“I just don’t have the time…”
“They can do it because they don’t have children.”
“I’d love to start my own business but I’m already working 50 hours per week.”
These, my friend, are all bullshit excuses that you give yourself for not taking action. In a world where social media and meetings take up most of our time, we’re busier than ever…but much less productive.
Doing more doesn’t always mean getting more done.
If you’re an entrepreneur who wants to start his own business, a wantrepreneur who likes the idea of working for yourself, an average joe who just wants to be healthier, or simply just become a better father (or mother), then allow me to prove to you that the only thing holding you back is your mindset.
If you can incorporate even just a few of the tips I am about to share, you’ll finally be able to quit your job and work for yourself, achieve the body of your dreams, or just spend more quality time with your wife and kids.
Warning: these action steps are not easy and may come across a bit judgmental; however, if you can get your feelings out of the way, your head from out of your ass, and open your mind a bit, you’ll have all the tools necessary to become a greater, more productive version of yourself and finally live your life with purpose.
10 Ways to Go From Victim to Victory
1. Make Time, Not Excuses
“If you’re complaining so much and don’t want to have a job, but, you have to feed your family or pay off your college loans, good news – your parents didn’t have this option – but all of you do. Go home, and instead of watching fucking Breaking Bad, work!” –Gary Vaynerchuk
Truth is, it’s not actually about time at all – we’ve all got the same 24 hours in a day. It’s about figuring out what is truly important to you.
Do yourself a favor – for one day, write down, every hour, what you’ve done in the last 60 minutes. If one of those hours was spent watching The Walking Dead but you “don’t have time to work out”, then I recommend that you reevaluate your priorities. (Read This: The Most Important Question You Can Ask)
If keeping up with the Kardashians is more important than your physical health, or spending time with your kids, or working on your business, then just admit it to yourself and move on. But stop creating obstacles that don’t exist by telling yourself that you don’t have time. You do. We all have time – it’s how we use it that separates the winners from the losers.
[Tweet ““We all have time – it’s how we use it that separates the winners from the losers.” -Alain Gonzalez”]
Action Step: Dedicate 3-4 hours every night (9pm-1am) to working on your business. Sacrifice an hour or two of sleep for however long it takes to get in a position where you no longer have to. If you work at night, do the opposite: get up earlier and dedicate a few hours each morning to doing the same. Make time, not excuses.
We’ve all been there: You sit down at your desk ready to get shit done. Next thing you know, it’s 2am and you’ve spent the last 4 hours refreshing your email, retweeting motivation quotes, replying in the group text your buddies trapped you in, and scrolling Instagram wondering why no one is following you. (Follow me on Instagram: @musclemonsters)
You’ve done everything there is to do, except the most important: work!
You wake up the next morning and you’re not a single inch closer to reaching your goal. Oddly enough, you’re confused as to why your business is in the same place it was when you started 4 months ago.
You’re not moving the needle.
3-4 hours of dicking around on the internet – or staring into your phone with a stupid look on your face – is not the same as 3-4 hours of undistracted, completely focused work. Problem is, because you were at your desk – as opposed to sitting on the couch – you mistake this time-wasting, mind-numbing activity for actual productivity.
But….results don’t lie. And your lack thereof is a clear indication that you’re not doing the work.
Action Step: When it’s time to work, it’s time to work. Before you sit down to work on your business, put your phone on airplane mode. This eliminates any interruptions from texts, phone calls, social media notifications, etc. Download a plugin like StayFocused that allows you to block certain sites for however long you’d like – forcing you to avoid going down the rabbit hole that is Facebook. Grab a cup-o-joe, lock your door, and disappear into your zone.
3. Do the RIGHT Work
“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Replying to emails is part of your work, but spending time working on the one thing that will grow your business is far more necessary. So if you’re a writer, for example, then checking and replying to video comments should never come before working on your new book.
This is not to say that it isn’t important to respond to your followers or film videos for your YouTube channel – but those things should always come after your most important work is completed.
Ask yourself this: what can I do today that is going to bring me closer to where I want to be tomorrow? If your goal is to write a book, then replying to emails is probably not the best use of your time – writing is, so do that.
Action Step: Take 80-90% of the time you can dedicate to work, and allocate that to your one thing. If all you’ve got is 2 hours to spare, then 100 minutes of that time should be given to your most important task, period. Do this until you’ve reached a position where you can dedicate 4 hours, per day, to your one thing – this is where you’ll find the definition of true productivity.
4. Create a University on Wheels
According to the U.S. census bureau, the average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. That’s almost an entire hour you spend in a car, on a train, or a bus, 5 days per week. That doesn’t even account for the time you spend driving to and from little league games, to the gym, or picking your kids up from school. 5 hours+ a week of yelling at the asshole in front of you who can’t drive, trying to break your previous record on Angry Birds, or Facebooking about how much you hate your job – a complete waste.
Instead, use that time to help get you further ahead. No matter what your goal is, there is always going to be something you should learn. What you listen to, read, or watch is going to be completely dependent on what your goal is, but the idea is the same: don’t waste 5 hours each week on bullshit that isn’t going to help you get where you want to go.
Action Step: Find a podcast or audio book to help expand your knowledge on a given topic and play that while you drive. This simple strategy will allow you to listen to one new book every single week – that’s more in one month than most people read in their entire adult life. Turn your car (or bus or train) into a university on wheels.
5. Keep Your Work Space Organized
The research is very clear that a messy work space will raise cortisol levels and decrease productivity.
Clutter bombards our minds and leaves us feeling anxious and overwhelmed. And worse than that, it draws our attention away from what should be our main focus – that one thing.
Action Step: Before you step away from your desk for the day, organize it. Make sure everything is neatly placed where it belongs and toss out whatever items you don’t want, need, or use. A clear work space allows for a clear mind – keep it organized.
6. Open Your Fucking Eyes
Most people have it backwards.
Here’s what I mean: They try to schedule their passion project, a gym session, or reflection time after or around their favorite TV shows or football games. Fuck that!
If your business is failing or your health is taking a nose dive or you just want to become a better father in general – fishing, poker nights, beer with your buddies, and watching Lost is not a priority!
Action Step: In order, make a list of all of the things that are important to you (i.e. your wife, your kids, your health, your legacy, reality TV, sports, partying, etc.). Next – and this may sound harsh – open your fucking eyes and never let the things lower on the list come before the items above it.
7. Cut These 4 Toxic People Out of Your Life
“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” ~Jim Rohn
Simply put: the fastest way to becoming a loser is to hang out with losers.
[Tweet “The fastest way to becoming a loser is to hang out with losers.”]
Perhaps they’re not losers in the traditional sense. Maybe they went to a prestigious college, got great jobs, earn a good living, and are pretty good parents. Still, they’re not exempt from being cut off.
You see, there are two types of people in this world: boosters and anchors.
Boosters will push you to work harder and bring out the best in you.
Anchors, on the other hand, do nothing but take from your happiness, your ambitions, and suffocate you in negativity.
Action Step: Watch the video below, identify the individuals in your life that fit the personalities I’ve outlined, and cut the cord. Fast.
8. Say “No” More
Co-workers will ask for your advice. Classmates will request your help with a project. Friends will need an extra hand when moving. The older we get, the more birthday parties we’re invited to. And so on.
I’ll be the first to admit…it’s hard to say no.
But if there is one thing I learned about being a Yes Man, it’s this:
“When you say yes to something, it’s imperative to understand what you’re saying no to.” ~The One Thing by Gary Keller
Every time you say yes, you make a commitment. When you tell your buddy that you’ll help him paint his house, you’re actually telling your kids that you can’t help with their homework; or telling your spouse that you won’t be home for date night; or telling yourself that you won’t have time to write today. So before you say “yes” because you don’t want to disappoint someone, think about how many people you might disappoint if you do say “yes”, including yourself.
Action Step: If a co-worker needs help with a project, but it means 2 hours less of working on your business, then simply look and see where on your priorities list your business is in comparison to your co-workers personal issues. If your business comes first, then just say “no”.
9. Stop Multitasking
“Multitasking is merely the opportunity to screw up more than one thing at a time.” -Steve Uzzell
If you’re ever interviewing someone for a job, ask them what their strengths are. If their answer is “multitasking”, shake their hand and send them on their way.
Multitasking is bullshit.
Don’t believe me?
Try answering client emails while flipping back and forth to the word doc where you’re writing your book proposal.
Now tell me how much longer it took than if you’d just written the proposal first, and then answered the client emails. The reason is simple: when we try to do multiple things at once, we are constantly storing and restoring the state of a process. This is known as context switching. On top of that, we’re making more errors due to insufficient attention to the task at hand – a waste of time.
A study conducted at Stanford University found that multitasking is less productive than doing one thing at a time. They found that those who are regularly faced with a barrage of information cannot focus, recall information, or switch from one job to the next as well as those who focused on one thing.
Action Step: In order of importance, knock out one task at a time. With less context switching and more attention on the task at hand, you’ll be more effective and efficient with your time. Stop trying to do it all at once!
10. Man Up!
Boys do what they want to do, men do what they have to do.
Stop spending time bitching and complaining about how hard it is or how you’d rather be fishing. Do the work.
Not in the mood to make your 20 sales calls? Make 30.
Too tired to get to the gym? Jump in your car and go anyway.
Your kid wants to play catch while your favorite show is on? Shut the fucking TV off.
Action Step: Forget about how you feel, it’s irrelevant. Man up and get shit done.
About The Author
Alain Gonzalez is a former skinny guy turned jacked fitness pro whose transformation story has been featured in articles on websites all over the internet. He has dedicated his life to helping naturally skinny guys like himself to overcome their genetics and take their physiques to the next level.
Certified Personal Trainer