Over the past 3 weeks, I have shared the first three habits of high performing people from Brendan Burchard’s book High-Performance Habits (Seek Clarity, Generate Energy, and Raise Necessity). Today, I share with you the #4 Habit Increase Productivity.
Brendan Burchard defines the basics of productivity as this: “Productivity starts with goals”. The most productive people know where they are going, give all their energy towards the end goal, and feel as if they have no other choice but to reach it. Sound familiar? That is the first three habits of high performing people. So, this habit is all about taking action after you mastered the first three habits.
Brendan shares with us three practices that I find to be really helpful when it comes to taking action and increasing our productivity.
Practice 1 – Increase outputs that matter
High performing people focus on the outputs that matter. This is the simple idea of focusing on the fundamental things that make you better. Brendan calls this mastering your PQO (Prolific Quality Output) which is measured by seeing how much high-quality output one person puts in over the long term. Outputs are different for every person, however, the outputs typically lie within the most basic parts of your job. The type of things you typically don’t see an immediate reward with or have to repeat on a daily basis. Think about Micheal Jordan, Tiger Woods, Lebron James, Tom Brady – the greatest athletes of all time. When you research them and understand how they become who they are today, all you ever read is that they focused on the fundamental things that improved their overall physical and mental skills.
Now, how do you start to increase the outputs that matter?
Ask yourself, a few simple questions:
- What are the outputs that matter the most to my personal or professional career?
- What is distracting me from focusing on the things that matter?
Practice 2 – Chart your five moves
High performers always have a plan, and they are wired to spend more time thinking before acting. Reminds me of the famous quote by Abraham Lincoln ”Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.” Charting your five moves is simply focusing on the things that actually matter and condensing them down into five things that will help you reach your goal.
As Brendan puts it, “Let’s pause here and remember that the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” What Brendan found is that High performers know what their goal is and have charted at least 5 moves that can help them get where they want to go.
You can do the same. First, ask yourself:
- What is the biggest goal or dream that I want to achieve right now?
- The five moves that would help me progress swiftly toward accomplishing that dream are?
- The timeline for each of my five moves will be…
- Five people who have achieved that dream who I could study, seek out, interview or model are…..
- The less important activities or bad habits I’m going to cut out of my schedule so that I can focus more time on the five moves in the next three month includes…..
Practice 3 – Get Insanely good at key skills
You can learn anything you choose to learn. To get insanely good at the skills required for you to be a high performer you most practice what Brendan Burchard calls “progressive mastery”. In his research, he found that high performers excel because they progressively improve each day to ultimately achieve the skill needed to accomplish their goals.
Here is are the steps to progressive training:
- Determine a skill you want to master
- Set specific stretch goals on your path to developing that skill
- Attach high levels of emotion and meaning to your journey and your results
- Identify the factors critical to success, and develop your strengths in those areas
- Develop visualizations that clearly imagine what success and failure look like
- Schedule challenging practices developed by experts or through careful thought
- Measure your progress and get outside feedback
- Socialize your learning and efforts by practicing or competing with others
- Continuing setting higher-level goals so that you keep improving
- Teach others what you are learning
If you felt like these were helpful feel free to purchase the book here or check out this blog, podcast, and website here for other helpful insight on living your best life. Remember, making the choice to read through the practices is the first step. The second step is putting action towards implementing them into your day.
Now, Wake Up! It’s Day One.