Dear Diligent Sunday Readers,
Another week has passed, marking 40.6% of the year. As we approach the 22nd calendar week, we inch closer to the year's halfway point, a period I greatly relish. In my professional environment, spring and autumn prove the most demanding and stressful times. As summer beckons, customers and colleagues spend more time outdoors or on holiday, providing us corporate knowledge workers a much-needed opportunity to concentrate on our core tasks and innovation.
The mode of operation shifts from reactive to proactive.
Wouldn't it be delightful if such tranquillity was ever-present? If we didn't have to wait for everyone else's absence to execute our principal duties?
Intriguing, indeed. But challenging to realise.
Challenging but not impossible. I successfully escaped a work situation where I constantly reacted to the demands of a 40-60 hour workweek and could only focus on my primary responsibilities over the weekend. There were phases in my career when I had to work every weekend just to keep up.
It was a folly. I even prided myself on being so occupied and "productive".
Reflecting upon it, I now discern that half my time was wasted on tasks that maintained the processes and business theatre but contributed nothing substantial to the company or its customers. Half my efforts were in vain.
This became evident during my interactions with the CEO. To respect his time, I only shared updates that were indeed impactful. This amounted to only a fraction of my actual work. Was it worthwhile to disclose the political finesse and skill with which I coordinated a concept across different factions within the corporation in 20 separate meetings? No! He was only interested in concrete results, not the drama behind them.
During this phase, I yearned to make a tangible impact. Naturally, I desired it because I devoted half my time at work to non-productive tasks.
The revelation only arrived after seven years in this detrimental, self-created situation when I got a new boss whose idiosyncrasies challenged my work ethic. He was simultaneously indolent yet successful. Readers who have been following my blog are familiar with this story:
My new boss, whom I shall refer to as Georg, was highly respected within the company. He was esteemed by employees, peers, and the C-suite. Trusted with the most strategic organisational and business development challenges, Georg adeptly resolved them in one way or another.
However, as his subordinate, I was dismayed by some of his practices:
- He arrived and departed at his leisure.
- Occasionally, he would be absent from meetings, leaving his employees to improvise.
- He refrained from performing tasks considered standard in the corporation.
- It often appeared as though he only worked for four hours a day.
This naturally infuriated me as someone who prided myself on my unwavering dedication and discipline.
Today, I understand that it irked me because I subconsciously desired a similar work style but restrained myself due to my persona (see my articles on the shadow self).
Despite his perceived laziness, Georg was successful. Moreover, I would assert that in terms of the company's progress, he accomplished 2-3 times more than his managerial peers.
"How is that possible?" I pondered.
The answer was simple. He prioritised with laser-sharp focus. He exclusively committed to tasks that propelled the company forward. He refused to partake in the business theatre. He adopted a mindset that optimised effectiveness over tackling as many tasks in the shortest possible time, unlike me.
This epiphany catalysed my transformation. The shift was gradual, but eventually, I decreased my workload from over 60 hours to 20. This doesn't imply that I only work 20 hours and then procrastinate, but it facilitates three improvements in life:
- I have secured 20 hours within my standard 40-hour working week that I can utilise for innovation, exploring new subjects for the company, or passion projects.
- As I no longer work overtime, I have freed up an additional 20 hours that I initially allocated for my physical transformation and, once that goal was achieved, for content creation as a side venture. This has enabled me to create the potential for an additional income stream. This blog, with its 90 articles and well above 3000 social media posts, is the product of this endeavour.
- Given that I am finally advancing and effectively harnessing my time and potential, I find myself more balanced and content in my remaining hours, despite being exhausted (from productive usage of the 60 hours). Finally, in my mid-thirties, I am mentally present for my wife, family, and friends and lead a fulfilling life, unlike my robotic existence in my twenties.
The burning question is whether this model is replicable. I believe it is! If you are a knowledge worker in a corporation, you can achieve this too (unfortunately, this does not apply to those working on the digital or analogue production line).
The obstacle was that for a long time, I couldn't precisely identify the components and steps to clearly explain how to transition from a 40+ hour workweek to a 20-hour one.
What I was sure of, though, was my desire to disseminate this principle and the fact that such an opportunity exists. From observing my company and other market players, I see that 99% of knowledge workers unnecessarily complicate their lives and squander their precious time and others' by maintaining a facade of pseudo-productivity.
That's why I initiated this blog, initially focusing on productivity, self-improvement, and mindset, to clarify how I can articulate the principle and understand content creation online.
After seven to eight months of exploration, I feel prepared and thrilled about it. I recently felt discontent and directionless because the topics I addressed were too diverse.
I recognised the need to encapsulate my ideas into a simple value proposition, which would feel like "The One Thing" for me – the single entity representing me, where you, as readers, can anticipate exceptional content from me.
Here is my new value proposition:
The 4-Hour Workday Time Mastery Protocol empowers corporate knowledge workers to effectively streamline their workday, enabling them to accomplish 8 hours of productivity in just 4 hours with serenity. This mastery over their schedule allows them to dedicate more time to health, innovation, passion projects, quality family time, or building a lucrative side hustle.
This is now the core focus and the unique selling proposition wherein all my knowledge and future learning will converge.
For several weeks, I have been developing a digital course, which I've named The 4-Hour Workday Time Mastery Protocol. Initially available only in text, video courses will be added later. In the next 2-3 months, I plan to release it as a Minimal Viable Product (MVP). Existing, early readers will, of course, receive the course at a significantly reduced and symbolic price.
This Diligent Sunday Newsletter will serve three purposes:
- Announcing my new "The One Thing" and the product I'm developing: The 4-Hour Workday Time Mastery Protocol (✅ done)
- Offering you a sneak peek of what it entails (see below)
- Beginning the gradual repositioning of my blog (adjusting menu structures, unique selling proposition, welcome texts, social media profile tagline, etc.)
Of course, I'm eager to hear your views: what are your thoughts, suggestions, or general feedback on my repositioning? Please share your opinions in the comments section (see page bottom) or on LinkedIn/Twitter!
I hope my new positioning will still fit your expectations, and you will find value in it!
I wish you a fantastic start to the week,
— Martin from Deliberate Diligence.com
"Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things."
– Peter Drucker
Decrease your daily corporate job hours from 8+ to 4, enabling more personal time and promoting work-life balance.
Today at a Glance:
Teasers on my new offering to be released in 2-3 months
- 1️⃣ The Who: Corporate Knowledge Workers
- 2️⃣ The Why: To dedicate more time to health, innovation, passion projects, quality family time, or building a lucrative side hustle.
- 3️⃣ The What: The 4-Hour Workday: reducing the daily corporate workload from 8+ hours to 4 hours.
- 4️⃣ The How: Achieving Time Mastery with a Time Serenity Mindset.
1️⃣ The Who: Corporate Knowledge Workers
The feasibility of the 4-Hour Workday Time Mastery Protocol depends on your job role.
- The underlying rules and principles of The 4-Hour Workday Time Mastery Protocol are universal and can be applied by everyone.
- However, achieving a condensed 8-hour+ workday into 4 hours without compromising impact (yes, this is possible) depends on your role and job position.
- Corporate knowledge workers who are paid and recognised for their effectiveness and impact will achieve the best results by following the protocol.
In short, the 4-Hour Workday Time Mastery Protocol is best suited for individuals whose primary responsibilities involve decision-making, problem-solving, strategic planning, or creative output, as these roles often have greater flexibility and autonomy over their schedules.
- Solopreneurs / Entrepreneurs
- Administrative professionals
- Service managers
- Sales and marketing professionals
- Legal professionals
- Software developers and engineers
- Architects and urban planners
- Graphic designers and UX/UI designers
- Content creators and copywriters
- Digital marketers and SEO specialists
- Financial analysts and advisers
- Human resources professionals and recruiters
- Research scientists or analysts
- Quality assurance analysts and testers
- Product managers and project managers
🟥 Out of Scope:
The protocol is less suitable for factory workers, hourly employees, retail staff, customer service representatives, healthcare professionals, construction workers, manual labourers, shift workers, teachers, and other positions where a fixed presence is required for specific hours or where tasks are not primarily dependent on personal impact.
If you belong to any of these job categories, you can and should also internalise the principles and methods provided by the 4-Hour Workday Time Mastery Protocol. This will help you lead a more fulfilled and self-determined life. However, it may not reduce your daily workload as much as it would for corporate knowledge workers.
"You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it." – Charles Buxton
2️⃣ The Why: To dedicate more time to health, innovation, passion projects, quality family time, or building a lucrative side hustle.
I know about your struggles because I had them, too. The pain point of Time-Mastery Seekers, in a nutshell, is their struggle to efficiently manage their time and workload, resulting in an imbalance between their professional and personal lives, leading to stress, burnout, and unfulfillment.
- You struggle with relying on a single source of income and might worry about the unstable economy.
- You often work overtime, compromising your health through coping mechanisms like overeating, smoking, and drinking.
- You crave recognition as an ambitious, hardworking, and intelligent individual.
- You juggle work and family demands, feeling constantly ensnared by daily tasks.
- Your busy schedule obstructs pursuing passions, nurturing creativity, and innovative potential.
- You live reactively, struggling to take proactive steps in life.
- Your lack of genuine downtime contributes to high stress levels.
- You feel under-compensated by your employer despite your hard work.
- Your career growth seems stagnated, with repetitive tasks and a salary cap.
- You feel restricted by your employer's control over your schedule and personal goals.
- This lack of fulfilment causes passive aggression towards yourself and loved ones.
- Productivity hacks and time management strategies fail to address your core issues.
- The allure of entrepreneurship or joining a startup remains abstract and unattainable.
- (Prospective) Parenting consumes more time, increasing your feelings of overwhelm.
- You long for a simpler, more minimalistic lifestyle amid the chaos.
- You want to make an impact and become wealthy by doing so.
- You desire more time for family, health, passions, and side-hustle pursuits.
- Lifestyles promoted by Tim Ferris, Justin Welsh, Dan Koe, James Clear, etc., intrigue you.
- You aim to be charismatic and attractive to others.
- You question climbing the corporate ladder after witnessing upper management's lifestyle.
- You may experience imposter syndrome, driving your search for self-improvement tactics.
- Work environment consciousness plays a role in your quest for focus and efficiency.
- You're open to technology and tools to manage time and automate tasks.
- Expanding your professional network and gaining new insights through events and online communities interest you.
- Taking breaks or vacations makes you feel guilty and anxious about falling behind.
- Lifelong learning through courses, certifications, and self-directed education describes you.
- High self-expectations result in burnout and a feeling of constant inadequacy.
- You might be exploring alternative work arrangements for a better work-life balance.
- Aligning your career with your values and passions to bring purpose and meaning drives you.
- You see your potential but struggle to realise it concretely.
- You feel slightly off-course and unfulfilled.
- You are seeking a productivity strategy that not solely focuses on working harder but also on working smarter, resulting in Time Mastery while maintaining a sense of tranquillity.
If more than one-third of these challenges resonate with you, then the 4-Hour Workday Time Mastery Protocol I'm developing will be an excellent choice.
The 4-Hour Workday Time Mastery Protocol provides a transformation journey: Tailored for Corporate Knowledge Workers grappling with limited personal time, my unique approach champions the art of reclaiming time through Productive Minimalism.
"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe."
– Abraham Lincoln
3️⃣ The What: The 4-Hour Workday: reducing the daily corporate workload from 8+ hours to 4 hours.
What benefits will you gain from reading and applying the 4-Hour Workday Time Mastery Protocol?
- You'll learn improved time management: Prioritise tasks, set realistic goals, and develop an efficient schedule to optimise your workday.
- You'll experience greater work-life balance: Allocate sufficient time for personal life, including family, hobbies, and self-care, contributing to overall well-being.
- You'll enjoy reduced stress levels: Utilise tools and strategies to manage workload effectively, lowering stress and the risk of burnout.
- You'll achieve enhanced productivity: Master techniques for staying focused, eliminating distractions, and streamlining processes to increase efficiency and output.
- You'll undergo personal and professional growth: Expand your ambition with resources for skill development, networking, and career progression.
- You'll gain flexibility and control: Regain control over your schedule and find alternative work arrangements that provide better balance and flexibility.
- You'll develop healthier coping mechanisms: Cultivate self-awareness and adopt healthier alternatives to negative coping strategies like overeating alcohol consumption, or smoking.
- You'll pursue passion projects: Carve out time and mental space for creativity, innovation, and chasing entrepreneurial ideas or side hustles.
- You'll find increased fulfilment and satisfaction: Align your work with your values and passions for a greater purpose and meaning in your professional life.
- You'll build enhanced resilience: Obtain tools and mindset to navigate better the challenges and uncertainties of the modern workplace and economy.
- You'll amplify your impact and recognition: Learn strategies to improve work performance, significantly impact your field, and gain increased recognition and admiration. Boost your professional reputation and become more attractive and desirable in your industry and personal life.
"Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort."
– Paul J. Meyer
4️⃣ The How: Achieving Time Mastery with a Time Serenity Mindset.
The online course is structured into key chapters - Introduction, Time Serenity, Time Mastery, Transformation Journey, and Exploit, Explore & Enjoy. The content focuses on helping you balance Time Serenity (mindset work, mental models, and letting go of control) and Time Mastery (mastering your agenda, reducing corporate work hours, and increasing personal time).
The Introduction chapter addresses the generational issue of time management and encourages a shift in mindset. You'll learn to recognise the true causes behind time management issues and the importance of balancing Time Serenity and Time Mastery.
In the Time Serenity chapter, you will learn to let go of control, embrace your mindset, and adopt new mental models. You'll understand the importance of visualising your desired outcome, creating direction, embracing new habits, and defining your "One Thing" for the next 12 months.
The Time Mastery chapter teaches you how to become the master of your agenda by hitting refresh, setting up your Time Mastery Operating System, creating new time, becoming a Principal Agent at work, focusing on authentic relationships, and rigorously fighting distractions and time thieves.
In the Transformation Journey chapter, you'll learn the steps to cut your corporate job hours from 8+ to 4 to have more personal time for your passions and projects.
The final chapter, Exploit, Explore & Enjoy, guides you on what to do with your newfound time. You will learn to exploit opportunities in innovation, health, career, and finance. You'll also explore new creative callings and personal interests. Finally, you'll learn how to maximise enjoyment through deep connections, family time, travelling, and leisure activities.
The learning modules will include topics like:
- Generational time management issues and mindset shifts
- Balancing Time Serenity and Time Mastery
- Letting go of control and embracing a mindset work
- Adopting new mental models (e.g., Razors, Round Robin thinking)
- Visualising desired outcomes and creating direction
- Defining your "One Thing" for the next 12 months
- Setting up your Time Mastery Operating System
- Reducing corporate work hours for increased personal time
- Becoming a Principal Agent at work and focusing on authentic relationships
- Rigorously fighting distractions and time thieves
- Exploiting, exploring, and enjoying your newfound time in areas of innovation, health, career, finance, creative callings, and personal interests
- Maximising enjoyment through deep connections, family time, travelling, and leisure activities
- Understanding the true causes behind time management and productivity-related issues, such as busyness and running on auto-pilot.
- Embracing your limits and boundaries, considering the concepts of entropy and the "hamster wheel."
- Prioritising habits and systems over rigid goal setting, including the use of compound effects and adaptable routines.
- Minimising possessions and focusing on essential aspects of life to reduce stress and unnecessary responsibilities.
- Becoming efficient in conflict resolution, handling aggression, and managing negotiations in the corporate environment.
- Implementing effective strategies for handling emails and meetings to save time and increase productivity.
- Utilising the PACT Framework (Purposeful, Actionable, Continuous, and Trackable) to align your goals and actions with your desired outcomes.
- Nurturing a supportive, motivating network of people who can help you achieve your objectives and maintain a balanced lifestyle.
If you have any other topic suggestions or concerns that you would like me to address, please feel free to email me. I will then incorporate them directly into the curriculum.
"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do."
– Steve Jobs
So, it's out: my new focus for the next few months is Time Mastery with a touch of Time Serenity, with the aim of reducing the daily workload from 8+ to 4 hours so that you can use the time for your most important matters instead.
I hope you can relate to the value proposition, and now that I have communicated it, I am even more motivated to finish and publish the course as soon as possible.