.” When details come to the forefront, behavior changes. Data can make people more likely to take action.
How many steps are you at today?
I bet you know...and you probably know whether you are ahead of your coworkers and family members, too.
I look for ways to increase my steps all day long.... I take the stairs, walk to lunch...
"What do you measure (and manage)? For instance, exactly how many steps do you walk each day? More than a thousand? More than ten thousand? As Peter Drucker famously said, “What gets measured gets managed.” When details come to the forefront, behavior changes. Data can make people more likely to take action.
Until recently, I didn’t have the faintest idea of my number of daily steps. Or my heart rate. Or my sleep cycles. That information didn’t seem relevant, and certainly not fascinating.
Then I got a Fitbit activity monitor—a souped-up pedometer on the wrist. This nifty device illustrates the principle that people work harder to improve performance if they can measure their progress. It collects precise stats about your daily activity, transforming minutiae into a storyline.
By weaving the details together, the Fitbit causes dull facts to become an addictive scoreboard. I can see how many steps my family and friends have taken. Once a day, my wrist buzzes and lights up, telling me that I’ve walked my ten thousand step goal.
Party on the wrist! Even detail-averse folks can get sucked into this addictive gamification. As a result, Fitbit’s market cap is approaching that of the NBA."
What and how do you measure what happens in your life?
Identify The Difference That Makes The Difference
What if we can seize control of our lives instead of being at the mercy of a media that encourages conspicuous consumption? What if we choose to do only what adds meaning and value to our lives, the lives of our families, and communities?
Everything changes when we accept accountability for our lives, when we exercise our freedom to choose wisely and well. We can ascend to the next level of achievement and growth in our lives when we replace what we find trivial with what makes the vital difference. We are no longer trapped in other people’s agendas. We are free to make meaningful choices.
What if instead of buying more stuff, we focused on creating more space to think, breathe, and be? What if we stopped trying so hard to make money we don’t need, to buy things we don’t want, to impress people we don’t really care about?
What if we stopped measuring our progress in life by how busy we are? Instead, we measured it by how much time we spent meditating, pondering, communicating, and enjoying time with the most important people in our lives. How would we live differently?
I have always been acutely aware of how little time I have and how limited my energy and resources are. So I need to make sure that I use my time and energy optimally to make a difference to myself, my family, and my community.
As a physician, professor, entrepreneur and author, I’ve always had really big goals. And for a long time, I was very focused on my career. The outside world was doing well. The problem was that I achieved these big goals at the expense of my family and health.
Finally, I realized that everything that really mattered to me was suffering. I understood that the wins were not worth the trade-offs; I knew something had to change. This was true not only for my personal life but also for my professional life.
I had the time to reflect on the meaning of my life when I had a near death experience when I was about forty-two. Years from now, when I reach the same point again, I want to make sure I have no regrets about how I spent my time after that near-death experience. My hope is that you don't have to go through a near death experience to start getting clear about what matters.
Over a three-day period, note how much time you spend on the following activities:
1) Business-related profit-producing
2) Business-related non-profit-producing
3) Personal activities
As you go through each day, jot down your activities and how long you spend on each activity. Be as accurate as you can. After you complete three days of activity tracking, go back and categorize your activities by business-related profit-producing, business-related nonprofit-producing, and personal.
You can also include any categories you think are important and applicable to this exercise and your business. Make sure you make a note of the results you achieve from the time spent on each activity. Add up the time you spend on each category of activities over the three-day period. Add up the total time spent then calculate the percentage of the total that was spent on each category.
I know we did a variation of this exercise the last time. This time though, I want to you to estimate what all of the above activities are costing you not just in terms of time but also in terms of effort, energy and money. Also is there an opportunity cost involved in what you are doing? Have you calculated that or factored that in?
What are the returns on how you are living your life this way also in terms of effort, energy and money?
Hopefully you can quantify the above. If you have challenges quantifying the above, it means that those areas represent areas of your life that are unexamined.
If you’re getting 20 percent of your results from 80 percent of your business activities, think about what needs to happen to turn the 80/20 rule in your favor. It’s all about knowing the value of your time and when your most productive time occurs. Then you can start leveraging
your strengths to achieve your profitable activities before you spend time on anything else, especially non-profitable activities.
What does this mean for your business or your life? Unless you commit to continually increase the value of your time, you will not be making the kind of money in your business you want or working the fewer number of hours you want.
There is no free time. You pay for all your time with your life. If you don’t use it, you lose it and all its effects: your income level, your health, and your relationships. In short, if you don’t value your time, no one else will.
It always intrigues me that people generally have no idea what their time is worth and how to increase its value. So the question is, “What is your time worth?” Do you know what your time is worth? Do you know how to value your time to achieve your income goals?
Unless you know the value of your time, your capability to make effective decisions on what you should or shouldn’t be doing, whether you should be delegating, is fatally compromised.
This exercise challenges your perception of the value of time. If you’re honest — and I hope for your sake you are — you get tremendous clarity about why you are or are not be making the kind of progress you want. You and I both know it’s easy to fall onto the trap of ‘everyday
Every year that passes is another year that we can end up drifting further and further away from the life we truly want. The seeds of doubt start creeping in. We think: maybe I was never meant to be a writer, maybe she never really loved me, or maybe I’ ll never be able to lose this weight.
Deep down we know what we’re capable of, but the idea of reaching that potential becomes a steeper and steeper hill to climb.
One lucky listener that posts a review on iTunes will win a private confidential consultation and coaching with me on discovering your soul’s purpose. I will lead you on a personal journey to discover your unique mind-body psychosomatic map of your life. You will get a detailed report and a personal 45 minute consultation with me that is worth thousands.
On this podcast, I’m going to help you design a life that works. So you are able to say yes to the things that matter and eliminate everything else that slows you down. The more clear you can be about how to organize your daily life to support your bigger vision, the more you’ll step into your true potential, stay on track and accomplish all that you want and deserve. Are you ready to make that happen?
Feel free to reach out to me to ask your questions at AskDrSun.com. Your life is a gift. Design it. Do what matters and join me each week as we get closer to designing the life of your dreams. I am Dr Sun. Join me next week on Your Life by Design.