Productivity Hacks from the Peak Work Performance Summit

This week I’ve been tuning into the Peak Work Performance Summit, where over two dozen authors and productivity experts are sharing their best practices for getting things done. I’ve never seen so many brilliant minds in one location (virtual or not!) I’ve had to press pause often to capture some of the great strategies and insights shared, and today I’m going to share some of my favorites with you.

First on my list to watch was, of course, Greg McKeown, author of my favorite book Essentialism.

Greg made this memorable comment, and while it seems counter-intuitive, if you’re an Essentialist you understand why. Success can become a catalyst for failure because success creates more options.

Too many options. 

And then you face the risk of losing focus on what matters most (which likely is what delivered that great success.) Instead of pouring your energy into that one essential thing, you’re once again chasing too many options, and diluting your efforts.

The key then, is to stay focused on what matters most.

(You know I’m a fan of FOCUS!)

“How are you doing?”

Greg also talked about the “busy bubble” that exists in our society, and how it’s almost like a badge of honor to respond to that question with, “Doing good, really busy!”

As if somehow being busy makes you more important or successful.

The key is to stay out of the busy bubble, so that when it bursts (and it will, one day) you don’t look back on that time period with regrets.

But how do you actually answer the question, “How are you doing?”

When Good Ideas Are A Bad Thing

Among other things, in this month’s lesson I advised my Boardroom members to spend some time reflecting on this last year. What worked? What didn’t work? It’s important to know where you’ve been, before you dive headfirst into where you’re headed in the coming year. So, at our monthly mastermind meeting this week, we went around the table sharing our failures and our successes. And during the discussion, one of our members said, “I just have so many ideas!” and I couldn’t help but giggle.

FOCUS

Back in my office that morning, I’d been finishing up a Member Review for the Boardroom. One of the things I ask before starting every Member Review is, “What’s going well?” And for two months in a row, the first response to that question has been, “I have no shortage of ideas.”

It may have taken me longer than it should have…and I might suffer from this myself, to a degree…but I now recognize that:

My ideal customers are really good at coming up with really good ideas!

(I love it!)

But there’s a difference between what I do with all of my good ideas, and what pretty much every single person that I work with does.

A Simple Email Hack to Save You HOURS

After the accident two months ago that left me with a concussion, the doctors prescribed “complete brain rest,” which apparently involves lying in bed staring at the ceiling. As you might imagine, I’ve not done that so well…lying around doing nothing sounds fabulous until you are forced to do it! But the last few days, I’ve found myself on “brain rest” as I’ve laid in bed at night, unable to sleep, staring at the ceiling. It’s a more recent symptom of the rather ambiguous, and disruptive, post-concussion syndrome that I’m still dealing with. And to be real, it can’t possibly have been complete brain rest, as my brain would not stop thinking. As it turns out though, it’s great for new ideas, and that’s where I realized that you could benefit from this too!

As I was lying there unable to sleep, I was thinking about how I welcome new people who sign up for the BizFarmer VIP list. The very first email I send to welcome new VIPs has an excellent open rate. But when it comes to the weekly blog post I share with you, my email open rates are just average.

And being the over-achiever that I am, I don’t like to settle for average.

There are a number of factors no doubt, but two immediately come to mind.

Why My Hubby Has to Bach’ It

One Secret to Getting More Done

Yesterday one of my clients stopped by my office to bounce some ideas off me. Probably much like you, he has a lot of great ideas and this one was no different. But the direction I gave him is going to be very true for you, as well. I explained, “You’re going to have to bach it.” He looked at me with sad puppy dog eyes and said, “Honey, I don’t want a divorce!”

Yes, you guessed it, the “client” is my hubby. (He’s my favorite client!) And, yes, he likes to mess with me so I’m (fairly) certain he knew I wasn’t talking about him becoming a bachelor.

Nonetheless, it’s important that both he and you figure out this concept of “batching.” It will help you get so much more done.

A little background…

This fall we launched the dream Ken’s had for some time and it’s off to a great start. But like all small businesses, there’s a LOT that falls on his shoulders. There’s way more to it than even BizFarmer because he’s actually designing and selling tangible products….hunting gear, shirts, hats, and the like.

{Shameless plug: If you, or someone in your family, likes to hunt birds you’ve got to check him out at www.FowlRain.com, and be sure to join the fun they have on Facebook.}

Ken has blog posts to write, videos to shoot, products to design, and an entire assortment of miscellaneous things to run the business.

You get it!

So what do I mean by batching? 

Are You Paying Attention?

Two Areas You Can't Afford to Ignore

When you wear all the hats in your biz, it’s easy to overlook or ignore some things. And for some areas, that’s okay. But you simply can’t afford to ignore these two areas; doing so will cripple your business. Click play to discover what you’ve got to pay attention to. And as a bonus, I’ll tell you about my favorite new tool!

Two Steps to Defeat Superhero Syndrome

Because You Can't Actually Do It All

Over the last week, the responses to my annual reader survey have been piling in. It makes me smile to read the responses to “what are you most proud of in your business?” It’s also been interesting to see what your biggest challenges are in your business. A common reply is that it’s just really hard to do it all by yourself. This doesn’t surprise me at all; it’s something I’ve personally experienced and seen many, many others struggle with too. And while I’d say there’s no silver bullet to instantly solve this, there are some things we each need to recognize and take action upon.

The reality is you simply can’t do it all…and grow.

There’s a reason the saying goes, “jack of all trades and master of none.” It’s impossible to do it all. So where do you start?

How to Get Unstuck and Move Forward

Turning Your Goals into Actionable Steps

Last week we talked about the importance of a midyear review and taking time to reflect on the year to date, as well as what you want to accomplish in the remaining half of this year. From that, you should have identified some goals for the next three to six months. But how do you actually take the next step to make it happen?

Do you know how to eat an elephant?

One bite at a time.

Maybe you’ve heard that old saying before but it’s easy to forget when you’re trying to accomplish new goals while keeping up with the day-to-day demands of your business and life.

Consider someone brand-new to running, who has set a goal of running a marathon. Whether or not you’re a runner, you know that they’ll need a training plan…and it’s probably going to start with running one mile (or a half)…but certainly not 26.

FOUR STEPS TO HELP YOU MOVE FORWARD

Whatever your goal may be, you’ve got to take it and turn it into small “bites.” So today, let’s get really practical and look at four steps that will help you get where you want to go in the next three months.

How to Avoid Shiny Object Syndrome

Today as I write you, it’s a gorgeous 67 degrees outside. The birds are chirping, the trees are even starting to bud. Whether it’s spring fever distracting you or the wearing of numerous hats in your business, it can be hard to focus on and do what’s most truly important, that will make the greatest impact in your business.

Recently two of my friends were struggling with this, not sure of how to spend their time to make big strides forward. They weren’t lacking for things to do, but prioritizing them and actually executing on the plan was a challenge. It really helped them to see my simple yet strategic way of scheduling my week. I thought it might help you too.