3 Important Levers to Stay Productive, Healthy & Better Relationship

For years I struggled with my daily routines and making myself productive. The goal was to make money by investing EFFECTIVE time in business, make time to spend with family for better relationships and nurturing a habit to spend time with me to stay healthy.

It was really a daunting task while growing on the ladder and wearing multiple hats. Then I discovered a very simple thing that changed my life and made me the stress-free, healthy with tucked tummy and no disease.

You can learn these brilliant yet simple techniques, too. Today, I want to show you the most amazing – yet simple levers that I use to stay productive, healthy and have better relationships. And it will change your life too.

You might have heard these: – Tons of other people focus on tactical minutiae: “USE THIS APP! MAKE SURE YOU EAT DRINK WATER BEFORE MEAL! And this app will change your life”

None of those shits matter.

How your day will be – It’s your choice. Not your boss’s, your girlfriend’s, or your kids’. You can engineer a great day, every day.

The value in these levers is not in the novelty, but in the utility. These are not tips that secluded Buddhha monks used in 700 AD. These are practical levers of your time- my time that I use right now, every day, to stay productive. And I focus on applying them into daily routine, not chasing some tactics.

Awesome LEVER #1: ACT: DON’T REACT

The key is to: Design Your Calendar for Tomorrow a night BEFORE. Most of us wake up, go to work, and spend the entire day reacting to other people’s expectations. If you flip that on its head and “design” your calendar to look the way you want, you can still answer people’s emails/calls – but on your own time. Plan your tasks for tomorrow in your calendar and set the meetings with people than responding to their urgent unscheduled meeting calls. Say “No” for uninformed meetings if you’re not available.

LEVER #2: WAKING UP EARLY

Stop sighing and saying, “I’m not a morning person.” It’s not what your biological body says – but your silly mind frames this excuse for you to be lazy. You can change that in less than a week. If you start your day 1-2 hours earlier than everyone else, you have an indomitable edge. I used a very strong & effective methodology to get out of this “no morning person” statement. Here is what you can do, too.

  1. Set up a “sleep alarm” & Finish Your Dinner Early and go to bed by 10PM. No Exception.
  2. Put Your Phone/Gadgets and TV remote away from you after 10PM.
  3. Set up a “wake up alarm” for 5:00 am and define what you’ll do when you get up at 5:00 am next day. {that’s important}

I worked with many smart but lazy-at-mind people in last few years and I realized that they were failing to be a morning person not because they were not able to wake up early – but they had no plans – what to do after waking up. Our brain gets wired with old habits in such a way that it usually finds many excuses to get into the comfort zone. When you prepare for it in advance – and repeat it for 21 days, you get better in dodging your brain from making wrong/biased decisions for you. So plan your next morning so that you don’t have to think what to do when you wake up.

You can plan Yoga Session (Learn how to do Best Yoga – Balance Yoga at Home), or you can plan to go to Gym as soon as you open your eyes. No Second Thought. And many more things like that.

LEVER #3: GET FASTER AT REPETITIVE TASKS

I developed a unique but interesting philosophy over years. If I’ve to do some repetitive tasks 20 times a week – I’d use automation to make it happen. Some of the repetitive things cannot be automated – So I learned how to do them quickly. Such as skimming & responding to emails – I literally go through and respond to 400+ emails every day. You can do, too. Just you need to learn some keyboard shortcuts and build a mental ability & workflow to tackle these emails. And I do it at a given time – not every time of the day. If you have repetitive tasks, there is someone who does it faster. Learn from them – just look on YouTube for “gmail efficient.” Gmail has keyboard shortcuts. Excel has templates/formulas. These can easily save you an hour a day.

What powers all of this?

Now, I could have the most amazing sleep methods so I wake up on time, every morning (I do). I could have perfected my method of email so I can read hundreds of emails/day (I do). I’ve seen people looking for the “Best Productivity App” to stay productive. Trust me, I’ve used most of the obvious and so called outstanding tools – and concluded that Excel or Google Spreadsheet is the best to-do-manager. Notepad or Word Document or Google Doc is the best writing tool and Gmail is the best email tool. Nothing works better than them.

If you, too, are looking for best productivity tool, or water intake tracker – you are chasing the wrong problem. Water intake tracker won’t change your habit and force you to drink more water. Simply keep a bottle filled with water next to you on the desk at approachable position. It is the only thing that can help you drink more water every.

Solve the right problem!

And no change in behavior would work in silos. You cannot have heavy dinner (booze too,) and get up at 500 am. Impossible. If I eat a huge lunch and I’m sluggish all day, my Gmail keystrokes don’t mean a thing. This is why YOU HAVE TO GO DEEPER THAN OBVIOUS SYMPTOMS and strike the right problem all at once.

What makes me have a wonderful, effective and highly productive day is: Having the energy to tackle everything in front of me. That doesn’t come from an iPhone app. It comes from the food you eat. That’s why it’s so important to optimize the food in your life. It is truly one of life’s Big Wins. And because it affects every other part of your day –every single day – it is the perfect example of leverage.

Get your food right, and everything else follows. To truly master a Rich Life and “engineer” a great day, every day, look deeper than apps. Look at the food you’re eating.

I hope you enjoyed the articled and learned it piece-by-piece. If you practice some different – unique- productivity hack – please do share in comments. That will help thousands of readers to get-set-go.

PS: Do subscribe to the blog with best of your email address so that you can get the hacks and tips of life and business – 4 times a month. I don’t send more than one email a week and your email is safe with me.

Best Ever Books under $20 that Makes you smarter in the world

Top Books under $20 that Makes your smarter in the world

No book makes your smarter. But it will get you over the top on anything.

1. The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking by Edward B. Burger 

“Fail nine times. The next time you face a daunting challenge, think to yourself, ‘In order for me to resolve this issue, I will have to fail nine times, but on the tenth attempt, I will be successful.’ This attitude frees you and allows you to think creatively without fear of failure, because you understand that learning from failure is a forward step toward success. Take a risk and when you fail, no longer think, ‘Oh, no, what a frustrating waste of time and effort,’ but instead extract a new insight from that misstep and correctly think, ‘Great: one down, nine to go — I’m making forward progress!’ And indeed you are. After your first failure, think, ‘Terrific, I’m 10% done!’ Mistakes, loss, and failure are all flashing lights clearly pointing the way to deeper understanding and creative solutions.”

2. Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi 

“Contrary to what we usually believe, moments like these, the best moments in our lives, are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times — although such experiences can also be enjoyable, if we have worked hard to attain them. The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. Optimal experience is thus something that we make happen. For a child, it could be placing with trembling fingers the last block on a tower she has built, higher than any she has built so far; for a swimmer, it could be trying to beat his own record; for a violinist, mastering an intricate musical passage. For each person there are thousands of opportunities, challenges to expand ourselves.”

 

3. How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton M. Christensen 

“In your life, there are going to be constant demands for your time and attention. How are you going to decide which of those demands gets resources? The trap many people fall into is to allocate their time to whoever screams loudest, and their talent to whatever offers them the fastest reward. That’s a dangerous way to build a strategy.” “In order to really find happiness, you need to continue looking for opportunities that you believe are meaningful, in which you will be able to learn new things, to succeed, and be given more and more responsibility to shoulder.”

 

4. Mindfulness by Mark Williams 

“Pure awareness transcends thinking. It allows you to step outside the chattering negative self-talk and your reactive impulses and emotions. It allows you to look at the world once again with open eyes. And when you do so, a sense of wonder and quiet contentment begins to reappear in your life.” “Gradually, moment by moment, you may have come to realize that although you can’t stop the unsettling thoughts from arising in your mind, you can stop what happens next. You can stop the vicious circle from feeding off itself.”

 

 5. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson 

“Everything worthwhile in life is won through surmounting the associated negative experience. Any attempt to escape the negative, to avoid it or quash it or silence it, only backfires. The avoidance of suffering is a form of suffering. The avoidance of struggle is a struggle. The denial of failure is a failure. Hiding what is shameful is itself a form of shame. Pain is an inextricable thread in the fabric of life, and to tear it out is not only impossible, but destructive: Attempting to tear it out unravels everything else with it. To try to avoid pain is to give too many fucks about pain. In contrast, if you’re able to not give a fuck about the pain, you become unstoppable.”

A Perfect Sales Pitch to Sell even if you’re expensive

If your customer says your products are too expensive, here is what you need to say.

You need to understand why people buy something.

“There is a big difference between selling your cost vs selling your values.” says Vinni Balyan, the founder of a green India startup Bonsai Plants in India Abana Homes.

In this cut-throat-competition market, most of the startups find it easy to sell by slashing the price and end up losing on the margin in the end. It’s very difficult to build a sustainable and profitable company where your primary strategy is to beat the competition in pricing. Because, in the end, you’ll end up fighting for the small margin which makes it difficult to survive and scale being a newcomer in the market.

You want to create a brand – not the cheap selling version of your competition. Correct?

Then why are you taking the route where you sacrifice your margin in the name of outperforming your competition?

I asked this questions many times to the entrepreneurs who came to build a brand but end up being a cheap seller of their competition. The unanimous answer I got which is based on a question that the customer asks.

“Your product is as good as your competition but it’s too expensive.”

And trust me, this is the challenge with every new business owner in the market. Here I’ll suggest the ways to overcome this problem and give you a pitch that can help you outsell your competition.

The one key combat arsenal for you is Outstanding Customer Service. It’s worth, it’s unbeatable and it’s a real brand making painful effort.

You need to build your brand by offering the outstanding customer service.

“Fast response, continuity in communication, proactive approach, great quality of products and empathy based customer service. That’s the key to my business and I thrive on my returning customers.” Vinni from Abana Homes comments when asked about what holds her customers.

Define Values

You can justify your price based on the values that you provide. And remember, values cannot be quantified in the price tag.

For that, you need to understand that why a customer buys something.

  1. To solve a pain in the present
  2. To solve a pain in future
  3. To get the pleasure in the present
  4. To get the pleasure in future

So you need to find one of these reasons based on your product and service and create your pitch first.

Usually, when we start negotiating with our potential customer, we try to sound not like our competition but we end up using the same terminologies and examples as them.

You need to find where the values are in your business.

Now comes the hardest part of it. What to do when a potential client or customer asks the question of all time: “I can get your product or service from somewhere else. Why should I work with you?”

It’s best to start with “disarming honesty.”

Say something along the lines of, “That’s a great question. But depending on what you’re looking for from a new provider, and depending on your relationship with competitor X, maybe it makes sense that you do nothing and stay with that competitor. Can I make a suggestion? Let me ask you a few very straightforward, tough questions about what you are looking for in a supplier, what challenges you’ve had over the years, and then we can figure out together whether I truly add value. And if we decide together there’s a good fit, then you and I could spend the last five minutes figuring out where we might get started on a business relationship. Does that sound OK?”

Finally, if you notice your competitors are slashing prices, you need to know when to say “no” just as often as you say “yes.

It’s not about competing with everyone else and taking the same route. Your strength lies in your values and understanding what you’re really selling — and being able to effectively communicate that value in a way that puts your cost into perspective.