It all started before 2010. We bought our first PVR (Personal Video Recorder). It was a Topfield.
It also cost $892!
My wife was a little stunned, a little angry and wondered what on earth I had done. I had tried explain to her what a PVR was and the benefits of owning one would bring.
And so, we had our PVR …
Once we had it set up, my wife discovered the yellow button. On our remote control the yellow button was the 30-second skip ahead function. Guess how long most adverts are?
By recording a show on free-to-air TV we could skip through the ads! We used it so often that, literally, 12 months later, we’d accidentally watch an ad and say, “so that’s what that’s about!” It also rescued watching time considerably! Do you realise how many ads there are sometimes duding commercial television? We’d count them sometimes, nine was our record. Nine times 30 seconds (4.5 minutes), 3 or 4 times during a show!
The yellow button saved us time and some frustration.
Since then we’ve referred to anything we do that brings a benefit as our “yellow button”.
We can make our lives a little easier even though there might be an upfront cost – changing routines, eating differently, getting more exercise, meditating, reading positive books, getting off Facebook!
As you make one change, other changes can become easier, the cost to change reduces.
What has been your “yellow button”?
What change did you invest in that made a significant, positive impact?
We should be doing what we can to make our lives and those we work with easier or simpler to help them and us achieve our goals.
This starts at home and continues into the work itself.
At home it begins with things like ensuring we get the best possible sleep, eating heathy meals (which can vary between individuals), getting enough sunlight and exercise. Simple things in themselves but each can affect our happiness and performance, particularly when added together.
If we are not happy, our energy and focus suffers, which will in turn affect our work. And as we get to work, how do we structure our days so we can be the best we can be?
It can be having specific routines and clear expectations. This will allow you and your direct reports to know exactly what is required, when and how.
There is a peace of mind and clarity in knowing what to do and how to do it.
For example, every day, before I get to the office I have listed my 3 Most Important Things (MITs) . They are my focus for the day – outside of my routine tasks. My day will already be busy so by having these priorities I can say no to casual, generally less important requests and focus on daily responsibilities and my 3 MITs.
I think of it like this: at the end of each day I am going to mentally reflect on how I went, even just casually. Was it a good day or a bad day? And then, what caused it to be good or bad? What was in my control and what was not?
If I allow the tasks of the day to jumble up and cause chaos that is my responsibility alone. Yes, there will be days where the “proverbial really hits the fan” and I need to throw my plans out, but over 221* working days in a year, most of those days I will be in relative control.
I will be in control because I have plans, routines and execution strategies to help me focus and keep things simple. I don’t need any further friction.
I do these things to make my life easier. Work, sometimes, is not easy but I don’t have it make it harder than it needs to be either.
*221 working days is determined as follows (in Australia):