“Merry Christmas!” elicits so many feelings of joy the world over. From Japan to Thailand to the US, every year on December 25th, children wake up (voluntarily) at first light to see what Santa left them. One of the joys for me as a child was ripping open the presents. I could hardly contain myself when I saw wrapped boxes under the tree of all shapes and sizes. I remember it like it was yesterday.
Besides the presents, I did enjoy singing Christmas carols on the 24th. We only sing them in December, but I still remember songs like “Hark the Herald Angel Sing” and “Noel,” but my favorite had to be the “12 Days of Christmas.” So it’s only fitting that I share with you my 12 days of productivity as that’s what I do today. I help people free up time to do what’s really important. Maybe it’s going to their daughter’s ballet recital, playing a few games of Mario Kart with their son or traveling to some exotic beach to just get away, I love seeing people enjoy life.
I have broken the 12 days into three parts – Internal, External and Tools. The three sides of my productivity pyramid.
Day 1 – Diet
“Some people don’t do well because they don’t feel well.” These words I’ve heard my mentor, Jim Rohn, say over and over again in his seminars and presentations. Despite all the nonfat, low fat, no cholesterol, glutton-free stuff you’d think Americans would be the healthiest people on the planet. Yet with 30% of the population in the US being obese and another 30% overweight, something’s not right. If you want to boost personal productivity, I can think of no better place to start.
Day 2 – Exercise
A close second is exercise. Just 20 minutes a day and you’ll be amazed at the incredible effects it has on your body and your mind. It’s a great way to refresh both and stimulate the brain cells.
Day 3 – Sleep
Too many people neglect sleep in their pursuit of success. But a lack of sleep can lead to rapid aging, irritability, and a whole heap of other issues. We used to say we need our “beauty sleep,” turns out it isn’t just for our looks.
Day 4 – Meditation
This one is one I’m still working on. With all the noise around us, it’s nice to just take a step back from time to time. Clear your mind. Release the tension in your body. Allow yourself to stop.
Day 5 – Gratitude
Gratitude is critical. Negativity can be extremely debilitating. Stress makes us more susceptible to illness and can lead to all sorts of issues. Gratitude fights negativity. Taking just one minute each morning when you wake up and another minute before you go to bed will do wonders for your mental state.
Day 6 – Breathing
Want a boost in energy? Varying our breathing can stimulate or relax our entire body. It’s an overlooked point that only recently has gotten some attention, but every athlete knows the importance of breathing. It’s the source of power. Check out my previous post on how I first learned how powerful air can be.
Day 7 – Hour of power
Tony Robbins talked about this in his “Get the Edge” program and it’s amazing just how powerful an hour can be, if we simply focus our energies.
Day 8 – Office
Is your office set up to help you be productive? Do you have time blocked out on your calendar for you to get the work you really need to get done? Do you have systems in place that free up your time?
Day 9 – Family
Have you included your family in on your plans? Are you spending enough time with your kids? Are you checking your phone a little bit too much?
Day 10 – Inbox
The inbox is like the Bermuda Triangle for business people. Once they go in, they never come out. There’s no denying how awesome email is, but it can easily overwhelm you if you’re not careful. Download my free report on my website for some ideas on how to better approach your inbox.
Day 11 – A single email
I learned from a mentor just how so many people are when it comes to using other people’s time. He taught me to simply ask people to put into writing any requests they had. If anyone wants my help, no problem. All I need was a single email. It’s amazing how many people can’t be bothered.
Day 12 Say – “No”
Your time is valuable. Don’t give it away to just anyone. Start to say no a whole lot more. Keep time open to do what you want to do, or so you can be more flexible. Don’t let your calendar dominate your life.