Productivity – High Performance Academy Style

Productivity is one element of high performers who engage in activities that are effective and efficient. Read my post on Brendon Burchard’s High Performance Academy

High performers generate heightened and sustained levels of clarity, energy, courage, productivity and influence.

Clarity – Your vision. Define it and then generate it.
Energy – Don’t let it dwindle. You must generate your own energy.
Courage – Be bold and make decisions. Don’t take too long to make decisions as you could miss out on opportunities.
Productivity – Get stuff done, but make sure it is the right things that you are getting done.
Influence – High performers have a different level of influence on the people they interact with. They influence people, society and the world.

In the High Performance Model, productivity is about focusing your energies on meaningful endeavors – getting the right things done for your own agenda. To ensure you are engaging in the right activities, first you need to plan out your end goals. What do you want to achieve in life? From a final end goal, you then work backwards writing down the tasks and steps to be completed to achieve this goal.

High Performance in Daily Life

Staying productive and on task each day can be a challenge when you are constantly putting out fires and managing urgent (but not important) tasks. You need to design your own schedule each day rather than letting other people’s agendas interrupt your day. To help with the challenge of staying productive on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis,  I have taken what I learned from Brendon Burchard’s seminar and tied it in with the brain science trainings from Cahaya Mind, to create a productivity guide for each morning. It includes three big picture goals I am targeting and the steps involved to complete those goals.

Either the evening before, or first thing in the morning, fill out this daily planner to keep your schedule on track for your greater agenda. Inboxes are a huge distraction, so unless you are in customer service, plan out who you need to contact before you start going through your emails. Make a list of people you need to contact and who you are waiting to hear from and approach these tasks first thing in the morning (they should be related to your big picture goals or revenue producing tasks). Instead of reading all your emails, just search for messages from the particular people that you are waiting to hear from. Don’t let your inbox, and other people’s agendas , control your day. Check email only during certain time periods.

Next, plan out your monthly, weekly and daily tasks that are all focused on achieving the big picture goals mentioned earlier in this article. This is the hardest part but also the best way to stay on task. First you create your monthly tasks and determine what needs to be achieved to move forward, then you choose weekly tasks that are working to fulfill your monthly goals. Finally, create daily tasks based on the people you need to contact and the weekly goals that you need to complete. By breaking these long-term goals into smaller, more manageable tasks, and tracking yourself and your activities, you can work to increase your productivity.

Our brain can only process 4 complete tasks a day and ideally you should only fill out 4 tasks for the month, week and year, however, I have added an extra line for more space and in case anything turns up.

Fill out this form to Request a Copy of the High Performance Academy Daily Tasks worksheet.

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Brendon Burchard on Productivity

Hear directly from Brendon Burchard about high performers and productivity.

 

Generate Your Own Success (High Performance Academy Day 1 Review)

“A power plant does not have energy, it generates it.”

Brendon Burchard

This concept is central to Brendon Burchard’s High Performance Academy. A few months back, I went to his 3-day event on the topic of high performance. Through intensive research into high performers, Brendon has defined the traits that are in high performers; he has found that the high performers are those who go and ‘just do it’. It’s not about being tired or energetic or motivated. For those who achieve things, they made them happen; they generate their own success, like a power plant.

_____ is something that you must generate. Enthusiasm, peace, happiness, success are all things that you must generate yourself. If you wait for opportunity to knock you could be waiting a very long time.

High Performance requires Desire & Discipline as well as Mindset & Methodology.

“Desire without Discipline is just Hope.”

Brendon Burchard

High Performance

“High Performance is heightened and sustained levels of clarity, energy, courage, productivity and influence.”

Brendon Burchard

Or you can reword this to say, High performers generate heightened and sustained levels of clarity, energy, courage, productivity and influence.

Clarity – Your vision. Define it and then generate it.
Energy – Don’t let it dwindle. You must generate your own energy.
Courage – Be bold and make decisions. Don’t take too long to make decisions as you could miss out on opportunities.
Productivity – Get stuff done, but make sure it is the right things that you are getting done.
Influence – High performers have a different level of influence on the people they interact with. They influence people, society and the world.

Some interesting take-aways from the first day of his 3-day event include:

  • You don’t know what you need, or else you would already have it/be there. (Remember, you generate what you want so you must know what you want first to be able to get it.)
  • Nothing will change unless you change it.
  • If your efforts are not working then you just need more training.
  • If you want it, create it. For example, If you want more meaningful moments with loved ones, create them.

Generating Change

One other factor to keep in mind is that internal motivation is often not enough. You need to have something to fight for, a greater cause for those you care about.

Steps to Become A High Performer

To raise your levels of performance you need to be tracking yourself and studying your metrics. Brendon recommends taking a daily measure of your score and a weekly review of your high performance scores.

Each day, you should stop and take account of your current energy on each of these areas. Then ask why or how you can change them.

Each week, record these scores on a scale of 1-10 and also track the reason why.

Clarity (1-10)
Energy (1-10)
Courage (1-10)
Productivity (1-10)
Influence (1-10)

Why these numbers? Why not higher? What can I do to improve my score?

A fellow High Performance Academy attendee created an easy to use Weekly Evaluation Spreadsheet. Visit his website to download the file.

This is just part one of a several part series on this High Performance Academy. Next post: Productivity.

Focus on Gratitude For A Better Life & Greater Productivity

Balance in business and in life is very important. Therefore, while this is a business-focused blog, I intend to cover topics of all areas of life as they relate to business and being a business owner. Part of maintaining balance and happiness in your life is through gratitude.

This topic is important with many high performance coaches, life coaches and motivational speakers. Two of our bi-weekly networking group members recently went to a Tony Robbins event (where they walked on fire!) and came back with this powerful topic of Gratitude.

Essentially gratitude is about putting everything into proper perspective. Your day may have been bad, but things could have been worse. Gratitude is not about minimizing your pain, fear, loss or troubles but about understanding and accepting what you have, and then moving forward in spite of it; look at the silver lining.

Gratitude is about putting things in perspective so that you can move beyond obstacles to lead a more productive and fulfilling life.

Gratitude has many different forms or ways to view it, including:

  • Celebrating your achievements
  • Appreciating others, being appreciated and feeling like you matter
  • Being present when with others by giving them your full attention

Celebrate Your Achievements

Each day is a struggle for a bigger goal, but if you don’t stop to appreciate what you have achieved and accomplished you will just burn yourself out. If you always push forward without taking the time to stop and celebrate what you have done, you are not celebrating yourself or showing gratitude towards yourself.

Appreciate Others

This is a topic covered in-depth by Dale Carnegie, Steven Covey, Guy Kawasaki, Tony Schwartz and more.

Whatever else each of us derives from our work, there may be nothing more precious than the feeling that we truly matter — that we contribute unique value to the whole, and that we’re recognized for it.

The single highest driver of engagement, according to a worldwide study conducted by Towers Watson, is whether or not workers feel their managers are genuinely interested in their wellbeing. Less than 40 percent of workers felt so engaged.

Why Appreciation Matters So Much

Be Present

Brendon Burchard is a strong advocate for being present and in the moment to ensure that you have a full life that is shared completely with others.

The greatest gift is to be present.

I don’t mean being half-present, but fully focused on the other person with your whole body and mind as if there was nobody else in the whole world. I’m sure we are all guilty of being half – or even quarter-present.

How to Be Present For Others

Carrying on a conversation without being fully present leaves the other people feeling unappreciated, unimportant and upset. By engaging fully and taking the time to appreciate your time with this person, you will not only engage them on a deeper level but also feel better.

How Can You Show Gratitude?

To address this, we answered these questions in two stages.

  1. What is stressing you out? What are you grateful for about it? (What is the silver lining?)
  2. What do you do in your daily life to show gratitude?
How do you show gratitude in your daily life? Or what could you do to show gratitude daily?
  • Write in a gratitude journal – It helps put each day in perspective, even if the only things you can write are basic things, “I woke up”, “The sun is shining”, “It is a warm day”.
  • Show affection – Let others know that you care by taking the time to be with them.
  • Keep in mind the other point of view – Don’t make judgements about other people. They may be having a bad day and acting out of character when they cut you off in traffic or shove in front of you at line.
  • Spend time with others – Have a ‘no electronics night’ where you spend the evening just playing board games, talking and spending time in the company of others. It’s not what you do, it’s who you do it with. (This is my personal motto in life.)
  • Don’t assume – Other people have things going on as well and may be dealing with personal problems or trauma that you know nothing about. Don’t assume you know their perspective or current frame of mind.
  • Focus on the things you can control – You cannot control other people’s actions so don’t waste your energy or time trying. Focus on what you can control and have a more productive day.
  • You are what you do – What you think, what you do, what you say are all a reflection of who you are. You become what you focus your time on so be sure to focus on the positive and what you are grateful for.
  • Breathe, align, let go.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff – Stop worrying about the little things when they are unimportant. Don’t wait for a traumatic life changing even to bring around this change either.

Sleep for High Performance and Overall Health

Sleep is a very important part of staying healthy and maintaining peak mental and physical health for business, as well as personal activities. It is not only crucial for your well being, sleep plays a major part in how you function and perform. In fact, Brendon Burchard stresses the importance of 8 hours of sleep and the necessity of sleep to be a high performer. (Notes to follow from that event in the next few weeks).

The problem is that as a business owner and entrepreneur, there is so much to do each day that sleep is one of the first things I will cut out of my schedule. While I love sleeping and feeling rested after a full 8 hours, it seems like such a passive activity where I am unable to accomplish my goals. In addition to the fact that I always have so much I want to do, I am also both a night owl and a morning person. My optimal work period starts at 10pm, yet I am now going to the gym and exercising by 6:30am. This often leaves me with only 4-5 hours of sleep a night.

While there are many benefits to getting enough sleep, the side effects of not getting enough can be even more alarming.

Side Effects of Not Enough Sleep

  • Increased risk of suffering from a stroke or heart attack
  • Lack of focus
  • Loss of the ability to concentrate
  • Decrease in cognitive abilities (loss of the ability to think and be ‘smart’ – lack of sleeps dumbs you down)
  • Plays havoc on your emotions – you become more easily stressed, angry, sad, depressed, agitated, etc
  • Weight gain – lack of sleep makes you feel hungrier and it is harder to control your actions (your will power is weakened)
  • Sleep Loss Impairs Judgment, Especially About Sleep

Lack of sleep can affect our interpretation of events. This hurts our ability to make sound judgments because we may not assess situations accurately and act on them wisely.

Sleep-deprived people seem to be especially prone to poor judgment when it comes to assessing what lack of sleep is doing to them. In our increasingly fast-paced world, functioning on less sleep has become a kind of badge of honor. But sleep specialists say if you think you’re doing fine on less sleep, you’re probably wrong. And if you work in a profession where it’s important to be able to judge your level of functioning, this can be a big problem.

“Studies show that over time, people who are getting six hours of sleep, instead of seven or eight, begin to feel that they’ve adapted to that sleep deprivation — they’ve gotten used to it,” Gehrman says. “But if you look at how they actually do on tests of mental alertness and performance, they continue to go downhill. So there’s a point in sleep deprivation when we lose touch with how impaired we are.”

Web MD

The Benefits of Getting Enough Sleep

  • Increased energy throughout the day and higher energy levels
  • Higher performance
  • Reduced levels of stress
  • Reduced inflammation in your body
  • Increased creativity

There are several tips for getting more sleep and I am still working on these myself, but my favorite option is to take naps more frequently. Taking a nap for too long can be just as draining as not taking a nap when it leaves you groggy and unable to think. My ideal naptime is about 20 minutes; I can fall into a deep sleep and wake up on my own just before my alarm goes off. This maximizes my time and the depth of my sleep in a short window.

Here are some tips on different ways to nap:

http://longevity.about.com/od/sleep/a/napping_tips.htm

  • Nap Time: Prime naptime is from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., when your energy level dips due to a rise in the hormone melatonin at that time of day.
  • Darkness: Use a facemask or eye pillow to provide daytime darkness, or close thee blinds and curtains to make your nap more effective.
  • Not Too Late: Napping within three hours of bedtime may interfere with nighttime sleep.
  • Quiet Place: Assure that you will not be disturbed for the duration of your nap.
  • 30-Minute Maximum: When taking a nap longer than 30 minutes, you run the risk of heading into deep sleep, which will leave you feeling tired and groggy. Naps as short as 1 to 2 minutes could be effective for some people.
  • Set an Alarm: You will eventually train yourself to nap for the amount of time you set aside. Until then, set an alarm or ask someone to wake you up.
  • The Caffeine Nap: Some people claim that drinking coffee and then taking an immediate nap works well. The caffeine kicks in somewhere between 10 and 20 minutes, waking them up. They feel extra energy from both the nap and the coffee. Researchers in Japan found that subjects using a caffeine nap rated highest in decreased sleepiness and increased productivity when compared to subjects taking a nap and washing their face, or taking a nap and being exposed to bright lights.

Getting enough sleep is a constant battle for many of us, but we place a higher priority on sleep than we currently do. The best way to phrase it is: getting enough sleep will allow you to get more done in less time, by being effective and efficient. Not getting enough sleep drags down productivity and draws out the time period that it takes to complete tasks and projects.