⚡️ Today’s level up ⚡️
It’s the first week of January, and the perfect time to put the right systems in place. Today’s system is about using the 2-4-8 framework to design a better daily schedule.
Read time: <7 minutes
Be intentionally slow now to move much faster later
As a new year begins, it’s tempting to charge full speed ahead.
But I suggest an alternative, one I talk about often on LinkedIn, which is to slow down in order to speed up.
January provides a great opportunity to “strategically procrastinate” before things get too hectic. Since I’ve made the intentional effort to do this since 2019, it’s profoundly reshaped my life – as a human, a strategic seller, and now as a solopreneur.
The key driving activities to implement in the month of January are:
- • Review
- • Renew
- • Reset
I will be doing this work right here with you, because I will be using everything I share to grow my business and level up my own life. Over the next 4 weeks, join me, as I’ll be sharing new systems that will create a strong foundation for you to build leverage. Then, each week thereafter, we’ll ensure we keep one another on track to put that leverage to good use.
I have tons of exciting things on the horizon – so stick around!
“Give me a firm place to stand and a lever, and I can move the earth.” – Archimedes. Image courtesy of Visualize Value.
You’ll be able to use this leverage to close 7 figure transformation deals, become a calmer and healthier version of you, build your “intellectual capital” on LinkedIn, and become a savvier investor with your new found wealth.
First, it all starts with redesigning your days more thoughtfully.
Design a great day
What’s the impact you want to make with the remaining 361 days of 2023?
As my friend Jeff Riseley highlights in Stress Less, Sell More, “when you factor in weekends, holidays, vacations, wellness days, sick days, and unforeseen events that take you away from your sales role; there are roughly (just) 220 “selling” days a year.”
The results you shape over those 220 business days will be a culmination of the quality decisions you make and the high impact actions you take in each one.
The intent with today’s system is to provide a framework that gives you the awareness to design a great day – one built just for you!
More great days stacked on top of one another will naturally lead to a stellar year.
Let’s design yours now.
Use the 2-4-8 framework
Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Determine your chronotype
When you do things can be just as important as what you do, according to bestselling author Dan Pink.
In the book When, he shares ample research on the effects of when certain activities are completed and how that makes a huge difference on the outcomes.
As just one example, in research at Duke Medical Center, it was determined that the probability of a problem occurring during surgeries at 9am was about 1%. At 4pm, the probability of a problem occurring was 4.2%. If your surgery was scheduled at 4pm as opposed to 9am, it’d be over 4 times as likely that there’d be a problem.
This is because we all follow the same pattern of a peak, trough (dip), and rebound (recovery) of our cognitive capabilities.
However, when they occur differs from person to person based on your chronotype, which is genetic and is your natural inclination for the body to sleep at a certain time (or what most people understand as being an early bird versus a night owl…or somewhere in between).
When you align the right tasks with the appropriate energy state, you give yourself a better chance of winning.
→ Do this: Take the AutoMEQ to determine your chronotype (it will prompt you to donate, but you can hit “close window” to take the questionnaire for free if you wish)
This particular questionnaire parses your results across the following spectrum:
You’ll encounter a lot of names of the various chronotypes out there, but I am going to simplify them into 3 main buckets using human performance research (compared to animal research) from Haas Business School at UC Berkley and the cofounder of – Dr. Sahar Yousef:
If you’re wondering which bucket you fall in after taking the assessment, here’s what the scoring would look like using this human performance model:
- • 70 – 86: AM-SHIFTED
- • 31 – 69: BI-PHASIC
- • 16 – 30: PM-SHIFTED
Step 2: Apply the 2-4-8 Framework
Here’s how it works:
- • Pick 2 numbers as focal points for your key work/life/play + sleep blocks
- • Make sure they align well to your chronotype
- • The first set should be 4 hours apart
- • The inverse should be 8 hours apart
I’ll use mine as an example. I have a 44 AutoMEQ score and am Bi-Phasic, like 50 – 55% of the population. Per the assessment, my natural bedtime is about 12:15am, but I am susceptible (and capable) of shifting my sleep rhythms.
So the numbers I’m choosing are 7 and 11, and the 2 focal points are:
- • 7am waketime
- • 11pm bedtime
Now, I can use the first set like this:
PEAK: 7am – 11am (4 hours) for key work
Next, I can use the inverse like this:
DIP: 11am – 7pm for more collaborative work and other “need to do” activities
Now, I’m back to flipping them like this:
RECOVERY: 7pm – 11pm for creativity, connection, exploration
Finally, I end with the inverse of those numbers like this:
SLEEP: 11pm – 7am in bed
Are you a morning person? Maybe you can roll with 5 and 9. Or are you a night person? Your recovery comes in the morning, and then a dip in the afternoon, and the peak comes at night, so you might want to consider something like 10 – 2.
Next, let’s design more tangible meaning with these numbers by pairing it with the DFC model.
Step 3: Pair your numbers with the DFC model
I’ve written extensively about the power of DFC, which stands for a combination of Discipline + Flexibility + Curiosity.
It’s a mindset approach that prioritizes one leading trait (without completely abandoning the others) to guide that particular part of a day, meeting, sales engagement, or a project.
The intent is to move the knob on a specific focus based on the phase you’re in like this:
Create a list of work/life/play activities under each category.
For instance, deep work efforts, like building an account strategy for a Diamond Account, is best completed when guided by discipline because you need immense focus.
However, 1:1 meetings with your manager are best suited when you can be flexible.
Finally, want to explore a new hobby? It’s a great time to fit it in is during your curiosity phase.
Now, as it relates to the 2-4-8 framework for your ideal day, map out the leading mindset, the list of activities guided by that mindset, and then align them most closely with the natural energy state, like this (using my numbers and Bi-Phasic chronotype):
7am – 11am
- • Peak cognitive energy state
- • Discipline is leading mindset
- • Load activities that require discipline
11am – 7pm
- • Dipping energy state
- • Flexibility is leading mindset
- • Load activities that require flexibility
7pm – 11pm
- • Recovery energy state
- • Curiosity is leading mindset
- • Load activities that require curiosity
Step 4: Adjust based on your human factors
Aligning your work to your natural circadian rhythm based on your personal chronotype will have profound effects.
I began working in this way in 2020, and I was able to close more ($16.7M vs $11M ARR) in less time (18 months vs 24 months) while averaging 7 hours of sleep each night.
But there are other factors that don’t make this a simple plug-and-play system. Your personality type, neurodiversity, age, health, role, geography, relationship status, family size, priorities, motivations, and other factors will play a part in the demands placed on you.
For instance, a single 27 year old male Account Executive in San Francisco will run a different version of this system than a 40 year old married female VP with two young children in Boise.
But each have universal truths:
- • Both will fall into one of the 3 chronotypes
- • Both will benefit from Discipline, Flexibility, and Curiosity
- • Both aspire to be the best versions of themselves (because they’re reading this!)
This is where you need to get creative, and incorporate different personal approaches, like the ones highlighted in Deep Work.
Unlock the complete system
As I build and benefit from a system, I share it with the community every Wednesday.
However, there is only so much I can deliver for free in a 5 – 10 minute read in an email or on my website for the Be Focused. Live Great community.
That’s why I developed The Make More Hustle Less Club, to provide all of the systems, tools, and knowledge that helped me become a prolific 7 figure dealmaker, then perennial 7 figure earner, and now an intention-driven solopreneur with diversified income streams.
For those that are a part of this special club, you’ll get a more robust framework to incorporate this system into your own life.
I’ll be releasing this framework on the MMHL hub page that will help you:
- • Better understand your specific Chronotype using research from UC Berkeley
- • A template with pre-built activities under DFC and mapping that to your 2-4-8 plan
- • A breakdown of how to sustain peak performance based your diverse human factors
Here’s a sneak peak:
There are two ways to become a member based on your current status here.
1. Email subscriber only: JOIN HERE
2. 7 Steps to 7 Figures student: JOIN HERE
See you inside!
When you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:
This combines the 7 Steps to 7 Figures system along with an annual membership to our Make More Hustle Less Club where we put the system in action as a community.
You can book a 60 minute session with me here (however you save more if you do option 1 and bundle in a strategy call)
All Q1 slots are filled, but I will be selecting Q2 spots in about 8 weeks.