Several years ago when I started my corporate career as an executive. I had the burning desire to understand what made a individual great and successful. It seemed that only 2% had the life style that I wanted. I noticed that the top performers in life were the ones that not only had success in spirituality but they also were abundant with their financial resources.
They were serious about their health and fitness and no matter how busy their schedules were they blocked out daily time to exercise. They spent time with there families and never missed important events in the lives of their children.
As I was trying to model on what I thought success was, I realized that I only had 1440 minutes a day to accomplish my goals. My time seemed to vanish as quickly as the day began. It seemed I could only focus on a few skills at a time that would take my life to the levels of success that I desired.
Like like tiny bits of sand in an hour glass slowly passing away achieving my goals were inconsistent at best. If I only had more time I could accomplish my goals and be to the level of a World Class Life like those that I admired.
“My definition of World Class is having the Time to do the things I love while creating a life of Abundance in Spirituality, Financial, Health and Relationships.”
How Did the Top Performers Achieve Their Success?
What made them great, these were burning questions that years ago I searched to find the answer.
After countless hours of study and learning from many of my “Mentors” their top secret for achievement was the management of time.
The old adage that time is more valuable than money holds more truth than I truly ever understood when I was younger. And now as I am getting wiser it holds even more truth.
So I Had a Decision to Make
Either I do what everyone else does and live a life half full. Or I find the tools and resources along with my determination to find success. I knew that all of us have the capacity and potential to become great. It was hard for me to believe that only a few were given the inner potential to achieve abundance and success.
If I could find out these skills I could use it to my advantage and be more productive and take my game to the next level. So over the course of many years I continued to find ways to make my life more productive in the least amount of time.
Why Now Is the Most Important Time
With so many distractions in today’s hectic world, we have multiple choices to choose from. Raising a family, career advancement, taking kids to soccer games as well as community responsibilities. Not to mention the good old television, social media and email distraction that continued to hamper productivity.
We are constantly bombarded with “Things to Do” with a task list that seems never ending. In order for each of us to rise to the potential we all have we must make effective use of our time.
I am constantly looking for ways to give me more time. I want to do the things I love and I continue to strive to use the full potential God has given me.
So below are my 7 tools to get your life back and focus on what really matters to you. I use many different tools and strageies but below are some of my favorites that will help take your life to World Class.
(Disclaimer – I do not make any royalties from these recommendations.)
Leaders are readers, throughout history those with the most knowledge were the most successful. Get Abstract gives you the opportunity to get book summaries in 5 page recap reports.
You can download them to Kindle, Ibook or PDF. Many of them also come with a 5 minute audio recap you can listen too.
They have thousands of books you can chose from, ranging from all areas in the area self development arena. From sales and marketing to leadership.
If you have limited time reading these summaries are a great way to stay ahead of the competetion or just further your personal development.
They also provide a great resource as a supplement if your actually reading the entire book. By implementing these top strategies they will take your life to the next level.
They have various subscription plans ranging from $299 to $89 a year. You can download 2 Free Summaries to try. I bought the full subscription and already have hundreds added to my online library.
How I Use It
I spend 15 minutes each night reading multiple summaries. I use this as a supplement to my current reading as I still enjoy reading an entire book. This way I stay in the top 2% in productivity and education.
The majority of people listen to music while working, studying or being creative. Unfortunately most of us are listening to the wrong music while we work or start a task that requires learning.
How Does It Works
Focus @ Will uses technology that delivers various “Attention Amplifying” music channels that are scientifically designed to engage with your brains limbic system.
This soothes and creates the brains attention span and general focus thereby helping you learn faster and remembering more.
Are You Kidding Me Does This Really Work?
Dr. Evian Gordon and Dr. Stephen Sideroff of UCLA have shown trials of 12-15% positive increase in focus biomarker and up to an incredible 400% in extended session times.
You can listen from up to 10 different types of music ranging from Classical to Ambient. It is free for up to 60 minutes and then you will have to restart to continue to listen. With the paid subscription you get access to the entire full music library, unlimited interruptions and productivity tracking. Yearly cost is a meer $3.75 a month.
How I Use It
So when I am in my creative brainstorming time, writing, journaling or even when I am browsing areas I want to learn I use Focus@will. I have seen a dramatic improvement with my focus and I seem to get more done as well as my attention increases in the subject matter that I studying.
If any of you are like me we have subscribed to various emails from opt in pages to discounts at Disneyland. Unroll me scans your entire email system and then gives you a report of how many contacts you have from email lists.
How Many Email Accounts Did I Have
I had 240 sources of emails coming to me throughout the week. Oh my gosh. And I spent the large majority of my time deleting them or moving them to folders.
Time Management at its Best
With 240 email lists with an average of 30 seconds reading each email and then filing them, was around 2 hours per week. Just to move, read and delete emails. Yes I was going crazy.
With Unroll.me I was able to unsubscribe to a large majority of them and the others I wanted to keep I was able to put in various automated folders.
It’s Like My Own Personal Assistant
Each day I get a recap of all my folders with the mails. I can scan by them quickly by category and read those that I want.
The emails that I want to read I get in my email which is now under 15 emails per day on those I want to read.
My Productivity Has Sky Rocketed…
Now I can quickly sift through the important. Like Stephen Covey said we spend the majority of our time on “Not Urgent and Not Important” Unroll.me gives us the tools to take back our lives.
The cost is Free
How I Use It
It will take around 3o minutes to set up your account and decide what emails you want to keep and which ones you would like moved to folders. On my current emails I either delete, file or respond. My goal is to have my account empty each evening. Each day I get my folder on those emails that I wanted to keep but were not that important. I have also noticed that I am saving money as I am not seeing so many commercial emails enticing me to buy something. It’s awesome!
Is a Time Management program that tells you how much time your spending on your computer.
How much time you spend on social media, web browsing and simply just wasting unproductive time.
You get a detailed report showing you how you spend your time. Shocking!!
How Does It Work
It runs securely in the background on your computer and mobile devices. You can set alerts to let you know when you spent a certain amount of time on a activity.
Shift From Being Busy to Being Productive
Awareness proceeds Mastery, until you know how your spending your time its hard to be 100% effective. It’s easy to tell yourself I’m just going to check my Twitter account for a few minutes. Unfortunately this becomes a habit with multiple checks throughout the day. Before you know it you have spent hours wasted on the non important and unproductive.
You can pay $9 per month or pay $72 per year if you sign up on the annual plan.
How I Use It
Once your aware of you wasted productivity you can manage your time on productive tasks on the computer. Each time I get my statistical report I can then ascertain what is important and make the best use of my time.
Having multiple businesses can at times be overwhelming in its self. Keeping track of all your receipts can become a part time job.
Waiting until the week of April 15th can feel like cramming for a final during the last semester. Looking for and sorting all your receipts during the year can be cumbersome as well painful.
None of Them Ever Worked
I have tried multiple ways to keep track of my receipts, Neat Scanner, Scanning apps on my phone, using the envelope system. None of them seemed to really work efficiently.
So after having multiple businesses and entering and scanning all my receipts time after time, I found the solution.
Now I Can Sleep at Night
With Shoeboxed they send you a envelope and you place all your receipts and send back to the company. They then scan it and back it up in the cloud. You can then see all your expenses and edit categories as needed.
You can then send the files to Quickbooks or to your Accountant for monthly tracking.
Is This Awesome or What…
Now you can be the entrepreneur and creative person you want to be. Before you had to put on your glasses and pretend to be a accountant from Yale while at the same time pulling your hair out in frustration.
How I Use It
Immediately I send over any receipts from Amazon etc, that I receive by email. With Shoebox you can also drop in a downloadable App that goes directly to Shoebox like Dropbox. Each Friday I email my business and personal receipts in the envelope and whoosh its done.
The basic is only $9.95 a month, if you want the business account its $49.95 a month. On all services if you pay for the year you get a nice discount. You are not locked into any contracts which is nice to have if you change your mind. You can also try the free trial for 30 days. It comes with a 1-2 day turnaround. And can integrate with Quickbooks, Evernote and many other programs.
So now what do I do with all my time, now that I am using the above productivity tips on time management.
The obvious answer is to exercise. We all know we should eat right and exercise. But using a fitness tracker makes walking and exercise more fun and competitive.
Fitbit keeps track of your steps as well as the times that you exercised. It will show active time and calories burned.
Now the Competitive Beast Comes Out
You can link up to myfitness pal and also compete with your friends on Facebook.
You also have the capability to set up the alarm and keep track of your sleep.
What I like about Fitbit vs Jawbone is that the online tracking is much better and the results seem more accurate. The negative is putting the dang thing on, as it snaps in and took me and my wife 5 minutes to put on. The alarm function is better with Jawbone and the ease of use on turning on and off. However the tracking capabilities is great with Fitbit.
Until Apple or someone comes out with the ultimate health watch that keeps track of your vitals and fitness. Fitbit will be the answer to keep track of your 10,000 steps.
How I Use It
It automatically downloads to your computer when your near it. Pretty cool stuff, I enter my eating habits on My Fitness Pal and it keeps track of all my data as well as miles and steps.
I use the Flex for $99.95 linking to your data is free.
With Focusboosterapp it has a running clock that shows on your web page. It is set at 25 minutes to keep you focused. When your done its time for a short break. It’s based on the Pomodoro technique which is basically breaking down tasks by chunking them into smaller time frames.
Are you kidding… I was expecting some cool new App. Using a smart phone with a timer can do the same thing. You can use the timer and set between 25-60 minutes. I recommend not doing any task longer than an hour without taking a short break.
Yes your productivity increases as your focused and determined. And if your using Focus@will your even faster;)
Yoga or Meditation at Work Are You Crazy…
If your doing a longer task taking a break for a few minutes or switching to another project gives your brain a break and gets you zeroed in on the next task at hand.
You can schedule time to take a short walk or do a five minutes of yoga. This will make you more productive when you return. Or simply take a 5 minute vacation and meditate and think about your favorite vacation spot or a great family memory
How I Use It
I either use my iPhone or Focusbooster. What I like best is that I work tirelessly to beat the clock. I keep my iphone next to me and immediately set the timer according to the task. With Focusbooster the alarm goes off. It has a clicking alarm while your working but I turn it off as it’s very annoying. I stay in the zone for this amount of time and I do not let any other interruptions take place. I make sure my phone is turned off and those around me know that I am in the zone so any distractions do not get in my way.
You Will Feel Like Julius Caesar…
Wait He’s Dead.. Take That Back, You Will Feel Awesome!
All phones now come with a timer, if not use a clock to keep track of your time and projects. Focusbooster is a free download as well.
You will be invincible Now…
Apps and programs are only as good when you have the discipline to use them. The challenge is to create a habit which takes close to 60 days, not the 21 that most people think of. A tactic I use is to put them on an index card next to your computer so if will remind you. By doing so you will instill the habits needed to be productive and efficient. You will now have the time to conquer your goals and be a high achiever.
Superman and Wonder Women Will be Jealous
People will wonder why your so effecient and successful. As you continue to improve on your productivity these strategies will take your game to the next level. You will easily be in the top 2% of high achievers.
You will now be on the path to “Empowerment to a World Class Life” and your life will never be the same. Looking forward to your success.
Question: I am always looking for new tools and productivity ideas . Please leave a comment below on your favorite tools and resources that you use.