I'm far from being god, but I work god damn hard. - Jay Z
“There is never enough time.” We have seen many people say this and we have said this many a times. We are normally distracted, irritated, and always in a rush to “get something done” while accomplishing almost nothing in the process.
Our typical day starts with switching on our smart phone (provided that we switched it off the previous night). We eat our morning breakfast absently while tapping on our iPad, attend meetings while chatting on Whatsapp, work on projects while checking the Facebook feed, and end our dinner while staring at the TV. Then we complain that we are not getting the quality and quantity of work and life that we desire and we are not “going anywhere” in our careers.
Now comes a question, how does Jay Z do it?
If you haven’t been living under a rock, chances are that you have heard about Jay Z, the rapper, who came from the streets, where he used to sell drugs and moonlight as a rapper. Today, he is an ultra – successful and uber-rich music icon who rubs shoulders with the likes of Obama and Bill Gates. You can safely bet that he did not come this far in life as a wandering generality lost in his Facebook page. He was intensely focused on his hustle.
While technology has been a great tool and has brought education and entertainment to mankind, it also has a dark side that seems apparently innocuous. People are entertaining themselves to the point of addiction and distracting themselves to the point of uselessness. The over-stimulated worker has an attention span of a baby, which translates to nothing.
In a world where distraction is an epidemic, spending time in silence is the real key to success. Even an average mind which spends time in silence, is able to get clarity and focus that would take him ahead of a prodigy who is distracted every third minute.
In his seminal book “Deep Work-Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World”, Cal Newport gives example after example of super achievers who delivered great quality and quantity of work by working in self-imposed periods of silence and quiet. Right from top executives who refused to carry a mobile phone to Carl Jung living in a tower, Newport attributes their success and output to their ability to spend time in silence.
Spending time in silence, in a distraction free environment is the key to accomplishing anything in today’s world.
Most of the high achievers follow a ritual of getting up early, taking time for their mental and physical fitness, and doing their most important tasks before the world is up and starts disturbing them.
Try this for a week. Get up @ 5 am, spend 15 minutes in meditation and then work on your most important tasks in silence and without disturbance. Post that work out for 30-45 minutes. By the time the world wakes up, you would be wiser, stronger, healthier and way ahead of most people.