“Changing Habits: How To Create Healthy Habits” – Wake Up Productive by Eben Pagan

Habits and how to create them.

All right, let’s learn about how to create habits that serve us in our lives and in our businesses. I did an interview recently with Tony Robbins, and one of the things that he said in the interview, and I’m paraphrasing, is that the quality of our habits and our rituals is the quality of our lives. Now what did Tony mean by this? He meant that if we don’t have high quality habits and we don’t make them into rituals, we don’t focus on these things and create them consciously, that a bunch of other stuff will sneak into our life. We’ll get distracted, our minds will get taken off on things, we’ll worry about stuff, and we’ll never get the important things done.

On the other hand, if we habitualize all of the important things and actually create conscious rituals around them, then all the other stuff will take care of itself. In fact, the more high quality habits and rituals you create, the more it kind of squeezes out all of that other stuff that distracts you from your life.

So the next question is how do you create habits? I saw an interesting piece of research recently that said that we only get a little bit of willpower in our lives and most of us just go through the same habitual things day-in, day-out, month-in, month-out, year after year. We kind of do the same thing, we think the same thoughts, and we have the same patterns with other people. In other words, we are creatures of habit, but most of us never learn how to change our habits with the little bit of willpower we do get. We don’t usually focus it on changing our habits. And that’s really the equation, that’s the magic formula, is to take the willpower that we get and focus it on making a new habit.

One of the things I learned from Tony Schwartz, the co-author of The Power of Full Engagement is that it’s important to only create one new habit at a time. If we try to create more than one new habit, what happens is we get all stressed out and freaked out and we just fall into our old patterns and we never actually do it. So one new habit at a time, that’s the rule, and what I’ve found works really well for me is to try to make the new habits earlier in the day. It’s a lot easier to take a habit that you’ve all ready created and that’s all ready running, and kind of move it a little bit later in the day than it is to create a new habit later in the day.

So for example, if you wanna focus your time in uninterrupted blocks, start by focusing the first hour of your day in an uninterrupted focused block, every single day where you’re working on something important, make it a habit, make it a ritual. In our company, one of the things that we do is our teams start each day with a little ritual of a 10 or 15-minute call. Each team goes through what’s going on in their world, what their problems are, what are the roadblocks and what are the updates. Everybody on the team reports in and it’s a ritual, it’s a habit, and it’s very high value because what it does is it synchronizes everyone, let’s everyone know what any news is for the day, what’s coming, and also allows people to connect up with each other in one place.

So they know that if I’m trying to reach that person, the longest I have to wait is until tomorrow morning, it’s a very high value habit. Now we do it as many small groups, and it has yielded tremendous results. To get this thing started took a lot of work, actually to do all of these, each one took a lot of work because everyone’s all ready in a routine and everyone says, “I don’t know if I wanna do it. I don’t know if that has any value,” and then after a month or six weeks of doing it, everyone can’t imagine doing it any other way because it just becomes a routine, it becomes part of the deal.

Now it would be a lot easier, by the way, if we wanted to keep doing that but do it later in the day. It would be a lot easier as a team to take that and move it to 4:00 p.m. instead of in the morning than it would be to start it off at 4:00 p.m. Why? Because later in the day, more things come into your life, it’s harder to get things done, harder to keep yourself focused, and you’ve burned up a lot of your willpower. So to start habits, start the habit immediately. My friend Wyatt Woodsmall says, “There’s only two rules for creating a habit, start now and don’t deviate.”

So start right now, don’t start in a week or two weeks, start right now, start today or start tomorrow, start tomorrow morning. Plan out the new habit that you want to create, put it into place, and start doing it immediately, and then don’t deviate. Whatever you do, make sure you do the new habit every day, you have to do it every day for at least 30 days for it to catch, for it to become a part of the way things are, and for you to feel pulled into it. So there are a couple of techniques for creating new habits in your life. Put them into action now and notice the results that they help you achieve.

And finally, if you’d like to learn how to really master time management and productivity, learn how to keep yourself focused, learn how to eliminate procrastination for good, and learn how to create positive habits and eliminate negative ones. Just go to WakeUpProductive.com right now to watch my 47-minute video on how to manage yourself and your time and how to make yourself dramatically more productive.

The video is worth $100.00, but you can watch it for free by just visiting WakeUpProductive.com, entering your name and e-mail address and opting in. Of course, I’ll also send you many more valuable, free video trainings and I’ll also send you private invitations to listen to me interviewing some of the top experts in the world on business, marketing, success, and productivity, all for free. Just go to WakeUpProductive.com, enter your name and e-mail address to get it all right now.

“Personal Productivity: How To Boost It For Success…” – Wake Up Productive by Eben Pagan

Productivity, the key to business and personal success.

Let’s talk about productivity, what it is, why it’s important and how to achieve it. What do I mean by “productivity, the key to business and personal success”? What I mean is that productivity, in this sense, is about results. It’s about creating actual, real world, tangible, measurable results. It’s not about just doing a bunch of work and pretending like you’re getting a lot done or trying to look like you’re getting it done. It’s about actually getting results in the real world. I’m going to teach you a technique here for really maximizing your productivity. It’s a simple technique. Anyone can do it. You can do it starting immediately. I think you’ll see that it’ll dramatically increase your productivity.

The first distinction I want to draw is the distinction between activity and results. You’ll hear me talk a lot about this. You hear other experts talk a lot about it. It’s very easy to confuse activity with results – to get confused and think that a bunch of work equals a bunch of results. This is particularly a problem with people that you have working on your team because people that are used to working in the job environment, they’re just used to doing their job and getting a paycheck. In fact, in employee and job type roles, results are often the enemy.

I heard a great story about a mailman that went to work at the post office, and he was new. The guy that had his route before him worked on it for like 30 years. This guy came in, went through the whole route, and got done halfway through the day and came back and said, “I’m done,” and the other postal workers said, “Figure out how to take longer to do that because you’re making us look bad, and if you don’t, we’re going to make your life hell.” He said, “Oh, I understand.” These postal workers were used to just having a job where they get paid for time and not for results. They didn’t want to have that threatened because they were taking their time doing personal things and so forth.

Sometimes the job mentality can really corrupt results. So, how do you get around this?

The technique I want to share with you right now for maximizing results is very simple. It’s deceptively simple, but I think if you start using it, you’ll see it’s amazing. The idea is to start measuring productivity visually. Here’s what I mean: Let’s say that you want to lose some weight. Well, we don’t really know how much we weigh. We can’t really see it, and if we get on the scale every day, sometimes we weigh a couple of pounds more, sometimes we weight a couple of pounds less, depending on what we ate or we drank or the time of day or whether we have our clothes on or we just took a shower or whatever. It’s kind of hard to see. We can’t really get a feedback system that informs us.

On the other hand, you can take a simple spreadsheet, like Microsoft Excel or like a Google spreadsheet, which you can get for free online with Google apps and weigh yourself everyday. Then, you put the weight in the box, click on the little charting button, and you create a visual chart. What happens is you see it going up and down. You see the variation. And this is in any process you measure. You see the direction it’s going. Is it going up? Is it flat? Is it going down? You can actually see it very clearly. The visual feedback does its own work. It builds its own awareness. It creates direction all by itself.

I use this technique, not only with a lot of different projects that I’m working on, but also all through my business. In fact, we measure dozens and hundreds of different variables and numbers and processes on visual charts, so that we all know what’s going on. If you look at a column of numbers, there’s no way to chart it in your mind. You can kind of figure it out, but when you see a chart, a graph with the actual progress, and you can see it’s going up, it’s going down. You can see any exceptions. The whole thing speaks very loudly. I think that this idea, what they call the visual display of quantitative information – in other words, the charting of numbers – is one of the biggest innovations that we’ve ever had as a SPECIES.

So, do you want to dramatically increase your productivity? Take the top three things that you’re working on, and figure out how to put them on a chart. Let’s say it’s a project you’re working on. Put down how many hours per day you are investing in the project – uninterrupted and not distracted…totally focused. Put it in the box every day. Do you want to track your sales, and make them go up? Put in the sales that you’re making every day for yourself or for your business, and chart it. You will watch it go up. Things that are measured improve.

There’s a great quote that my friend Joe Polish says a lot: “Processes that are measured improve, and processes that are measured and reported improve exponentially.” So if you really, really want to get a lot of juice out of this, start measuring your process and then start reporting it to someone else. You will see everything happens inside of you to make your process improve and to start getting a lot more results and to dramatically increase your productivity.

So there’s one great idea for increasing your productivity. Put it to work right now. Start visually charting and watch your productivity skyrocket.

Finally, if you’d like to learn how to really master time management and productivity, learn how to keep yourself focused, learn how to eliminate procrastination for good and learn how to create positive habits and eliminate negative ones, just go to WakeUpProductive.com right now to watch my 47-minute video on how to manage yourself and your time and how to make yourself dramatically more productive.

The video is worth $100.00, but you can watch it for free by just visiting WakeUpProductive.com, entering your name and e-mail address and opting in. Of course, I’ll also send you many more valuable free video trainings, and I’ll also send you private invitations to listen to me interviewing some of the top experts in the world on business, marketing, success and productivity all for free. Just go to WakeUpProductive.com, enter your name and e-mail address to get it all right now.

“Overcoming Procrastination – Here’s How To Stop Procrastinating” – Wake Up Productive by Eben Pagan

How to stop procrastinating.

Okay, so let’s talk about how to stop procrastinating.  Right now I’m going to share to two approaches to stop procrastinating.  These are two approaches that I use all the time, and are things that really work for me.  And there are many ways, and in some of the other videos here you’ll see some other ways to stop procrastinating, but these two, I really enjoy them.

The first thing to do to stop procrastinating is to stop trying to do things that don’t matter.  Stop trying to get yourself to do things that you know you’re never going to do anyway.  Give yourself permission to cross off the list all the stuff you’re never going to do anyway.  This just dumps a metal load off your brain, and you feel lighter.  You feel like, oh, all right, exactly, I’m never going to do that anyway, so why was I even thinking about it.  So first thing, get it off your list.

The second thing to do is instead of trying to create a big list of things to do every day, and remember to do the right thing when you’re supposed to is don’t even put yourself in that situation where you can procrastinate in the first place.  The way to do this is to create positive habits in your life.  Now, I’m going to go into how to create positive in another video, and you’ll also learn more about it at wakeupproductive.com, but for the time being, I’m just going to say right now, stop habitualizing, or ritualizing, or systemizing, or routinizing those things that are the most important things, and start doing them every day at the same time.  And what you’ll find is that, especially in the work arena, in business, if you will make rituals and routines out of the very high value things in your life, every day you’ll do them at the same time automatically because if you think about it, you already do the same things every day, at the same time automatically.

When we procrastinate what we’re usually doing is resisting doing something different than we normally do.  We have our routines that we’re in.  We’re all creatures of habit.  We like to do the same things at around the same times every day.  And when we’re procrastinating, what we’re doing is going oh, I don’t really want to do that thing right now.  Sometimes we don’t know why.  We’re coming up with a bunch of excuses.  And it’s usually just because it’s not a habit.  It’s not a routine.  It’s not something that we do automatically every day.

As an example, I struggled for years with trying to get my sleep, and my exercise, and my diet all in shape.  Well, that all changed when I built a simple routine where I go to sleep at the same time, I wake up around the same time, and then I do my exercise first thing, and then I eat a healthy meal first thing, and then I just made a routine out of that.  So I go to sleep, I get enough sleep, I wake up, first thing that I do is that I make sure that I get my exercise, and then I have a healthy meal.  And now I’m pulled into these routines every day, and I don’t have to worry about procrastinating because it’s a ritual; it’s something that I do the same every day.

Now, it takes 30 days or so to actually create a new habit, so you got to force yourself to do it at the same time every day.  At two to three weeks you’ll notice it gets easier and easier, and then at about a month you’re just doing the exact same thing every day.  You’re pulled into it.  You find yourself doing it automatically.

So there are two great techniques for eliminating procrastination that are counterintuitive; you may not have thought of.  No. 1, cross off your list all the things that you’re never going to do anyway, that you hate doing, that you want to do.  Outsource that stuff.  Hire someone online that’s a virtual assistant.  Hire someone locally that will come work for you for $10 an hour to just do that stuff that you’re never going to do anyway.  Get it off your list.

And second, instead of focusing on the procrastination, focus on creating routines and habits that you do every day at the same time, so that you do the important things, so that procrastination doesn’t even come up as a problem.

And finally, if you’d like to learn how to really master time management and productivity, learn how to keep yourself focused, learn how to eliminate procrastination for good, and learn how to create positive habits and eliminate negative ones, just go to WakeUpProductive.com right now to watch my 47 minute video on how to manage yourself and your time, and how to make yourself dramatically more productive.  The video is worth $100, but you can watch it for free by just visiting WakeUpProductive.com, entering your name and email address, and opting in.

Of course, I’ll also send you many more valuable free video trainings, and I’ll also send you private invitations to listen to me interviewing some of the top experts in the world on business, marketing, success, and productivity; all for free.  Just go to WakeUpProductive.com, enter your name and email address to get it all right now.

“Prioritization – How To Do The Right Things In The Right Order” – Wake Up Productive by Eben Pagan

How to prioritize and how to make sure you do the right things, in the right order.

Okay, so let’s discuss how to prioritize and how to make sure that you do the right things in the right order. Most of us, me included, have way too many things to do, we’ve got a big, giant list of stuff to do and it just keeps getting bigger everyday, and we have no hope of ever getting all of it done, especially since more things get added to the list all the time. One of the things that I like to do is always keep about 120 to 150 percent as many things as I can ever get done on my list. The reason I do that is just so that I’ve always got stuff to do, I always have things to consider, and I can always prioritize things against each other, and I know that the lowest value things are just going to kind of drop off the list.

So one thing I’d like to give you permission to do and ask you to give permission to yourself to do is to let things fall off the list, don’t feel like you need to get everything done because you never will. You are going to die with a few things on your checklist, and that’s just the way it is, that’s the way life is. So when you give yourself permission to let a few things fall off the list, it makes prioritizing the important things much easier. I’d like to share an insight that I got from my good friend, Wyatt Woodsmall. He did a modeling project where he modeled 50 top entrepreneurs over in Europe and one of the things that one of the entrepreneurs said was, “First thing’s first, second thing’s not at all,” first thing’s first, second thing’s not at all, and I thought that was an interesting mindset. And again, this is a top entrepreneur, and what you find is that those that are highly productive, they can focus themselves maniacally on getting one thing done. And they know that if they can just get that one important thing done, then all of the rest of the things will take care of themselves and they’ll get done and in new time.

So prioritizing to me isn’t about really making a big list of things, and then saying, “Okay, I’m going to do this first and this second and this third,” although sometimes there’s busy work and you’ve just got to knock a bunch of things like that out. But in the big picture, prioritization is about identifying those things that have the highest lifetime value, and the highest dollar value, and making sure that you do those few things. So here are a couple of techniques for doing this. One of my favorites is to take the list of things that I need to do and try to translate each of them into some kind of dollar value, some kind of an amount of money that if I do that thing, it’s going to be worth. Now some things, if you do them, they’ll be worth an amount of money or they’ll pay off an amount of money once, and some things, if you do them, will be worth an amount of money, but they’ll pay off in the long term. It’s like the difference between spending and investing. If you spend money, you usually just get something back and you consume it now, whereas, if you invest, you get a pay off for the long term.

Now we humans, our minds and our emotional systems, they’re not designed to think long term, they’re designed to think instant gratification. We basically have a chimpanzee brain inside of us, and if you’ve ever studied primate behavior, you know that chimpanzees don’t have the ability to delay gratification and they have no impulse control. If an impulse comes over them to go eat a banana, they run over and they grab it and they just eat it, they can’t stop and wait. Well, we have a little bit of that impulse control and a little bit of that ability and we need to use it when we’re trying to decide on what to do. And instead of just doing the thing that’s urgent or the thing that’s ringing the alarm or the thing that seems like we’ve got to do it or the thing that looks like it’s fun to do. We need to stop and say, “When I wake up in ten years, 20 years, 50 years, what will I be glad that I did right now,” and then by assigning dollar values and looking at things long term, we can really get an understanding of what things will be worth.

I’ll give you a great example; let’s say that I’ve got three things on my list to do. One of them is to call back a friend of mine who called and said that they needed to talk to me. Another thing is to create a video like this one, that I’m going to put up on video sites and on my website that’s going to share information and teach other people how to manage their time well. And the third thing is I need to talk to someone who’s interested in buying one of my products. Okay, I sit down and I say what would each of these things be worth to me long term? Now, if I didn’t really take this mindset, if I didn’t consider it, what I’m probably going to do is go, “Well, that person needs to be called back, I’ll do that quickly. And then what I’ll do is I’ll talk to the person who’s interested in buying one of my products because they wanna buy something right now, and then after those, I’ll get around to making the video.” That’s probably the way I’d intuitively think of it, but watch what happens when I start assigning value to these three things. I look at the value of calling the person back. Well, they’ve probably got a question that I can answer any time, and in fact, no money and no value is going to come as a result of calling them back, they just want an answer to something. And then I’m going to take the next thing, and what I’m going to do is I’m actually going to take the third item and I’m going to put it second, for effect here.

This person wants to talk to me about buying a product. Now, they actually want to talk to me, it’s going to be a longer-term conversation. Intuitively I thought, I’ll call that first person back and just knock that out, and then I’ll talk to this person because it won’t take that long, maybe a little while. But when I ask what’s the value? Well, they might want to buy a product that I sell for $1,000.00 or $2,000.00 or maybe even more, what’s the value of that? Well, let’s say that 50 percent of the people that I talk to in person actually buy something and the average value is $1,000.00, well, that might be worth a $500.00 estimate right there. But now let’s talk about this video, let’s talk about making a simple, little training video that I’m going to put on video sharing sites and on my website that’s going to stay online for years, what’s that worth? Well, if I go online and I look and I see the other videos that I’ve put up and I see that every year thousands of people, on average, watch one of the videos that I’ve created and I do the math for every thousand people that watched the video. Let’s say one percent of them come to my website and they sign up for my newsletter and eventually they consider becoming a customer, and let’s say that every one of those people, these subscribers to my list are very valuable because they tend to be very high quality and they like our products. Say that each of those people is worth $25.00, well, now I’ve got from 1,000 people, I get $250.00 back, but wait a minute, I know that on average, 5,000 people a year will watch one of my videos.

So there’s $1,250.00 just the first year alone, maybe I make a conservative estimate and say that video will probably be good for five years, what’ve we got now? That’s $6,250.00, if my math is correct. That little video is actually worth way, way more than the other two items combined, and yet, when I thought of it intuitively, I would put the video on the back burner. Now you understand why I’m here making this video, of course, and why I’m not just looking at my list of people to call back and calling them back. In fact, I’ll tell you, I’ve become very difficult to reach by telephone, and I’m notorious for taking a long time to return phone calls. Why? Because it’s usually a waste of time, usually people just want to say hi and talk and yak about a bunch of things, and I’ve got better things to do like making videos that can help thousands and thousands and tens of hundreds of thousands of people. So when you’re trying to figure out what thing to do first and you’re trying to prioritize, make a list of the stuff that you need to do, and translate it into a dollar value. Force yourself to do it and think long term, think five years, ten years, 20 years. Once you get good at this, it takes a few seconds to do it. This video, I can do that math, I actually made that example up of those three things live while I’m talking to you here, I didn’t have it prepared, I didn’t figure all the math out before hand. You can just do it, you can just figure out, this thing’s worth $5.00, this thing is not worth anything, this thing could be worth $10,000.00, just write them down and quickly the most important thing will rise to the top.

Another way to think about prioritization, by the way, is to prioritize the three things in business that are the things that create all the value, and those are marketing, products, and relationships. Now we don’t have time to delve into those three in this short video, but I’ll tell you right now, marketing, products, and relationships is where all the value is created and all the money is made. So prioritize to the top of your list, creating, marketing, and sales, and doing marketing sales. Creating products and services, things that people will buy and continue to buy long term, and building relationships specifically with those people that can help you grow yourself and your business. So these would be partners in business, these would be team members that you’re going to hire; these would be people you’re going to collaborate with on products and services. In other words, those that are going to help you grow yourself and your business long term: marketing, products, and relationships. If you prioritize those to the top of the list, you will wake up far more productive in the future.

And finally, if you’d like to learn how to really master time management and productivity, learn how to keep yourself focused, learn how to eliminate procrastination for good, and learn how to create positive habits and eliminate negative ones. Just go to WakeUpProductive.com right now to watch my 47-minute video on how to manage yourself and your time and how to make yourself dramatically more productive. The video is worth $100.00, but you can watch it for free by just visiting WakeUpProductive.com, entering your name and e-mail address and opting in. Of course, I’ll also send you many more valuable, free video trainings and I’ll also send you private invitations to listen to me interviewing some of the top experts in the world on business, marketing, success, and productivity, all for free. Just go to WakeUpProductive.com, enter your name and e-mail address to get it all right now.

“How Do I Take More Time Off?” – Wake Up Productive by Eben Pagan

Let’s talk about taking time off, and why it’s important, and how to do it. Something that I’ve learned from the masters is that the more time off you take, the more productive you become in the rest of your work. Now, I know that this sounds like it almost couldn’t be true, but work with me here for a moment. Our bodies, and our minds, and our emotions they go through a cycle where they produce effort, and they produce results, and then they kind of recover. And they need to go through this cycle. It’s the nature cycle of things. It’s the way everything that’s alive actually works.

What most of us are doing in this modern day and age is we’re just burning ourselves out by working all the time. And we don’t notice it because it’s not obvious, but the quality of our effort, and the quality of our results is going down. And this may sound simple, but the way to take more time off is to actually schedule it in advance; to actually make that the highest priority thing that you do.

One of the things that I’ve discovered over the last few years as I’ve started scheduling more time off, and really trying to separate the time that I spend working and focused from the time that I spend off and recovering, and rejuvenating, is that when I go away for a few days, or I go on a trip somewhere – I was actually just gone for a week, and I was completely unplugged from the internet, from the telephone, from everything. And when I come back, I can see everything differently.

Leonardo da Vinci said take some time off once in a while, and go away from your work, and when you come back you’ll see it differently; you’ll have a different perspective. And often times, when I come back from even just a day off – a full day without any focus on work, I’ll see the answer to something that had been perplexing me for a long time because I just got outside of it, and now I’m kind of looking at it whole.

So if you want to take more time off, take more time off, and watch how it actually increases your productivity. Go to your calendar right now, and mark off a couple of days to take off. Maybe it’s a weekend, maybe it’s a couple of days during the week depending on your schedule, but mark a couple of days, and just take them off. And completely unplug, and do whatever you need to do in order to take that time off.

Tim Ferriss tells the story in his book The 4-Hour Workweek about how he decided that he was going to go away from his business, and he was going to be gone, and not check his email for like a month. And all the preparation to get ready to set his business up, so he could take time off made him think in a new way, and it turned out that by doing all these things, and by taking time off his business actually increased. It’s a lesson that we could all learn. When you force yourself, when you make yourself take time off and when you schedule it, it makes you think differently. It makes you put things in place. It’ll actually increase your results in your productivity. So start taking more time off. Start scheduling your time off. Start putting it in your calendar. And watch your productivity skyrocket.

And finally, if you’d like to learn how to really master time management and productivity, learn how to keep yourself focused, learn how to eliminate procrastination for good, and learn how to create positive habits and eliminate negative ones, just go to WakeUpProductive.com right now to watch my 47-minute video on how to manage yourself and your time, and how to make yourself dramatically more productive. The video is worth $100, but you can watch it for free by just visiting WakeUpProductive.com, entering your name and email address, and opting in.

Of course, I’ll also send you many more valuable free video trainings, and I’ll also send you private invitations to listen to me interviewing some of the top experts in the world on business, marketing, success, and productivity; all for free. Just go to WakeUpProductive.com, enter your name and email address to get it all right now.

“Keep Focus – Don’t Lose Focus On Your Top Tasks” – Wake Up Productive by Eben Pagan

How do I maintain focus on what I’m working on? Hi, I’m Eben Pagan, creator of the Wake Up Productive Time Management and Productivity training program. If you’d like to watch my 47-minute video on how to manage yourself and your time and become dramatically more productive, just go to WakeUpProductive.com and enter your name and e-mail address and you can watch this video worth $100.00 for free.

So let’s talk about how to keep ourselves focused and maintain that focus. As I learned from Tony Schwartz, the co-author of the book The Power of Full Engagement, which I recommend you read, the greatest power of the human mind is to focus on one thing at a time. We all know that we can only keep one thought or one idea in our conscious mind. Well, focusing on one thing over an extended period of time is what gives us great leverage; it’s what allows us to get a lot done in our lives. The problem in the modern day is that there’s a lot of distraction and interruption and other things competing for our attention, so we lose focus. And the great tragedy isn’t that we just are losing the focus, but we’re losing the ability to focus.

So the first thing to do if you want to maintain focus is to practice maintaining focus. One of the most valuable lessons I’ve ever learned about time management is the idea to focus on one thing at a time for an extended period of time. I originally learned this from Peter Drucker who wrote The Effective Executive, and the idea here is that when you focus on one thing, you get a lot more done, the compounding effect of it is dramatic. And so the best thing to do is to set aside blocks of time, I recommend 60 to 90 minutes, minimum. I like to work in blocks of time of an hour, an hour, and then take a 30-minute break, an hour, an hour, and then a 30-minute break because the hour and then a couple of minute break, and then the hour and then a 30-minute break, it really operates with your natural rhythms of your body. One little secret that can dramatically increase your ability to focus is to schedule the breaks that you take. Ernest Rossi wrote a great book called “The 20-Minute Break” and the idea is that our bodies and our systems have these natural rhythms that they go through where we have high energy and low energy. And in the book, he talks about how every 90 minutes, every 90, 120 minutes you want to take a break.

That’s why I like to work for an hour, another hour, and then take a 30-minute break because it kind of optimizes every two and a half hours. You could eat a meal, you can kind of relax, go for a walk or take a longer break. But somewhere in that every 90 to 120 minutes, schedule a break for yourself so that your body can kind of relax and your mind can tune out and your emotions can recover. When you schedule your breaks, you’ll come back much more focused and much stronger. So to maintain focus, what you need to do is get rid of the distraction and interruption, schedule time blocks to work in, an hour, 90 minutes, 120 minutes, ideally, and then very importantly, schedule and take regular breaks. When you schedule and take regular breaks, you’re honoring the way that your system works and you’ll come back very strong from those breaks being able to maintain your focus for longer periods of time.

And finally, if you’d like to learn how to really master time management and productivity, learn how to keep yourself focused, learn how to eliminate procrastination for good, and learn how to create positive habits and eliminate negative ones. Just go to WakeUpProductive.com right now to watch my 47-minute video on how to manage yourself and your time and how to make yourself dramatically more productive. The video is worth $100.00, but you can watch it for free by just visiting WakeUpProductive.com, entering your name and e-mail address and opting in. Of course, I’ll also send you many more valuable, free video trainings and I’ll also send you private invitations to listen to me interviewing some of the top experts in the world on business, marketing, success, and productivity, all for free.

Just go to WakeUpProductive.com, enter your name and e-mail address to get it all right now.

“How To Prioritize My Work” – Wake Up Productive by Eben Pagan

How do I prioritize my work? Hi, I’m Eben Pagan, creator of the Wake Up Productive time management and productivity training program. If you’d like to watch my 47-minute video on how to manage yourself and your time and become dramatically more productive, just go to WakeUpProductive.com, and enter your name and email address. You can watch this video worth $100.00 for free.

Let’s talk about how to prioritize our work to get the right things done and to become very productive. One of the things that I’ve learned in business is that there are only a few things that matter. If you only worked on those few things, you would get very, very strong, very, very profitable results. If you don’t do those few things, then you’re going to get horrible results. Now, because most of us are distracted, and we’re interrupted, and we’ve got a lot of things on our minds, and we’ve got a big list of To Dos, it’s sometimes not easy to remember to just take a minute and ask, “What are the important things?” When we do take a minute to ask, “What are the important things?” sometimes, we don’t have tools that allow us to value the different things on the list and to get the important things to the top. I’m going to give you a couple of tools right now.

The first tool is what I call my productivity pyramid. The simple way to use this tool is to start, take a blank piece of paper, and draw a triangle or a pyramid, and break it into four levels. The bottom level – inside of the bottom level, write, “Zero value or negative value.” The second level, write, “Low dollar per hour activities.” The next level up or the second level from the top, label that, “High dollar per hour activities.” Then, the top, the capstone of the pyramid, that’s, “High lifetime value activities.”

Now, zero value or negative value, these are things that you do that literally have no value or they may have negative value. These would be things like gossiping or complaining or eating junk food because you feel like you have low energy. They’re things that actually bring no value or possible they’re counterproductive. They have negative value.

The second level, which is low dollar per hour activities, this would be all of the administrative work that you do. Like if you’re mailing out several pieces of mail: if you’re writing the address and putting the stamps on the envelope and bringing them to the post office. This is low dollar per hour activity. This might be $10.00 or $20.00 per hour activities.

The next level, which is high dollar per hour activities, this is where it starts to get really interesting because this is where you’re doing things that are actually creating results very quickly that bring in money or bring in value to you and your business. A typical example might be talking to a customer who’s interested in buying something from you. That would be maybe considered a sales call or a sales conversation because if it results in a sale or a customer buying something, that brings in a lot of money right now.

Now, at the pinnacle or the capstone, this is high lifetime value activities. These are actually the most valuable activities that you can do. As it turns out, they’re the things that we usually don’t do because they’re not that urgent. Stephen Covey, in his four-quadrant time management system, he talks about these. These are really part of the Quadrant 2 – things that are important, but they’re not really urgent. Things that if you do them consistently over time, they build a lot of value. They build a big foundation for value creation and income, but because they’re long-term projects, and they require a lot of investment, we don’t get around to them.

In our personal lives, things like exercise and creating a diet plan that really works. These are high lifetime value activities. They pay dividends for life. In the business sphere, some of the high lifetime value activities would be creating a new product or a new service that’s going to be sold over and over and over again. Another high lifetime value activity might be creating a marketing piece or something that you’re going to give away to customers to entice them and get them to check out your business. This video right here is a high lifetime value activity for me because thousands and thousands of people will watch this over the coming years. They’ll learn about my products and services, and they will come and visit me. It has high lifetime value.

What I’d like you do is make a pyramid for yourself, and list out the things that you do every day, all the typical things that you do. What are the things that have zero or negative value? What are the things that have low dollar per hour value? What are the things that have high dollar per hour value? And then, what are the things that have high lifetime value? And just by looking at them, by seeing them and understanding their relationship to each other, that’ll create some awareness, and it’ll have a click, and it’ll let you know which things to prioritize at the top of the list every day because those are the things that bring you high lifetime value and high dollar per hour value.

Now, the next thing I’d like to teach you is a concept that took me a long time to realize. In business, there are only three things that really ring the cash register, increase the value of your business, create value for others and actually make you a lot of money long term. Those three things are products, marketing and relationships. Let me say them again. Products, marketing and relationships. These are big categories, and obviously, a lot more than just products fits in the products bin because it can be products, it can be services. It can be an integration of the two. Things that you’re going to sell are what I’m talking about. Marketing is all of the marketing and sales activities that you do. Things to bring in customers, and maybe you might consider good customer service in there because in a lot of ways, good customer service is good marketing.

And then relationships. Relationships with partners, people who would like to sell your stuff for you, employees, team members, people that work with you, that type of thing. Here’s what I’ll tell you. If you want to have a dramatically more successful business and dramatically more successful life and make a lot more money in a lot less time, invest 80 percent of your time working on products, marketing and relationships. Products, marketing and relationships. If you just prioritize products, marketing and relationships to the top of your list every day, you will wake up three months, six months, nine months, twelve months from now, and your productivity and your income will be skyrocketing. So those are a couple of great tools and ideas for prioritizing your work and your life.

Finally, if you’d like to learn how to really master time management and productivity, learn how to keep yourself focused, learn how to eliminate procrastination for good and learn how to create positive habits and eliminate negative ones, just go to WakeUpProductive.com right now to watch my 47-minute video on how to manage yourself and your time and how to make yourself dramatically more productive.

The video is worth $100.00, but you can watch it for free by just visiting WakeUpProductive.com, entering your name and e-mail address and opting in. Of course, I’ll also send you many more valuable free video trainings, and I’ll also send you private invitations to listen to me interviewing some of the top experts in the world on business, marketing, success and productivity all for free.

Just go to WakeUpProductive.com, enter your name and e-mail address to get it all right now.