My Top 5 Productivity Breakthroughs

My Top 5 Productivity Breakthroughs 

January 20, 2010 

Is your year going according to plan?  My honest answer … is Yes… and No. Overall, things are not exactly smooth and going according to my plan! 

We are 20 days into 2020… the start of a new year, the start of a new decade. How can plans and good intentions get off track so quickly? Cripes!!

Personally, I am working on my energy levels – physically, mentally and emotionally. I am stretched – in a good way – and working on how I dig deep to persevere, and how to take my productivity habits to the next level.

So, let’s talk perseverance and productivity!

Here are my Top 5 Productivity Breakthroughs culled from years of experience in the corporate world, the lessons in my Certified High Performance Coaching Program and the insights from my From Stressed To Best practice:

  1. Create Your Own Morning Ritual: This morning ritual is a 3-part structure for the first 20 minutes of your day – or for the 1st hour of your day. I always drink a glass of lemon water to cleanse my system and make a morning coffee to start. 

    The 1st 10/20 minutes is a time to activate your spiritual energy -- your quiet time to tap  into your spiritual energy. Perhaps you will journal 3-10 daily gratitudes. Or pray and read  scripture. Or find a meditation – on Insight Timer – with a focus on an intention or issue  for your day/month/year ahead. Or, some combination of these or other options that speak to your Spirit.

    The 2nd 10/20 minutes is a time to wake up your body – to get your physical energy restarted after a good night’s sleep. Stretch. Yoga. Walk. Run. Push-ups. Weights & cardio. Pick an exercise that feels right to you – that you will do on a consistent basis. 

    The 3rd 10/20 minutes is a time to set your intention for the day. Focus. What absolutely needs to be done today? What are the top 3 Projects you are working on this day/week/month? 

    How you start your day is how your live your day. And, how you live your days is how you live your life. Be consistent – which is why I intentionally use the word “ritual” – this is a sacred start to your day. 
  1. Ask Yourself: What Can I Get Excited About Today? These are the questions you ask yourself as you set your intentions, as you shower and dress for the day. It is all about ramping up your personal energy and creating your motivation for your day. I love and often use some of the questions from Brendon’s High Performance Planner©: Who needs me on my "A" Game Today? Who can I surprise today? Who can I write a note to or compliment today? 

    This is also where I bring in work from the From Stressed to Best Program. The last letter in your 4-letter Personality Type reflects how you prefer to organize your life. For example, "Js" tend to be Systematic, Planful and Scheduled. While "Ps" tend to prefer Casual, going with the flow, Open-ended, being in the Now, and Spontaneous. My experience, because I have cross-currents of both "J" and "P", is that this tip is highly motivational and action-oriented for the 50% of the population that has a preference of "P". More on this insight coming in my next Blog. 
  1. Tackle the Most Important Things Early in Your Day/Week: Own your day by scheduling your top priorities early in the day. Conversely, don’t leave your top priorities and “must do” actions for the end of the day. You want to be fresh and at your best. You do not want to be rushed, squeezing in time to simply check off your most important priorities.

    "Common sense is not always common practice,” as my mentor Brendon Burchard often says.   
  1. Take Regular Breaks Every 60-90 Minutes to Recharge Your Battery. Every time we take a break – we start fresh – with renewed energy and focus. Productivity and perseverance is really all about managing our energy. There is a lot of scientific research behind how the brain works and your optimal performance mode. Stretch. Look out the window. Go for a walk in nature. Go for a walk around your floor. Hug someone. Hug yourself. Do a 1-5 minute meditation. Just do something to give your mind-body a break and restore your focus and energy levels. 
  1. Avoid distractions: When you both avoid and manage distractions – you free up time and energy for work on your top priorities. Distractions can be in the form of phone calls, e-mails that represent other people's agenda, or low priority projects, interruptions, energy vampires -- as well as your personal inclinations for distractions. If you can identify just 30 minutes each day where you could avoid or free up time from distractions, that is 210 minutes per week or 840 minutes per month, which is 14 hours. If you free up 14 hours each month that is 168 hours a year. This is the equivalent, assuming an 8 hour workday, of 21 days per year! The little things can make a huge difference over time.

This is my personal list – the habits I have found move help me dramatically increase productivity.  We each must figure out what works for us. What is your list of habits that move the productivity dial the most? What will you start to do today -- and consistently every day? Persevere -- and be kind to yourself when you get off track. 

If you choose only 1 thing – please consider creating your own morning ritual. I believe it is really that important. It changed my life!

A few closing comments. When I started this journey as a “Blogger”, creating “Come Walk Your Path: Invest in Yourself and Grow” on April 23rd almost 3 years ago, it was my intention to provide valuable insights and tips about the habits of high performers, how to manage stress, and other lessons learned in my personal journey as written in  “Be Happy NOW!”.

Well, 39 Blogs later … this is a great lesson in perseverance for me … how small steps lead to new connections and friends and clients. Yes, there were late nights, missteps, missed self-imposed deadlines, typos, -- and beautiful, heartfelt emails from readers. I have learned a lot and cherish the stories we have shared along the way. It is all good.   

I am deeply grateful to everyone who has joined me on this journey -- thank you all for your support and encouragement. A special thank you to people who have e-mailed me your feedback and insights on specific topics. To those of you who have shared this newsletter with family, friends, or colleagues and suggested they sign up --- you are my heroes.

Focus, follow your dreams, and persevere! I know you will get it done. I am cheering you on! 


With heartfelt gratitude,    


 May you be happy now and always, Alison


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