Finishing your plan
In doing so, you’ve created a solid plan that is personal to you and will serve as your trusted guide throughout this year.
The plan has clearly defined the following for you:
- Actionable theme: “I will do this…”
- Operating principles: “I will rely on these to make decisions…”
- Major projects & actions: “I will focus on completing these things…”
- Highly aspirational hourly rate: “I want to earn this for an hour of my time…”
If you haven’t completed this first mission, then I recommend you stop right now, go here and do it, and then proceed below.
Turning your plan into action
Now that you have the foundation for your personal operating system in place, it’s time to set it in motion and get the system working hard for you so you don’t have to constantly hustle and grind your way to success.
The best way to think about the year is to break it up into a bunch of bite-sized units, which at its core, is a single workday.
But how do you stay on track every workday, especially with so much coming at you at once?
You need a structure you can trust to keep you on track. Your plan won’t be strong enough by itself. It needs to be held up with pillars.
I like using frameworks (or what others might call mental models) as pillars, certainly much more than playbooks. That’s because frameworks help you to think rather than just follow orders.
A playbook assumes if you follow A, B, and C exactly, you will achieve X, Y, and Z just like the author of that playbook.
We know life doesn’t quite work out that way, and you’re way too intelligent to want to follow someone else’s playbook. It’s better to be equipped with ways to solve challenges, expand your capabilities, and stretch your capacity so that you can design your own playbook for success.
Here are my three simple frameworks that you can adapt and apply for yourself:
These frameworks don’t tell you exactly what to do, but they can help you to think deeper and help you operate in a more focused, intentional, and meaningful way.
Here’s how each works…
→ Build your compass with TEMPR
- TIME: Am I spending the right amount of time on my key projects and activities?
- ENERGY: Am I harnessing ample energy for my key projects and activities?
- MOTIVATION: What projects and activities motivate me the most?
- PRIORITIES: Am I prioritizing my day around what motivates me?
- RIGHT FOCUS: Am I applying the right focus to my priorities?
→ Underpin your days with DFC
- Be DISCIPLINED at the start of every workday and activity
- Be FLEXIBLE during the middle of every workday and activity
- Be CURIOUS at the end of every workday and activity
→ Execute with PREP
- PLAN: Plan out tomorrow as the last thing you do today
- REST: Ensure you get proper breaks throughout the day and recover well at night
- EFFORT: Give 100% intense focus to your high value activities and try to collaborate, automate, and delegate the other stuff that has to get done as much as possible
- PERFORM: Measure your performance with data, not emotion
Gaining unlimited power-ups
That feels pretty good right? But we’re not quite done yet.
To accomplish your entire quest, you’re going to need power-ups, and that’s where this next part will be extremely valuable. Like in a video game, power-ups help the hero supersize their key attributes in order to complete a mission and progress to the next level.
The power-ups you’re going to need every workday are the Four S’s of Sleep, Strain, Skills, and Satisfaction. If you can harmonize all four each day, you’ll be unstoppable on your quest.
Developing a space to thrive
For nearly two years, every workday, I have been tracking my sleep, strain, skills, and satisfaction in a very intentional way. I’ve done this because my mission has been to find a new way to measure success in a more personal and humanistic way than just looking at traditional sales activity metrics.
The results were staggering.
I was pretty successful the “old way,” having closed over $11M in ARR in 24 months, but I was constantly stretching myself too thin and got burned out.
However, operating in this “new way,” I was able to close $14.1M in ARR in just 10 months and felt so much better! In fact, things like how well recovered I was or how much sleep debt I had were better leading indicators for my success in a week than how many meetings I ran or proposals I sent.
To combine all of this data into a single place, I created a simple tracker and started calling it my Thrive Space™.
Understanding your Thrive Score
Here’s how it works…
Step 1: Look at the health data each morning.
I was already wearing a wearable (for me the best is WHOOP) to measure my Sleep and Recovery, and I was really impressed with the data I was getting from RISE, which showed me exactly how much sleep debt I was in for that day along with my personal energy cycles.
As a part of my Daily Start Routine, I took just a few minutes to record this data into Thrive Space.
Step 2: Review skills, strain, and satisfaction each evening.
Throughout my day, I used the Pomodoro Technique and a Pomodoro timer app to work in 25 minute focused efforts on my high priority activities. I targeted completing eight Pomodoros each day, because when I complete a Pomodoro, it means I’m immersed in deep work and flow state.
Besides being highly fulfilling, that type of work levels up my skills because it’s highly demanding cognitively. It also beats working reactively in my inboxes all day where I’d be focused on other people’s priorities…not mine.
I was also tracking my time easily through a cool little device on my desk that connects to an app on my computer (and phone) via bluetooth called Timeular. This gave me a detailed breakdown of my total time worked, including the time I spent in meetings, which was important to me.
Because the pandemic forced me to go 100% remote for the past two years, this has been key to unlocking powerful insights into how much time I actually work and the optimal time I should be working (8 hours really is enough…like 8 hours of actual work, not an 8 hour work day).
Lastly, I scored my satisfaction based on two criteria – 1) did I complete my five basic intentions of meditating, showing gratitude, completing my most important task, wellness activity (like working out), and sharing something (like on social media) for a total of ten points (each activity scores two points), and 2) my mood which I measured using a free version of the Gyroscope app.
It all adds up to a holistic score for the day that I call my Thrive Score. I have a section for capturing notes from my day, like a discovery about myself or a win such as progressing a deal, which I then input into Sunsama during my Daily Review Routine before I close down for the day.
That’s it. No real extra work or burden. In fact, at this point it’s become a fun game.
During my weekly and monthly reviews, I can look back at my Thrive Scores and figure out what are the days that push my Thrive Score the highest and I can optimize future days around replicating the Four S’s from those days.
Want to try it yourself? Grab it here.
See you again next time!
When you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:
- Get the exact system I’ve used to go from earning $200K to over $1M a year in SaaS sales without burning out here. (1,800+ students)
- Join a community of Purpose-Curious™ sellers in the Make More Hustle Less Club where we develop a personal operating system together here. (300+ members)
- Book a 1:1 coaching session to up-level your performance here. (Limited spots available)