Recently I noticed that successful people all seem to get up early and work on personal development. This includes knowing their body’s needs and exercising. I realised that just reading the news and gossip online or admiring others was never going to get me anywhere near my own goals.
What are my goals, anyway? Then, while at Kmart (of all places), I saw a book that could start my 2020 off to a bang. I reveal this soon. But first, here is a productivity system you could use.
Learn the 1000% Improvement Method
This is ‘incremental improvement’—getting a little better every day—otherwise known as ‘the Kaizen principle’.
Brian Tracy asks: “Is it possible for you to make a 1/10th of 1% improvement in productivity per day?”
(Doing it weekdays, your actions would be 0.5% more improved within a week and 13% in a month).
This translates to you working on a more important task or doing a task slightly better. (Perhaps a new system occasionally as well, I presume).
Your overall output can become amazing, posits Tracy… in fact, 26% more productive in a year.
Your income would likely go up 26% per year too. This building on improvements is called the Momentum Principle.
You start early, set good priorities, and work a little harder. If you do this improvement as a habit, so every year over the course of ten years, the compounding effect means you will be working at around 1,400% better, according to Tracy. This then would be reflected in the quality of projects you do and the amount of money you earn.
Here is Brian Tracy’s famous 1000% Improvement list but with my own interpretation. Watch the video afterwards, if you like.
1. Spend your First Hour of the Day on Personal Development
I am spending nearly an hour most mornings on personal development, and then I write out some more on my goals. I do a few stretches. Then if it’s a weekday, I move to writing out my task list.
My present book reading is: Your Dream Life Starts Here by Kristina Karlsson. This is a good book for setting all your goals and taking action.
My audio reading at the moment is: Booked Solid (Michael Port) and The Power of Vulnerability (Brene Brown).
2. Make a Task List
Then I make a Task List of everything I need to do that day, but not too many.
3. Prioritise that List
Then I look at the tasks and find the most important to move my business or life forward. I put the two most important things an call it A.
(This I learned from Eat That Frog, also by Brian Tracy).
4. Work on the First Thing, First
Using Tracy’s productivity methods, I then tackle the first, most important thing on the list, that will move me forward. I try not to go to Facebook or LinkedIn until this is done.
I take a break and then tackle the next A task.
Then I look at the B tasks and in the late afternoon, I find out how my VA is going with the ‘C’ tasks. (Things like developing the website better, doing SEO work, and creating lists of potentials).
5. Make Housework or Drive Time, Learning and Development Time
When you actually select the learnings you need to know, then you really improve your mindset and knowledge. You can do this with audiobooks while driving or doing the dishwasher.
You only need to listen to audiobooks for 1 hour a day to keep up with your field and also improve your selling, time management, networking, writing, and marketing skills. (Never forget to add those things)
This apparently increases your income a lot, according to Brian Tracy, but I have not found that yet. However, I am only 14 days into it!
6. Ask Yourself 2 Questions After Every Call or Interview
- What did I do right? (Write a list)
- What would I do differently for next time? (Write a list)
As these are positive questions, your brain will record it much better than wording it in the negative.
I haven’t done this in full, but I have gone over what I did right in business last year and it was illuminating. The ‘doing it differently’ list I have started on. Some of it entails writing more on this blog and worrying less over the contents of my inbox.
7. Treat Everyone You Meet like a Million-Dollar Customer
Guilty! Not doing this one has really let my business down and sometimes even my family down. I know the saying “people won’t always remember what you did, but they’ll remember the way you made them feel”.
I only recently realised the power of respecting my own child’s skills and was amazed by her ability to critically analyse my book writing. So I will now be treating her like a million-dollar supplier!
There is a book that helps with this aspect of respecting others. It is ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’.
Jennifer Lancaster writes books that help Australians earn, save, learn, and grow. Her next book (out in February) is: Creative Ways with Money.