Gary Vaynerchuk knows what it’s like to be pressed for time. He’s the active CEO of VaynerMedia, an advertising agency providing service to Fortune 100 clients across four locations—and that’s just one of the many demands on his time.
Gary Vee (as he’s known) is also an expert on coaching others in business, media and time management.
“I get messages from people all the time complaining that they ‘don’t have time’ to build the type of business they want to build,” Gary says.
“They don’t have time to grow their personal brand, put out content, flip stuff on eBay, or follow the other advice I talk about. The truth is, you have a LOT more time than you think.”
Audit mode is about monitoring and evaluating your day to make sure you’re always putting the most important task first.
“I’m always levelling up what’s most important and prioritising it in real time,” Gary explains. “I’m adjusting to the reality of my life in the moment I’m living it.”
“As long as I’m executing on something every single day, I know I’m moving the needle.”
We’ve all had the experience of coming up against something we’re not expecting, or something we haven’t dealt with before. It’s key that we don’t respond to these unknowns by freezing or avoiding the issue.
Gary says the best way to overcome those feelings of uncertainty are to just keep going: “When it comes to dealing with problems in business, I’m not crippled by what I ‘don’t know’,” he explains.
“This is important. So many people struggle because they don’t have the perfect knowledge around every fire they have at work or in their personal life. They feel like they need to have the perfect plan to address every single thing that goes wrong.”
“But me? I’m just constantly doing.”
“The reason I’m able to maintain motivation without losing energy is because I love it,” Gary says.
Having passion for what you’re doing is essential to preventing burn out and keeping yourself motivated—but loving what you do is only the first step. It’s important to take the time to reconnect with this passion every now and then so you don’t lose sight of why you started in the first place.
“People who love the process are the happiest,” says Gary. “I see this come in all different shapes and sizes – from the hedge fund guy or gal who genuinely loves the accumulation of wealth, to people who love the stability of working 9 to 5 and being part of two softball teams.”
“I love the process of the work. I talk about buying the New York Jets, but when I clarify it, I want the process of trying to buy the Jets—I don’t care about whether or not I actually end up buying them.”
“You have time… you just picked something else.”
This tip is about taking stock of the way you spend your time, every single day, so you can hold yourself accountable. You may spend an hour or two watching TV in the evenings, which doesn’t seem like a lot—but add it all up and it becomes 14 hours a week, 56 hours a month, 728 hours a year—that’s 30 days’ worth of TV watching a year!
Maybe you really love TV. Maybe GoT is one of the ways you let your brain shut off and relax, or maybe you bond with your kids by having movie nights together—that’s fine. This step is about being aware of where you’re spending your time and making sure it’s worth it—whatever it is.
As Gary points out, “Nobody you know ever made it without putting in the work.” And the work takes time.
Saving your hours from a mindless TV habit is one part of time management. Gary says the other is working faster in the time you have.
“On a daily basis I’m scrutinising my days, right down to the second while I try to fit in as much stuff as I can into those hours,” he explains.
“We fight for minutes and seconds around my office. There’s not a moment that I spend messing around.”
“I really believe that 95%–98% of people reading this have it reversed. They’re not squeezing every minute out of every day. They take an hour and a half lunch. They check Facebook and Instagram for two hours.”
What does it boil down to? “Most people worry about their years, while wasting their days,” says Gary.
The key to this one, Gary says, is balancing accountability with acceptance.
“I think everything is my fault. Everything that’s wrong in my company is 100% on me. There are hundreds of issues that I deal with everyday that I can’t blame anybody else for. But at the same time, I’m numb to judgement—even my own judgement of myself. I know I’m doing the best I can.”
Judgement puts a curse on progress—it becomes impossible to move forward if you are judging yourself for every misstep along the way. You want to learn from your mistakes, and that means looking at them with an open mind.
Besides, as Gary says, “everybody else sucks at stuff too.”
So stop being so hard on yourself, okay?