348 | How to Make More Impact – Finding Essentialism

How to make more impact on your work. Today, I share with you insight on how to get more done which is really all about getting the RIGHT things done. I learned this from Greg McKeown who wrote the book Essentialism. I talked with Greg about one strategy he suggests that will cause your stomach to turn, but it works.

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Finding Essentialism: The Transcript

How do you get the most important things done every day in your business? How do you get the things that will move the needle done, despite what’s going on around you? Well, I struggled with this until I figured out, really important way to get the most important thing done in your business. And I’m gonna share it to you in just a moment.

Hi, my name’s Gene Hammett. I work with hyper-growth companies to help them understand the chaos of growth, and to really channel that into something that really makes them grow fast. It’s about leadership, it’s about culture, and there’s a few other things mixed in there, and today we’re gonna talk about growth, but in the perspective of getting the most important thing done. So, we treat our days as everything has the same priority. But the reality is, not taking that phone call, or taking that phone call, excuse me, and getting the work done on a video like this are not the same.

That phone call could be very important, but it could also wait. I don’t take a lot of random phone calls. You probably feel that if you’re making any phone calls to anyone right now. They’re scheduled now. Because, we’ve got to really be intentional about what we do every day.

So I wanna share with you one thing that I do to really help me really figure out how I can get the most done. And this is part of the hyper-productivity series. I wrote a guide that gives you three ways to supercharge your productivity. You can get it at Genehammett.com/productivity, absolutely free, a little worksheet to help guide you through it, but I’m gonna give you one of the pieces today. And it comes from a best-selling author.

His name is Greg McKeown. Greg wrote Essentialism. Essentialism is basically a new way of looking at what you need to get done, and how you operate inside that. Essentialism and operating as an essentialist is something that will really change the way you look at your work. So here’s how I use it, and it comes from working with and interviewing Greg on my podcast. Greg asked me to do something that really made me feel very uncomfortable, and I’m gonna share it with you today, and maybe it’ll make you feel uncomfortable, too. So, if you know what you need to get done tomorrow, if you wrote it down on a piece of paper, and you were able to write down three, four, five, six, things that you were able to, that are really important for you to do in your business tomorrow, could you do that right now? Could you pause what I’m doing and actually take the time to write it down? Because you’ll get the most out of it if you actually do this.

Now, if you’re driving, I totally get it, but pause it right now and come back to it when you sit down at your desk or you have a moment to think about what needs to get done. You can put it on a piece of paper, a 3 by 5 card, you can type it into your phone, any of that works, whatever’s right for you. But the idea is for you to list those three to five things that need to get done tomorrow. Here’s the killer part: you want to prioritize this. Probably this is nothing new to you, so which ones need to get done first? And which one needs to be done second, which one needs to be done third, so on and so forth. Now, when I did this with Greg, he had me all the way up to that, and then he tells me this, and I’m gonna tell you. Scratch out everything but the number one item.

That number one item becomes your only focus. What if you woke up tomorrow, and after you got all your morning routine done, because I know you have one of those things, but if you sat down to the computer, what’s the first thing you’re going to do? I hope it’s not check email. I hope it’s not get on Facebook, or check your social media profiles, or anything like that. I hope it’s looking at that one list, your most essential thing that will move the needle for your business tomorrow, and do it. Without distraction. With intense focus. And get it all done. I wrote in this guide about this, and I put, “focus is more important than intelligence.” You can be the smartest person in the world, but if you have no focus, you won’t get anything done. It’s just the way it is. But I really share this with you from Greg because marking off those bottom four things of my list of five was, it really got to me, and it probably gets to you as well. But if you do it, and you treat every day as the most important thing gets done first, you will see the progress in your life and your business. So, I happen to be a morning person, you may not be a morning person, but I love to get my workout in, get all that stuff done, send the family off to school, and I sit down at my computer, and I don’t check email. I love the first thing I can do, is I work on something for me, I work on something for the business moving forward, and I block out the first 90 minutes of my day for those projects.

Now, after you finish the first one, you can go on to the second one, and so on and so forth, but you don’t go and get distracted with anything else until you get the first one done. And then, take a little bit of a break, and come back to it and do the second one, and do it with the same intensity, the same level of focus, and that level of deep work and focus will give you something to move the needle.

Now, if you need the worksheet, you can go and download this, it’s talking about the essential here, I give you three ways to supercharge your productivity. Just go to Genehammett.com/productivity. If you want to go deeper into this, I thought so much about this that I wrote a book called The Trap of Success, here it is, you probably heard about it, and in chapter 10, it’s called Testing the Essential, and it’s all about finding the most important things and testing and moving forward, finding the essential, so it’s on page 199 if you wanna get that.

If you don’t wanna buy the book, you just want the chapter, let me know, I’ll send it to you, I’m not trying to make money off this, I wanna help you, as a leader, be more productive. If you want the free worksheets, just go to Genehammett.com/productivity and you can download those right now. Well, that wraps up this video.

Hopefully you’re enjoying it, hopefully you’re subscribed to the podcast, it’s Leaders in the Trenches, I love to keep serving you, and if you are interested in anything I’ve got to share, make sure you reach out to me on the social channels, whatever they may be. Instagram or Twitter, Facebook, you name it. I love to talk and interact with the audience, and if I can help in any way, make sure you reach out. And as always, leave with courage, and I’ll see you next time.


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