The Top 3 Productivity Tips | 2021 | Jeff Lerner

Hey, Jeff Lerner here. And first of all, welcome back to my YouTube channel or welcome in the first place if it’s your first time. So glad you’re here. And in this video, we’re going to be talking about the top three productivity tips for 2021. Although I’m going to let you in on a little secret, they worked last year and they’ll work in 2022 as well. These are timeless productivity tips, but I suggest you apply them in 2021 to have the best year of your life. Okay? So without further ado, let’s dive in on how to get more done and ultimately how to reach our goals as quickly as possible. Our first tip for maximum productivity in 2021 or any other year you might choose to apply it to is to follow what I call the productivity pyramid. The productivity pyramid is just a very, very simple like mental filter for deciding what are you doing and what’s the value of what you’re doing? And thus, where should it fit in in terms of getting X amount of your resource allocation? The idea is you want to allocate the most resources to the most productive things, right? And that means the most time, the most energy, the most, you know, physical energy and mental energy, the most focus, the most money, the most whatever you have to deploy, whatever resource you want to give the most to the most productive things. So the productivity pyramid basically says, and this is different from how a lot of people naturally practice their life is you want to focus on the most valuable things first. Now you might think, well, I do the most valuable things first. That’s, you know, I’m spending all my time at my job or making money or hustling or scrapping. That’s cool. But that’s actually level two of the productivity pyramid. Level two of the productivity pyramid is the things that produce the most revenue. But above that, you have to define the things that are the most value. And remember, the value of an item isn’t the revenue that it creates now. The value of an item in finance and economics, the value of anything is based on the present value of the future cashflow that it’s going to generate for your life. Now, obviously, that’s looking at it through a business lens. You can look at it through a health lens. You can look at it through a relationship lens. Ultimately, it’s things you can do in the present that are going to give you the most cumulative value, the most lifetime value over the course of your life. Those are the things you, those are the, I think of it as accounts. Those are the accounts you want to deposit into today. This can be anything. Like is going to the gym a revenue producing activity today? No, but is going to the gym a valuable activity over the course of your life? Yes. Why? Think of all the benefits. You have more energy, you have more mental sharpness, you need less sleep, you feel better about yourself, you have more confidence, you communicate better. Everything gets better by consistently going to the gym. So that’s going to be a very high value activity. Also, think about, let’s say your marriage, right? Do you get paid to have a healthy communication with your spouse? Probably not. But it’s high value because statistically, even if we only want to look at it through the lens of money, statistically, happily married people make more money over the course of their life than either unhappily married people or single people. So taking that time to invest in a positive relationship, whether you’re looking at it through the lens of money or you’re looking out through the lens of health or you’re looking at it through the lens of happiness, fulfillment, lifespan, whatever you want to look at it through, whatever lens, making a deposit in the account of having a positive, healthy marriage right now today, extremely high value activity. So when you start looking at your life, not just through the lens of what makes me money, but what builds me value over the course of my life and do those things first. Think about how many people get up, go to work, make their money. And at the end of the day, if there’s leftover time, hopefully, they get to spend a little quality time with their family. Hopefully, they maybe squeeze in a little session at the gym. Even their lunch break was, they’re like, oh, I’m tight on time because I got to work at, you know, my shifts and I gotta be back at work. So I’m going to go cram in a crappy lunch at McDonald’s or whatever. So you’re actually sacrificing the highest value activities in your life which should have been taking care of these really important things that over the course of your life, again, even if you just want to look through the lens of money, eating McDonald’s costs you money because it costs you energy. And have you ever tried to make money when you have a really low energy? It’s next to impossible. You need high energy to create high productivity, high connection, high effectiveness, to sell, to market, to grow a business. Even to perform well in a job, you need energy. So literally when you sacrifice energy, you compromise earning potential. So when you eat McDonald’s now today for lunch because you go, oh, I only have 15 minutes for lunch, you’re literally costing yourself money years from now. So you do the high value stuff first. And then and only then, once you know you have a balanced routine of always tending to the highest value things, the cone of the pyramid, then you can say, all right, let me also, pretty, you know, right in a close second place, let me also do the things that produce the highest revenue. For a lot of people, this is their job. If you have a business, this is why it’s so important because the highest value thing you can do in your business is going to be market to create demand for your product or service and to sell, to close or capitalize on that demand for your product or service and actually get the money which is the fuel that you need to ultimately build and expand, you know, both the quality and the size of your business, right? First high value activities. Then high revenue activities. And then you can probably guess where to go from there. Next is low revenue activities. This is all the stuff that, you know, maybe does need to happen, but it’s not high, it’s not highest priority. It’s not urgent. It doesn’t have direct revenue attached to it. And then at the bottom level, and personally, my approach to the productivity pyramid is to try to like, I think of the pyramid is like, I want to set it in a, in a shallow pail of water so that the bottom level like actually sinks in and doesn’t even exist. But if you’re insistent that it must exist, these are the no value activities. These are the things like, I don’t know, watching pointless TV shows or playing silly video games or eating, you know, garbage food or things that are maybe more indulgent but aren’t actually, you know, creating revenue or creating value in your life. It’s all the rest of that stuff. And look, I know we’re human. Life is hard. We need escapes. We need to indulge sometimes. We gotta like, you know, relieve the pressure of life and productivity and efficiency and effectiveness and putting all this pressure on ourselves to perform and achieve and produce. But here’s the thing. When you’re really, really living an optimized life, those highest value activities are also the highest fulfillment activities. And this is what I found is a lot of people because they don’t think of value, they only think of revenue, their pyramid is highest revenue, lowest revenue. Or sometimes they’re not even differentiating. They’re just like things to make money and then things to blow off steam because I’m exhausted because I worked so hard to make money. But when you actually put that top level of highest value and you reframe how you think of value, you’ll find yourself, you know, at least my experience has been you’re so much more fulfilled that you don’t need all that escape, low, no value, zero value nonsense that frankly, you know, it actually sets you back for two reasons. One, because if you stop making progress, you’re actually losing ground because you’re losing time because the law of compounding hates a day off, hates an hour off, hates a minute off. But secondly, it actually does set you back because it gives you something that you have to do to recover from, right? So again, I don’t need to go off at length, but I’ll restate that.  Highest value. Then high revenue. Then lower revenue. And then if you must, no value. That’s the productivity pyramid. The next tip for maximizing productivity, and this one’s very, very simple, is you have to understand a deep truth about human beings. Think about how we evolved. We evolved, frankly, lounging or tending to domestic affairs. Maybe we were like decorating our cave or fluffing our bear skin that we used as a pillow. And we kind of did that for most of the day. But then we would, there’d be a certain time or there’d be an animal out in the field and we would muster up the strength and we would go out and we would hunt, you know, farm or we would build. And we would sort of maximally exert on pretty intense things for a few hours of time. And then we would go back in the cave and tend the fire and, you know, hang out. That’s actually kind of how human beings  evolved. And so the idea that we have in the modern world which is like, okay, I’m going to wake up and I’m going to be, you know, productive for 10, 12, 14 hours, that’s not actually grounded in our biology or our evolution. That’s not how we evolved. Now. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be productive with as much of the time as we can. But you have to understand there’s a difference between, you know, I guess you’d call it enough exertion and maximal exertion. Like we can be productive for long periods of time, but we can only be maximally productive for relatively short chunks of time. And I have found that ideal amount of time where I can really go out and execute and just crush and dominate and get in that zone to be usually around two hours. Think about professional sporting events. That’s kind of our pinnacle of human exertion and human focus, right? Is a professional sporting event. How long are professional sporting events? They tend to run between two and three hours. Now three hours is possible. These are the most finely tuned, best trained, committed, and disciplined athletes in the whole world. If they’re only able to produce maximum exertion for like a three-hour basketball or football or baseball game, it’s reasonable to say that we should probably target around two-hour windows as like our block to be maximally effective every single day. So this is what I advise is that you develop a consistent routine around what I call your peak performance time. In other words, identify one chunk, two  hours of time, every single day, and your goal in those two hours is to get enough done that you could literally do nothing for the rest of the day and still fall asleep and feel like, hey, I had a really productive day. So identify what are the, and this is, as you might expect, connected to the productivity pyramid. This is where your highest value and sometimes your highest revenue tasks should be built in. You want to achieve as much as possible in this two-hour window. And I recommend that you break it into two one-hour segments where you do 50 minutes on, 10 minute break, 50 minutes on, 10 minute break. And I know this from experience. A lot of people may say, oh, I’m being lazy if I only work two hours a day. Well, again, nobody’s saying only work two hours a day. But what I am saying is pick two hours a day where you’re going to get so much done that even if you didn’t work any of the rest of the day or you didn’t produce value in your life for any of the rest of the day, you’d still be like, man, I just crushed it. I got a lot done. I’m going to feel good when I go to sleep tonight. And what I’ve found is that as long as you have that every single day, you are moving the ball down the field so much faster than most people in this world. And even though comparison is the thief of happiness, frankly, looking around at other people is a decent benchmark for how we’re doing in this world because all value in the marketplace is relative. So if over the course of a month or a year or a decade, you know that you’re crushing it with a two-hour peak performance window every single day and frankly, most of your competition isn’t, you can be assured that you’re going to be pulling ahead in the race and ultimately getting closer and closer to the goals and the outcomes that you want. The third and final tip of how to maximize productivity is simply to create a very, very disciplined schedule and actually follow it, right? And you can construct that schedule with these other two principles in mind. You can  think about your productivity pyramid, define your highest value and highest revenue activities, hopefully eliminate your total junk garbage activities. You can think about when to slot in that two-hour peak performance window. And you can build a schedule that accounts for that, maximizes the value of the peak performance window, maximizes the amount of resources that you put on the highest value and highest revenue activities in the pyramid. And then still allows you to get everything else done in the day that you do need to do. And a picture’s worth a thousand words here. So rather than talk about this at length, I’m actually going to simply grab my laptop right here and show you my schedule. So you can see here, my actual schedule. Every day, I wake up at 3:30. I have an hour to prep and get ready for the day. And that’s where I do my morning routine and I think through and make sure my day is actually going to play out the way I want. I have an hour of piano practice. I have 90 minutes at the gym. I have an hour family morning with breakfast, a family morning and breakfast. And then that’s  usually when my calls or meeting start. And actually today is Friday. I’m shooting videos. I have this six hour block of time where I shoot the videos. Everything, literally every minute of my life from 3:30 in the morning till usually, you know, 6:00 or 7:00 PM is pre-planned. In other words, it’s intentional. In other words, there are no accidents. In other words, I don’t have to remember in the moment to apply the productivity pyramid, to apply the peak performance window, to focus on highest value and highest revenue activities. I start every week with all my time already organized so that that just naturally happens. That’s how you use your schedule to, you know, to codify or make the other two elements formulaic in your life. I hope that’s useful. All right. So thanks for watching this video. I hope this has been really useful for you to find three tips you can use to be maximally productive. I’m going to invite you to do something here that’s just a good sort of self-assessment. And you know, there’s power in confession, right? They say your secrets keep you sick. So what I’m an invite you to do is use the comments below to actually share some wasteful or time sucking activity or element of your life that now that we’ve had this conversation, you know it doesn’t belong on your productivity pyramid. And so by sharing it in the comments below, you’re committing to ditching it from this moment moving forward. I want to invite you to do that. Remember, your secrets keep you sick. Your sharing will set you free. Share in the comments below something that right now in this moment, don’t wait, don’t hesitate, you are committing to let go of permanently because it does not belong on your productivity pyramid. It does not belong on your schedule. It does not belong in your life. Okay? If you found value in this video, I’ll ask you to give it a like. Again, leave me that comment below. I would love it if you’d subscribe to this channel. I put out new videos several times a week, and I frankly worked my butt off to make them as valuable as possible and be as productive as possible and try to share with you the wisdom that’s helped me achieve really everything I ever wanted to in this world. So again, I look forward to having you as a subscriber on my channel. I hope you’ve gotten value out of this video. And I look forward to seeing you on the next one. Thanks so much. Take care.

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