Mission progress

101 Classes

Productivity 101

How To Get Great Things Done vs. A Ton of Trivial Things

Ready to get some great things done? Fantastic. Step 1: Identify the great thing. Step 2. Say YES to your wildly important goal! Step 3. Say “No!” to basically everything else. Then know that it starts with energy management then goes to time management, focus, 4.5-hour workdays, the four disciplines of execution, the science of progress and relentless forward motion.

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Deep Work

Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

Deep Work. It’s the key to how you get So Good They Can’t Ignore You—which, of course, is the title of another one of Cal’s great books. Big Ideas include Deep Work vs. Shallow Work, how to give your neurons a workout, cleaning up attention residue, the four rules of deep work, finding the routine that works for you and learning how to shut down completely.

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The Psychology of Optimal Experience

Flow. It's all about the science of optimal human experience. In this Note, we'll explore what the flow state is (hint: get fully engaged in an activity that matches your skills with your challenge) and we’ll look at some other Big Ideas on controlling the contents of our consciousness to get out of anxiety and boredom as we create more flow experiences in our lives. (Plus, you'll even learn how to pronounce "Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.")

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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

This classic has sold 15 million copies and was the first self-development book I read back in the day (1995 to be precise). In this Note, we'll take a quick look at all 7 Habits—from being proactive (huge!) to beginning with the end in mind, putting first things first, thinking win/win, seeking first to understand, synergizing and sharpening the saw. Lots of goodness here to help us develop our character to create our ideal lives as we most fully give ourselves to the world.

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The Effective Executive

The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done

Peter Drucker is considered the father of modern management. This book was originally published in 1967. It’s *remarkably* well written and lucid. And, of course, packed with Big Ideas on how to optimize our effectiveness. We cover the 5 key practices/habits of the effective executive: time (first things first; second things never!), contribution (what can you contribute?), strengths (make yours productive; make weaknesses irrelevant), concentration (the secret to effectiveness), decisions (boundary conditions help).

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The Power of Full Engagement

Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal

Loehr and Schwartz tell us we've gotta manage ENERGY not time if we wanna really optimize our lives. Their book is pure goodness. In this Note, we'll explore the four principles of full engagement, why we want to be more like sprinters rather than marathon runners, that there's a pulse of life and we need to honor it, and the power of positive rituals. And some other really Big Ideas on getting our Full Engagement on.

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The 80/20 Principle

The Secrete to Success by Achieving More With Less

Did you know 20% of beer drinkers drink 80% of the beer? And that 20% of streets account for 80% of the traffic? And that most peeps wear 20% of their clothes 80% of the time? And that 20% of customers/products usually account for about 80% of profits? Yepperz. In this Note, we’ll explore the 80/20 principle and how we can apply its power to every aspect of our lives to "achieve more with less."

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The ONE Thing

The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

The ONE Thing. What's yours? Gary Keller (his Keller-Williams real estate is THE largest real estate company in the world--I bet that was a ONE Thing goal at some point!) shares his wisdom in this BRILLIANT book. We'll have fun exploring a few of my favorite Big Ideas: dominoes + extreme Pareto and other goodness.

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Getting Things Done

The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Getting Things Done. This is like the Bible of personal productivity. And David Allen is our wise sage, walking us thru the powerful systems to help us master the art of stress-free productivity. In the Note, we'll explore how to clear our heads (mind like water!), play the 2-minute game, get our inbox to zero and envision + plan for wil success.

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Organize Tomorrow Today

8 Ways to Retrain Your Mind to Optimize Performance at Work and in Life

Jason Selk is one of the world’s leading peak performance/mental training experts. Tom Bartow is one of the world’s leading financial advisor trainers. Together they provide a manual on how to “start every day with more focus, confidence, and energy—by learning how to set the right priorities." Great stuff. Big Ideas we cover: Your 2 top questions for tomorrow, the Zeigarnik Effect, the importance of Nailing it, why fight-thrus are the key to creating habits, your new mental toughness workout, and repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition...

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Smarter Faster Better

The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business

Charles Duhigg is a Pulitzer Prize-winning NY Times journalist (and Harvard MBA) who wrote the best-selling book The Power of Habit in which he walked us through the science of building better habits. In this book, he walks us through the science of being productive so we can be smarter, faster and better at everything we do. It’s a great book packed with fascinating stories and practical applications. Big Ideas we explore include the 2 keys to motivation, how to build your focus, the best way to set goals (think: Stretch + SMART), why disfluency helps learning and how productivity is all about choices.

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The 10X Rule

The Only Difference Between Success and Failure

Ready to 10X your thinking and your action? Fantastic. Grant Cardone is your man. In this high intensity, LET'S DO THIS! book you'll get fired up to go out and crush it. Big Ideas we explore include how to create goals, why MASSIVE ACTION is so important, how to starve fear, why obsession is a gift not a disease and how Smokey would smoke the tortoise and the hare.

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#30 Sharpening the Saw

/Building a Chainsaw
Stephen Covey‘s seventh habit of Highly Effective People is “Sharpen the Saw.” He tells us about the importance of renewal if we want
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#36 Deep Work

How to Escape Shallowville and Go Deep
Cal Newport has a very big brain. He got his Ph.D. from MIT and is a professor of Computer Science at Georgetown. He also wrote one of my
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#37 Multitasking Is a Myth

What We Do Is Really Task Switching — And that Has a Big Cost
Multitasking is a myth. Our brains aren’t like computers with parallel processors. We can’t actually do multiple things at one time.
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#38 How to Schedule Your Best Work

Match Your Mental Energy to Your Task
Scott Adams created Dilbert. (Over 10,000 of them by now, actually.) He also wrote a great book called How to Fail at Almost Everything and

#54 Speed Is a Force

The Force Is with You - Use It Wisely
The very first thing Phil Stutz taught me in our very first session together was the fact that Speed Is a Force. He told me that the longer
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#80 Time Blocks

The #1 Power Tool for Great Days and a Great Life (You Using Them?)
Continuing our theme of making TODAY (and every day!) a Masterpiece Day, let’s take a quick look at Time Blocks. Gary Keller wrote The ONE
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#128 How to Discover Your Deep Work Style

Hermit. Bimodal. Rhythmic. Journalistic. (Yours?)
Deep Work. As we’ve discussed many times, it’s increasingly more rare AND increasingly more valuable. The amount of high-quality work we
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#153 Now, What Doesn’t Need to Get Done?

Tip: Don’t Do Useless Stuff
Peter Drucker is known as the “Father of Modern Management.” Basically, he was the greatest business thinker of the 20th century. He
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#162 The 80/20 Principle

What Works? Do More of That
Once upon a time (1897 to be precise), an Italian economist named Vilfredo Pareto was studying wealth and income distribution in England. He
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#164 Parkinson's Law

Reduce Time to Increase Output
If you’re into Optimizing, you’ve probably heard of something called “Parkinson’s Law.” Although the phrase was originally coined
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#165 Flow

What It Is & How to Get in It
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is one of the world’s leading researchers studying the science of well-being. He co-founded the Positive
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#177 How to Add a Month to Your Year

In One Simple Step
Let’s go back to our Motivation Equation for Today’s +1. You may recall that Motivation = Expectation x Value divided by Impulsivity x
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#178 Eliminate Delay

To Increase Motivation and Jumbo Crushing
In our last +1, we revisited the Motivation Equation. Have you gotten that tattooed on your forehead (or at least in your brain!) yet?! I

#180 Thinking vs. Doing

Lessons from a Beach Ball
In one of my coaching sessions with Phil Stutz he told me to write something down. (He often does that. 😃) He said, “Draw a horizontal
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#181 Energizers vs. Enervators

The Art & Science of How to Take a Good Break
We know it’s important to take good breaks. We want to work for a certain period of time (NASA says no more than 90 minutes or so) and

#201 Creative vs. Reactive

Choose One Before the Other (If You Want to Actualize Your Potential)
Creative and reactive. Two words with the same exact letters. Just a slightly different placement of that “c.” But, alas, that “c”
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#239 "Shut-Down Complete!"

Your New End-of-the-Day Ritual
Continuing our theme of making sure we’re oscillating to optimize our energy, let’s focus on the end of our workday. First: You DO have

#271 WIG vs. Whirlwind

Which One Wins?
Continuing our Productivity 101 theme, here’s another gem from the 4DX guys. Recall that the first discipline of execution is to know your

#273 Time Management Drucker Style

The 1 + 2 + 3 for Effectiveness
Peter Drucker is considered the father of modern management. The greatest business thinker of the 20th century. In his great book The

#289 “It’ll Only Take a Minute”

Yah, Right.
Here’s another gem from our Procrastination-Fighting SuperResearcher, Tim Pychyl. He tells us that one of the most dangerous things we can

#294 Newton's First Law

As Applied to Your Life
A few +1s ago, we briefly mentioned Newton’s First Law of Motion. Let’s talk about it a little more. First, Isaac Newton. Born in 1642.

#295 Newton's First Law: Fine Print

Eliminate Distractions to Stay in Motion
In our last +1 we talked about Isaac Newton and his First Law of Motion. Recall the basics: An object at rest will stay at rest. An object
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#372 Single-Mindedly One Touching

What’s Important? Start. Finish. (Repeat.)
Here’s another Big Idea from Brian Tracy that you’ll find echoed among all the great productivity gurus. I love how Brian puts it so
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#377 Parkinson’s Law + 80/20 Principle

= Productivity Magic
Continuing our theme of how to Optimize our productivity, let’s talk about an Idea from Tim Ferris. In The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim combines
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#812 Covey’s Big YES!!

Makes It Easier to Say “No”
In our last +1, we had fun hanging out inside Peter Drucker’s (and I quote) “VERY BIG waste paper basket.” As the great Drucker taught
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#813 Covey Discipline Quiz!

1? 2? or 3? (You Might Be Surprised!)
In our last +1, we jumped inside Stephen Covey’s big “No” waste paper basket. Right along with Peter Drucker and his. Today I want to
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#1095 How to Meaningify Your Work

In One Simple Step…
In our last +1, we talked about making a Purpose upgrade—going from a grand conception of one “big purpose” for life (Purpose 1.0) to
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#1179 High Quality Work Produced =

Time Spent x Quality of Energy x Intensity of Focus
Back in the day, we chatted about Cal Newport’s Deep Work Equation. It goes like this: High Quality Work Produced = Time Spent x Intensity
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#1180 Astonishing Productivity

Some Math on How to Create It
In our last +1, we had some fun playing with Cal Newport’s Deep Work equation. We modified it from: High Quality Work Produced = Time
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(Energy x Focus x What’s Important Now) ^ Consistency
In our last +1, we talked about the fact that, if we could figure out how to take 30 EXPONENTIAL steps, we’d be able to hop in a rocket