I remember hearing that in order to be on top in sales you need to work 80+ hours a week – at least for the first few years. Don’t believe it! The effort needed to accomplish a task will expand to fit the time it is given. And if no constraint is provided, it will overflow like a flood. Immediately I placed constraints on my sales time, and when I did hit #1, I was “working” less than 40 hours a week.
Do you believe in the power of constraints? Do you set and abide by them? There are always extenuating circumstances – the challenge is keeping them from becoming the norm. Incidentally, this concept need not be limited to work. Have you ever heard the phrase “they’re so heavenly bound, they’re no earthly good”? Faith is important to me, so don’t read what I am not saying. But it does not keep me from living - dating my wife, serving my clients, loving my kids, staying fit – truly I believe faith enhances all those interactions.
One mentor said to me, “Show me your calendar, and I’ll show you your priorities.” Now, I don’t put my kids in my calendar (formally), but I do constrain my working hours, and we do protect family dinners, date night and family night (in our home every night is family night, unless it’s date night). My way is the right way for me, not necessarily the next person; but it is important to understand that if I was not deliberate in constraining my work, family and date nights would exist sporadically, at best. And for our family, that would not be good.
Constraints are a natural phenomenon – oceans, lakes, and rivers – all constrained; yet when released, disaster occurs.
I am convinced that constraints bring value, focus and purpose to what we hold to be important in our lives. Yet, it takes a decision and disciplined follow through, and often a lot of faith, to honor the constraints we know we need.