Success comes down to two things: how we manage our minds and how we manage our days. This is one of the principles shared by Brendon Burchard, a No. 1 New York Times best-selling author and founder of High Performance Academy. Burchard, named by Larry King as "one of the top motivation and marketing trainers in the world," says that most people have productivity all wrong.
Burchard contends that by mastering your psychology and physiology you will master your ability to get things done and to get out into the world to help others. This does not include getting stuck in what he calls the email drip and endless, mundane tasks that could be delegated to others.
"An entrepreneur or senior executive should not wake up in the morning and go directly to their inbox," said Burchard. "Is your real goal to check email all day? It's more likely to be highly productive and influential, and to get things done."
Burchard sees the inbox as nothing but a convenient organizing system for other people's agendas. He says that you will feel more in command in your life--a greater charge of excitement and enthusiasm for the world--if you do this instead.
Don't run to the computer first thing in the morning.
Successful people take care of themselves first. Develop a morning routine of stretching, working out, drinking lots of water, and eating a well-balanced meal.
Acknowledge the good.
There's something about writing down what you are grateful for each day and why. That opens you up to something magnificent. This morning routine can ward off negativity and set a positive tone for the day.
Give thought to your day.
Don't jump onto your computer yet! After your invigorating morning routine, sit down and plan your day as if your time were valuable, because it is. Ask yourself questions like: "What am I excited about today?" or "What can I create to be excited about today?" Begin your day with enthusiasm and optimism; this will build a stronger internal charge of clarity, confidence, and courage. It will create a fire within you to gain the nerve and conviction you need to connect with others and contribute to the world.
Focus on commitments.
Continue to brainstorm independent of your computer. Think about what you are absolutely committed to making happen today, no matter what. On a sheet of paper, strategize what you're going to work on. The more strategic you are about your day, the more you can accomplish. Break down your list into three categories:
What high-level projects do you have going on? What are just three things you need to do to advance these projects? These are not daily tasks but big-picture projects. For instance, if you are writing a book, three things to advance that initiative may be: Write chapter three, find an agent, and create a promotion plan.
Make a list of the people you have contacted for one reason or another. Whom are you waiting for and what information do you require from them? Who else do you need to reach out to today to advance your projects? Put those names on a separate part of your list.
List 5 to 10 smaller, yet critical, tasks you must do today. These, along with your high-level projects, are your only priorities. Delegate or dare to ignore the non-essentials that take you offtrack.
Burchard says his high-performance clients use email only twice a day: once in the morning and once later in the afternoon. They also organize and use email in a different way than most. When you go into your inbox in the morning, do not sort through all of your emails. This takes you into other people's agendas and doesn't forward your own.
Instead, sort your emails by sender names and search to see if anyone on your waiting list has responded. Great! Now move the names of the people you have not heard from to the category of people you need to reach out to today and send them a reminder email.
Take the challenge! Give this routine 10 days and notice what it does to your productivity levels.