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The Ultimate Guide to Productivity


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Instigator Ben Yoskovitz has started a really great meme to pass around, called the Ultimate Guide to Productivity. I find it hard to participate in ALL of the memes that I get tagged with, but this one is so valuable - and Ben’s roundup of participant posts should be a must-read. I was tagged by new-ish friend Andrew Wee - Thanks Andrew! :D

My Number #1 productivity tip is the foundation of the eMoms Monday Motivation meme - LEVERAGE: a reverse reward system.. Since we always will do more to avoid pain than we will to gain pleasure, I have found that leverage is the one thing that will absolutely guarantee that I will meet my own deadlines (in fact, I have found no other approach that works when I’m under the gun).
It is a simple concept - if you don’t get your stuff done, you have to pay the consequences. The bigger the commitment, the bigger the leverage.

Last year I needed to get a huge project off of the ground. I made a commitment to my mastermind group that if I didn’t have it done by the end of the week, I would grow out my normally well-hidden moustache for TWO WEEKS! Do you think there was ANY doubt that my stuff got done?! I even pulled an all-nighter at the end to save myself from such a horrible fate!

A few other tips that have worked really well:

  • Form a Mastermind Group - I am part of two of them focused on blogging and online business. The power of a group is always bigger than the power of one.
  • Create a system that works for your learning style - If you’re visual, keep tasks in a place that you can see them (either on your desk or on a start page as Glen suggests). If you are auditory, create sound cues as reminders or play music to keep you focused.
  • Know Thyself - There’s a reason that most successful people are motivated and productive - they usually are the ones who have invested in their personal development by reading self help books or going to motivational seminars. The stuff works.

I’m curious to hear from quite a few people on this one, but I’ll keep my tag list down to five people. So, Amanda, Blain, Ponn, Jenny and Gayla - what do you do to stay productive?

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    On April 26th, 2007 at 10:08 am, Sue said:

    Know Thyself - that is huge…and it keeps on going. You can always discover something new about yourself and your inner workings - and it encompasses ever facet of our daily doings. It can also be a strength to know what you don’t know.
    I know I wish comment boxes had spell check and I know I do not know what a meme is!

    On April 26th, 2007 at 10:59 am, Mark McManus said:

    I formed a mastermind group too. I’m a huge fan of Napoleon Hill’s ‘Think and Grow Rich’ so this was a must for me. In my experience it didn’t keep me motivated at current levels but actually made me much more productive and get access to many more ideas.

    On April 26th, 2007 at 1:30 pm, George said:


    I have recently thought about forming a mastermind group. It would be great if you could go into more detail about how they work, how to create one, etc.

    All the best,

    On April 26th, 2007 at 1:32 pm, Wendy Piersall said:

    George, ask and ye shall receive! :D

    Starting and Participating in a Mastermind Group

    On April 26th, 2007 at 2:38 pm, Amanda said:

    I’m so glad george stopped by I told him to take a look at your niche list since it was such a great list.

    I can’t believe I missed a post on your site! I don’t know much about mastermind groups but I’ll definitely look into it. From reading this it seems like I’ve formed one and didn’t even realize it with all the of the projects I do. Maybe I’m an undercover GENIUS :)

    On April 26th, 2007 at 2:42 pm, Wendy Piersall said:

    For you, Amanda!!! :D

    On April 26th, 2007 at 2:59 pm, andrew wee said:

    Hi Wendy,
    Great to have you take part.
    We’re all part of the “We know PlanetAndrea”/Elite Retreat one degree of separation club.

    What you said: Making a public commitment and putting yourself on the line probably helps me achieve more than anything else combined…

    Great summary and look forward to seeing the meme propagate among the eMoms.

    On April 26th, 2007 at 4:14 pm, Adam Kayce : Monk At Work said:

    These are great, Wendy! Of course I love the “Know Thyself” one (my post is verrry similar)… and your use of leverage is wonderful. I’m amazed at the stuff you make yourself do sometimes! ;-)

    On April 26th, 2007 at 5:20 pm, Gayla McCord said:

    Wow, I’m a little late making my rounds today. It’s been quite an UNproductive day here so this is a great project to jumpstart me for tomorrow.

    Thanks for the tap Wendy. My secrets revealed in the next episode of MomGadget. To air tomorrow :)

    On April 26th, 2007 at 5:22 pm, Wendy Piersall said:

    Ooh - sound exciting enough to TIVO it, Gayla! ;)

    On April 26th, 2007 at 5:34 pm, Jenny said:

    LOL cute cup. It’s totally Amanda. :D

    On April 26th, 2007 at 9:28 pm, George said:

    Thanks for the link to your post on mastermind groups, I will check it out.

    Love you blog, wish I had the time to go through all the archives.

    On April 27th, 2007 at 1:07 am, Ponn Sabra said:

    Like Dah! It’s way too early for me…I just tagged Jenny and Gayla, unknowingly (not reading your short-list). Oh well, my post is up.
    Thanks, Wendy.

    On April 27th, 2007 at 6:44 am, Amanda said:

    To stay productive I only work m-f from 9am to 5 pm. Like a job since I do it at my job ha, any more and I’m engulfing myself in this and then all hell will break loose since I’ll never get off the computer.

    I have a mental note of a todo list but I do own a lot of things so it gets out of hand.

    I try to stay focused on the most productive things at first. Right now my two most important projects are theblogworld and (my domain registration company I’ve had for almost 5 years) I’m trying to put it out there more and attempt at networking as well as getting myself more clients for my consulting.

    After that I have several other projects in the work and I just keep myself hyped up. I have really great friends who help keep me motivated which helps especially Amy, the owner of she’s an amazing resource just on her own.

    On April 27th, 2007 at 7:07 am, Paul Lamach said:

    Thanks for providing a forum for The Mastermind Group! Love it! A couple of thoughts. 1 - In todays internet world, I’d like to participate on the internet. 2 - Im interested, but always think I’m going to supply, more than I get. Fact is I need others. The BIG money comes from a mastermind type set up.
    3 - Anyone needing a programmer, engineer, entrepreneur, goal minded person, in their group, let me know. I think I have a lot to give.

    Keep up the good work Wendy!

    On April 27th, 2007 at 11:11 am, Dawud Miracle said:

    Wendy, I use leverage a fair amount to aid me in getting things done. Getting client work done is rarely an issue. But getting my own projects done is often a bit more challenging. So I’ll use leverage to keep my own projects moving.

    Gayla, I look forward to your post.

    On April 27th, 2007 at 11:15 am, Dawud Miracle said:


    I agree with you on setting limits on your work. I used to work all the time. Now, I work between set hours of the week and very rarely work weekends.

    Having a family whom I want to spend as much time with as I can, it’s important to me to have balance between my work and my time with them.

    It was difficult when I first transitioned to working only between certain hours. I lost productivity for a while. But soon, I found that I could get even more done. Having fewer hours in my work week forced me to be more efficient. Now, I’m actually more productive then I was before I set these parameters. And, I get to be with my wife and kids.

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