In this episode, we are going to talk about how you can be more productive with the help of successful rituals or habits in your life. If we don’t get such rituals right, we find ourselves in a confused state, we are totally unfocused and we ultimately end up with no results. When we get it right, we have clarity, everything we do is intentional and we start to complete tasks.
So here are the 3 principles that you need to know:
- Focus precedes action
- Actions don’t equate to completion
- Fulfillment is your true currency
The Productivity Sphere
This framework will allow you to divide your time in the morning and later in the day. Each activity gets a maximum of 90 minutes. The activity doesn’t have to be the same for everyone. You can use this as a reference to create your own sphere of productivity.
In the AM
- Creativity: This is the time to be creative. You can spend the time generating ideas and writing them down. It is not necessary that you do it as the first thing in the morning.
- Exercise: The time for exercise is largely important. It energizes you and brings vibrancy back in your life.
- Team: This is the time that you separate for your team. Do they need something from you so that they can carry on with their work?
- Strategy: Sit back and look at your strategies. What are the plans that are and aren’t working, the things that you need to tweak?
- MIF: Most Important First. When you have a lot of things to do or are procrastinating, list them out and do the ones that are most important.
In the PM
- Review: Look back and review the day. Think about how you did your daily tasks and carried on with your strategy.
- Wins: What are your wins for the day? Did you accomplish what you set out to? It’s a way to compliment ourselves.
- Gratitude: Realize the things that you are truly, truly grateful for so that you create a chance to expand and grow from there.
- Plan: What are the wins for tomorrow? What needs to take place for them? Who do I need help from?
- Unplug: Shut the doors to your office and unplug. Be with your loved ones and rejuvenate yourselves so that you are ready to take on your morning rituals tomorrow.
— Begin Transcript —
Hey there everyone, Mel Abraham here, the author of the #1 best-selling book, The Entrepreneur’s Solution and the founder of Thoughtpreneur Academy where we teach you how to brand yourself as an influencer so you can have more impact, more income and more freedom. And welcome to this episodes of The Entrepreneur’s Solution show. In this episode, we’re going to talk about what I call The Productivity Sphere.
How do you become more productive?
And the rituals that come about. This question came up in recent one-on-one, with one of my high-level clients also asked this in my live event where what are the rituals that I go through to make sure that I’m productive and successful? And so, that’s what we’re going to tackle in this episode.
There’s an action guide that goes along with this called The Productivity Ritualizer. If you want to download that go to MelAbraham.com/session086 and you will be able to download the action guide. Work along with me. Make sure that you use the same templates and tools that I use each and every day in my business for myself and with my clients.
Now if you’re not at your computer. If you’re not sitting in front of your computer where you can download it that’s all right. Just take your phone out, text me MYLEGACY one-word no-spaces, MYLEGACY to 38470. I will send you the download links so you can follow along, get the same tools and templates that I’ve used again with my high-level clients and with myself. So, why don’t we jump in and let’s get started.
So let’s jump into this, the 10 productivity spheres and The Productivity Ritualizer in this so we can kind of figure out what it takes. What I want to talk about is really how do you build success rituals in our life? And rituals are an interesting thing. We talk about it and some people may think about it in the context of religious rituals but rituals are habits. They are things that we do on a regular basis that get us a certain level of results and every entrepreneur that I know that is truly, truly successful that is at the highest level of success, I find that they have rituals, they have things that they do in the mornings, during the day and evenings that are consistent, that’s systematic.
So, I’m going to give you a process and some of the rituals that I have used. This, as I said, came out of a question that was asked to me saying,
- What do you do each and every morning?
- What do you do when you get up?
- What do you do before you go to sleep?
- What do you do to make sure that you’re successful and productive?
And so, what we’re going to deal with is just that. Here’s the interesting thing. If we don’t get rituals right, if we don’t understand what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, why we’re doing it, ultimately we find ourselves really in a confused state.
We’re spotting, we’re going from one place to the next place and we don’t know why and we don’t know where and we don’t know necessarily what we’re doing. So, we’re extremely confused in the process.
And through that, we find that we’re totally unfocused.
Ultimately, we’re in a place where we’re not focused on anything. In fact, we’re like that kind of that what I call an ADHD that’s flying around or the moth to a flame that you go to one light, you go to another light, or the Shiny Ball Syndrome. And so, we’re completely unfocused and when you’re unfocused as an entrepreneur, when you’re unfocused as an individual, getting results becomes sporadic, it becomes problematic because you’re not directed, you’re not intentional, you’re not making and taking steps and things that need to go to get to a point.
Think about this. When we need to do, when they do laser cutting of metal for instance, that laser very, very thin, very, very concentrated, very, very focused. That’s what we need in our life to really make the successes, the productivity successes possible is that the more laser focused we are, the more directed we are, the more accomplishments and achievements we’re going to find that we make.
The other thing that happens if we don’t get this right is that we ultimately end up with no results because we’re all over the place.
We’re a patchwork of action with no real direction and so the key is that we got to get this right, otherwise we’re going to not going to get through this or the results that we get are not going to be at the level that we want them, the results that we get are not even going to be in the ballpark of where we want them.
So the key here is a couple of things because when we get this right, one, we have clarity.
When we figure out what those rituals are, when we figure out what those productivity elements are, we find clarity in it. In other words, we go from confusion to clarity in that sense that we go, “I know that’s the direction I need to go. That’s what I need to accomplish, that’s what I need to do to move me to that point.”
The other thing that happens when we get this right is, everything we do is intentional.
Every step we make, every move we make is with a specific result in mind that it is intentional. Too often, I see individuals and entrepreneurs that literally will just kind of go at the whim of the winds and when you go at the whim of the winds, then where you are going to end up is haphazard, it’s where you’re going to end up is going to be at the whim of the winds and if I have a destination, if I want to go from point A to point B and that’s the destination I want to get to then I need to make some intentional decisions and choices along the way to keep me on that line towards that destination of point B. Otherwise, if we happen to get to the destination it’s purely coincidental.
And so, what I’m going to invite you to do is to be very intentional with your actions, very intentional with your decisions on what you do and even more intentional with you decisions of what you don’t do. In fact, that’s the thing that will probably drive you the furthest, the fastest is to be able to say, “This is something that doesn’t move me from point A to point B in a fast way therefore I’m not going to do it.” Saying no is probably one of the biggest choices that you can make to move that forward.
And ultimately, if we get the clarity right, and we get that intentional decision making, we find that we start to complete tasks.
We start to get to the finish line. We start to get accomplishments. We start to get to the goals that we’re trying to get to. Instead of being confused, unfocused and haphazard results, we actually get the results that we’re looking at and so, that’s the reason why this is important so
- We can gain clarity,
- We can gain focus,
- We can be intentional of what we do, and
- We can get to completion.
So if that’s why it’s important, what do you need to know? And these are the keys that I think really start to drive things in the process and these are the three principles that I want you to take away here.
First is your focus precedes action.
A lot of times, we just, in our energy, in our excitement to want to do something, we just want to jump in and get it done. Here’s what I invite you to do is instead of just jumping in to get it done, take a moment to sit back. Get the clarity, focus on what it is that you’re trying to accomplish then take action. So get the clarity first, focus second and then, take action. That’s why the first principle is focus precedes action.
In other words, before we take action, we got to know where we want to go. It’s like that racer just before they start the race. They are intense, they’re focused on what they got to accomplish, they have an intentional direction that they know
- What they got to do next,
- What they got to do after that, and
- What their ultimate outcome is.
But they get focus first before the race starts, before they take action. So, focus precedes action.
The second principle I want you to take away is to realize that actions don’t equate to completion.
We can be busy but we may not be making progress. The idea is that we need to be busy with the things that are going to create progress for us, things that are going to move us intentionally in the direction of where we want to go and so, the next one principle is to realize that action does not equate to completion so we need to take those actions that move us closer to completion.
And then, the third principle is to do this is that fulfillment is really your true currency.
Now a lot of people will sit back and say, “Oh, I want to make money. I want to make money.” And I get it and money is a scorecard, money is a big deal in the sense of measurement of success but what we’re really searching for is that fulfillment.
And so, really looking at
- Wow do we set up those rituals?
- How do we setup our days?
- How do we set up that process?
To build fulfillment into the process versus just profits. So, those are the 3 key elements that I want you to know which leads us to the next piece which is, okay if that’s the case, how do you do it?
So, I want to introduce you to the 10 spheres of productivity and these are the kind of the 10 aspects, the 10 things that I do each and every day, 5 in the morning, 5 in the evening and it’ll set you up for success not only in the current day but it’ll establish a pattern for each and every coming day the way you do this. So, we’re going to jump into this. I’m going to walk you through this worksheet. We will jump to the iPad and do that so you understand what those 10 productivity spheres are.
So, let’s get into the iPad and see what that is. So, here’s the thing: What I do is I try to do some things first thing in the morning when I get up and then last thing in the evening and then the in between the morning rituals and the evening rituals is just my productivity time. It’s when I am doing and taking the actions that I need to take.
The first thing that I will typically look at, typically do is in the mornings, I wake up early typically between, depends, between 5 am and 6 am, [6:30] maybe on the late side. My wife, she sleeps. She sleeps a little later not much but she sleeps a little later so I will just come downstairs to my office or I will go out on the balcony watching the water and the very first thing that I do is what I call my creativity time.
And so, this is my time to be creative. It’s where I find that most of my writing is best, most of my thinking is best and so what I’m doing is capturing that creativity. Now sometimes, it’s going to be just me doodling frameworks or thoughts or writing in a journal or a diary or maybe it’s actually drafting emails and blog posts and specific writing that is involved or creating coursework or creating additional trainings for you or building out another podcast or session or YouTube session such as this for The Entrepreneur’s Solution show.
But what I found is that for me and you may be a little different, you may say I’m more creative in the afternoons and you will move these spheres around but I think you need to have these spheres in place and do them as rituals which are things you’re going to do each and every day. And so, the first piece for me is this creativity piece is that I’m going to take the time where my mind is fresh, I haven’t been impacted by phone calls, by reading or anything like that and I will take that time to create and to write and to do those things that are meaningful to me.
The second, the second sphere of productivity and I think that this is huge for a lot of folks if we do this right is what I call my Exercise time.
Now inevitably, inevitably, I typically will go and work out between five and six days a week and I’m either going to go to the gym or I’m going to go run on the beach or I’m going to do some sort of cardio. Typically my workouts are some are between 45 minutes and an hour and a half depending on the day and depending on what it is I’m doing.
But I find that once I’ve done the creativity work, then to energize me and bring that vibrancy in and one of the things that I want to do is go out and do some exercise. One when I do exercise, I put the headphones in and I’m either going to be listening to music and thinking as I’m doing that or I’m going to be listening to a specific podcast or something that’s going to keep me in focus and in tune.
So, I will go over the gym and get some exercise in. I feel energized by the time I get back and now I’m ready to kind of tackle the day if you will in doing that. And so, you may find again that some folks like to exercise in the afternoon. I got into the habit of exercising in the morning primarily because what I used to do is consistently exercise in the morning and then, I did martial arts in the evening so I couldn’t exercise in the evening at the gym.
And so, I still work out in the morning and I will do some other stuff in the evening. I will even do more exercise in the evening at times but I want you to block out creativity time, exercise time. My time is in the morning. I think it’s a great time to try it. If you don’t have a specific preference follow what I’m doing and see how it fits for you and then make some tweaks.
Once I’m done with exercise and these are the rituals that I do each and every morning, once I’m done with exercise time, then it comes down to what I call Team time. Is there things, are there things that my team is waiting for? People on my team that need me.
- Does Jeremy need something?
- Does Denise need something?
- Does someone else need something from me?
Whether it’s an email, a phone call, a yes, a no, a review of a contract, a review of something, are they sitting and waiting on stuff, they’re not probably sitting and waiting on anything from me but the bottom line is do they need something from me? Do I owe them a phone call, a written response? So, one of the things that I’m going to do immediately once I’m done with exercise and I’m ready to hit kind of get into the work in the productivity mode is I’m going to search my email box for things for my team members, see what they need, see if I can answer those so I can keep them moving forward and keep them productive also.
I’m going to look at, “Do I need to make any kind of phone calls or give them resources at that? Do I need to make a call on their behalf and introduction on their behalf?” So I’m going to take this moment and it could be literally 5 minutes, it could be 15 minutes, it could be an hour. We will talk about the timing of some of this in a moment but I’m going to do the things that my team needs right away
And so then I go from team time to what I call Strategy time.
This is the time that I get a chance to sit back and look at my strategies.
- What do I have in place that’s working?
- What do I have in place that may be isn’t working so well and then I got to tweak?
- What are the tweaks that I need?
- Are there resources that I need?
- Are there people I need to talk to, to develop that, to really start to build it?
- What do I need to do?
- What strategies am I working on now?
Now those of you that know me know that I work in 90 day sprints. So, I typically have a 90 day plan. Within that 90 day plan is typically 3, maximum 4 projects that need to get done and then some action items in there. So, my strategy is all penciled out for every 90 days and that’s what I’m really working on.
- I’m going to review my strategy,
- I’m going to review where I’m at,
- I’m going to review the action items that are in that strategy, and
- What I need to get done to move the needle.
Everything that I’m going to focus in on during this ritual time is what are the needle moves, what are the things that I heard this saying, “What’s the small hinge that swings the big door? What’s the small hinge that I need to take care of that’s going to allow me to move in great strides towards my goal?”
Which leads me to this next piece and it’s what I call MIF time. This is where I now go from this…now by this point, the only emails, the only things that I have typically done are from my team or anything related to my strategy; that’s it. I’m not digging in, I’m not going into anything with respect to Facebook although part of my strategy is Facebook so I will do a live or something like that when it comes to that.
But MIF, the MIF time is what I call the most important first. So, a lot of times we find and it’s really interesting when I talk to entrepreneurs, when I talk to some of my clients, when we start to say; actually, “What do you think you should be doing?” and it’s usually the thing that they are procrastinating on. I know that they should be doing it and it’s the most important thing first. So, I want to take everything and I want to write them and I’m going to do the most important thing first because that’s the needle mover, that’s the small hinge, that’s the thing that’s going to swing the big door and move the needle the furthest, the fastest, so we’re going to do most important first and we’re just going to keep going down that place.
The key behind all of this is that I will typically not exceed 90 minutes in any block. I work in 90 minute increments but I will think about 30, 60, 90 because I want to get up, I want to keep the energy flowing so never will I cross 90 minutes. I will sit down, I will set an alarm, I will look at the time, I will do something that every 90 minutes that allows me to get up, move around, refocus, re-energize, get my blood flowing if I’m sitting down and do that. So, be aware of the time. Doing lengthy 3 hour marathons isn’t going to be productive for you so I’m going to invite you to do thinking in terms of 90 minute increments in doing that.
So that’s my morning routine.
- The MIF stuff
And that carries me through the day. 90 minute increments maximum giving me my time, hydrating a lot and then I go to the afternoon.
So now, I have come to the afternoon. I’ve done my day. I’ve done my work. Now, I have an afternoon ritual that starts to build this out and I’m going to give you the action guide, got a worksheet that’s going to allow you how to map out your day with this. So you want to make sure you download that.
The first thing that I do when I’m done with the day and I’m ready to start winding it down, the first thing that I do here is this. It’s Review time.
This is when I look back on the day and I say, “How did I do?”
- How did I do with my MIF tasks?
- How am I doing on my strategy?
- How am I doing with my team?
- How am I feeling in the sense of my vibrancy, my energy, the progress that I make?
- What are the successes?
- What are the wins?
- What are the things that we’re trying to build into?
And so, when I do this, I kind of look at this time and this next time which is my Wins time is all right what are my wins for the day?
- Did I accomplish the things that I wanted to accomplish?
- Did we have a big contract get signed?
- What happened during the day that are my wins?
Here’s the interesting thing is that we are really good at being critical on ourselves; we’re awful at complimenting ourselves. We’re awful at celebrating our successes and so, what I’m going to invite you to do is to celebrate the wins of the day, to acknowledge the fact that you go certain things done each and every day to be able to celebrate those, to be able to go home and say, “You know what honey? I got this, this and this done, I feel really good about it.”
Because without that we keep beating ourselves up on the stuff we didn’t get done. We’re focused on the negative versus the positive. Granted, there may be more things that we would like to get done. We will pick that up in the review, we will pick that up in the plan in one of these next rituals and move it on to the MIF list for the next day as we move forward but one of the things that I do is review and I will look at the wins in building through that.
The next piece is this and this is something that I think we need to do a lot more of. Gratitude. Gratitude. So, I take a moment once I’m done with the review and the wins to sit back and ask myself “What are the things that I’m grateful for today?” Not just the accomplishments but the people, the happenings, the existence, and to be truly, truly grateful for what has transpired in that day because from that space is where we get to be able to build. That’s the time that we get a chance to expand and grow and see things better because we’ve taken a moment to celebrate our wins, to understand the learning and to build on to that and now we’re grateful for the time we have.
Listen, here’s the thing that I realized is that when we have gratitude in our heart, in our soul, in our mind we think differently. The things that we come up are very, very different. So I will spend time in the afternoon, in the evenings as I’m shutting down to look at my gratitude.
Then I move in to this piece called Plan which is plan time.
Now I’m going to think about the three’s WWW and it’s not worldwide web. The thing that I want to look at is for the next day, what’s my plan? And I will look at it under the three Ws.
- What do I need to have happen tomorrow for it to be a win? So that’s the first W. What are the wins for tomorrow that I want to have?
Then in order for those wins to happen what are the whats that need to take place. In other words, what do I need to do? What do I need to accomplish to make it a win?
And the third W is this: Who? Who do I need help from to get the Whats done so I can have the wins in the next day because that’s going to allow me to reach out to them, connect with them and contact them because they now become part of that team and part of the strategy in the morning ritual of the next day. So, my plan is really about the wins, the whats and the whos in the process that I’m going to put into place for the very next day.
And then, the last piece is this, the Unplug time. The unplug time. Here’s what I think we need to do and this is a challenge in many cases for many entrepreneurs, especially home based entrepreneurs and those of you that are home based solopreneurs or home based businesses it’s really a challenge to put those boundaries around, to shut the door of the office to say work’s done for the day and unplug.
Now, you may unplug and say, “I’m going to.” Some people like to go and cook, some people don’t. Some people just want to go have a nice dinner somewhere. Some want to sit and watch a little bit of TV. Some want to turn around and maybe read. Whatever it is, once you choose to unplug, you unplug. You unplug and you spend it with your loved ones, you spend it with your spouse, you spend it with your significant other. You’re present in the moment.
You take the time to rejuvenate yourself to unplug completely so then when you come back in the morning to the morning rituals you’re ready to be creative, you’re ready to do that. You don’t have the guilt, you don’t have the weight of the fact that you didn’t unplug, you didn’t spend time with loved ones or your spouse or your significant other in a way that was meaningful to them.
So that’s what I call the 10 productivity spheres. This is how I kind of look at my days. In the mornings, I do the 5. In the morning,
- The creativity,
- The exercise,
- The team,
- The strategy, and
- The MIF time.
I try to break things down at 30, 60, 90 minute increments maximum and do it that way. Then in the afternoons,
- I’m simply going to review
- I’m going to celebrate my wins
- I’m going to be grateful for the things that have happened. I’m going to…I’m not just generically grateful; specifically what it is.
- Create the plan for the next day, thinking about the 3 Ws, the Whens, the Whats and the Whos.
- And then I’m going to completely unplug.
Those are the 10 productivity spheres and I think that when you see how this all plays out you’re going to see that it truly is a way that changes and shifts how much you can get done in a day, how much you can get done in week and it will blow you away what you’re going to get done in a year when you bring rituals into life that allow you to turn around and say, “I know what I’m doing, I know how I’m doing it, I’m staying intentional, I’m keeping clear and I’m going to be focused. I’m going to take action to go from point A to point B.”
That’s worked in my life and it’s worked in a lot of the people that I’ve mentored and coached as clients, high level clients as well as entrepreneurs around the globe. If it’s not this specific ritual, they have rituals and so the key is this: What’s your ritual?
If you don’t have one, embrace this one. At least, start with this one and then, you can modify it because this takes into consideration
- The intellect,
- The physical,
- The caring,
- The thinking,
- The logical side,
- The emotional side.
It brings into play all of the elements of your life to make it more meaningful. As I said that there is a worksheet, an action guide that goes along with this session. It’s called the productivity ritualizer. It will explain everything to you and it’s going to give you a worksheet format to bring the spheres of productivity to life in your world.
So grab that and the way to grab that is to go to MelAbraham.com/session086 and you will be able to download the action guide with the worksheet. Use that each and every day. It gives you all the instructions to do it. If you’re not by your computer again, you can get it by just texting me. Text MYLEGACY one-word to 38470 and we will make sure that we send you the download link so you get the tools, the templates that can drive your success in an accelerated way.
If you haven’t done so already, I’m going to ask you to do me a favor. Hit the subscribe button. Subscribe, stay with me on this journey. Let’s have some fun. Let’s make some differences. Let’s have an impact. Let’s grow your life and create the success that you’re looking for in doing that. So, one way that I can be your mentor in your back pocket as you move forward in this space.
And everyone needs more productivity. So, you do me another favor? I’m going to ask you for a couple of favors here. Share this. Go ahead, hit the share button and share it with some friends. Share it with some friends that maybe don’t have a process and we can give them the process and the tools to be more productive and get more out of their life.
And last but not the least, if you have questions for me, if you have comments. Post them. Let me know, let’s keep this, let’s make this a dialog, let’s have a conversation, let me see how I can help you out in doing that and if you want to leave me a message or a question, just go to AskMelNow.com and you can record your personal voicemail message to me. If it’s a question, I may bring it on one of the episodes and make sure that it becomes one of the episodes of The Entrepreneur’s Solution show.
So, I hope this serves you. I hope you found it of value. Get your productivity in line. Let’s rock and roll this next 12 months for you and if there is something that I can do, please let me know. Until we get a chance to see each other in another episode,
May your vision be grand, your journey epic and your legacy significant!
See you soon. Cheers. Bye!!
— End Transcript —
Like this? Please share it and help a few more people bring their dreams out of the darkness and give life to them again. Cheers, Mel