The 99/1 Practice (and how it will transform your life)

There’s something you can do 1% of the time, that will utterly – and positively – transform your life.

I call it the 99/1 Practice.

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One of the, if not the most, important things you can do to live well and achieve important, meaningful goals is to regularly plan and strategize.

But the vast majority of us never do this, and for those that do, few do it enough for it to make real difference in their results.

I have something that will change all of that.

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When you do the 99/1 Practice you set aside 1% of your waking hours to planning and crafting weekly and daily strategies.

Note: in creating this, I have set aside eight out of the 24 days each and every one of us gets every day – so there’s no “funny” math here.

Initially, I figured there was 960 minutes in 16 hours. And 1% is approximately 9.7 minutes. Over seven days, it’s just under 68 minutes.

Given what I know about goal achievement I knew that merely allotting the 68 minutes evenly wouldn’t be most effective and decided that it would be best to create a Planning Day with a bit more time.

Thus, every week, one picks a day (Sunday evening is likely best) where they devote 20 minutes to “bigger picture” planning and strategizing and spread the remaining  48 minutes over the other six days of the week. (I would suggest that the daily eight minutes be either every morning before work or every afternoon at the end of the workday.)

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If you will devote – and I mean make this time sacrosanct and inviolable – yourself to the practice described above you will increase your effectiveness, productivity, well-being and happiness. And, as you continue this practice over time you will install a way-of-being that will allow you to live as few do.

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What, exactly, do I suggest in terms of making the most of this time?

First let’s take weekly 20 minute chunk. This is the time where you, initially, do a comprehensive goal “imagining” session where you write down everything you want and everything you might, possibly, perhaps want. (This may be hard at first as all kinds of thoughts will come as to “how?” and “why?” “am I worthy?;” but you must write it all down. Trust me, the more you do this, the better your list will get, and in a month’s time (yes, do it four times) you’ll have a very clear and authentic list of things you want to be, do and have.)

The second piece is the daily eight minutes. I would humbly suggest that you do this in the morning, before going to “work” (whatever that is for you), each weekday. During these eight minutes, Monday through Friday you will quickly review your goals and identify the four-to-six most valuable tasks for the day. The things that will best support the achievement of your larger goals.

And, and this is key, you will focus on these goals like a laser during the day.  Will emergencies come up, that take you away from the vital four-to-six? Sure, but gossip, idle chit-chat and social media/the-Web don’t serve you and are to be ignored. (Sorry if that sounds harsh, but it’s the truth and in this Practice, the Truth and clarity are you’re biggest allies.)

The third bit is the final eight minute block. This is for reflection on what worked and what didn’t work during the week: which tasks and projects went well, what got done, what didn’t get done, what didn’t go well and what is left undone.

This is the time for sober, non-judgmental reflection and assessment. “Just the facts ma’am,” as it were.

You can do this either Friday evening right before you pack it in for the week, or on Saturday morning before beginning your weekend. Either way, this eight-minute session will inform your 20-minute session on Sunday where you look comprehensively at your goals (yes, you continue to do this, even if you don’t write them all out . . . ) and how they inform your tasks for the week.

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There’s more to the nitty-gritty of the 99/1 Practice, but suffice-it-to-say that anyone can set aside 68 minutes per week to transform their life.

And yes, devoting this time and focusing yourself in this manner will actually create more free time in your life. How? Because you won’t be wasting time on things that don’t matter to you. You’ll be getting things done at work and spending more time with the ones you love.

How?

Because you’ll be operating out of clarity, and there’s nothing more empowering and energizing than strong clarity about what you are here to do – and what what you’re not here to do.

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