Becoming the 1%

Productivity Secrets

Waste a moment and you’ve squandered an IRREPLACEABLE opportunity. Use it well - fill it with purpose and productivity: It will continue to give back for every moment to follow

Find your AOI: Area of Impact

Ask “What do I do that has the biggest impact on ______________”

(Which metrics indicate that my business is growing, becoming more valuable?)

What is MY ROLE in raising those metrics?


My Four Goals (Zig Ziglar)

Build a product portfolio and build equity in my intellectual property

Outsource and focus on the activities the bring me joy (speaking, teaching, consulting).

Stick to a SINGLE ORGANIZATION SYSTEM THAT WORKS. 8UP? Keep everything in a few simple places: Eliminate multiple notebooks, scraps of paper, multiple systems - where information gets buried.

Deepen my adaptation to the Triangle of Contentment, Tame Your Gremlin, Drop Your Act, The Habit Loop, Being Aware, Allowing True Love to Shine, The Merlin Principle.

Key Principles:

1. Time Management is a Choice

It’s your ability to choose between important and unimportant tasks. Time is finite. How you use your time is infinite.

What’s on your ‘I Choose’ list?

2. There will always be more

Accept you can never get caught up. More work begets more work. It’s the cosmic joke. The more productive you get, the more you get done, the more work there is to do. I’m living proof of this!! Remember the Jake Jabs lesson - his todo list had two items on it! He’s a self-actualized man at peace with the world.

The reality is that there will never be enough (finite) time to get everything (infinite) done. The good news is there is plenty of time to get the MOST important (finite) things done. It’s about taking the infinite (everything) to the finite (focus). This is the underling basis of the entire 1% book - it’s about revealing and focusing on the 1% that matters

3. Real work is the only work that matters

There’s always enough time in the day to get the REAL WORK (Your AOI) done. Everything else is Pseudo work. Don’t fool yourself. Pseudo work is low value. The definition of Pseudo is ’Not genuine, a Sham, False, Phony.’ Being authentic (one of my highest values) demands you STOP being a phony. Stop the Pseudo game. Your skill as a productivity (1%) king is going to boil down to your ability to call out, expose, and STOP doing the Pseudo work that eats up your your day.

**99% of the population spends the majority of their day in Pseudo work land. It’s the ultimate of inefficiency. It is the reason why they never say there’s enough time. The more you feel that you don’t have enough time, the more you are letting Pseudo work run your life.

On to the productivity tools. Here are the show stoppers!

1. Procrastination

It comes from a lack of clarity and direction. We are waiting for someone to tell us what to do (or pay us to do it :-))

The solution is simple: Goals: detailed plans to get from point A to point B. Plans that are realistic and can be adopted into a daily routine - into a HABIT!

2. Inertia

It takes more energy to get started that it does to keep going. This is why interruptions are so detrimental to your productivity! It’s why just getting started on something (no matter how small or seemingly insignificant the task) makes all the difference!

3. Poor Planning

Lack of having a plan of action means your HABITS will run the show. It’s our self-limiting HABITs that have gotten us nowhere. You need to ‘play it out’ and become a long-term thinker. You need to truly see and believe in your soul how the actions you are taking RIGHT NOW are going to play out in your future. This goes for everything!

The author’s #1 plea is that if nothing else is gleaned from the book, the value of planning is Plan your life out. Imagine your future. Write it out. Review it frequently. Consider it the most important business plan blueprint in your lifetime.

4. Promises to yourself

  1. I will do something everyday to move me closer to my goal. I will never miss a day - no matter how small the activity.
  2. I will commit to it in writing. I will put everything in writing. It’s the first step to making it real. Write it in the morning, write it at night.
  3. I will commit to practicing the skills in this book everyday... until they become a HABIT.
  4. I will keep a CLEAN WORKSPACE. A clean space allows for clarity in thought to occur. Without it - confusion! Look at the desks of my most admired mentors. CLEAN! (This is also a JBLS rule)
  5. I will spend as much time as possible on my REAL WORK. Say not to Pseudo work. Call it out. Eliminate Pseudo work from your day. By focusing on your Real Work, acknowledge it’s completion : You can then be in the moment to welcome life surprises - the wonderful surprises that can only be discovered by being truly present. (Being Agent Cooper)

Just because someone asks you to do something doesn't obligate you to doing it. Not all requests warrant a response.

Day 1 - The Real from The Pseudo

Day 1 is to begin to recognize the difference between Pseudo and Real (AOI - Area of Impact) tasks! Some of the more common Pseudo tasks we let consume are day:

It’s all about the 80/20 principle

You must identify the REAL work by understanding your true AOI. This requires taking a fresh and honest look at what you are doing everyday!

The author suggests making a list with two columns and putting all your Pseudo tasks on one side, and all your Real work on the other. Once you understand your AOI, then you can easily see which tasks support it, vs. the ones that are not directly contributing to your AOI! (His example was ‘Increasing Loans’ as he was a marketing director at a bank). Here’s is side by side list:

REAL WORK: - Marketing Content - Developing new ideas - Tracking return on marketing - Branding Company - Reviewing Financial Statements - Content Creation [OUTSOURCE] - Determining Editorial Calendar - Managing Partners [OUTSOURCE] - Learning new ways to reach target market - Finding new niches - Determining (not creating) value add for products - Quality Control [OUTSOURCE]


Step 1 - List it all

List everything you do on an average month (focused on the area you want to improve). List everything and anything! Next, rank how much time you spend on each task.

Step 2 - Your AOI

Write your AOI at the top of the page (what brings the MOST value from your ROLE?)

Ex: ‘To Drive Traffic To All My Websites/Products’

Step 3 - Review your list

Review your list again - how do the tasks on your list measure up to your AOI you just wrote in Step 2? Consider eliminating or delegating EVERYTHING that doesn’t directly attribute to your AOI.

Note to self: How can I drop this into my TOC (Triangle of Contentment)? Here’s how: Top of triangle is ‘Actualization’ - this is a vivid description of the result I’m creating. Bottom left corner is ‘Predetermining the steps’ and Bottom right is ‘Accepting everything is unfolding exactly as it should be - ie. Enjoy the journey’ in the bottom right hand corner.

I would challenge you that your AOI is also your natural gift/talent/tendency. Think about Jessica’s good voice - it’s an untapped AOI! It’s about focusing on your strengths - not your weaknesses.

Step 4 - Call out the Psuedo work

Separate your REAL work from your Pseudo work!

Yes, your Pseudo work may bring some value - but not the 80% return on a 20% investment as we are looking for. Those are the things that should be outsourced to someone earning 20% of what you’d pay yourself.

Step 4 won’t be easy. There are Pseudo tasks you will have a difficult time letting go of. but you must! They way to see the reality is that the things you THINK are your AOI (your gift, etc..) - know that there’s someone out there who’ll do it better - and is eager to do so!

(The author’s example was ‘content creating’ - and he learned that once he ‘got over himself’ - he found plenty of brilliant writers who could free him up to focus on his AOI (Driving traffic to his sites/products).

Step 4 is where the rubber meets the road in Day 1. It’s about taking an honest (unbiased, fresh look) look your task list and coming clean to those things that are in your AOI and those that are not.

Personally: I have a real deep seated issue that I have yet to overcome related to pleasing others - to not disappointing others, to being unable to say NO to others - this (I believe) stems from my deepest fear of being left out. At a very young age, there was a one-time experience that left a permanent 'mark' on my identity. I got left behind accidentally once when I was a kid. Everyone got off but me. In a real sense, it scarred me for life. In that instant, I made a decision that I would do everything in my power to never let that happen again.

So much of my life - the decisions I that determine my life - has been based on this deep subconscious fear.

How does this relate to money, envy, and others?

I think that I feel more guilt, angst, and terror whenever I fell I made a poor decision. Whether it's one that sets me back financially or where I miss out on a big win.

I tend to obsess about what I lack. Instead, I will reflect on what I have and instead focus on the actions and projects that close the gap between where I am and where I want to be. In the end, what is lack? Lack is a judgement based on comparison.

No judgement. No complain. No excuses.

Judgement leads to a sense of lack. No matter where you are in life, you'll be able to identify areas you lack.

Complaining leads to a downward spiral and is often rooted in entitlement.

Excuses leads to a feeling of victimized and it usually rooted in entitlement.

All 3 of these are anchored in the past. When we shift our focus to the future, none of these hold up.

You can't complain, make excuses, or judge what hasn't happened yet!

Lack is a dangerous downward spiral. It is based on a [scarcity] mindset.

Further Reading