Several years ago, Charlie ‘Tremendous’ Jones was given a copy of my first book, Every Day is Game Day. His reading of my book led to telephone conversations, which led to a friendship and finally to him inviting my son and me to visit him. He invited us to stay at his guesthouse and share some time with him in his office and private library. That time was, let’s just say, tremendous.
Today, I’m stepping away from the 101 Secrets of Highly Productive People to share some words from entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn. Yesterday (December 5, 2013), marked the fourth anniversary of his passing. And while I never met him, Mr. Rohn significantly influenced my thinking.
In memory of Mr. Rohn, and the influence he had on me through his words, I thought it would be good to share with you some of his words. Enjoy!
You only have one body. It carries you from point A to B and allows you to make necessary adjustments along the way. How you take care of yourself speaks volumes about how productive you can be. When you’re in poor health or not feeling well, you are not as productive as you could/should be every day.
Annual Physicals are very important to your overall health and productivity.
As some of you may know, I recently had a physical during which the doctor found a nodule on my thyroid and suggested a biopsy. I didn’t want to hear or even think about the “C – word”. I also didn’t want to walk around with it in my body. So I had the biopsy, discovered I had thyroid cancer and found a surgeon.
I was fortunate enough to find a great surgeon and radiation oncologist and am now on the other side of this thing. My prognosis is good and the doctor told me I should plan to see my kids and grand-kids!
The cancer on my thyroid was small and had not spread. But what if I had not had the annual physical? I would be walking around with thyroid cancer today, not knowing I had a potential time bomb ticking in my throat! It could have grown and spread. And it could have impacted my productivity in a very negative way.
Sure, I have lost some productivity during the surgery and subsequent doctor visits, but that’s nothing compared to what might have happened if I had not had a physical. Highly Productive people know that annual physicals are important. They schedule them, attend them, then they do what the doctor says to get on with their productive life.
What about you? When did you have your most recent physical? Is it time to have one now? If so, get it scheduled and make it happen. It could not only save your level of productivity, it could save your life!
Highly productive people are thankful. And having an attitude of gratitude is important for two reasons:
- What it does inside of you
- What it does outside of you
Let’s talk about what it does inside of you. Studies have shown that people who practice being thankful have health advantages over those who don’t. Research also shows that the health benefits of being thankful include the following:
- Smoother and coherent heart rhythms
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
- Stronger immune system
- Higher sense of attentiveness, alertness and energy
- Less physical pain
- Longer more restful sleep
- Better able to handle stressful situations
- Healthier relationships with others
- Better physical fitness
- Fewer feelings of sadness and depression
In short, being thankful makes your life better.
Now, for what being thankful does outside of you. Have you ever experienced someone being thankful to you for something you have done? How did it make you feel about that person? How did it make you feel about yourself? For me, it makes me want to do even more for the person. It creates an environment that breeds good will. In short, being thankful makes life better for those around you. So be thankful and enjoy the benefits!
For the next six weeks, practice being intentional about being thankful. Find something for which to be thankful three times a day: when you wake up, at some point during your day and before you go to sleep. Within a very brief period of time you should begin to experience the benefits of being thankful and will see what it does for others.
Thankfulness is kind of like a drug. A good one. As Dr. P. Murali Doraiswany says, “If [thankfulness] were a drug, it would be the world’s best-selling product with a health maintenance indication for every major organ system.”
Finally, thank you for reading this post. I am so thankful for you!
Rise & Shine: The Secret of Waking Up Refreshed & Ready For a New Day
“Morning is wonderful. Its only drawback is that it comes at such an inconvenient time of day.” — Glen Cook
One day when I was around 10 years old, my mom woke me up to get ready for school. I turned on the shower and decided to lie down on the floor just outside of the shower while waiting for the water to get warm. I was more focused on “rise and recline” than “rise and shine”. The next thing I knew, my mom was knocking on the door and asking why I wasn’t finished with my shower yet. By that time, all the hot water was gone and I had to take a cold shower. Not fun! I quickly realized why it is better to rise and shine rather than to rise and recline!
Every morning, we all have a choice to make. Why should we get up if we can sleep in? I believe the answer lies within the question… WHY?
There must be a compelling WHY that drives you to rise and shine. The WHY may be found in the good things many morning people enjoy as a result of their actions. In his podcast titled Become More Productive by Reengineering Your Morning Ritual Michael Hyatt shared that morning people tend to:
- Make more money
- Be more productive
- Be healthier and live longer
- Be more happy and satisfied in their lives
If your WHY is big enough the next question becomes HOW?
In his blog post titled How to Become a Morning Person, Michael shared 9 steps to becoming a morning person. The decision to rise and shine is actually made the night before. It is driven by your WHY and executed by the HOW it can work for you. I have found that for the most part, the highly productive people I know get up early and get going. They rise and shine. (Of course this is not to say that only people who get up early and get going are highly productive.)
So, is this a secret that you believe could help you become more productive? If so, I challenge you to try it. Consider your WHY, determine the best approach to HOW, try it for 21 days and let me know how it goes.
In the end, this is just 1 of 101 observations I have noticed in highly productive people. If you believe it will help you become more productive, then there is action for you to take. If not, there are 100 more to consider.
For more Rise & Shine inspiration, take a look at this clip.
One of my favorite books is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I was fortunate to meet Stephen Covey on two occasions and he wrote the foreword for A Child Game Plan, a book that I wrote with Bruce Tollner.
In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen clearly presents seven simple, yet profound habits he recognized in highly effective people.
Over the past 12 years as an Executive Coach with Building Champions, I have coached many successful people. These people were successful because they were highly productive. During that time, I have discovered several principles (or secrets) of highly productive people that I want to share with you. So over the next several weeks, I will share 101 of those secrets with you.
For each secret I will:
- Challenge you to consider how that secret can help increase your productivity
- Give you links/resources to enhance your knowledge of the secret (where applicable)
- Challenge you to apply that secret in your life and/or business that week
- Offer an open forum (in the comments section) where you can share your experience concerning that secret and ask questions which can be responded to by myself and others reading the article
In the end, my goal is to share something (or some things) you can apply to become even more productive in your life and business.
Are you ready?
Here’s a sneak peak. The following are the first five topics:
- Rise & Shine: The Secret to Waking Up Refreshed & Ready For a New Day
- Morning Routine: The Boring Way to Have an Incredible Day
- The One Thing Many People Skip: Don’t Skip This!
- Plan Your Day Like a Champion
- Follow the Yellow Brick Road: Here’s Your Map
Don’t take this journey alone. Share this with your friends, family, and co-workers. Engage them in the conversation. Ask them to join us for the ride.
Here we go…
Markets shift and people have their own agendas. The market does not consult you about your goals before it shifts. Other people are usually more concerned with their own agendas than your goals. Yet neither of these should control your goals or hold you back from achievement.
Many times reacting to shifts in the market and other people’s agendas are given precedence and can distract us from our current goals. Why? Because it’s easier to lower the bar for a goal because a shift in the market has made it harder to get business or because other people are doing things (or not doing things) that seem to make it more difficult to reach your goals.
It’s your “WHY” (the purpose of your goals) that should drive your goals — not the market or other people. If the market and other people don’t cause your “WHY” to change, then don’t let either one of them be the reason to lower your goals. Change your goals only when your “Why” changes.
This is not to say that the market and other people cannot impact the method by which you set out to achieve your goals. They can… and will. The market and other people can change your Game Plan but not your intended end results.
Your Game Plan includes disciplines, which you are committed to follow consistently with excellence on a regular basis, and the improvement projects you are focused on completing.
If the market shifts, or other people impact the way the game is played, adjust your Game Plan not your goals.
If there has been a recent market shift or if people have in some way made it harder for you to reach your goals, take some time to answer these four questions:
1) Do I have a Game Plan?
2) Am I following the Game Plan?
3) Am I getting the results I want or do I need to change the Plan?
4) If there is a need for change…. When will I make the change?
One of my favorite bands of all time is Chicago. And one of my favorite Chicago songs is Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
Do you know?
Here’s a four-word question: What time is it? That is a relatively easy question because we all have a watch, phone or clock on the wall to tell us the time.
Robert Lamm (keyboard player and singer for Chicago) wrote a song about the time of day titled 25 or 6 to 4. It’s about trying to write a song, with the title referring to the time of day: either 3:35 a.m. (25 to 4) or 3:34 a.m. (26 to 4).
Note: this post is part of a series on Becoming a Master Planner of Your Time.
How do you prioritize tasks on your To Do List?
For many people, prioritizing consists of taking the next task on the list and completing it. The good news in this approach is that you will eventually get through your task list.
The bad news is that deadlines can be missed because you were busy taking care of low priority tasks when you should have been focusing on higher priority ones.
Several years ago I was certified by Franklin Covey to teach their What Matters Most course for planning your investment of time. It was then that I learned this simple, yet profound, method for prioritizing daily tasks.
Here are three steps that can make prioritizing daily tasks simple for you:
Read the rest of this entry »
Note: this post is part of a series on Becoming a Master Planner of Your Time.
I am often asked when is the best time to plan for the upcoming week.
I guess the key word there is “upcoming.” The easy answer is: Before it starts!
Seriously, when you plan is important, but it isn’t as important as the fact that you do plan for the upcoming week. You can do that anytime.
However, many people find that Sunday night is the best time to plan their week. Sunday is the first day of the week, and it is usually the day most people find that their mind is the clearest.
It is important to plan at the same time each week. Knowing you have a set planning time coming up can be comforting. It’s easier to remember that you will plan on a set day at a set time, and it helps you settle into a pattern (or discipline of planning).
If you are already a disciplined planner: When do you plan? Why then?
If you haven’t been a disciplined planner: When will you start?
Committing to a set day/time for weekly planning will help you become a Master Planner of your time!