Not all habits are created equal

Some habits will have a disproportionately positive (or negative) impact than others.

If you do a high-impact habit consistently for years then it will bring about a massive change in your life.

Here are 4 high-impact routines that have created a disproportionately positive impact on my life over the years:

  • I have automated my savings, giving, and investing so that I never have to think about when or how much I should be putting into those accounts. It happens on autopilot and I reap the benefits.
  • My wife and I have a date night every week (even if it is merely at home on the back porch).
  • I set aside at least one hour every work day for undistracted time to do focused, deep work.
  • Every day I do at least a 15-minute workout.

Put another way, the whole ****point in having a routine is to make your life better. And, if you’re going to have a routine, you might as well have one that is high-impact.

Not all habits are created equal

Vision and Mission

Without a clear idea of your own core values and the things that drive your decisions and motivation, then your schedule will reflect what someone else wants from you, rather than what you want for yourself. The three primary areas of your life that all need a clear direction: Your business, your family, and your self.

Vision and Mission

A few years ago I finally got some packing cubes to see what all the fuss is about. Now I can’t imagine how I ever went on a trip without them.

Packing cubes allow you to compress and organize your clothes into a much smaller space, making it easier to pack. I got my cubes from Goruck, but the the 10L size is too big. If I were buying new ones today, I’d get these.

Packing Lifesavers

Yes, Yes, Yes … No, No, No

Consider the difference between random tactics and focused strategy.

If you are trying to make progress in an area of your life or business, or when you are fleshing out a new idea, then, at first, you have many new ideas and tactics. You say yes to all sorts of activities, ideas, material, etc…

However, eventually you must transition your energy from going wide and begin to go deep: Focus down on the vital few activities that move you toward your desired outcome.

This transition from yes to no is critical. Without it, you will have no focus, no strategy, and, thus, no meaningful progress.

Yes, Yes, Yes … No, No, No

Counterfeit Rest vs True Rest

Whenever you set out to make change or embark on a bold venture, there will be resistance.

One area of resistance that comes against our efforts to live a focused life is what I call “Counterfeit Rest”.

When you have rested, you ought to be recharged and have more energy.

Thus, try to find restful activities that give you energy rather than things that drain your energy.

When I teach about this in The Focus Course, we make note of the fact that true rest usually requires a little bit of effort (i.e. reading a book, cooking a meal, taking a walk…)

Counterfeit Rest vs True Rest

Where have you created false urgency?

A while back, my pal, David Sparks, wrote about getting trapped inside a cycle of “false urgency”.

And so David began asking himself this regular question:

“Where have I created false urgency?”

I spent years working as a marketing director for a large organization, and the overwhelming cultural vibe was based on urgency: Everything was urgent all the time. We were constantly changing directions, doing new things, and reacting to whatever urgent issue was arising.

When I quit that job and began working for myself, it took me years to detox from that urgency mindset.

Even in my work and life, I felt that if something was’t urgent, then it wasn’t even important. And so, as a result, I would often neglect any task or area of life that didn’t have an urgent and pressing matter.

This urgency mindset creates a HUGE dilemma!

When we have an overwhelming urgency mindset, it blurs the lines between that which is actually important and that which is not. Everything begins to feel important all the time… and that, in turn, creates a lot of anxiety, stress, and worry that otherwise need not exist.

In the Focus Course, we have a whole section of our training dedicated specifically to this exact issue because it is so common and so difficult to get out of.

One of the ways we help folks overcome an urgency mindset is by helping them to (1) identify the important work and then (2) celebrate that work.

This simple cycle of identify <> celebrate can slowly re-train your brain to value (and even seek out) non-urgent tasks and activities. The result is less stress along with more motivation to work on long-term important areas.

If you’re curious where you land regarding urgency, we created an Urgency Assessment that you can take for free. It’s completely anonymous and works great to give you a baseline.

Where have you created false urgency?

DND until Lunch

Between 6am and noon is arguably my most precious / important / valuable time of the day for getting things done.

That’s why I keep all of my devices in Do Not Disturb until noon.

This way I am free from any and all notifications, pings, buzzes, until the morning is over and it’s time for a lunch break.

DND until Lunch

Private interview with Josh Kaufman (Personal MBA)

Tomorrow — Tuesday, July 26 — I am hosting a private, live interview with bestselling author Josh Kaufman.

Josh is also the author of one of my all-time most-gifted books: The Personal MBA.

Over the years Josh has become a dear friend, and I have gotten so much brilliant advice from him. I cannot wait to bring him into the community to share with you as well.

If you care about business, growth, and productivity, then this will be a conversation you definitely want to be part of. Here are the main things we’ll cover during the live interview:

⚡️ Decision Making: How to get better and faster at making decisions without overthinking things or doing it wrong.

⚡️ Time blocking for creative work: Tips and ideas for building a better schedule.

⚡️ Common business advice: What are some of the biggest pitfalls Josh has seen inside businesses and their owners / leaders — and what are his suggestions to avoid or fix them?

⚡️ Plus Live Q&A: Your chance to ask any questions live (or submit them ahead of time and catch the answers during the replay).

This is an exclusive interview that I’m hosting just for the brand-new Accelerator membership. And I would LOVE to have you join us.

Here’s how to join:

  1. Sign up for the new Focus Accelerator
  2. We’ll send you a link and details to join the live Zoom room for Josh’s interview
  3. We’ll also connect with you directly to help you get settled in with all the material and training that is inside the new Accelerator.
Private interview with Josh Kaufman (Personal MBA)

Avoid Random Habits

Amateurs keep their options open. They say yes to everything. They have no boundaries. And they are overwhelmed by the urgent and buried under a million random acts of focus.

On the other hand…

Professionals and top-performers are focused. They design their habits in order to accomplish their goals.

Your habits should not be random…

Your habits need to be an intentional part of the bigger picture of your life. Your habits should be the actions you do consistently that move you forward toward the outcomes you want in your life.

Avoid Random Habits