Thursday, April 25, 2013

Productivity Secrets from Jason Womack

My expert interview today is with author, speaker, and productivity coach, Jason Womack.

Jason is author of one of my favorite books, Your Best Just Got Better. It’s on my short shelf of 20 or so books that I refer to over and over again.

Welcome, Jason!

Jason Womack: Hey, Kevin. Thanks for inviting me here and the smile I’m wearing after that introduction is huge.

Kevin: The subtitle of your book is Work Smarter, Think Bigger, Make More. Do you want to touch on any of those subjects? Which of those three ideas are resonating most with your readers?

Jason: People who read the book consistently tell me, “Jason, I can implement a couple of things and immediately two things are happening. Number one, I have an outlook on life that’s 36 to 60 months bigger. The second thing is in my everyday, I’m getting 15 to 30 extra minutes to do things that I want to do.”

Kevin: Both of which are outcomes that I’ve seen in my life, too. I’m much clearer on my goals for 3-5 years out, and I definitely have more time each day to do what I really want to do.

I especially love your idea in the book about how to look at blocs of 15 minutes as precious things. When you divide the 1,400 minutes in a day by 15, you get 96. So 15 minutes equals about 1% of your life each day. Understanding this has made me more cognizant of how I spend my time, which has made me more productive. It's just a very enlightening way to look at the clock.

Jason: Thank you.

Kevin: What else can we talk about in terms of productivity?

Jason: The way that I hear that in my head is there are things that I have to do and there are things that I have, to do. I want to make sure that I get to that second group. What is it that I have ... to do? Why was I put on the planet? I wasn’t put on the planet to manage my email inbox. That’s not why I’m here.

Yet, the more effectively that I manage my email inbox, the more effectively I manage that meeting that I’ve been invited to, the more effectively that I manage that commute, whether I’m driving or flying, all of a sudden then, there’s this opening that I can step into.

Kevin: Speaking of why we were put on the planet, talk about how your ideas relate to the people in our lives.

Jason: Think of that short list of the 5 people you spend the most time with, the people who will influence you the most this week. They’re going to influence what YouTube video you watch, what restaurant you eat in … they may even influence what book you read or magazine you subscribe to.

Here’s a test I need everybody to run this week. When you leave a conversation with someone -- whether it’s digital, face-to-face, or hand written -- when you walk away from that conversation, ask yourself this question: How do I feel about me right now?

What’s fascinating is it is either/or. It is plus or it is minus. I do not walk away from someone at a neutral level. I either am stoked on life and excited … or I’m not. And the more times I walk away from the same person where I don’t feel great, I want to look at that. Thirty-six to 60 months from now, is that a relationship I still want to be in?

Kevin: That’s fantastic advice. You don’t need any technology or outside input. The answers are inside you -- how do you feel? That’s going to be very accurate feedback.

What are some other areas of leverage if people want to work smarter, think bigger, make more?

Jason: Beyond what we just talked about, another concept from the book is an activity called, I Am At My Best When. When I begin working with a client or facilitate a workshop, early in that conversation, I ask everyone to pull out a piece of paper. On the top of the piece of paper, you write, “I am at my best when.”

Then you write down 5, 7, maybe 9 indicators -- the critical few. What are the 5, 7, 9 things that if they happen, the chances of me having a better day increase?

For example, I know if I eat a balanced breakfast, the chances of me having a better day go up. If I write a thank-you card to someone during the day, it goes up. Or, if I reach out to a mentor for help during the day, the chances of me having a better day are higher.

By contrast, everyone that I’ve ever talked to can bring to mind the kinds of things that if go wrong, they’ll have a bad day. If you commute, you’ve probably climbed in your car and thought, “I hope there’s no traffic today. I hope there’s not an accident on the freeway today. I hope my boss is not in a bad mood today.”

What’s fascinating is that you actually start looking for accidents, traffic, and a boss in a bad mood. I’m not suggesting by any means that because I think I’m going to have a good day that it’s guaranteed, but the likelihood goes up.

Kevin: I love that idea. Your exercise forces you to find things you can do to have a better day, like sleep a bit more or eat the right breakfast. And those factors are entirely under your control, unlike traffic on the freeway or a crabby boss.

Jason: If you pop over to you can download the first 42 pages of the book free, and it includes the I Am At My Best When activity in chapter one.

Kevin: Thanks, Jason. This is great stuff!

Meanwhile, if you want to more clients like your best clients, my free Client Cloning Kit can help. Grab your free copy now, while they last

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