I must confess, I was not one of those people for whom productivity came naturally. I was, in my humble opinion, great at creating plans but not so good at following them. I over-analysed and so my plans constantly changed. I procrastinated, putting things off because I fooled myself into thinking I needed more information, or I would have more energy tomorrow. And I wasted so much time trying to find the perfect system for managing my tasks. And the outcome – frustration and lower productivity.
So how did I turn it around? Well, I was lucky because my job, developing and delivering leadership programs, required me to extract and distil the latest research on productivity so that I could teach it to others (do as I say, not as I do!)
The approaches I put forward were tested against the real, nitty-gritty challenges people faced on a day-to-day basis – information overload, unreasonable demands from clients, difficult colleagues and a hundred-and-one petty distractions that can wear you down and prevent you from achieving results. And, over time, as participants and coaching clients tested, challenged, adapted and even rejected the approaches I was suggesting, I began to identify what really worked for people.
And for me.
From all this research and experience, 4 key drivers of productivity emerged and they provide the structure for the content in The Edge Program.
Firstly, planning – you must have an idea of where you want to be in the future – where are the opportunities that fit your desires, resources and skills and what do you need to do to take advantage of those opportunities? But planning can be tough – there is so much to think about and it is very easy to lose sight of the big picture and get bogged down in details – or, the reverse, wasting time creating grand visions without ever getting started. In The Edge Program you will learn action mapping: a unique approach that takes you from a 5-year vision for your life through to tomorrow’s task list. It makes achieving your vision part of your everyday actions and, as your circumstances change, your action map will be there to provide structure and focus.
Next, organizing. Converting plans into action efficiently requires a flexible system that copes with multiple priorities and all the stuff that crops up each day demanding your attention. You’ll learn how to use checklists and develop effective habits (and break bad ones) – so that success runs on autopilot.
Here is a short video from The Edge Program on one approach to establishing effective habits. The idea is make it so that you do the right thing without thinking.
(incidentally, the idea of push-ups after using the toilet was Fogg's own routine!)
The third driver is acting. How many times have you organized your day only to procrastinate or get stuck in analysis-paralysis or become side-tracked by other people. There is a chasm between intention and action; even with a great plan and efficient systems, sometimes we find ways to sabotage ourselves. I’ll help you to escape the shallow busy-ness that is the enemy of productivity. The Edge Program will equip you with the ultimate productivity mindset, enabling you to:
- conquer procrastination
- efficiently triage – handling the deluge of demands on your time that can get in the way of ‘real’ work
- develop resilience and push past setbacks – but also know when to quit
- become assertive and able to say “No” without damaging relationships
- manage – and where necessary, avoid – meetings
And the final driver is, reviewing. There are some things you can only know once you get started along a particular route. Maybe things take longer than anticipated or there are hidden difficulties or unforeseen consequences. Or perhaps you are not having as much fun as you had hoped for. And, of course, the world is constantly changing, bringing new opportunities and threats. There’s little to be gained from persevering down the wrong road. Much better to learn from experience and adapt. Review and reflection are critical to business performance.
The Edge Program is the distilled essence of everything I have learned about productivity. It combines academic and scientific rigour (you’ll find lots of research cited) with the real-world experiences of hundreds of talented individuals. It is practical and flexible – I know that what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another. So I will give you plenty of alternatives and help you to develop your personal productivity approach.
The rewards don’t go to the most talented or the hardest working, they go to those who achieve RESULTS. The Edge Program Maximum Productivity module will help you to work smart and deliver the results that bring you the business success that you deserve.