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Ron Haslam

Six Tips to Leading a More Productive Life

The Six Pillars Of A Productive Life

I found this article in one of my coaches’ blog posts, by James Mel and thought I would share it because it relates to many things we must do to be successful in business today…enjoy !

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These pillars are proven and time-tested (no pun intended).

Follow them, and you’ll start to find that you are more effective, feel more “in control,” and have a lot more free time while still getting the things that matter in your business DONE.

Here they are:

Pillar #1 – Productivity is NOT About Time Management.
So many people think that productivity is about controlling your time. It’s not.

Stephen Covey, author of the bestselling The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People put it best when he said:

“Time management is a misnomer the challenge is to manage ourselves.”

He’s right.

Productivity and getting more done in less time is all about managing YOU.

You’ve got to manage your behaviors and your emotions if you want to be far more productive than you’ve ever been. It means doing the few things that really matter – and saying “no” to the rest.”

It means making sure you feel energized, focused, and on purpose when you do the tasks and actions that will move your most important projects forward.

And it’s about keeping your commitments and doing what you say you’re going to do – when you said you were going to do it.

Pillar #2 – Inner Chaos Breeds Outer Chaos.
Have you ever heard of the “butterfly effect?”

This is the theory that even the smallest of actions can have a serious ripple effect. For example, the “ripple effect” of a butterfly flapping its wings in one part of the world – say, Africa – could then, through a chain of events, lead to a hurricane in a faraway continent.

Well, there is a similar-but-very-real effect when it comes to productivity.

And that is this: The “chaos” that can go on inside your mind breeds chaos in your “outer world.”

Meaning, if your mind and thoughts are chaotic and have no order to them, then it’s very likely this will manifest in your day to day life.

That’s why it’s important to “manage” your thinking as well. Make sure you get everything down on paper, so you don’t have a million things you’re trying to remember.

And if your inner mind is really chaotic, take a day or two to get everything you’ve got to do on paper. All your projects, all your tasks, all the people you’ve got to talk to, etc. Get it all out of your head, let go of the things you can’t control, and then work on making a plan to get the “nagging” things you need to get done, DONE.

Not only will you feel much better, but your mind will be clear and ready to be ultra-productive.

Pillar #3 – Focus Your Talents And Strengths On Your Biggest Opportunities.
Sometimes, one of the biggest reasons people are ineffective at getting things done is simply that they’re working on the WRONG things!

If you want super productivity, then you’ve got to align your talents and your strengths on your best and biggest opportunities. These are the tasks and actions that give you the most leverage.

Often, these are the few tasks that if done, will give you 80% of your results.

Pillar #4 – Managing your ENERGY is your number one priority.
In addition to managing yourself and your behaviors, one of the things people don’t realize is that in order to be productive, you’ve got to manage your ENERGY.

That’s because your body is cyclical. It goes through periods of high energy and then recovery. And it does this all throughout the day.

Everybody’s cycle is going to be a little bit different. So plan your most productive tasks for the times where you have the most energy. And then let yourself rest when you hit a lull.

What you want to avoid is trying to “power through” a period of low energy like so many people do, by using things like caffeine or just sheer will power. You won’t be as productive or effective.

Pillar #5 – Train Rejuvenation Into Your Daily Life.
Going back to the concept of managing energy, another important thing is to train “rejuvenation” into your daily life.

Simply put, this is taking the time to recharge and re-energize yourself. So say you had a high energy period where you got a lot done and you start to feel a little tired. That’s your cue to “unplug” and go do something that’s unrelated to work that charges you up.

Maybe it’s going to the gym. Maybe it’s listening to some upbeat music. Maybe it’s reading a book. Whatever it is, make sure you build in short break throughout your day where you can recharge and rejuvenate.

You’ll find yourself a LOT more energized and motivated when it’s time to get back to work and get things done.

Pillar #6 – Make Your Productivity “Automatic.”
We all get a limited amount of Willpower throughout the day.

And typically, the more choices we have to make … and the more things we just power through, the more we deplete our willpower.

This is why it’s so hard to get yourself to keep your commitments after a long day – like going to the gym for example or sticking to a diet at night.

So the key here is to not have to rely on willpower to be productive.

Instead, make productivity a HABIT. This way, you don’t have to think about being productive and you don’t waste any willpower trying to force yourself to do stuff.

The way to make this a habit is to establish daily routines where you sit down, get focused, and get to work on your most important tasks for the day.

It will typically take around 30 days or so to make it a habit, but once you do that, you’ll be amazed at how much more you get done every day, and how quickly you get it done.

If you’ll follow these six principles, I promise you’ll find yourself a lot more productive, a lot more “on purpose” and you’ll feel a lot less stress and overwhelm.

These six principles have changed my life and I know they will change yours too.

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