It was one of the last questions I received during the Q&A portion of my book talk (The 5-Day Turnaround) to a group of entrepreneurial students at UGA earlier this week. I had given them the same book talk that I’ve given over the last several months to groups at mostly-large companies (State Farm, Weather, Home Depot, etc.) with a slight twist toward how to be a successful entrepreneur (the talk is normally focused on how to act like an entrepreneur even if you aren’t one.) Given that this group aspired to be entrepreneurs post-college, I was giving them more of the ‘real deal’ of starting your own company.
Often times at the end of these talks I do get questions about how I focus my time, because it can appear that I accomplish a lot. Yes, I run a few companies (Dragon Army, 48in48, and Ripples of Hope, which I founded in June.) And yes, Dragon Army acquired two companies this year.
True, I did publish my first book this year. And I have five children and would consider myself a very present, available father. And I guess to round it out, I’m on a few other nonprofit boards, I’ll read around 40 books this year, and I ran my first marathon in January.
Ok, that sounds like a lot, I get it.
So, understandably I often get asked how I get that much stuff done. The answer is pretty simple, and its a formula that I’ve now put into my book talks.
#1 – Find your Purpose
#2 – Determine your Buckets (the places you want to spend time)
#3 – Say ‘no’ to almost anything that doesn’t fit #1 and #2
You can then do things like color-code your calendar against the buckets, but the hard work is in finding deep focus on those three points.
So when I was asked by the student, “Aren’t you…exhausted?!”, it was kind of a surprise. I have never been asked that before, and to this young person it probably seemed like I was just all work-work-work and no fun. And young people, let’s be honest, want to have fun :)
It didn’t take long for the answer to hit me. I replied, “Actually, I’ve never been more energized. What might look like a ton of work and productivity, in fact is extremely exciting and energizing to me. When you’re working toward your Purpose, its the most rewarding kind of work you can be doing. I love the things I spend my time on because they fuel me, and I’m confident that my Purpose is why I was put on this planet.”
I didn’t realize it until that question was asked, but my ‘work” has become my hobbies. The things I love spending time on. Writing this blog post at 5:30am on a Friday morning, which I hope will help at least one person consider finding their Purpose and changing their life accordingly, is fulfilling to me for that reason alone.
I can’t emphasize this enough: Find your Purpose, focus your time, and you will find more meaning in your life than you ever thought possible.
Now, get to work on that :)