You’ve heard me say it before. You can gain control over your workday and achieve more in eight hours than the average person does in a week. Simply identify, and then eliminate those daily activities that don’t add anything to the achievement of your long-range goals. Yet as effective as this foundational strategy can be, it has its’ limitations.
In fact, I can almost hear you thinking, “I’m already optimizing my time at work. I know there has to be a way I can accomplish even more each day, yet I don’t see how I can squeeze another four hours on top of my already busy workday.”
Those types of thoughts wouldn’t surprise me at all, because I’ve faced the same disillusionment myself. And since you were attracted to the title of this article, you’re probably already an achiever who accomplishes more than the average person. (It’s always the man or woman who has tasted abundance of any kind in life who demands more from himself or herself.) So for you, here’s a more aggressive strategy to apply.
Time-Leveraging Strategy #4: One morning hour equals two evening hours.
If you give your all during the conventional workday, it’s likely that you’ll be less mentally alert in the evening, so why try to fight nature? And why do battle with the constant annoyances and interruptions of the accepted business day? Rise one hour, an hour-and-a-half, or even two hours earlier. You’ll accomplish as much in any given morning hour, than you will in any two evening hours. It’s why the world’s top super-achievers can be found in their offices hours ahead of “the herd,” and if you want to join them, it’s why you should be found there too.
Sun Tzu, in the 2000-year-old masterpiece “The Art of War” would call this strategy for approaching your day, a battle on “Deep Ground.” This is defined as territory that you can quickly gain by penetrating deep into hostile territory, ground that’s virtually impossible for the enemy to regain.
Just imagine a 5-year-old boy with a small chunk of Kryptonite sneaking up on Superman while he sleeps. If Superman doesn’t see him coming soon enough, he’s trapped and the little boy controls his lair. It doesn’t matter that Superman is a superior adversary; a little boy has gained the control of Deep Ground.
It’s same thing with your average workday. If you start your workday when everyone else does, or even a half-hour earlier — you’ll be trying to win on what Sun Tzu calls “Encircled Ground.” This is territory where once you’re in it, victory is unlikely and escape is tortuous. It’s territory where small, annoying forces can inflict heavy casualties on even the strongest army.
Now take these metaphors and think about your average workday. Even the most efficient person will loose the upper hand to the “busy-ness” of the average workday. If you try to optimize the hours between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. beyond a certain point, you’re fighting your daily battle to succeed on Encircled Ground. And on Encircled Ground you will slowly be worn down and conquered.
The key to achieving more in any given workday lies in your willingness to fight the battle for lasting achievement and gain Deep Ground before the enemy knows what hit them. This can only be done during the hours before the average workday starts. Once you use these hours for long-term goal actions, your enemy (busy-ness) can never take them away.
Begin to apply this strategy by arriving at your office just one hour earlier each morning. Use this time ”’only”’ for completing actions linked to your most important long-range goals. Within just a few short weeks you’ll prove to yourself the exponential value of your early morning hours. And your hunger to take even more Deep Ground each day will increase.
When you choose the winners strategy for achieving more by starting your day on Deep Ground, you’ll find you can create time where there appeared to be none.
”’Copyright 1999-2003 by RPM Success Group