Self-discipline is the foundation of a productive day and It Starts By Making Your Bed.

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Having a daily plan and following that plan is not difficult. It is very easy. Yet so many people fail to act on their plan and fail to achieve or complete the things they want to complete that day.

I’ve always found it fascinating that some people have the ability to remain focused on completing their tasks for the day yet others struggle to get more than ten percent of their tasks completed. The excuses I hear for not completing the work range from “I have a lot on my mind” to “I’m just not the organised kind of person” but really whether you get your tasks for the day completed or not comes down to your self-discipline.

There are other considerations. There’s the problem of trying to cram in far too many tasks. Having a long list of tasks for the day and a calendar full of appointments and meetings is not a good strategy. You are not going to get your tasks completed. You need to be realistic and disciplined about what you put on your task list for the day. And I do mean disciplined. If I look at my task list manager, I see I have somewhere in the region of over 250 tasks in there. That means each day I have to be disciplined about what I put on my list for the day. This is why I spend ten minutes at the end of each day planning what I will get done the next day. I know, from experience, I can complete around twenty tasks a day. If I tried to complete thirty, something would not get done. This means I have to be disciplined about what I allow on my list for the day.

How productive you are and how much you get done each day has nothing to do with your personality type or the work you do. It comes down to how disciplined you are. To stay on task and remain focused requires discipline. To make sure your to-do list for the day does not become a dumping ground for unimportant things requires discipline, and to sit down and get on with the work requires discipline.

Self-discipline goes deeper than what you get done each day. Self-discipline is required to write in your journal every day. Self-discipline is required to create your to-do list every day and you need the self-discipline to get out of bed every morning. Wherever you want to see improvement and advancement in your life, you will require self-discipline.

If you want to improve your productivity, improve your self-discipline. Self-discipline is at the core of all productive lives. Without it, you will never be productive.

The good news is to become more self-disciplined is not difficult. Start small. Start by making your bed every day before you leave the house and have a list of two things you really want to complete for the day, and for a whole month, make sure you get those two tasks done every day. These exercises will begin strengthening your self-discipline. Self-discipline is like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the more you use it, the stronger it will become. The great thing about building strength into your self-discipline is you will soon see benefits elsewhere in your life. If you strengthen your self-discipline by making your bed every morning and by making sure you get your two most important tasks for the day done, you will find you have the self-discipline to exercise regularly, to eat healthier food and this then builds more strength into your self-discipline and you become better and stronger is so many other areas of your life.

The downside to this is that if you give in to the temptation of not doing something when you know you really should be doing it, you weaken your self-discipline. The more you give in to temptation, the weaker your self-discipline becomes and you have to start all over again. The lesson here is, don’t give in. No matter what, keep going knowing that the less you want to do something, and you still do it, the stronger your self-discipline becomes.

If you really want to become better organised and more productive, improve your self-discipline. Focus on building strength into your discipline and make sure that no matter what, you get those tasks done. As Admiral William McRaven said in his talk to the students of The University of Texas, “start by making your bed”.


Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit the like button below👍 It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

My purpose is to encourage you to live the life you desire. To help you find happiness and become better organised and more productive so you can do more of the important things in life. If you want to learn more about how I can help you, have a look at the various online courses I have. There might be something there that could change your life!

If you would like to learn more about the work I do and how I can help you to become better organised and more productive, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

The Working With... Podcast | Ep 17 | How to develop your self-discipline

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This week, I answer a question about self-discipline and how to keep your motivation going when you are not in the mood. 

Don't forget, if you have a question you would like me to answer on the show, all you need to do is leave a message below, email me ( or DM me on Twitter or Facebook 

How To Be Stoical With Your Time Management.

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Why accepting responsibility for your own time management is important for your sanity and your productivity.

I recently discovered I am slightly stoic. I accept bad things will happen in life, to me and to others and understand my response to those bad things is entirely in my own hands.

The same attitude is something I bring to my time management and productivity. It is very easy to blame bosses, clients and students for our inability to complete projects, but in reality, it is we who have ultimate responsibility for how and where we spend our time each day. That is the world we live in and the sooner we accept that the better it will be for our time management and our sanity.

Time is the most equal of equal opportunities employers. Every day, we all have exactly the same amount of time. Nobody has more or less. We have twenty-four hours. It does not matter whether you are Tim Cook, Warren Buffett or a freshman in college; we all face the same decisions every day about where to spend our time. If we choose to work on our college assignment all day and manage to get six, good quality hours of work done on it, then that is what we chose to do. At the same time if we plan to spend six hours writing our thesis, but wake up late, spend four hours responding to social media messages and email, then it was our decision to do so. These are just the choices we all have to make each day. It’s no good blaming other people, your email or phone. You always have the choice to ignore those emails and messages.

This is where so many people get stuck. Rather than making the decision to focus on the important stuff, they make the decision to focus on the unimportant stuff, then find themselves panicking and rushing to get the important stuff done later. This leads to missing out on sleep, increased stress and strain and a never-ending cycle of blame and a persistent feeling of being busy.

The good news is we all have the power to stop this. All we have to do is make a decision to spend our time on the important work first and, if we wish, we can choose to reward ourselves by allowing time to work on the less important stuff later. We can choose to use the powerful tools that come built into our devices to schedule time, to tell us what to do and to capture our great ideas. Equally, we can choose not to do so.

Ultimately, where we spend our time, doing what and with who is our choice. Even within your office, when you joined your company, you signed an employment contract that meant that for eight hours a day, Monday to Friday, you would give those hours to the company, and in return, they would pay you a sum of money. Signing that contract was your decision. A decision about where you would spend thirty-five to forty hours of your 168 hours each week. It is no good complaining about how little time you have to spend with your friends and family afterwards. You chose to spend those thirty-five to forty hours each week in your office.

If you then choose to work more hours, regularly working an extra two or three hours a day, then for whatever reason you decided to work those extra hours, you still chose to spend those hours in your office and not with your family.

It is no good complaining about your boss always giving you work at the last minute, or your colleagues interrupting you when you are trying to get the important work done. That happens to everyone no matter their position in the company. It is still your responsibility to decide where to focus your efforts and what you will do with your time. Time spent complaining about it, is not going to get the important work done. You have a personal responsibility to develop ways to stop those interruptions and to get your boss to give you the work in a more timely manner.

So rather than complaining and blaming, start taking responsibility. Be stoical. Spend ten minutes or so every evening and identify the most important things you must work on the next day and make sure this remains your priority. Lower the priority on your email and social media and only look at it when you have finished the things you really wanted to complete that day.

Just making this tiny shift in your approach to each day will reward you with a lot less stress, more time to spend on the more pleasant things in life and you will feel a lot less busy. But once again, you can choose not to do so. It is always your choice.

Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, please hit that like button below.  It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

My purpose is to encourage you to live the life you desire. To help you find happiness and become better organised and more productive so you can do more of the important things in life. If you want to learn more about how I can help you, have a look at the various online courses I have. There might be something there that could change your life!

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

The Complete Guide To Creating A Successful Life Is March’s Special Offer!

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Whatever it is that makes you happy and ultimately feel you are successful, the way to get there is hard and the road is littered with failure. Very few people ever get close to achieving a successful life. 

The list of reasons for this is long, but the most common reasons for not achieving any kind of success is because people get caught up in their day to day busy lives, have no plan and never think about what it is they want out of life. They just follow what society and others have told them to follow and hope for the best and the best usually turns out to be not much.

In over fifteen years of teaching busy professionals communication skills, I have learnt everyone has the same goal in life. To be happy. The difference, of course, is what makes us happy. For some that is having a large network of friends to hang out with, for others is it having the financial means to buy nice cars, houses and clothes. 

Life is amazing and full of opportunities and possibilities no matter who you are, where you are from or what your education level is. All you need to tap into these opportunities and possibilities is a vision and a plan. A vision of what you want out of life and the way you want to live and work, and a plan to execute on that vision so it becomes a reality. 

This course will take you through those necessary steps to build a life of success on your terms. It will show you how to put in place the foundations on which you can build a life you love, a life that brings joy and happiness and a life that you can be proud of. 

It will also teach you how to develop the necessary self-discipline and habits so that you can start building the life you want from day one.

This course is a combination of what I have learnt in over twenty years of reading and learning about success and what I have learnt from really successful people I have taught over the last fifteen years. The people who have amazing careers, live their lives full of happiness and have an amazingly positive outlook on life. 

If you want to achieve success, live a life you love living and have energy and enthusiasm every single day, then enrol in this course today at the incredible value of $47.50.

This course has never been cheaper and is only available at this price until the end of March.

What’s included:

  • Over 3 hours of lessons
  • 32 Videos
  • 11 downloadable study sheets
  • Lifetime access to this course and its future updates for FREE
  • Study anywhere, anytime and at your pace


What People Have Been Saying About This Course:

I've just completed the Successful life course, and now not only do I feel inspired but I feel that I have a plan and a vision of what I want to work to. This course has made me sit down and ask myself what is a successful life for me, something I would never have done without completing the course Stephen A

An awesome down to earth class for everyone! Very helpful James M

I really enjoyed this course. I’m sure I will return to it from time to time to ensure I follow Carl’s steps to creating a successful life for myself. Bernard M

Course experience was flawless. Carl removed all the sugar coating and got straight to the point on how to create a successful life using the working techniques he has trialled and tested. Bobby Z

Excellent course. Your approach makes a lot of sense, so you can absorb, relate and retain happiness and achieve your goals. Your youtube channel is also very helpful. Thank you! Mike H


Why You Don’t Have To Sacrifice Your Social Life To Be More Productive.

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To become more productive and better at time management does not need you to sacrifice your social life.

This week, on my podcast, I shared five tricks anyone can use to boost their productivity and start getting the important things done. None of these ‘tricks’ requires you to be doing work all day — You still have time for those more pleasant activities and time to get the important work done, all you need to do is be aware of what is going on in your life.

To get to this level of productivity does require a little planning, you need to know what is important and where you need to be spending your time. The problem for most people is they do not know what needs to be done and by when. This leads to last-minute cramming and feeling stressed, busy and out of control. Leaving work to the last minute defies what is possible for your brain to do. Trying to sit down for six hours straight to cram in some last minute revision for an exam, or to prepare the report your boss asked for is not possible. Your brain is incapable of focusing on work for that length of time. At best you have twenty to thirty minutes before your brain will wander off and be distracted no matter how well-intentioned you are. After ninety minutes, the quality of the work you are doing will begin to drop rapidly. Pushing on, because the deadline is almost upon you, is just going to cause panic and stress which results in a further decline in the quality of your output.

However, when you do know what needs to be completed and you have scheduled time to get it done, you feel surprisingly relaxed and find yourself looking forward to the day ahead.

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Take for example my day today. I have two things I want to get done today. The first is write this blog post and the second is to go for a run. These are what I call my objectives for the day. I have scheduled time for both these activities. This morning, I will write this post, and at 2 pm, I will go for my run. By 3 pm today, I will have completed my two objectives for the day. I do have other work I would like to do today, and I have a number of classes to teach and I will get these done, but apart from the classes, the other work is not that important and it wouldn’t be a crisis if I didn’t do them and I can do those after I have completed my objectives.

When you know what tasks need to be accomplished for the day, once they are done, you are free to do anything you like. Take your dog for a long walk, spend an hour chatting with your friends or just going to a local coffee shop with your favourite book or magazine. If you are “in the zone”, you may wish to start something else you had planned to do later in the week.

To achieve this level of relaxed productivity doesn’t require much work either. But you do need to be aware of what’s going on in your life and the deadlines you have. Without that knowledge, you will have a constant nagging going on in your head telling you that you need to be doing something important, but because you have not identified what that is and decided when you are going to do it, your brain goes into a cycle of panic and stress. You need to put a stop to that cycle and get yourself organised so you know exactly what needs doing.

This is why one of my top five tips is to do a weekly review. Whether or not you are a Getting Things Done follower or not, that weekly review is where you can take stock of what you have going on in your life and plan where and when you will do the work that you need to do. You can use your calendar to schedule the time to get that work done. On your calendar, you can see an overview of what’s going on in your week, where your meetings or lectures are and fit time around those to do the work that is important. As long as you practice a small level of discipline each day and you stick to what you have scheduled, you very quickly begin getting those important things done and find that cycle of panic and stress disappears. You are getting work done, work that matters and work that is important to you.

So, if you really want to level up your productivity and reduce the stress and panic in your life, start doing a weekly review on a Sunday. Spend thirty to sixty minutes identifying what needs to get done next week so you are on top of everything going on in your life. Then at the end of every day spend ten minutes or so, identifying what two things you want to get done tomorrow. Write them down and schedule time on your calendar to do them. This small practice mixed with a tiny amount of self-discipline is really all you need to remove the stress and panic, get the important work done and allow you time to do the things you enjoy doing.


Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit that like button below. It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

My goal is to help show you how to live the life you desire. To help you find happiness and become better organised and more productive so you can do more of the important things in life.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

Why Time Management Is The Foundation Of A Successful Life.

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Over the last two years or so, I’ve been reading a lot of books and articles on building a successful life. Books and articles about people like Elon Musk, Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy and Oprah Winfrey. Each one of these people has walked a different path to achieve success, but one of the common traits they all have is their time management skills.

These people achieve in one year, what many fail to achieve in their lifetime. They learnt the ability to focus on the important things in their life and either ignore or delegate the non-important. This is not a difficult skill to learn, but it is a skill many think is not important when held up against all the other skills that are important. Skills such as being able to communicate your ideas, negotiate deals and collaborate with others.

Time management is about identifying what is important and allocating enough time each day to working on those important things. Something most people don’t do. Instead, most people allow the loudest to get their attention. Often the loudest is not the most important, but because it is loud, it deceives us into thinking it is the most important thing.

Robin Sharma talks about the 5%. The five-percent of people who become hugely successful in life. These five percent know what is important and they make sure that 95% of their waking hours are spent working on those important things. The rest, spend 95% of their waking hours on trivialities such as checking social media feeds, complaining about Donald Trump, getting involved in gossip and trying to be more outraged than the last person who was outraged by some non-PC act by a celebrity or politician.

Time management is about allocating your twenty-four hours in the right place so you achieve the right results. It is the foundation of all successful lives. When you put your focus and attention on the work that will bring you the rewards you want, then you are taking the right steps towards achieving success.

One of the great things about time management is that where you decide to put your attention is entirely your choice. How you spend your days is up to you. Your boss may ask you to complete a project by Friday, but whether you decide to complain about the tight deadline with your colleagues all day or not is your decision. You could decide to sit down and begin work on the project and figure out how you will allocate your time so the project is completed on time. Or you could decide to spend all morning complaining about it on Twitter or Facebook. It’s always your choice.

Time management is also about focusing your resources in the right places. Pretty much like all management skills, managing a sports team is about using your players in a way that will get the best out of them. A good team manager does not ask a great defender to become an attacker. A good team manager puts their best defender in the best place for them to be, defending. Time management is the same thing. Good time management is not leaving your latest class assignment until the night before it is due, good time management is starting the assignment as soon as the assignment is given so you know exactly what research needs doing and how much time you are going to need to write the best assignment you can write.

To become good at time management is where you create a plan for the day and make sure it happens. At the top of your plan you put the one or two things you really want to achieve that day and before you do anything else, you focus all your time and attention to getting them done. I always recommend you do the next day’s planning the night before. That way when you wake up you know exactly what it is you want to achieve and you can start the moment you wake up going about achieving it. Quite often you will find that by lunchtime you have completed the tasks you wanted to achieve, you can then spend the rest of the day getting on with the next important things.

Time management does not mean you spend every minute of the day doing work. Time management means you are managing what you are doing with your time. If you enjoy social media, playing computer games and hanging out with your friends, then great, allow yourself time to do those things. Just don’t allow those activities to take over the whole twenty-four hours in your day.

We are given the same amount of time each day — twenty-four hours — what we do during those twenty-four hours is entirely up to us. Use your calendar to schedule time for the important things, the things that will take your life forward towards achieving the things you want to achieve in life, and make it a priority every day to make that happen. When you start doing this, very soon you will start to see some tangible results in what you are achieving. That’s good time management.

Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit those clapping hands below many times👏 It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

My goal is to help show you how to live the life you desire. To help you find happiness and become better organised and more productive so you can do more of the important things in life.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

Why I Switched To Todoist 3 Years Ago.

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I read the Getting Things Done book by David Allen in 2009. I’d heard about the book but never considered reading it. I thought I already had the best time management system in my Franklin Planner. But one day, as I was browsing the books in the English books section of the Kyobo Bookstore in Seoul, I came across Getting Things Done and thought, why not? That book changed everything for me. I saw possibilities of creating my own system and the chance to take advantage of the emerging mobile technology that was beginning to emerge.

Reading Getting Things Done, was the start of a journey of discovery. I tried many different kinds of productivity apps, from Franklin Covey’s Task app to Things for Macbefore finally going with the Rolls Royce of Mac productivity apps, OmniFocus. And there I stayed for a number of years.

But there was always a slight problem in the background. I loved OmniFocus, it got me in the habit of using digital tools to manage my daily tasks, I ate up every article and listened to every podcast I could find on using OmniFocus, I played and played around with the perspectives attempting to find that ‘perfect’ one that would meet all my needs, then I would read another article and change all my perspectives again. It was a cycle I repeated almost every week. I was continually searching for the ‘perfect setup’ and I loved it!

Then, one day, I came across Todoist. I was immediately drawn to its beauty and simplicity (I am quite an aesthetic person) and I downloaded it to test it out. For about one year I played around with Todoist. By then, I was a hardcore OmniFocus user and because of the financial investment, the start and due dates, the perspectives and different setups I could have in OmniFocus I was reluctant to switch completely.

What finally moved me over to Todoist was when I asked myself exactly what I wanted from a to-do list manager. OmniFocus is brilliant. It has every conceivable feature a productivity and time management geek like myself could ever wish for, and I took complete advantage of that. I was always tweaking my perspectives and playing around with start dates and due dates. It was procrastination heaven.

Then it hit me. OmniFocus is a procrastinator’s heaven. There was always an excuse for playing with the settings and set up, and I found I never needed much of an excuse to play around with it either. The amount of actual work I was doing was being limited by the amount of time I was playing around with the features in OmniFocus.

I should point out, this is not the fault of OmniFocus. This is my fault. I can’t help myself. That inner productivity geek is a strong voice and was always tempting me to try just another perspective or to switch to using only start dates, and then a few days later suggesting I switch back to due dates. Oh did I love it.

The trouble was, I wasn’t getting much real work done. I had a beautifully organised OmniFocus, but I didn’t have that much completed work to show for it. That’s when I decided to go all in with Todoist. Todoist’s feature set is much simpler. At its core, it is just lists for different projects or labels. But, for my inner geek, I have filters. I can play around with the filters as much as I like, but as there are fewer options than in OmniFocus I am not spending complete afternoons playing around. Just a few minutes instead.

At the core of my productivity system, today is GTD. So when I made the decision to move over to Todoist completely I re-read the GTD book and set up my Todoist as close to a pure GTD system as I could. Over a period of a few months, I came up with a system inside Todoist that worked far better than anything I created in OmniFocus and apart from a few minor tweaks, my system has remained pretty consistent over the last three years.

In those three years, I have written 4 books, created over 300 YouTube videos, 8 online courses and still maintain my communications consultancy. My productivity has increased ten times, and this was because I dropped an app that was feature rich and moved over to Todoist. Todoist has focussed me on the work and not the feature set and for that, I am so grateful to Todoist.

And that brings me to the point of this article. There are thousands of to-do list managers out there today with new ones appearing every week. Each one promises a better feature set than the others. But a great to-do list manager is not one with hundreds of features. A great to-do list manager is one that focuses you on the work. One that puts the work you need to do right in front of you from the moment you open it. In simple terms, a great to-do list manager is just an app with lists. If the app presents those lists in a beautiful way, then all the better, but really all we need is a list of the tasks we need to accomplish today and a way to check them off. For me, Todoist does this brilliantly.

So thank you to all the amazing people at Todoist. You’ve made an incredible product and I for one will not be changing apps anytime soon.

Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit those clapping hands below many times👏 It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

My goal is to help show you how to live the life you desire. To help you find happiness and become better organised and more productive so you can do more of the important things in life.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.