14 – Productivity: Reviews

Through a series of reviews, you will ensure that your plan for success remains relevant and effective. You will move from a strategic perspective, looking into your long-term future, through to a daily analysis. The approach I share will guarantee that you extract maximum learning from your experiences and that your bigger goals remain in focus – and, crucially, get acted upon.

We know change is inevitable but we can still experience powerful negative reactions. I will show you how to counteract these and immunise yourself so that you anticipate and prepare for change.

13 – Productivity: Managing Challenges

A good plan and efficient systems are rarely enough; there is just too much happening in the world and things will go wrong and obstacles will block your way. Sometimes the only way through is bloody-minded perseverance and ‘grit’ and willpower have been shown to be amongst the best predictors of success. The good news is, these are not immutable; things that you either have or don’t have. Whatever your current level, you can develop greater resilience. As we have seen throughout this program, change the neural connections, the way you think, and you change the way you act. And I will share with you, techniques to increase your grit and willpower. 

However, heroically pushing on in the face of adversity is not always appropriate and we need to break free from conventional, misconceived, notions about ‘failure’. You will learn the critical questions to ask yourself that will help you to decide whether to persevere or quit.

Linking back to earlier modules on how your brain works, I will share with you surprising research on how your body can change your thought patterns – and how you can use simple methods to increase your productivity.

And finally, the greatest threat to your productivity: other people. I will help you to become more assertive – but without upsetting people!

12 – Productivity: Efficient Action

Earlier in the program we considered what habits would help to make you successful. Now we look at how you can establish and embed these habits in your life. This may intuitively appear to be an effortless, straightforward process but the reality is that few people manage to maintain good habits. So I will show you a range of different techniques to enable you to put success on autopilot. And, tips on how to break those pesky bad habits.

Procrastinating, putting off tasks to a later date, is probably the most common productivity flaw to which people admit. I’ll explore the problem and provide you with a range of solutions.

And finally in this module, I will help you to achieve intensity, to my mind, the most important driver of success.

11 – Sustaining Success

To be the best that you can be, you need to stretch. When you do, not only do you achieve more, you also feel better. In this module I will show you how and where to stretch. Many people believe that the starting point is having clear goals and while I agree that goals are important, I disagree with the approach to goal-setting that is generally advocated. SMART goals are often far from smart. 

As we saw earlier in the program, feeling good bolsters creativity, analytical thinking, resilience, productivity, relationships … in fact, every aspect of life. Therefore, we’ll consider how you can sustain those feelings and minimize the ‘downs’.

10 – Productivity: Organized

Earlier in the program you developed an action map and identified supporting habits and checklists. In this module, you will connect your action map so that achieving your vision becomes fully-integrated with your day-to-day life . You will learn a variety of approaches for handling tasks and appointments. Why a variety? Because there is no one-size-fits-all approach. However, I will give you lots of ideas, with pros and cons, on how to develop your tailored approach.

Life is rarely simple though and so I will outline an approach, CARPE, that will enable you to process, triage, new demands for your attention. And then it’s on to consider how to schedule your day for maximum productivity, efficiency tips and getting the most from meetings. There is also an interesting perspective on Rituals and how they can help you to achieve the optimum mindset. I was initially sceptical of rituals but have most certainly revised my opinion!

03 – Productivity: Checklists, Habits, Perspective

Many years ago Aristotle said:

“We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence is not an act but a habit”

More recently Stephen Covey discovered that the key difference between the most successful people and the rest was not intelligence, hard-work or resources, it was effective habits. This module will help you to develop your own effective habits so that success becomes largely automatic. We will also consider the use of milestones, goals and, the much under-rated, checklist, a tool that can yield enormous benefits immediately.

02 – Productivity: Planning

This is where we start to get serious! In this module, we will build on the insights that you have gained from exploring your career and business options, helping you to develop an inspiring vision for you future. But, we won’t forget the present because we know that the more you enjoy the journey, the more likely it is that you will persevere to reach your destination. We will use an approach called action mapping that enables you to capture all of your ideas and convert them into a structured plan. However, we know that there is an enormous chasm between vision and plan and actual action; talk is cheap and there are many obstacles to overcome, some self-imposed. And so in later modules, I will show you how this plan can become part of your everyday life through habits and checklists and a robust task management and review system. We will also look at overcoming procrastination, attaining focused intensity and managing the endless stream of demands for your attention.


In this module, we consider 4 key factors for developing personal edge: 

  • Focus
  • Intensity
  • Reflection
  • Energy

In the second section, we follow Steve Jobs’ advice and delve into how you can find work that inspires you. We will pay particular attention to ‘broken paradigms’ and the need to question conventional wisdom. 

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking … “

Steve Jobs