Igor’s 5 Productivity Rules
Do you ever find yourself spending a lot of time on work but making no meaningful progress in spite of putting in long hours? Would you like to be more productive in your business and in your personal life? Discover Igor’s secret behind maintaining high productivity in his personal and professional life in the last 10 years.
Igor Kheifets: I'm Igor Kheifets and this is the List Building Lifestyle, a podcast
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Welcome back to another edition of The List Building Lifestyle with your host Igor Kheifets. You know, one of the most fascinating topics about running your own business, for me personally, is productivity. Specifically when you run your own business, there's nobody policing you about what you do, you're basically your own boss and, for some us, for example for me, that means your boss is literally the worst person in the world because I'm probably the person who's the hardest on myself. But for many people that seems to cause a problem and the problem is that they can't maintain high levels of productivity. And those of us who can, we typically don't maintain this productivity over a long period of time. And I believe one of the things that really set me apart from my peers was the fact that I was able to maintain this level of productivity over the course of the last ... we're nearly 10 year now.
And when I compare the results, I myself and my company, obviously that means all the people that work with me and that support the goal, the goal of building this enterprise and what we were able to achieve. When I look at all of that and I compare this to what other people in our industry were able to achieve, especially people who started out around the same time that we did, I can clearly tell that there's some sort of a different going on because what I'm seeing is other people growing their business to a certain level then the business is shrinking back then they start something new. Then they disappear for two years and they come back and try to start it new. Then they disappear again for another year. So what I'm seeing is a lot of inconsistencies.
So what I wanted to do is I wanted to share with you the five rules, the five productivity rules, I call them Igor rules, so if you're new to this podcast every now and again I do an Igor rules episode where I share with you several rules from some area of my life, so in this case we're going to be talking about productivity, the rules that I use to operate and the rules that I try to share with everyone I work with as well as all of my clients. Now, again, for the sake of full disclosure I have to share that I was very, very fortunate to attract people into my enterprise and into my life that are really productive in their own right. So whatever their rules are I don't know, but we do share this common value of staying productive and staying busy. So I'm talking, of course, about Dennis my business partner, I'm talking about Alana who runs my office, I'm talking about our sales staff team and EVG as we call them. I'm talking about all of my support staff. I mean these people work really damn hard to help facilitate what Igor Solo Ads does and I'm really grateful for that. And I can't speak for them and maybe one of these days I'll invite some of them or all of them to conduct special episodes where they will share their own productivity secrets.
But, for now, what I can do is I can share with you the productivity rules that I follow in my day-to-day life because the way my work day actually works, the way it occurs is basically just me, at home or in a coffee shop, which means it's just me and my laptop and when I record this podcast it's just me and my laptop and my microphone and that's it. That's the business, right? So what are the principles that I follow? What are the rules that I follow to create and maintain high levels of productivity over a long period of time? Which, of course, result in greater results, not just in my business but also my personal life because it allows me to combine being a father with being a business owner.
Now, for the sake, again, for another thing that I want to disclose for the sake of full disclosure, I don't have many hobbies. I'm not a person you would classify as typical when it comes to hobbies. I don't have much passion outside of my business, outside of my family and maybe outside of driving fast and watching soccer or football. So these are pretty much my passions. I do have PlayStation, I do have ... I like playing Fifa and I do probably spend maybe a couple of hours a day doing that, but I don't really consider that to be a big hobby or whatever. If you were to take it away my life wouldn't necessarily suck because of it. So if you're somebody who wants to spend six hours a day golfing, these rules will definitely help you, but you should know that the way I operate is not by working fewer hours in the day.
My work day is roughly six hours of work work, the kind of work that pushes the needle in the business or the kind of work that is something I have to do maintain it, right? Obviously when I'm not behind my laptop I'm thinking about the business, just like any other business owner, but when I do work here are the five rules that I follow. The first one being I'm very conscious about my focus, I always protect my focus. And my advise to you is to protect your focus as well. Now what do I mean by that? You see, one of the biggest, I think secrets to success is ability to maintain a really focused attention on the one thing or one goal over a long period of time. If you can develop the skillset, you will immediately see a bump in your results. And if you study any successful individual, be it Henry Ford, be it Steve Jobs, be it Elon Musk, you'll see that, while they are great at starting other business, but what happens is most of the time they are really focused on one project for a certain period of time before they bring it to a level where they can delegate it to someone else, right? So they'll spend a lot of ... they'll just put a lot of focused energy, a lot of focus into a project without being distracted by other things.
So it's the ability to do that, I think, often separates people who are successful over a long period of time and who are successful. Period. Versus the people who are not, because the average person is incapable of doing so, and, of course, having social media and having our smart phones and having all these distractions in our life, it really doesn't help, right? Because what we need to do is we need to multi-task and I know a lot of people who pride themselves on being a great multi-tasker, but I guess, over time, I'm discovering that this is not a virtue, this is not a talent. I think multi-tasking is a curse, I think multi-tasking is just a really bad thing that we do. And, in my opinion, the less you can multi-task and the more you can put really focused energy into one thing at a time, so rather than trying to hit several targets at once, developing this tunnel vision about one thing, the more you can do that the more successful you'll notice you'll become. So that's definitely the first principle of productivity as far as I'm concerned. Protecting your focus and making sure you put your focus into one thing at a time, rather than trying to chase five or 10 things at a time like most people do. And then, what they end up having is 10 things they started and none that they finished.
Now the second rule of Igor productivity or the second Igor rule of productivity is giving my first hour of every day to my most important project. So, for example, today was the podcast recording day and so, in case you don't know, it's not like I get on my microphone once a week to record an episode and then go ahead and publish it right away, no. The way I record my podcast, and that's probably another episode that I can do for you in case you're interested, and if you are just drop me an email or send me a message on social media and I'll have my team get it to me. Basically, the way I record my podcast is I record several episodes at once and that's how they record TV shows, that's how they record pretty much anything and everything aside from the things that happen live of course. But the beauty about the podcast as a media, and it's something that has always attracted me to it is the fact that I don't have to get on it every week, I don't have to get on it every month. In fact, all I have to do is just sit down and do my recording in one take or in one sitting and have months and months of episode ready to go out.
Same as I can do with emails, right? With the emails I can just sit down, write a bunch of emails and have them go out over the course of the week or the course of the month, and that's exactly how I do my promote stuff. So the rule of giving the first hour of every day to my most important project, meaning that, for example, when I got the podcast, so I'll spend the first hour brainstorming things to talk about, brainstorming topics for episodes, brainstorming talking points and stuff like that. And that would be the most important thing that I do first thing in the morning. Not checking my phone, not checking my messages, not logging on Facebook which, in and of itself just in general, I no longer do. I don't even go on Facebook anymore, I just don't feel there's value in doing so. When I was writing a book, for example, so I just finished writing my book, it's being edited as we speak and at least, as of the moment of me recording this, probably by the time you listen to this it may have already been published or announced, so keep an eye on that.
So when I was writing my book what I've done was the first hour of every day, and actually in the case of the book it was more than one hour, it was more like two hours, I gave it to the book. I sat down and I wrote the chapters out, I wrote the outlines, I went over the content. I did everything book related, specifically a lot of writing. So when it comes to doing anything or moving the needle on everything, in addition to the first principle of putting focused energy into it, the other principle is ... and I learned this principle from Craig Valentine, the owner of earlytorise.com, you put the first hour in because the first hour of your day is the most important hour. Period.
Yo, it's Igor. If you're loving the content hop on over to listbuildinglifestyleshow.com for more free training and a free transcript of this episode. Oh, and I'd really appreciate if you logged into iTunes and rated the show. It really helps. Thanks.
And what I see a lot of people do and which I think is a big mistake ... actually I was just at a traffic and conversion summit and I was chatting with my friend, Charles Ngo, he's like a big super affiliate. The first thing people do and we're kind of laughing about is that they check their phone and their messages and their email and their Facebook first thing in the morning. I think, if you are striving to be productive, I think that's the worst thing you can do because that sets your mind for instant gratification, you start chasing messages, you basically start lowering your IQ first thing in the morning. So what I started doing quite a while ago, first off I don't bring the phone with me where I sleep, so I wake up and the phone ain't next to me. And this goes ... there's a smooth transition into the next principle, the next rule that is environment trumps willpower.
So the reason I don't sleep with my phone in my bedroom anymore and I make sure my phone stays in my home office or in a room where I don't go very much is because if it's in my environment and I see it I'm automatically trying to reach it. But if it's not, and I can break that urge that shows up maybe in the first 10 minutes of me being without my phone, I don't even think about it. I don't even want to go check it, right? At some point checking the phone became associated with a painful activity for me, so I try to avoid it as much as possible. And I notice that the less I check my phone, especially when I'm trying to accomplish something important, the more productive I am because my focus is less fragmented. And this is another thing, something I've discovered over the years is that when you fragment your focus and your energy you get depleted way faster. And when you multi-task it's just over all harder to achieve the simplest things. So definitely something to think about.
And, a lot of times, people say, okay, so if I don't check my phone I'll be more productive, I get that, so let me just put my phone next to my computer but I won't check it. But it doesn't work like that because if your phone is next to your computer you will look at it, you will check it, it will light up, it will show a text message or something, you'd want to reach for it. But if it's not in the same room where you are, trust me, you will not even want to look at it. So if you're looking to accomplish anything important in your life, make sure that the phone is not in the room, okay? If you're using your phone as a timer, as an alarm clock, get an actual timer, get an actual alarm clock. By the way, this goes double for things like Apple Watch. I bought an Apple Watch the first time it came out. I was really proud to have one, especially because most people in my home town didn't have one and I dropped it after about two weeks or so because it became very annoying.
I couldn't focus on anything because I would get messages, I would get notifications that would remind me to stand up and walk, it would remind me to drink, it would tell me that I only burned three calories today and I need to get my ass moving. So it would always create a distraction with something. And when you recognize that companies like Apple, even though I love Apple, but if you recognize when companies like Apple, any smart phone maker, any social media company, their goal is to get you engaged. Engagement is what they get paid for. So they will do anything to interrupt your day, they will do anything to gain your attention and you have to fight that. If you want to become wealthy, you have to fight that. You can't be a victim to your technology, right? The technology that's supposed to serve you. So something to think about. Environment trumps willpower, so make sure you create and environment and you enforce an environment that supports your desire to be and stay more productive.
Now the next principle is set intention before you begin. Now what is ... first of, let's define what does that mean to set an intention? What I find is a lot of times people who aren't productive in their life aren't necessarily not talented, right? They're not people who are not smart. A lot of people who are not productive and aren't achievers, they're very, very smart, very intelligent and a lot of them are very, very talented. But what happens is they never, I don't see them setting intentions about who they want to become or what they want to accomplish in any period of time. But to the same token, when I meet people who are not necessarily the most intelligent people you'll meet, in fact many of them are very dysfunctional people but when I meet them and I start talking to them about their business, about their goals, about their achievements both personal and professional, what I notice is that many of them set intentions.
And this goes beyond setting goals, right? So setting goals is basically writing down a nice thing you'd like to have and forgetting about it, maybe putting that piece of paper away somewhere and maybe seeing it two years from now and realizing, oh wow, I had that goal and I didn't do anything about it. Setting an intention, it's not writing down a goal about a thing you want to have. Setting an intention is writing down who you want to be in that moment of time, be it a long period of time or a short period of time. I mean even setting an intention for a family dinner, for being a very supportive and loving father during your family dinner with your wife and daughter, even something as simple as that, something as trivial as that, it may seem like It's not important, it may seem like it doesn't make a big difference, but it does. Because as human beings we are creatures of intent.
So most of the time, of course, that intent is automatic and we don't really think about it, but the moment we become conscious about the intent that we put into a situation or a relationship, you'll notice that your results in that relationship will increase dramatically. I'm talking exponential lightning fast improvement. So try it next time you go into a meeting, try it next time you go into an important call. In fact, try it next time you try to close a prospect into hiring your agency or buying your network marketing opportunity or whatever. Set an intent for the kind of person you need to be to accomplish the outcome you want to accomplish. You will notice the difference in your behavior, you'll notice a conscious approach to action and words and that will make all the difference in the world. So setting intention about everything you do is very, very important and I don't think even 99% of people who walk the Earth right now actually do it. So I think that's one of the reason why you should.
So last but not least, the fifth rule of, the fifth Igor rule of productivity is be specific about what you want. And this is another one where people say, okay Igor I get it, I've got to set goals. No, I'm not talking about setting goals per se. What I'm talking about is very clearly and very deliberately describing in very specific detail about what you'd like to achieve. Again, whether in life or in a certain situation or anything really. Anything that's important to you, any area of your life that's important, any situation that's important, unless you write down the exact, very specific outcome that you'd like to achieve and unless you set the intent to be the kind of person you need to be to achieve that outcome, your chances of achieving that outcome are slim to none. You're basically planning to fail. I know it may even sound like a cliché.
I don't think this rule is groundbreaking. In fact I don't think any of these rules are groundbreaking aside from setting the intention for the kind of person you want to be, that's truly an advanced concept, but most of these rules are not advanced, you've probably heard at least some of them from other authors, speakers and productivity gurus. But what I'm telling you here is that these rules work. And the more you can enforce these principles in your life, the higher the productivity you will experience. And I highly recommend you try these out. And, again, start with small goals. What you want to do is you want to test these out in situations that are not necessarily the most challenging situations in your life, but are kind of important. Maybe the activities to do with your family, maybe the conversations that you want to have with your loved ones. Maybe that small project you've been delaying for six months. Whatever that is, try some of these rules even for a few days and you'll see how dramatically faster you achieve these outcomes and how much easier it becomes when you apply these rules.
So that concludes the five Igor rules for productivity. Thank you so much for tuning in. Keep an eye out for the announcement of my new book, The List Building Lifestyle and until next time we chat, have a good one.
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