Back when I read a bunch of business-related books. One subject that I wanted to constantly learn about was time management.  My mind runs at 100 miles an hour. This means that I'm constantly jumping from task to task without making much progress.

I'll never forget the time when I landed my first professional job.  The girl training me would teach me a few tasks than observe me while I worked.  After a few moments of observation, the asked me to stop jumping from one task to another so I could actually finish what I was doing.  Being all over the place feels like I'm busy but, in the end, I found myself rarely getting the most important things done.

To solve this problem, I tested out a variety of time management strategies.  Most of them produced positive outcomes. But one strategy, in particular, improved my results by leaps and bounds.
I almost forgot about this technique until recently.  While watching Instagram stories, one woman talked about how great of a day she had. She's a celebrity stylist who eventually launched a successful online fashion boutique.  I've followed her for years and witnessed entrepreneurial growth first hand.

While describing her amazing day, she let us in on the strategy that allows her to produce massive results.

Simply put, she manages her day on an hour by hour basis.

Each hour she takes a moment to look back and asks herself if she made good use of her time.

I first learned the concept of managing each hour in 2005 while looking for a solution for my unproductive days.  The answer came in the form of using a daily time log.  My first few times using a time log was a disaster.  Hours would go by and I'd forget to document my activities.  When I did remember, I had to think hard on what I actually accomplished in the past 3-4 hours.  Sure, I was busy doing a bunch of stuff, but was I actually being productive? Most of the time, I was shocked that I allowed a couple of hours just slip by without even realizing it.

After a few days of tracking my activity by hour, I became hyper-aware of how quickly time would dissipate if I didn't take ownership of it.  My activity changed drastically because I wanted to log something meaningful at the end of each hour.  Even if I didn't complete an important task in an hour, I'd still be satisfied as long as I was working on something of value.  The point of the exercise is to bring awareness to our subconscious action.

Most importantly, hourly time management raises the level of accountability, intention, and focus of our daily activity.

Once I got used to tracking my hourly activity, I took it to the next step by building my daily to-do list using this format. Simply put, I tried to plan my day on an hour by hour basis (before the start of the workday) then challenged myself to maintain this schedule.  A-list celebrities and successful individuals are so busy that they plan their day using the same (hour-by-hour) format.  I heard that Ryan Seacrest plans his day 15 minutes at a time.  They don't allow half a day to slip by without accomplishing something critical.

People throw around the term time management loosely but, to me, this is the true definition of managing your time.

 First, decide what's most important (and what will provide the most impact), then design your most optimal day.  One that you would classify as amazing.  Then create a daily schedule of how you will execute this day (hour by hour).  Things will pop up and your schedule will change.  Chances are, you won't be able to perfectly ahere to that schedule. But, if you start with a solid plan, you'll likely have one of your most productive days ever.  The more you implement this technique, the better you'll become at executing it to your satisfaction.

For fun, try printing out an hourly time log and track your time this week to see how powerful this technique can be. 

(*Another way I apply this technique is to simply set an hour countdown on my phone. Each time an hour passes, my phone buzzes, I reset the timer and I log how I used the hour*).
The biggest challenge we have, when it comes to reaching our goals, is opposition that comes in the form of resistance.  Recently, I shared a tactic that provides an easy way to get out a rut. But what should you do if your resistance is fear-driven?

Fear & resistance go hand in hand.  You want to step into a new direction, but all of these limiting thoughts pour in, causing you to remain stuck.  I've coached quite a few people over the years and the biggest factor (I found) that keeps people from taking action is focusing on what could go wrong.
It's perfectly healthy to mentally review the pros and cons of venturing into a new direction.  But most people tend to amplify all of the possible pitfalls.  It's great to have a balanced discussion about what could go right or wrong in any given situation. Unfortunately, most of our internal conversations aren't very balanced.

In the days of old, we had to rely on our healthy fear responses to protect us from external threats that actually threatened our lives.  Today, our environment is much safer but our primitive survival instincts still remain.  Instead of trying to keep us alive, it tends to focus on keeping us from "harms way." But not physical harm...we're more afraid of emotional harm. 

A little bit of fear is healthy. It helps us think logically through our impending decisions.  The problem arises when we lean too much on the side of fear. Suddenly we come up with every single scenario of what could go wrong. We don't just think about them, we amplify them.  And, if we're honest with ourselves, we don't notice how irrational most of our fears actually sound. 

One thing we aren't very good at is actually challenging our so-called fears.  An inaudible voice tells us why this idea--that you were very excited about--won't work and we instantly believe it. 

Those who are able to consistently reach their goals are the ones who challenge that inaudible voice.  I want you to question its motives.  Realize that it's sole purpose is to keep you locked firmly in place.  If you actually could experience harm from this scenario, then you probably shouldn't move forward.  But if deep down you realize that the voice is just afraid, you'll have to take a different approach.

What do you do when someone's afraid of something that can't actually hurt them? 

You calm them down by assuring them that everything's going to be ok.

We have to take the same approach.

You must counteract your negative, fearful thinking by focusing on everything that could go right.

If your initial idea was inspired by something you are truly aligned with, there are lots of things that could go right.  We have to nurture our belief in what is possible.  Most of us don't spend adequate amounts of time playing out scenarios of things actually working out in our favor. 

Instead of spending too much time on what could go wrong, ask yourself "what if?"

"What if I dedicate a few hours a day on this goal?"
"What if I invested $XX from every paycheck towards making this happen?"
"What if instead of binge watching shows all weekend, I did XXX?"

These are the types of questions that create new outcomes.  From there, you come up with strategies on how to fulfill your vision instead of running away from it.  Bottom line is that we can allow those fears to stop us or we can look at look at it from a different perspective.

I would have never experienced this entrepreneurial journey if I only focused on what could go wrong. I'm convinced that my journey to freedom was delayed because of all the time wasted on focusing on what would go wrong.  I painted vivid mental pictures of me on failing financially, losing my home, and living on the street.  I'm approaching 3 years now and none of those fears have manifested.

Why?

Because I started asking myself powerful questions.  I identified the risks, then spent a ton of time working to eliminate or minimize them.  The process wasn't fear based.  My motivation was to overcome the obstacles, not be threatened by them.  I realize that there are areas where resistance still exists. But I have to fight against that.

  Our default way of thinking is to focus on the worst possible outcome so we have to make a conscious effort to reflect on all the positive experiences that await us if we moved forward in the right direction.
Today, I'll give you a small piece of advice that will hopefully change the direction of your life.   This morning I went on a morning walk.  Typically on these walks, I'll open the voice app and record an update of various areas of my life.

This morning's update went very well.  I noticed that I've made impressive progress in areas where I struggled for months.  After a bit of reflection, I realized the reason for my wonderful progress came from applying one simple principle that changed everything.
Currently, I'm executing a bunch of habits that I've struggled with in the past.  How did I get here?

Simple.

Unknowingly, I followed the philosophy of taking the path of least resistance to enjoy the results I have today. 

Months ago, I weighed more than I do now, had no morning routine, my productivity was minimal and I felt lost.  Today, everything is different.  Here's the journey that led me here.

Prior to this transformation, I struggled majorly.  Something had to change. I wanted to be doing so much more but I just couldn't motivate myself into action.  So instead of forcing myself to jump directly into rigorous routines, I took the lazy route and followed the path of least resistance.

Resistance keeps us stuck in one place.  I needed to move forward. I knew that if I took that one, tiny step, it would be tremendous.  This morning I watched a video featuring Tim Ferris, author of the Four Hour Work Week.  Tim said that whenever he has a complex problem he asks himself "what's the easiest way to solve this?" 

In the same way, whenever you struggle to move into action, ask yourself, "what's the easiest thing I can do right now."  Although I didn't actually ask myself this question, my action reflected it. Let me give you a few examples.

I get more done when I work from a pre-written list of actions.  When I'm super productive, I use planners, calendars, the works! On the opposite end of the spectrum is when I work "freestyle."   Freestyling is a recipe for disaster because a lot falls through the cracks.  I was freestyling for months even though I KNEW how important it was to write my daily list. I'm happy to say that I'm no longer working without structure thanks to the simple act of writing things down on Post-Its.  That was my path of least resistance.  It was quick and required no effort so I did it every day. Soon, I returned back to my fancy planners because that was the obvious next step.  And my days have been going smoothly ever since.

Months ago, I ate way too much sugar and suffered from low energy.  I knew that I had to get more fruit/veggies into my diet.  I had to find the path of least resistance.  For me, this meant purchasing large containers green juice which I used to fill smaller single serving bottles. Now, all I have to do is walk a few steps to the fridge to enjoy a serving of veggies.  The energy I get from them allows me to work efficiently all day and skip out on the sugar snacks.  This weekend, I actually juiced fresh veggies for the first time in forever.  How did I get here? I first took the easy route.

The same process applies to jump-starting my business or in any other area of my life.  Sometimes when we want to alter our current outcomes we vow to make these major changes.  Unfortunately, the greater that action you want to take, the greater level of (internal) resistance you will likely face.

Then what happens? 

We stand still.

We can't afford to stand still.  Not in this economy.  We've got things to do and there's no time to allow resistance to slow us down.  Remember that an object in motion will stay in motion so all we have to do is GET IN MOTION.

*Disclaimer* The Path of Least Resistance strategy should primarily be used to kickstart your action. From there, you should raise your level of action on a consistent basis in order to enjoy enhanced results.


According to the Strengthfinder, one of my strengths is having a future-based mindset.  I'm forever imagining and fantasizing different versions of my future.  This is a cool skillset to have. But it does have its drawbacks.  Sometimes, looking too far ahead could hamper the actual creation process. The future seems so far away and we convince ourselves that we have ample time to create it, so we become lax in our level of activity.

Another strength of mine is coaching others.  This is because I believe in asking powerful questions. These types of questions cause a shift in our current pattern of thinking.  And, in doing so, they have the ability to create powerful outcomes.

Starting today, I'm going to start asking myself a truly powerful question that will impact my future starting now.
When we think about our future, we tend to look ahead 3-6 months or even 1-5 years down the line.  But how many of us are looking in the very near future.  I'm talking about 24 hours from now.

Yes. Where do you see yourself 24 hours from now?

Typically, the first reaction to this question is to dismiss it.  That's because, for most of us, the next 24 hours will probably look exactly like the last 24.

This is the reason why our lives don't change.  We keep reliving the same day over and over again.

But, if we were to take some time and fully answer this question (on a daily basis),  you could truly alter the direction of your life.  I love that the question invites us to visualize our day 24 hours from now.  It's giving us the freedom to daydream a little bit about what we can possibly create in a short period of time.  This question takes us a little outside of our comfort zone and I love it!

I was once introduced to the idea of our "default future." It's basically the future we create based on our past and current actions.  Since our actions tend to repeat on a daily basis (habits), our future will pretty much look like our current reality.  I was on a website that looks at current social media stats and predicts future results based on past growth. Let me tell you...looking at the future prediction is a sobering process.  Seeing how long it will take to get to my goal based on what I'm doing now is a real eye-opener.  My default future isn't pretty. Chances are,  the path of most of my goals look very similar.  They too will be delayed unless I do something to alter the course of the future.

It's time to do something that causes our lives to move in a different direction

 The direction of our lives is created 24 hours at a time (it's actually created hour by hour, but we'll discuss in a future article). If we take this question about the next 24 hours seriously, we won't squander the precious hours of today.

Best of all, we'll be rewarded with the fruit of our labor in a very short period of time.

I leave you with this video as a bit of motivation of what you can accomplish with the valuable 24 hours that you are given.  Pay close attention to what he says at the end of the video about being able to tell you where your life will be, years from now, based on what you do with your 24 hours.

This is a perfect reference to the idea of the "the default the future" that is currently in place.


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While checking out some Snapchat stories,  I landed on one in particular where an entrepreneur/influencer posted an email written by a super-excited follower.   Weeks earlier, the influencer shared that she was launching a set of "affirmation bracelets" on her online store.  The bracelets were stackable and contained various positive, motivational phrases. 

In the email, the young lady detailed the exciting news of what's happened since she first received her bracelets.  According to the testimony, she received a contract worth $100,000.  Prior to that, the largest contract she ever received was for $10,000.  Basically, she increased her results by 10X!  She attributed amazing results to the bracelets. We all know that bracelets doesn't have the ability to create outcomes (otherwise, all of the purchasers would have similar results).  But, her email did remind me of a powerful lesson that we all need to apply whenever we're in the manifestation process.
I listened closely for clues as to why, all of the sudden, she experienced results unlike what she'd experienced before.  One sentence in particular,  caught my attention.

She talked about how, everyday she would look at her bracelets and focus on her goals. She didn't go into further detail but I suspected that her daily routine involved a heightened amount of mental focus on manifesting her desire.  If I were to compare her to the other people who purchased the bracelets, she was probably one of the few that dedicated mental energy, day after day, towards focusing on creating exactly what she wanted.

You probably remember the line from the secret where Mike Dooly boldly proclaimed
 "thoughts...become...things!"

If I were to expound on his statement, I would say "thoughts that we place an extremely heavy amount of focus on....can becomes things."

When have a desire for something, that desire usually falls into various categories.

  • a wish
  • something that would be nice to have someday.
  • an obsession
If we're honest with ourselves, most of the stuff we say we want are actually wishes or "a nice to have."  Rarely do we ever really elevate our thought energy to the point where they actually manifest into things.

What I'm referring to are thoughts that create something we've never experienced before. Not the ordinary thoughts like what you want to have for lunch.  Ordinary thoughts are simple to execute. We know what we want, we know how to get there. It takes very little mental or physical efforts.  It's just a matter doing what we've done before.

But then there are the thoughts of manifestation or creation.  This is when you want to bring something new in your life. This takes a ton more physical and mental effort.  But our problem is that we rarely put enough mental effort to start the manifestation process because our minds are consumed with other priorities.  I'm sure lots of people purchased those affirmation bracelets, but how many of them used the bracelets as a daily trigger to remind them to stay firmly on course?

Once upon a time, I was manifesting like crazy.  Everything I wanted, I got.  Wanna know what I did to cause that?  I became absolutely obsessed with having it.  I watched countless Youtube videos on how to achieve it. I read endless accounts of those who created what I desired.  My mind wouldn't let me rest until the outcome was achieved.  It was mentally exhausting, but it worked!  It's hard to maintain that level of focus on something that doesn't exist yet.  But it was necessary to cause me to move into the type of action that brings new things into existence.  

Creating something new for your life will require new action. But new actions are scary so we typically avoid them.  That's why our actions don't shift even though we say we want to change our circumstance.  We must be moved into action.  This takes quite a bit of effort.  And this type of effort is nearly impossible unless we've convinced ourselves that moving towards our desire is a MUST.  you

There's a goal that I've had on my list for quite a while.  Based on my action, I wouldn't even classify it as a goal.  It's more of a "hope."  I'm hoping this thing happens for me even though I'm not taking any direct action to ensure it's inevitable outcome.  

You might say to me, "Nadege, isn't that how the manifestation process works? You just put it out into the universe and wait for it to happen?"    

Yeah, maybe if you're trying to manifest a parking spot or something.  But not when we're talking about outcomes for things we can control.  I'm not going to just wake up one day and find that I've reached that goal.  It'll require consistent, dedicated action.   

But that action will not occur until I switch my level of desire from hope to obsessed.  I need to wake up in the morning determined to do something that will bring me one step closer.  This obsession needs to repeat itself day after day otherwise, I'll waste yet another year hoping that it eventually happens.  

Once I get that process in motion, I may find that my results are magnified.  This is expected. At first, my hard work will bring minuscule results but as time goes on, the results will seem to outweigh your efforts. In summary, if you want to truly achieve the goals on your list, you need to raise your level of desire for them.  A small step you can take is to focus on them on a daily basis then turn that focus into daily action.