“The plans of the diligent lead to profit as sure as haste leads to poverty.” – Proverbs 21:5 (NIV)
Every leader wants to be more productive and get more things done. The question is never if you want to. Of course you do. The real questions are do you have a plan in place to increase productivity and do you have the discipline to work the plan faithfully on a daily basis? Every successful leader I have ever met can answer “Yes” to both questions.
2016 was the most productive year of my life. I had the best numbers of my 14 years at INJOY Stewardship Solutions. Our company had its most successful year since our owner purchased the company. We hired people and added to the team. I was privileged to impact more church leaders than ever before through consulting, conferences, webinars, and this site. We opened our new youth building at my church where I served as its capital campaign chairman. My family is awesome! Did I mention I turned 50 years old, celebrated 25 years of marriage, and also lost 35 lbs. It was just a very satisfying year.
If you are looking to increase your productivity in 2017, I want to walk you through my daily agenda. There are many successful plans out there but this one works well for me and I aggressively follow it. Hopefully, you will be able to get a few ideas here allowing you to accomplish more with your life. The important thing is you have a plan and the discipline to follow it on a daily basis.
The following are 10 Things Which Will Help Make 2017 The Most Productive Year You’ve Ever Had.
- Get Proper Rest – Many energy management experts recommend eight hours of sleep per night. I try to be in bed at 10:00 PM each evening and awake by 6:00 AM. I have learned fatigue makes me sluggish and severely limits my relational capacity.
- Enjoy A Healthy Breakfast – My wife makes me a protein shake morning. This helps keep my weight under control and starts my day off right.
- Personal Bible Study – This is the first thing I do because it sets the foundation for the entire day and gives my proper perspective about the day’s events. I am doing this by 7:30 AM.
- Start Working On Time – You cannot be productive if you start each day with unproductive activity. I work from home so I have limited distractions. But by 8:00 AM I am doing emails, writing copy, and finishing projects. A lot of my job involves calling potential clients so I wait until 9:00 AM to begin this process. I use non-calling hours to conduct non-calling work. I also call my team members beginning around 8:30 to connect with them. If possible, I try to have meetings during non-calling hours as well.
- Use Low Opportunity Times For Low Opportunity Prospects – My coldest of leads I reach out to from 9:00 am to 10:00 am.
- Understand And Leverage Energy Bursts – For whatever reason, I feel strongest each morning from 10:00 am to 11:30 am and each afternoon from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm. Therefore, I save my consulting calls and hottest prospect calls for these times. I want to be at my best when my best is required.
- Protect Lunch – I take lunch from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. There are a few reasons for this. One, I can beat the crowd and not wait in long lines. This allows means to get back to work on time. Two, most of my clients and prospects take lunch breaks as well. Third, this allows me to mentally decompress during the day. I hit it hard all day and need to shift into neutral at some point. Fourth, when I’m at work, I’m at work. My family talks with me about family items during the day at lunch.
- Exercise – Every evening I get at least 45 minutes of brisk walking. It helps keep my weight down (notice a theme) and also burns off a lot of pent-up energy allowing me to sleep better.
- Read Leadership Books – Books are the best value there is for increasing capacity. You are able to learn from another person’s entire lifetime for experience for usually less than $10. For example, for the cost of a Chipotle lunch, I can learn a lifetime of leadership lessons from John Maxwell. I wonder how much John would charge if he was there in person? I usually have two or three books going at any given time – Christian, business, and sports. This next week I am beginning Taking Your Team to the Top: How to Build and Manage Great Teams like the Pros by Ted Sundquist and Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. Total cost of purchase for both was $8.29 plus shipping.
- Go To Church EVERY Sunday – Jesus Christ is the center of my life. Regardless of how productive I am, everything I do is for the purpose of pointing people to Him and bringing Him glory. I love everything about church – the preaching, the music, the people, my friendships, my place of service, the investment they make in my daughter, and how leadership intensive a local church always is. This is not my reason for going to church and still isn’t, but I unexpectedly discovered something in my 36 years as a Christ-follower. Going to Fellowship Bible Church and having Dr. Crawford Loritts as my pastor gives me a competitive advantage in my industry. Here is why:
- I go to a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic church. I better understand the value of diversity and the intrinsic value of all people.
- All truth comes from the Bible and Crawford is a GREAT Bible teacher. Therefore, I have a better framework for decision-making than many people I meet.
- Many executives from top Atlanta businesses attend there. Simply being in relationship with these individuals makes me smarter and more productive.
- Attending church with my wife makes us an emotionally healthier couple. Therefore, I do not carry family baggage to work.
- Going to church improves my personal leadership. Church leadership is the toughest leadership there is because you lead volunteer armies and face an enemy named Satan on a daily basis.
- Attending church prioritizes the sovereignty of God in my life. I can better handle the ups-and-downs of business and ministry. My team and I do not waste sideways energy by getting rattled.
- Since I work with churches, serving at a local church keeps me fresh and up-to-date on trends.
If you want to be more productive and successful during the week at work, there is nothing better you could do than attend a good church on the weekend.
I hope you gleaned something from this list to help you be more productive in 2017. God bless and have a great year!
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