How to Get More Done in the Next Seven Days Than You Did All Last Month

I happen to be pretty adept at getting things done. A LOT of things done.

I have to be. I have a high visibility job with a global consulting firm and a client that is one of the top three biggest companies in the world. I serve on three committees in my community. I have four kids, a wife, and a terminally ill mother at home, I coach my son’s hockey team and I have a very active real estate investing business. And I only have the same 24 hours in the day that everyone else has.

Everyone that I know is busy. It seems that in this hyper-connected existence that we’re in everyone is swamped. So a question that I get quite often is “do you ever sleep?”.  In each case the person asking is commenting on the amount of work (and play) that I get done on a regular basis.

But it hasn’t always been that way. In the “BK” era (after grad school and before kids) I can remember my wife and I sleeping until 10am every Saturday and at least a few nights a week sitting down with a martini and watching a full evening of television. We both had great jobs of course, but other than that we came out of that era with exactly nothing to show for it and wondering where all the time went.

Then I changed jobs and that changed everything. At that point I took on a role where I was abruptly thrown into the deep end and expected to manage projects, even though I had never done it before. It was sink or swim, and since the prospect of drowning wasn’t very appealing, I decided to become a student of the discipline – fast! So I read everything that I could get my hands on. And in a very short time I was hooked.

Hooked to the extent that I started to become a student of productivity – and not just managing work projects. This expanded my horizons quite a bit and really laid the foundations for the success that I have had.

So after the question “do you ever sleep” , the question that follows is usually – “what’s the secret?

It would be easy to say that it’s black magic, that it’s more art than science, that you can’t explain it because you just do it. And then try to sell you some expensive course and coaching program to “bring you to the light”.

But none of that is true.

The answer is that productivity is in fact a process. And like any process, your results are totally dependent on how well you follow the steps.

This presumes, however, that you have, or at least know, steps. Notice, though, that I didn’t say THE steps. I just said steps. Because they can be different for everyone.

If you’re one that’s looking for the secret and you already have your steps but you’ve gotten away from them, then my recommendation is that you get back on that horse.

If you don’t have steps and don’t know how to start getting some, then let me tell you how I got started and give you a starting point.

First, you need to have SOME sort of planning system, and my strong recommendation is that it be written when you get started. I know that people like to use digital planners, but in my experience they end up being glorified tactical task lists and are rarely, if ever, used for actual planning because they are far to cumbersome to use that way.

My suggestion – start with the Franklin Planner. But not only that, you need to start by taking the Franklin Planner class FIRST. That’s right – spring for the measly $300 and get a rigorous one day seminar on detailed daily planning. Here is the brochure: Click here.

I took the course going on 15 years ago and although I had already been using the paper planner for several years I realized that I had no clue as to how to actually plan a day. Taking this one course literally changed my life and the way that I worked. I know that it has been updated to reflect using a pda, but you should resist the temptation and stick with the paper, at least until the planning principles that they teach get ingrained into your daily thought processes.

I believe that taking this ONE action – and truly implementing the principles – will increase your productivity by a minimum of 50%.

The second recommendation that I have is that you spend $9 and buy the book “Getting Things Done – The Art of Stress Free Productivity”.  Here is a link: Click here.

Even though this book contains more advanced strategies, I recommend that instead of single threading these resources you should consume them both at the same time and implement them together.

If you’re starting from zero, then I have absolutely no doubt that by simply implementing the principles, techniques, processes in these two resources you will exponentially increase your productivity – NEXT WEEK!

And who doesn’t need to get more done?

I have some even more advanced strategies that I’ll write about some other time.

Drop me a line and let me know how it goes.