True Confessions of a Productivity Geek

Why I Deconstructed My Process and What it Means for You

I’ve been a serious student of productivity for a couple decades now. As the primary income earner in a family of seven, I had to be.

When I first started in business, I lived in a constant state of feeling overwhelmed. Work took my best, and I struggled to find time for my family and my health.

I excelled at the office, but my pace was unsustainable. I was going to burn myself out or burn my family up—probably both. I had to find a better way.

To get an edge, I tried almost every productivity system out there. I studied, tested, and modified. Little by little, it started making a difference.

Sharing What I Learn

I launched my blog over a decade ago to share what I was learning, and productivity has always been a key topic for me, especially as it relates to the unique challenges of executives and entrepreneurs.

Productivity comes up in almost every interaction I have with business leaders. Pretty often, it’s negative.

They’re battling a barrage of interruptions and can’t make progress on their most important projects because they’re putting out fires or dealing with other people’s problems.

Maybe you can relate. I sure can. I’ve struggled with never-ending distractions and delays.

But over the years I’ve refined a productivity system that enables me in both a corporate environment and an entrepreneurial setting to survive major challenges and grow my business regardless.

In fact, my business has come close to doubling every year for the last five years.

“How do you do it?” That’s a question I get all the time.

I could point people to my books, blog, and podcast for an answer. But that means hundreds of hours of content to sort through, synthesize, and integrate—not to mention filling in the gaps.

So a while back I decided to deconstruct my entire personal productivity process and present it in one digestible, easy-to-implement system.

A Total Productivity System

I call it Free to Focus: Achieve More by Doing Less. It’s an online course, and I just opened a limited registration window last week.

As I was building Free to Focus I thought through the obstacles executives, entrepreneurs, and other leaders face and tailored the content for them. That means four distinctives guaranteed to make a difference and get results for almost anyone who tries this system.

  1. Free to Focus is Simple. I love David Allen’s Getting Things Done and have benefited a ton from it over the years. But when I surveyed my audience on productivity, I found GTD doesn’t work for everyone.

    Three quarters of respondents said it either didn’t work for them at all (12%) or only partially (65%). Why? Many said it was just too complicated for them.

    For the Free to Focus system, I cut all the complexity and created a program that easy to implement and maintain.

  2. Free to Focus is Strategic. Most productivity systems are tactical, not strategic. They jump straight to tips and hacks that will supposedly help you become more productive without ever discovering why it matters.

    But why always precedes how. Unless we approach productivity strategically, we’ll never get out of reactive mode. We’ll get more done, but we won’t get the right things done. What good is that?

  3. Free to Focus is Systematic. When complex systems are too difficult to use, we end up cherrypicking tips and ideas and trying to get them to work together.

    That can work, but it’s usually not optimal. Free to Focus is different because it’s a fully integrated system with it a built-in implementation plan. It has its own internal logic that allows for easy application across all aspects of your business.

  4. Free to Focus is Scalable. What do I mean? A lot of productivity approaches are context-specific. But the principles and processes of Free to Focus work if your team is big or small, if you work in the c-suite or a coffee shop.

    Further, busy leaders don’t have time to learn a bunch of new tech and apps, so Free to Focus works with what already works for you.

    Same with habits. You don’t have to learn a bunch of new work habits to succeed with Free to Focus; it fits into your business, not the other way around.

As entrepreneurs and executives, we don’t contribute to the bottom line by marginal improvements to our efficiency. We contribute to the bottom line by leapfrog innovation and progress on new and significant projects.

That’s what drives my business. And as I deconstructed my process to explain it for Free to Focus, I realized implementing this system can help any leader break free from interruptions and focus on the projects that will move the needle in their business.

Learn More About Free to Focus

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use and believe will add value to our readers. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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