Except it isn’t. This quote, this idea, can change your life. It’s changed mine. And it’s changing IMA.
Here’s the basic premise. Pick one main thing that you need to do tomorrow. That most important thing. Something that requires focus. Deep work, etc. Write it down on a post-it or piece of paper or in Todoist or Things or Asana or Airtable or whatever. Then go to sleep.
Then, no later than 8:30 am, look at the task you wrote down and get to work. Close your email. Close Slack.
I repeat. Close your email. Close Slack. And mute your phone.
Now work on your task uninterpreted until noon. Use that morning brain energy and focus to get real work done. Work that will move you forward, that will create something, that will improve your business.
At noon, stop. Crumple up and toss the post-it or cross of the task on the paper or check off the task on your computer. Feel the accomplishment. What you did actually matters. This is actual, meaningful work that will pay dividends. Feel how that feels. All the feels.
Then take a break. Have lunch. Go for a walk. Make some tea.
In the afternoon, open up that email. Open Slack. Perform all of the bullshit tasks that we have to deal with every day. But feel accomplished while doing them. Because your day is already a success.
You won the day.
I instituted this approach this month and the results are incredible. I’m doing more deep work on IMA than I have ever done.
My day can be filled with distractions if I allow it. It’s easy let email and Slack control my daily agenda and leave me with little substance to show at the end of the day. Just more incomplete tasks that continue to pile up.
You’re probably the same way. I know our employees are the same. That’s why as we scale IMA to new heights this year, I’m going to create a new part of our culture around this Before Noon concept. That means no morning meetings. That means no one expects an email reply before noon. That means Slack is asynchronous.
That means our team will be doing deep work for our clients. Work that will generate more revenue. That means our team will be improving IMA, making us more profitable. That means our team will be happier and feel more accomplished. Stress should, not disappear, but decrease because we are dividing our days into two types of work. Focus and collaboration. Equal but not the same.
This idea was inspired by Gary Keller but this idea is not unique. The idea of the maker/manager schedule has been written about eloquently before I heard Gary on the Tim Ferriss podcast. It doesn’t matter. It works.
Try it and see what you can accomplish.