The Secret To Happiness Is In What You Create Not What You Buy.

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For many, having the latest gadget, the nicest car in the street or the best job in your community is everything. Yet these do not lead to a happy, fulfilled life. Sure you get a short-lived buzz, a little smile on your face for a few days. But the lustre and shine soon disappear and then what are you left with?

To really experience the feeling of joy and happiness every day — that long-lasting contentment with your life — you need to pursue more than material things. You need a goal, a purpose. Something to drive and inspire you each day. Something that lights up your fire and brings a smile to your face every morning. It needs to be the reason you wake up every morning with energy, enthusiasm and a desire to make progress. Those material things won’t do that in the long-term. Those will just leave you feeling empty.

To discover your purpose and the things that will bring you long-term joy and happiness, you need to take some time to think about what it is you enjoy doing. Life is about our experiences, our accomplishments, our creations and the people we meet along the way. Unless you take some time to figure out what it is you want to do with your life — this amazing gift you have — you are going to waste it.

Here are a few things that will bring you long-term happiness:

  • writing a book about something you love
  • striving each day to be better than you were yesterday
  • building your own business
  • raising a family
  • working on a side project that will potentially change the world
  • building huge levels of health and fitness
  • making the world a little better than you found it

What you will find is these things are journeys. None of them will bring you instant gratification. They take a long time, a lot of effort and persistence and that is where the joy and happiness come from. The feeling you are making progress on something. Something you created, something you built. Something you can feel proud of. That is where your happiness can be found.

Throughout these journeys, you will experience hardship, knock-backs and frustration. It’s all part of the journey. The harder you find the journey the greater the joy and happiness you will feel in the long-term. It’s the feeling of making progress that brings the joy and happiness.

If you seek happiness in things you buy you will never find it. If you seek happiness in things you create you will have a life of pure joy and happiness. Of course, there will be a side helping of frustration and disappointment, but then that’s all part of the journey. Happiness comes from overcoming setbacks and disappointments and creating something you are proud of.

That’s it. The secret to everlasting happiness. Now go out there and start creating, building, developing and growing and you too will soon discover the simple joys and happiness life brings each day.

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

 

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My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in 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.

In Defence Of InBox Zero And Why You Should Be Using It.

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Inbox Zero is an email management system created by Merlin Mann around 2006. The basic concept is there are only four things you can do with an email when it comes in: Reply, delete, defer or delegate it. This means when you are working on an email you do one of these four things with it and move it from your inbox. The idea is that by the end of the day, your inbox will be zeroed out and all emails will have been dealt with appropriately. Merlin did a great talk at Google Talks that is well worth watching for a full breakdown of how the system works.

These days, inbox zero appears to be out of fashion and I find it hard to understand why. I have seen articles and comments likening inbox zero to being Sisyphus forever rolling a rock up a hill, suggesting inbox zero is a waste of time and not a practical way to handle email because it’s a never-ending task. And yet, since I adopted the principles of inbox zero around 2009, I have never had any problems with email. No overwhelm, no difficulty finding anything and I generally reply to email in a timely manner.

Being Organised and productive will always be never-ending

The same, of course, can be said with anything related to becoming better organised and more productive. Many things in life will feel like Sisyphus rolling a boulder up a hill. Putting clothes away at the end of the day is a never-ending task. Doing the dishes after eating a meal, or writing the weekly sales report. These are all never-ending tasks. If you don’t do these tasks, things will mount up and become a huge mess. Never putting clothes away after you have worn them will eventually make it difficult to find the clothes you want to wear when you want to wear them. Not doing the dishes at the end of the day will result in you not being able to find a clean cup in the morning for that life-giving first cup of coffee.

This also is the case with email. If you are not dealing with email as it comes in, it is going to mount up and become a cesspit of overwhelm and disorganisation. Finding that important email, sent to you last month, will take up a disproportionate amount of time because you cannot remember the correct spelling of the name of the person who sent it to you. And your suppliers, and in many cases, your customers will feel you don’t care because you didn’t take the two minutes it would take to respond to their message.

The importance of good email etiquette.

Any email that requires a reply has been sent by a human being. It is simply polite to reply in a timely manner! It shocks me the number of times I have answered a complete stranger’s question and not received a simple thank you reply. I don’t mind, but if I reach out to a stranger for an answer to a question, I always have the courtesy and good manners to thank them for their answer.

If your email is a mess, you cannot claim to be a productive person.

However, the deeper issue here is how can anyone claim to be a productive, organised individual if their email organisation is non-existent? Maybe their to-do list is beautifully set up, their notes app has a sophisticated structure that manages their notes in a complex hierarchical structure and yet their email inbox has thousands of opened and unopened emails. That is not the character of a well organised, productive individual. It’s a sign of laziness. If you are striving to become a better organised and productive person, you cannot do it by half measures. It’s an either all in or not at all way of life. It’s like someone running 10km every morning for their health but smoking twenty cigarettes a day, eating burgers, pizza and cookies and downing eight pints at the end of the day. You’re not living a healthy life.

Two questions: “What is it?” And “what’s the next action?”

Of all the email organisation systems I have come across over the years, inbox zero is by far the best system. As soon as an email comes in, I ask the questions: “what is it?” And “what is the next action?” Whatever the next action is I do it. There are only four things I can do with an email. Deal with it if it will take me less than two minutes. Defer it if I need more than two minutes. Delete it if it has no value to me or forward it on to a person who could handle it better than I could. This is not on a level with quantum physics. It is simple and with practice, you get incredibly fast at it.

Email is one of the best communication methods ever developed. It allows us to communicate with people on the other side of the world in an instant. It allows us to send documents, confirm reservations and receive important information. It is a fundamental part of any system, just as important as your to-do list and notes. If you want to become a more productive, organised person you need to treat email in the same way you treat your to-do list manager and notes app. Have a system in place that organises your mail so they are easy to find when you need them and always remember that when another human being sends you an email, they have taken valuable time to write to you and so the least you could do is reply with a simple thank you.

Sign up for the 2018 Edition of Time And Life Mastery online course and get yourself an early-bird discount. Offer ends this week!

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.

 

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My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in 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.

Why Time And Life Mastery Matters.

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It is a very busy world. A world where anything that might be interesting is broadcasted to the world instantly. A world where everyone appears to have an opinion on everything from the size of Donald Trump’s hands to the latest famous celebrity misdeed.

We also live in a world where our boss, colleagues, friends and customers expect us to reply to their demands within seconds. It is a challenging world.

While in many ways this world is exciting, fun and awe-inspiring it also means we have very little time left for the things we want to do. Many people don’t have any time to even discover what it is they want to do so they drift from one demand to the next without stopping for a moment to think about what it is they want to do and achieve.

This is why last year I created the Time And Life Mastery course. A course designed to help people discover what they wanted to do with their lives. To establish some goals and to have a clear vision about the future they wanted to create for themselves. A future where goals and ambitions take centre stage and the demands of others are assessed before being acted upon.

Taking control is a vital skill

Taking control of your own life and time is a crucial skill today. Being able to assess an interruption or demand and it’s value in our lives so we remain in control and not allow it to be pulled into places we have no interest or desire to go in. It’s hard, particularly when our always-on digital devices demand our attention. But it is possible.

It’s possible to wake up in the morning and begin the day working on yourself. To exercise and take care of your health. To be able to begin the day with a plan that involves working on yourself and not other people. To have a plan for the day that is flexible enough to take care of the demands the day throws up and be able to work on your life so each day you become a better, more effective person crystal clear about what you want to achieve and how you want to live your life. It is not easy, but it is possible.

Time And Life Mastery has been created to help you get your life and time back. To guide you towards discovering the goals and things you want In your life. To give you the tools to develop those goals and ambitions into achievable plans and to show you how to manage your time so your goals and ambitions are built upon every day.

This year’s Time And Life Mastery is even better. There are ten new video classes and new worksheets to help you develop your plans. From finding the fifty things you want to do and achieve over the next ten years to understanding what your majors and minors are so you can put in place the 2+8 Prioritisation system.

Build your own framework where the important takes centre-stage.

Time And Life Mastery will give you the framework on which to build a fantastic life and a life of no regrets. It will give you the skills and know-how to take back control of your life so you become the director of your own life story and not your boss, family, customer or society.

This year’s course goes live on Friday 3 August and I would love to see you there. I want to help you build a life you want to live. To be able to help you achieve your goals and dreams and be your life and productivity guide through this time demanding, but exciting world.

If you are already enrolled in Time And Life Mastery this is a free upgrade. If you are new to Time And Life Mastery there will be a limited time early bird discount on offer. You can visit the course page right here to see what’s new and over on my YouTube channel I will be posting a few videos giving you more details about this fantastic course throughout the week.

I hope you can join me in this course so you can start building the life you have always wanted.

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.

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My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in 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.

Why Drifting Through Life Will Result In A Lifetime Of Regret.

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It so easy to allow ourselves to be seduced into following the prevailing currents. To allow life to push and pull us in any direction it so chooses. To follow the latest trends, to get upset by the things the faux outrage crowd are outraged about that day and to just settle for whatever life has served up for us.

The problem with this approach is that one day you are going to wake up and look back over your life and feel a huge sense of regret for not having done anything about the things you wanted to do. To have missed out on a chance to see the amazing things the world has to offer. From the canals of Venice to the Northern Lights in Norway. To have missed out on the chance to develop new skills and to have achieved something remarkable.

Sometimes, it feels like the world is against you. All the things we like are bad for us, chocolate cake, vodka cocktails and sitting down and binge-watching episodes of our favourite drama on Netflix — too much of a good thing…

Life has never been fair.

However, this is how it is meant to be. The world is not fair, Life is not fair. If you want to make an impact on the world you have to take action. You can’t write something on Facebook or Twitter and sit back and expect the world to change. It does not work like that. It takes years of writing, making your point over and over again and building a community of followers. It means consistently crafting your message and becoming better and better at what you do through deliberate practice. That’s the way life works and that is why we live in such a wonderful world and at such a wonderful time.

Find your own path.

A fulfilled life is not created by following other people. A fulfilled life is created by following your own path. It is about trying new things, no matter how crazy they may seem to other people. If you want to take a year off work and travel through the Amazonian jungle in an old 1970s Land Rover, then do it. Save the money, buy the Land Rover and just go do it. The adventure, the memories and the experience will last a lifetime and the skills you will learn along the way will make you an even better person than you already are. People will tell you if you buy an old 1970s Land Rover you will spend most of your time under the bonnet fixing something (probably true) and if you go to the Amazon you will get bitten by dangerous snakes or eaten by cannibals. They will tell you anything to stop you. Not because they care about you, but because they don’t have the courage to follow through with their dreams and they envy you.

Society wants you to live to the standard blueprint. It wants you to be ‘normal’, whatever that means in the society you live in. When you are “normal” you are predictable and you follow the rules. Most people yearn for something more than that. They want adventure, they want to be able to work from wherever they feel like working that day and they want opportunities to pursue unusual hobbies and interests without the fear of being negatively judged.

People will always judge you negatively because they envy you.

The thing is you will always be negatively judged if you veer from the norm. People will tell you-you can’t do something, or that other people have tried that and have failed (those other people are not you. Always remember that). You should just shut up and settle down to a nice Job and a quiet family life. But that might not be what you want. And if that is the case don’t let these people stop you from pursuing your dreams and ideas. If you do you will soon find you have no time left to pursue them and you will be filled with regret and disappointment.

We only get one shot. Life is not a rehearsal. It is your duty to create a remarkable life. To seek out adventure, to try new things and to leave the world a little bit better than you found it. That should be the goal. Not to live a life someone else wants you to live.

Live life with no regrets.

I’ve always liked the quote: “live life with no regrets”. That is a great way to live your life. It suggests you live life on your terms and not someone else’s and it invokes a sense of joy and happiness. Regret is poison to the soul. It erodes your confidence and it leads to misery. Don’t let it happen to you. Take some time to decide what it is you want to do with your life. What you want to achieve and what you want to learn. Then make a plan to achieve it. Once you have decided what it is you want to do and you have a plan, start doing. Start ticking off those things. Go see the sunrise in the east and the sunset in the west. Learn how to dismantle a car and rebuild it. Start learning Portuguese. Whatever it is you want to do start doing. Decide, plan, do. It’s that simple.

I have a complete course, Time And Life Mastery, that will help you achieve whatever it is you want to achieve. The whole course is designed to help you discover what you want to achieve in your life — for you to live your life how you want to live it and show you how you can achieve it. You can check out the course details here.

So whatever it is you yearn to do with your life, don’t let anyone tell you-you cannot do it. You can and even if you fail, at least you will have no regrets because you tried. “It’s better to have tried and failed than to not have tried at all”

Not trying will lead to a lifetime of regret and that is not the way to live your life.

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

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My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in 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.

11 Realities About Being Productive.

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Living and working in the productivity space I get to read a lot of articles and watch a lot of videos about productivity. I get to hear stories from clients and followers and I get to experience living a productive life every day.

One of the things that stands out to me is the number of people desperately searching for a ‘hack’ that will magically do all their work for them. That could be the latest new productivity app raved about in productivity forums and groups or a new way to organise to-dos in to-do list manager.

The reality is there are no shortcuts and there are no magic apps out there and there is never likely to be in the future either. If you need to do the work, you have to do the work. That’s the reality.

So in an effort to dispel many of the myths and untruths about personal productivity here are a few truths you should know:

1 The only way to get the work done is to do the work.

The biggie. If work needs to be done, someone needs to do it. Nine times out of ten that “someone” is going to be you and there are no apps, hacks or shortcuts to doing great work. You are going to have to sit down (or stand up) and just get on and do the work. Thinking about it, complaining about it or reorganising the order in which you will do the work is not doing the work. Doing is the only way the work will get done.

2 Complaining about how much work you have to do is not doing the work.

Telling everyone how busy you are does not give you any gold stars. Everyone thinks they are busy. The reality is “busy” is just a state of mind. If you think you are busy, you will feel busy. We all have twenty-four hours each day. Some people get a lot of quality work done, many do not. The ones getting the quality work done are not complaining, they are doing. The ones complaining are not doing the work. The more they complain, the less time they have to do quality work. Stop complaining and just get on and do the work.

3 Reorganising your to-do list is not doing the work.

I find a lot of people spend far too much time reorganising their to-do lists as if a new way of organising it will magically reduce the amount of time they need to do the work. It does not. All you need a to-do list to tell you is what work to work on. Then, when you see a task that says “Work on fixing bugs in the latest software release” you can go straight to your coding app and start fixing the bugs. It’s simple and it has been working very well for years. As a guide, it should be taking you less than ten seconds to get started on your work for the day. You open your to-do list, you see what needs doing, you start doing.

4 Checking your email is not the same as doing email

This one always gets me. I see so many people just checking their email and not doing anything about it. The way to manage your email is simple. When you see an email, you make a decision about what you need to do with it. Either you reply, file or delete. Just looking at the email and then moving on to the next email is not efficient. It means you will now have to look at the email at least twice. Make a decision about it and then do it.

5 Complaining about disruptions and distractions is not dealing with the problem.

We all get disrupted and distracted at times. Complaining about it is not going to stop them. The only way to stop them is to stop looking at your phone, turn off notifications on your computer and to politely ask your colleagues and boss for some uninterrupted time to get on with your work. Asked politely, most decent people will respect your time and allow you time to get on with your work.

6 Most meetings are a waste of time.

The vast majority of meetings you are asked to attend are not going to move you forward on your projects. Most of these meetings are just talking shops and an opportunity for people to complain about how busy they are. If you can, avoid 90% of the meetings you are asked to attend. Be selective and develop strategies to avoid attending these meetings (I know this one is much easier to write than do)

7 Speaking to someone gets results faster than emailing them

One of the fastest ways to get a solution to a problem is to pick up the phone and call the person who can give you the solution. Better still, standing up from your desk and walking down the hall to speak to the person is even faster. Emailing the person is not going to get you the solution very fast. You could be waiting days for the reply. Get up, move and ask the question directly. (But respect number 5)

8 Not knowing your outcome before you start will result in failure and delays.

Far too often people begin projects without being clear what it is they are trying to accomplish. Make sure when you start a project you are clear about what the desired outcome is. If you are given a project by your boss or a client, ask the right questions so you and they know what outcome is expected. When there is no clarity, procrastination will set in. A simple example would be saying “I want to earn more money”. If I gave you one extra dollar, you would have achieved your goal. You need to be specific with something like “I want to earn an extra $1,000 this month” This is clear and specific and will give you the starting point to begin planning out how you will do it.

9 The water cooler/staff canteen is not a place where work happens.

Yes, you need water. Yes, you need food. But that is all these places are going to give you. They are not going to help you get your work done. They are generally areas of gossip and complaining. Avoid these places as much as you can. Nothing good ever comes from indulging in gossip.

10 Not getting enough sleep will destroy your performance.

If you think staying up late working on a piece of work and getting up early to finish it will result in a great piece of work you are wrong. You need breaks and you need sleep. Pulling all-nighters and trying to survive on a few hours sleep each night will result in something breaking — usually you. A lack of sleep is not only bad for your health, it also damages relationships and dramatically reduces the quality of your work. Just don’t do it. Take your sleep seriously.

11 Not having a plan for the day is planning to fail.

If you are serious about becoming more productive then you need to plan each day. It does not have to be a minute by minute plan, but you do need to plan what you want to get done that day. Without a plan, you are going to end up working on someone else’s agenda and that is never going to work out well for you. Plan the day. Keep it simple and try to get whatever you plan completed by the end of the day.

Becoming more productive is not difficult, but you do need to be very clear about your work. Playing around with your to-do list, attending every meeting and just ‘checking’ your email are guaranteed ways to make you feel busy but you will have little work to show for it at the end of the day. End the day with a plan for the next day and when you start the day, start the work.

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.

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My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in 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.

My New Learning Centre is Now Live!

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The Carl Pullein Learning Centre Redesign launch Sale

To celebrate the launch of my redesigned learning centre, I am having a 72-hour sale on all my bundled courses. 

This is a not to be missed opportunity to get some fantastic productivity courses at super-low prices. 

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You can choose my Super Seven bundle which includes all my latest courses as well as Time & Life Mastery and Complete Guide To Building A Successful Life. All for a wonderfully low price of $149.00 - That’s a saving of over $140! 

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Or if Life management and goal planning is your thing, I have reduced my Life Mastery Bundle to $99.00 - that’s a saving of over $75.00! 

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And finally, if productivity is your thing and you want to become even more productive, you can get my productivity bundle for just $59.00. Which includes my latest Your Digital Life 2.0 Online course. 

You need to act quick as these amazing offers will only be available for 72 hours. On Monday prices will go back up. So get your bundle ordered today, save a ton of money and start building the life and systems you want to build. 

Don’t forget, once you are enrolled in the courses you get life-time access, high-quality HD video lessons, free pdf downloadable files and regular updates on many of my courses. 

If you’ve been hesitating before, now is the time to act and begin your journey to becoming better organised and more productive. These are the kind of courses that can have a huge, positive impact on your life. 

If You Want The Success Of Gary Vaynerchuk, You Have To Work Like Gary Vaynerchuk.

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For many people the dream of building a successful business is real. To be able to create something from your own ideas and to build it into a multi-million dollar enterprise is the stuff dreams are made of. We’ve all heard the success stories of people like Steve Jobs — drop out of university, team up with a tech genius and build a world-changing company. Or Gary Vaynerchuk — turn a liquor store into a huge online success and then build a media company and become an internet sensation. It all seems so easy.

The media paints a misleading picture

The truth is it’s not easy. It’s incredibly hard. The media has a tendency to focus on the glamorous side and play down the daily grind. There are very few glamorous moments. The real truth is eighteen hours a day, seven days a week of mundane grind. It’s about grabbing a few moments with your family when you can and it’s about missing out on a social life. For most twenty-somethings, getting out on Friday and Saturday nights with friends, having a few beers and talking about how they are building a business to change the world is considered essential. We need a break sometimes don’t we? The problem here is, Gary Vaynerchuk never took a break.

While all of Gary Vaynerchuk’s friends were out partying and chasing girls in their twenties, Gary Vaynerchuk was in his father’s liquor store working. Fifteen hours a day, seven days a week. While all of Steve Jobs’ classmates were out tripping in the seventies, Steve Jobs was working on building the Apple I with Steve Wozniak. It was a relentless, seven days a week grind. Back then, nobody was talking about them, no media organisation was chasing them for interviews. They were just like you and me, nobodies in a world full of nobodies except they were doing things differently. They were not socialising, they were not partying. They were working. They were doing the boring, repetitive, mundane work that everyone hates, but has to be done to build the foundations of success.

It is only when people like Steve Jobs, Gary Vaynerchuk and Elon Musk break through and become successful, as defined by the media, does the media begin to pay attention. It is only when they have achieved some form of success do they start writing about these people. They show the corporations they have built, they show off the products created, but they never show the hard work and grind it took to create these successful products and businesses. The failures, the ‘back to the drawing board’ moments and broken friendships and relationships. None of these is ever shown. They are not part of the glamour narrative. The failures though, the back to the drawing board moments and broken relationships are 99% of what it takes to become hugely successful.

Most people wanting success still don’t get it

I occasionally watch a Gary Vaynerchuk keynote. He very generously posts them on his YouTube channel, and he is always telling people to stop focusing on the glamorous side of entrepreneurship. He’s constantly talking about the grind, the hard work and the sacrifices. Even in his short videos on Instagram and Facebook, he talks about patience and the lack of it most people have today. Yet, you can tell from the questions his audience ask that most people still don’t get this. They believe they can become hugely successful without the sacrifice. No, you can’t. That’s not the way the world works.

We were all penniless once

Tony Robbins tells the story of how Sylvester Stallone turned Rocky into a huge success. The repeated rejections, his first wife walking out on him, having to sell his beloved dog and the sleepless nights. The grind of writing and re-writing the script with no money for food. All this happened when nobody knew who Sylvester Stallone was. He was a penniless bum with a dream. Just like most of us were at some point in time. But what made him different was he would not accept defeat. He knew he could make it as an actor and he was never going to settle. He was prepared to go through hell to get there and he did go through hell.

When Rocky became a success, that was when people started to pay attention. The journey to creating Rocky was quickly written out of the narrative and the focus was on the glamour. How many millions Sly was making from the movie and when the next one would be coming out.

The 99% of your time

And the same happens with Gary Vaynerchuk today. We all see him walking around the streets of LA, New York or London talking to the camera. It looks glamorous, it looks like the dream life, but it is only a snapshot of his day. It’s fifteen minutes of a day with 1,440 of them. 1% of his day! What we don’t see is the other 99%. The dealing with clients, the day to day mundane business he still does seven days a week.

The reality is if you want to be hugely successful you are going to have to spend your life focused on the 99% mundane, boring, repetitive work. The glamour will not come for a very long time. The work and sacrifice must come first and it’s decades of work and sacrifice, not a few months. And it will never stop. Your friends will be your business associates. You hobbies will be your work and the beautiful house and expensive car you may one day be able to buy will rarely be used. You will be spending all your time on your work, not driving down PCH in a Ferrari California or sunning yourself around your pool. Your reality will be the office, a regular taxi and a hotel room.

Now, are you prepared to make that sacrifice? At the end of the day, you will always be remembered for what you accomplished and your happiness will flow from what you have achieved and what you are striving to achieve. Happiness does not come from the glamour. It comes from a sense of purpose and accomplishment. 99% of you will not be prepared to make that sacrifice (which is fine) and that is why only a tiny percentage of people will ever become as successful as Gary Vaynerchuk.

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.

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My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in 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.

Why You Should Be Reducing The Tasks In Your To-do List.

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Many years ago, I worked in car sales. I learnt a lot in those days about people and about how a business with multiple parts could work together. One area of the business that stood out for me was the service centre. The service centre of the dealership I worked at was attached to the showroom and I had a lot of contact with the team that worked on the cars brought in for service and repairs.

A valuable lesson learned

One of the lessons I learned from the service centre was how they organised their work. When they took an appointment for a service or a repair, the basic work required was entered on a booking sheet and a day was assigned for when the car would come in. The booking sheet contained only the basics of what work needed carrying out on the car. For example, it might have “full service” or “oil change”. Apart from the make and model of the car and the customer’s name, there was not much else on the booking sheet.

When the car came in, however, a worksheet was placed inside the car. This sheet contained the list of work that needed to be carried out, notes made by the person taking the booking and a place for the mechanic to write what he had done and what he believed needed to be done. Any issues, anything waiting from the parts department and customer requests were all written down on this worksheet. It was a system that worked and one that led to very few mistakes. As a result of this system, our service department had one of the highest customer service ratings in the country.

Going all in digital

When I decided to create an all-digital productivity system in 2009, I adopted a similar approach. I had my to-do list manager, my calendar and my notes app. My calendar always told me when my deadlines were, where I was meant to be and when. My to-do list manager told me what work I should be doing that day and my notes app was where I kept all my project notes, things that needed thinking about and things I was waiting for. My notes app acted as my worksheet. It was where it really didn’t matter whether things were beautifully laid out or were in any kind of organised list. It was my reference guide. I could dump links to articles of interest, telephone numbers of key people related to the project and issues that needed resolving.

The system I created meant my to-do list manager told me to “Continue working on Project X” and in my notes app, I found the corresponding note called “Project X”and contained in that note were all my thoughts, ideas and, to a certain extent, what I needed to work on next.

A better way of handling tasks

It’s a system I’ve used for years and it works. Often, I find many people write out a task list on their to-do list manager like this:

  • Download image
  • Resize image
  • Crop image
  • Colour correct image
  • Add text to image
  • Post image to website.

Instead, all I would have is a task called “Post new image to website”. This means my to-do list never looks overwhelming. It allows my notes app to be my digital playground and it really doesn’t matter what I dump in the note. I am free to write what I want, how I want and I am not forced to create endless lists in a hierarchical manner.

These days, I can also add a link directly to the document I am working on, be that a Google Doc or an Apple Pages or Keynote file which makes this system even more efficient. Less clicking and an immediate update on where I am with the project.

My workflow essentially works something like this:

  • Review Todoist to see what work needs doing. Click on the Evernote note link and
  • open Evernote note to that project and review notes.
  • open document I am working on and begin work.

It’s simple, it gets me up to speed very quickly and over the years has evolved into a sleek, efficient system.

Here’s how I use Todoist to get this working:

 

A better archiving solution

Another benefit of using this method I found is I am able to save the notes I made during the project in my archive. This means in the future, if I ever work on a similar project, I will have all the notes and ideas I had from a previous project available to me. One of the problems with to-do list managers is once the task is done it disappears and although some to-do list managers do archive your completed tasks and projects, they are not easily searchable, unlike with an app like Evernote, where all your notes are searchable.

An Antidote to project task overwhelm.

When you start adding a lot of unnecessary tasks into your to-do list manager, you very quickly find yourself overwhelmed by the length of your lists. You will also find it difficult to resist the temptation of picking and choosing what to work on. Some tasks will be easy, others will be more difficult and quite a few will be sheer drudgery. Not a good way to get you motivated to get on with your work. When you see a task such as “Continue working on Project X” and, in my case a direct link to my project notes from my to-do list manager, I have no overwhelming list. Just a simple direction to work on a specific project. The choice I have to make is do the work or not do the work. Once you start working, the flow begins and you quickly get into doing the work.

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So if you find you have long lists of tasks in your project lists, consider farming some of those tasks out to your notes app. Create a note with the same title as your project and use that note as your playground. You can add ideas, notes, links and keep track of what you have done each day. Once the project is complete, you can archive the note for future reference so next time you have a similar project you will have a good set of notes to guide you through the difficulties.

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.

 

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My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in 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.

What it’s like to be part of Robin Sharma’s 5 AM Club.

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Last week I joined the 5 AM Club. For those who don’t know, the 5 AM club is a concept started by Robin Sharma where you wake up at 5 AM do twenty-minutes exercise, twenty-minutes planning and twenty-minutes study. It’s a great concept and it is something I have been wanting to do for some time.

I did modify the 20/20/20 structure a little. Personally, I don’t like exercise first thing in the morning and I believe planning the night before is more effective. However, I have taken the learning part and changed it to work better for me.

Where it all began.

One of my goals is to become fluent in Korean by June next year and the only way I can do that is if I can find some time to consistently study the language. This goal began a few weeks ago after I watched a talk by the wonderful Brian Tracy. In that talk, Brian Tracy asked the audience to ask themselves one simple question:

“What one skill could you learn right now that would have the biggest positive impact on your life and income?”

After thinking about this question for a few days, I realised there was one skill I could learn that would have such an impact on my life. That was to become fluent in Korean. I live in Korea, my wife is Korean and my in-laws family are all Korean. Being able to speak Korean fluently would have a huge impact on my life.

The question I had was “where would I find the time to consistently study?” The answer to that question was obvious; there really was only one time I could do it — 5 AM. The next question was: Could I wake up at 5 AM?. The reality is I have no choice. If I am serious about becoming fluent in Korean over the next twelve months then studying between 5 AM and 6 AM is the only time I know I can dedicate myself consistently to achieving this goal.

So, Last Sunday, before going to bed I prepared all the materials I would need to have one hour of uninterrupted study time. I divided it up into three, twenty-minute segments and went to bed. 5 AM my alarm went off, I crawled out of bed, put the coffee machine on, picked up my iPad and began learning my Korean self-introduction. And so my journey began.

The first day I was tired. My eyes were red and my body felt like I had not slept at all the night before. It was painful. Monday night was a struggle, but I managed to get all my work done. Tuesday 5 AM came along and again my alarm went off and again I crawled out of my bed. Again it was painful. Tuesday was the worst day. I felt exhausted all day. My body ached and it was made worse by having a lot of classes to teach that day.

It was only then did I realise the obvious. If I was waking up an hour earlier than I normally did, I need the be going to bed an hour earlier. Once this obvious fact sunk in, I went to bed at 10:30 PM instead of 11:30 PM. That made a huge difference. Wednesday morning was fantastic. I woke up, felt normal and didn’t feel like I was crawling out of my bed. I managed to get through the day without feeling tired — well okay… just a little tired.

Don’t deprive yourself of sleep. Go to bed earlier.

From this experience, I learned that you need to adjust your sleep time. I usually get around six hours sleep, by waking up early I was only getting 5 hours and that is not enough for me. You, of course, may be different but most people require between six and eight hours sleep each night and you should not deprive yourself of it. If you are going to do this then you do need to prepare yourself properly and make sure that if you are getting up earlier at the front end, you need to go to bed earlier at the end of the day.

Is it worth it?

Absolutely. I now understand the power of having that one hour every day to focus on myself. You don’t have to follow the 20/20/20 ritual of exercise, planning and study Robin Sharma suggests. You can create your own “Power Hour”. To get the most benefit from this hour, though, it should focus on your self-development. Whether you exercise, study, plan or meditate doesn’t really matter. What matters is you dedicate this time to spend on yourself. Never do work, check your email or social media or do anything for anyone else during this time. This is your time to do with whatever you like for yourself. Think of it as your special hour or, as in my case, my “power hour”.

Will I continue with this?

If nothing else I have learned I can wake up early and still function like normal human being. But what I have also learned is that by waking up at 5 AM and doing something important — learning Korean — that is aligned with my goals and my purpose gives me such a positive feeling of fulfilment. I know what I am doing will benefit me long into the future and at the same time I am building up my self-discipline which will just get stronger. With stronger self-discipline, I will be able to do more things that require discipline and that can only benefit me more.

Once I have achieved my Korean language goal, I shall use this time to develop another skill. I really enjoy waking up and not feeling rushed. I love that feeling of having one hour to study something that will make me a better person, benefit my relationships and ultimately increase my income. What being fluent in Korean will do for me is almost limitless and that knowledge is all the motivation I need to lift my head off the pillow at 5 AM and begin the process of study.

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.

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My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in 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.

How Many Productivity Apps Do You Need?

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We are spoiled for choice when it comes to productivity apps that promise to change our lives and make us more productive. Each new app attempts to disrupt the field with new features, new ways to input our stuff and then spew it out in another cool way with lots of different colours, font sizes and swipes.

The difficulty this throws up is with that choice — which is a good thing — comes with it the temptation to experiment and play — which is a bad thing. Experimenting and playing takes time. Time, that for most of us, we cannot afford to use in this way.

How many apps do you really need?

This got me thinking. How many apps do we need to be productive? My definition of personal productivity is getting the work that matters done in the most efficient and effective way. So how does having more apps help this? More apps mean more time looking at apps and lists of things to do. That’s not doing the work. If you have to check your calendar to see if you have time to work on the projects Trello is telling you need to work on and then to open Notion 2 to see how all this fits into the bigger picture of your life before finally opening Google Docs to start writing the report you are supposed to be working on. That’s not being very productive. That’s being very inefficient and unproductive.

App switching is one of the most inefficient and ineffective things you can do.

I sometimes joke with my colleagues and friends when they tell me they have found a new app that promises to improve their productivity. If they have time to be switching apps then they are obviously not very busy. I don’t know where they find the time to switch. The truth is I have never come across anyone who has switched a productivity app and then become a lot more productive. I have often found the reverse to be true though. I’ve seen many people switch apps and become much less productive because they spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to get a particular feature to work that worked perfectly well in the app they were using before they switched.

So, to help see if you have too many apps, here are a few indicators to look for:

  • If you are checking a task off in more than one place — that’s too many to-do list apps.
  • If you have to look in more than one place to see where you need to be and when — that’s too many calendar apps.
  • If you can’t remember where you put a note — that’s too many notes apps.
  • If you can’t remember where you started writing your report — that’s too many writing apps.

You only need one to-do list manager, one calendar and one notes app. If you are using more than that, you have too many apps and they will be causing a drag on your productivity, effectiveness and your efficiency.

One app for one type of work.

If you write reports, essays, articles and other written documents in more than one app, then you should ask yourself if you really need so many writing apps. I use two writing apps. Each has a specific use. Short and long-form writing is done in Ulysses and my books are written in Scrivener. Ulysses’s export options allow me to send any written document out in any form I want. That would be MS Word, Apple Pages, Google Docs, PDF or even email if I chose. So there really is no reason to use any other writing app. This means if I want to do some writing, if it not writing my book, then whatever it is I want to write will be in Ulysses. Easy to find and no decisions to make about where I will write the document.

The same goes for creating presentations. I use Keynote for all my presentations and even if a client sends me a PowerPoint file to check, I can check it in Keynote, make any corrections and export it as a PowerPoint file. I have no need to spend time learning two apps. I only need to learn how to use Keynote and as I have been using it since 2004, there’s not much left for me to learn.

What is productivity all about?

Productivity is not about the apps you are using. Productivity is about the work you are doing. If you have too many apps, or the apps you do use are slow and inefficient either because they are too complex or you haven’t learnt how to use them properly, then you are not going to be as productive as you can be. You are not going to be remembered by the apps you use, but rather by the content you produce. That’s what people remember about you. The most incredibly productive people alive don’t use any apps, they use a simple pen and paper to collect their notes, ideas and to-dos. Sir Richard Branson, Cheryl Sandberg and Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) collect everything into notebooks. We don’t need sophisticated apps to manage our work. We just need to do the work. That is what productivity is about — the work. It is not about the apps.

 

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.

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My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in 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.