Follow a Schedule? But I’m a Free Spirit!

You’ve probably noticed by now that talking and writing about time management is my jam. I love it! However, the reason I enjoy talking about it is that I’m living the benefits of its success.

Free Spirit

Unfortunately, that may not be the case for those of you who are fast-paced, type-A personalities (i.e., most salespeople). Instead, once the conversation leads to creating and sticking to a schedule, with most salespeople, I hear some variation of, “But Dew, I can’t live by a schedule all day, every day like you do; I’m a free spirit!”

To which I want to reply, “Hello?! Have you met me?”

Seriously ,though—aside from telling people, “you’re doing it wrong,” I like to change the narrative by explaining how I’m the freest of the free spirits. In fact, when you look up “free spirit” in the dictionary, there’s a picture of me (and my unicorn)! But a mentor once told me, I was never going to hit my goals “winging it” with the way I managed my schedule. And I changed my life forever. If I were to write the shortest blog post about time management, it would read:

Top performers follow their schedule.

If you want to be a top performer, then create and follow a schedule.

Until next time—go sell some stuff!

However, that’s not how we work, so let’s go back a few steps.

When you tell me that you’re a “free spirit” and can’t follow a schedule, then I know your goals aren’t a high enough priority to you. To achieve what you want to accomplish in this life, you have to create some sort of schedule. It’s not impossible to retain that free spirit while you do it, though. I know how boring the concept of scheduling your whole life can feel. So I choose to be a free spirit every night and every weekend.

However, every weekday, I follow my schedule. In reality, that’s just one-third of your day. You can then spend the other two-thirds doing whatever you want.

Condense Your Day

If you want even more of your time back, you can follow Stephan Aarstol’s Five-Hour Workday method. Then you’ll get three extra hours every day to be a free spirit!

This method distills your day and removes all the irrelevant garbage, allowing you to complete eight hours of work in just five hours. It’s completely life-changing. And while it takes practice and focus, it is more than doable.

When we created Skillway in 2017, we implemented the 5-hour workday from the start. I’ll admit I may not achieve this lofty goal every single day, but at least I don’t feel guilty whenever I stop working at 2 pm because I’ve already completed the day’s work.

How Much Does It Matter to You?

Think about how you approach planning for retirement, or a vacation with your family, or your perfect wedding day. You’ll probably find that you can do all the planning necessary to achieve what you want in these areas.

So why then, when it comes time to talk about hitting your goals at work, do you come up with a million excuses? Why, instead of dedicating time to planning and practice, do you choose to just “wing it”?

Think about the last time you went on vacation; specifically, think about your last day in the office before you went on that vacation. You got 42 hours worth of work done in six hours, didn’t you?

That’s because it mattered. You were laser-focused, and you wanted to go on vacation with nothing hanging over your head. And while you may not have completed everything you wanted to, you most likely had one of your most productive days of the year. That shows the kind of results you can get in a short time frame if you’re focused.

You’re capable of doing this. You can give the same attention to your work life that you do to all the fun and exciting things you do in your free time. You can be a free spirit and also a top producer. It just takes planning and intention.

In summary, I’ll finish with this:

Top performers follow their schedule.

If you want to be a top performer, create and follow a schedule. 😉

Until next time—go sell some stuff!

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