We are all gifted with the same 24 hours yet how we utilise these hours varies dramatically and when it comes to our earning potential it really comes down to to simple aspects in terms of how we spend our day.
The first is value, meaning how much value we create by doing the things we do. The second is productivity, meaning how efficiently we use our time and how much tangible output we deliver in a day. This article is going to focus on these two components; creating value and productivity, as it’s these two aspects that hold the key to unlocking your earning potential.
People are compensated based on the value they create for a third party – whether that party is a person or organisation in the form of a client or customer, or an employer – it doesn’t really matter, because the universal fact remains… that at a fundamental level people get paid according to the value they provide.
The value of an activity such as being an attorney is clearly a lot higher than the value of an activity such as cleaning. This is not to say that a cleaner is any less valuable as a person than an attorney, because a person’s value as a human being is way more than the job they do, the money they make, or the material possessions they acquire.
It is, to say, however, that an attorney charging $350 per hour to defend against a serious allegation is creating more value to the person receiving the service than a cleaner being paid $10 per hour, as the end result they are creating is of less tangible value.
In simple terms, if you want to earn more, you need to create more value in terms of the end result you are providing; as the more value you provide the more you will earn.
Look for ways you can provide more value or upgrade your career to one where the value you are offering is greater – as if you want to make more money, the only way to do this, is to create more value to someone that is willing to pay you for that value you produce.
The key to remember with regard to the above is that you don’t have to do something that feels out of reach, like doing a Master’s Degree, you could simply obtain a food handler card online as this will substantiate, or rather, demonstrate the value you can create within the context of working in a food environment; and that’s the thing with qualifications – it’s not just about the education and training – it’s about positioning yourself as a valuable commodity, and essentially, a more valuable commodity than the other people applying for the job you’re wanting.
For this reason, if you’re currently employed and offered training, particularly if this training leads to a recognised qualification you should grab it with both hands. Many people bemoan having to do “training” within the workplace, but the more training you have, the more your perceived value increases – meaning you’re more desirable to employers and are able to charge a premium for your time.
The second part of this article is going to focus on productivity, as you can be the most intelligent person in the world but if you can’t get things “out there” in the real world you’re going to struggle to make ends meet let alone unlock your earning potential.
Here are a number of great tips to help you become more productive in terms of the output you deliver.
- EAT THAT FROG
World renowned expert on productivity, Brian Tracy, encourages us to tackle the most challenging, dreaded and uncomfortable task first – on the basis that once this is out the way we feel a tremendous sense of achievement and relief that we can use to build momentum, stay focused, feel increased self-esteem, and squeeze more out of each day.
- BATCH TASKS
The majority of small business owners are used to multi-tasking, and whilst this can be a great skill, it can also hamper your productivity and effectiveness. The opposite of multi-tasking then is batch-tasking. The premise being that you can decrease distraction and increase concentration by focusing on a single task at a time. Then, when you batch tasks, meaning you group similar tasks together your effectiveness increases per tasks, meaning your efficiency sky rockets.
- WORK IN SHORT BURSTS
There are several apps that utilise a time management principle known as the Pomodoro technique whereby a person works for 25 minutes then has a 5 minute break. In many ways, this is similar to physical training in the sense that you can’t just keep on going for hours and hours – you have to have a break in order to maximise your performance.
Whilst it can feel tempting to go hard and heavy for a few hours at your desk, this might isn’t sustainable and certainly won’t produce your best work. Ensure you have regular breaks throughout the day in addition to having at least a whole day off where you don’t think about work. This way you’ll be much more refreshed, and therefore productive, when you do work.
- PISTOL FOCUS
We often spread ourselves out too thinly across multiple projects. This approach leads to us running around, chasing our tail, and not really finishing anything. Think of a shotgun. The shotgun shell itself is made up multiple components that spread out, meaning, there’s a strong chance some of those particles will hit the target. A pistol, on the other hand, is a single focused bullet that is being driven toward its target with absolute power.
You want to develop a pistol focus whereby you focus on one task with all your energy until it’s completed, rather than allowing yourself to be scattered and pulled in multiple directions, hitting a few targets but not really making a significant dent in anything.
- OPTIMISE YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Your environment has a huge impact on your productivity, as it heavily influences your ability to focus, be creative and feel organised. Many people find themselves working on the go, perhaps in a cafe or train carriage and for some people this is their most productive space yet for many they need a place that is distraction free in order to focus with absolute clarity and precision.
Find out what works best for you on this front and commit to working in that environment. Working from home can be a great solution, yet it is not without its challenges, as the core focus must be to have a space where you can single handedly focus on the task at hand.
In summary, to unlock your earning potential, you need to focus on being more productive and creating more value with each hour you spend. Hopefully, this article has offered some food for thought and will inspire you to make better use of your time and create more value in order to earn more.