Today’s podcast is a special episode where host, Daniel Bauer, shares a handful of tips to designing a powerful 2020.
Leaders are also invited to join the “productivity sprint,” a special 3 month program connecting leaders to each other hoping to be more focused and productive in Q1 of 2020.
Leap into 2020 and enroll in the sprint here: https://betterleadersbetterschools.com/productivity-sprint/
Full Transcript Available Here
Daniel: 00:00 Welcome to the Better Leaders Better Schools Podcast. This is your friendly neighborhood podcast host Daniel Bauer.
Daniel: 00:13 Happy New Year. It is 2020 and this show, as you know, is a show for ruckus makers. But if you’re new to this show, what’s a ruckus maker? A leader who’s found freedom from the status quo, a leader who makes change happen, a leader who never ever gives up. In today’s special show, I’m going to talk about how to have a powerful 2020 and there’s three tips that I’m going to share on how to improve and bolster your productivity. We’re going to talk about the miracle morning, the ideal week and the daily huddle. Those are three actionable tips for you today, short-term solutions that will have immediate impact as well as long-term solutions that will have incredible ROI for years to come. I hope you take action on these ideas and I hope you listen to the end because I’m also going to invite you to a special opportunity called the Productivity Sprint. It’s starting on January 6 and it’s going to end the last week of March. It’s just 12 weeks. It’s all about getting more productive in 2020 and if you listen to the end, I have a special offer just for ruckus makers that listen to the podcast. You won’t find the deal anywhere else. So ruckus maker thanks for being here. And before we jump into today’s special episode on productivity, I’d like to take some time to thank our show sponsors
Daniel: 01:43 The Better Leaders Better Schools Podcast is brought to you by Organized Binder, a program designed to develop your students’ executive function and noncognitive skills. Learn more @organizedbinder.com. If you’re waiting for your district to develop you, don’t hold your breath. What would you be able to accomplish if you poured jet fuel on your leadership development? Rob, a principal in North Carolina, had this to say about his mastermind experience. I have found myself trying more things because I know that I have the support from other amazing school leaders to help guide me through if I get stuck. Turn your dreams into reality and level up your leadership. Apply to the mastermind today @betterleadersbetterschools.com/mastermind. Ruckus maker is email a soul crushing distraction for you. It was for me and that’s why I subscribed to SaneBox. Start your free two week trial and get a $25 credit by visiting sanebox.com/BLBS.
Daniel: 02:56 Hey, it’s Daniel and as I said in the intro, this is a special episode, so Happy New Year, happy 2020. I wish you all the best in this upcoming new year and today I want to tell a few stories, a story about me, and a story about my friend Eric. At the end I want to give you three tips on productivity and they’re actionable tips. They have short-term benefits. You’ll have immediate results if you implement some of the ideas and there’s a few that have more long-term ROI or return on investment and you’ll see that long-term impact as well. So I think you’ll get a lot of value from today’s show and I also have an offer where you can work with me and other leaders. All focus on one big idea of being more productive in 2020 and we’re doing something called a productivity sprint.
Daniel: 03:49 So if you’d like to do that and be in a community with a very real start and end date, I’ll have an invite and a special offer just for ruckus makers that listen to the podcast at the end of the show. But without further ado, let’s get into these three tips on productivity. You know my why, at least if you’re an old ruckus maker listening, a veteran ruckus maker, if you’re new to this show, this is new to you and it’s, everyone wins when a leader gets better, everybody wins when you get better. That drives the work at Better Leaders Better Schools and everything that I do. And I believe if you take action, if you comb through the stories and find the golden nuggets and then take action on the three tips, you will absolutely get better, but so will your community. I’m telling you right now that it took years.
Daniel: 04:40 It was years of struggle in hitting a brick wall where I learned about myself. I wasn’t as focused. If I was honest, I wasn’t as productive. I like to blame other people for why I wasn’t producing, right. It was always somebody else’s fault or time was an enemy. If I could just have more time, but it’s really could I be more intentional and organized and focused with the time I had and at the end of the day it was me, right? And I knew if I wanted to change my ability to produce high value work, then I had to work on myself and so my productivity journey began and basically I was just sick and tired of being sick and tired, right? Putting in more hours, being able to cross off maybe a few more things off the to do list, but they were lower level.
Daniel: 05:30 They weren’t shipping big projects that really impacted culture that really lit me up and inspired my dreams and I was stressed out. I was in the red, I was depleted. I didn’t have time then for myself and the hobbies that fill my cup and I didn’t have time to connect with friends or family and so maybe you can relate to those things. So after I hit that wall, I had to figure out something new and that’s what I’m going to share with you today. The epiphany was after years of research, looking at books and we’ll put these in the show notes, but things like The 12 Week Year, Procrastinate on Purpose and there’s tons of books so they will be linked up for you in the show notes, but books, lectures, videos, right? Synthesizing and putting together and taking the best ideas from these texts and resources.
Daniel: 06:28 I’ve developed a proprietary system, a 10 point productivity system that if you take action on all 10 points, you’ll be more productive. And today I’m going to teach you about three of those points, so I don’t want to overwhelm you. The neat thing too is that when I had this epiphany, I put it all together. The first time I went through that system that was quarter two of 2017 that was the first time I’ve formally tracked my results. I had two professional, and one personal goal. My two professional goals add 10 leaders to the mastermind. I wanted to write the first draft of my book and I wanted to lose 2 to 4% body fat. If you’re a longtime listener of the show, you’ve heard those goals before and the good news is not only did I meet those goals, I actually exceeded a lot of them too, and so I didn’t add 10 members to the mastermind, I added 14. Not only did I write my first book, I wrote 43,000 words, the first draft. Guys, this is in 12 weeks, right? This isn’t in a year. That would be a good year. Add 14 leaders to serve from the business point of view, to write a book, not in a year, in 12 weeks, in three months in a quarter, and I lost 3.6% body fat so I was right in that 2 to 4% body fat range. Another sort of high level overview, before I get into the tips, one of the secrets. So this is kind of like a bonus tip. The bonus tip is one of the secrets is measuring your progress in your implementation throughout the quarter. And so for 12 weeks I sprint, I only measured the goals, the activities aligned to my biggest goals and tasks, right? And for every week I can tell you what percentage I completed.
Daniel: 08:23 So the good news is this. At the end of the 12 weeks I’ve found that if you score 80% or better, you’re going to achieve, you’re either going to meet or exceed your goals, your dreams will come true, 80% that’s what you’re shooting for. That’s been my lived experience. Here’s even better news. I’m not a superhuman. I took one week off where I did zero tasks. All right, so now we’re talking 11 out of 12 weeks. In four of those weeks, I implemented very poorly under 80%, 74, 70, 66, 56% so these are terrible percentages, right, of implementation, but the net, right? The total average equaled 80% and what that should tell you is that you don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to be a superhuman to achieve great things. So I had four bad implementation weeks, took one week off. So really I only had seven good weeks and I still achieved what I set out to do.
Daniel: 09:29 It’s worked for me. I’ve taught it to others. I’ve discovered this all the hard way. But if you take action from the ideas in that bonus tip I just shared, you get to cheat, you get the easy way. So tip number one is going to be The Miracle Morning. The Miracle Morning was written by Hal Elrod and I will put this in the show notes as well. The idea here is this, this is the jist. If you are more intentional and spend some time developing yourself in the morning, you will build incredible momentum that carries forward into your work day and you can ride that momentous wave and be able to impact great things within your work. It exponentially grows, right? And the momentum just continues to build and build. And here’s how in Hal’s view a miracle morning is spent, right? He uses an acronym called savers, but there’s six parts to this practice.
Daniel: 10:29 A time of silence, whether that’s meditation, mindfulness, prayer, contemplation, a time of affirmation. And so let me just read to you real quick, my affirmation. I say this to myself every single day and it’s just something that I find a lot of value in. It’s something that fires me up. It gets me pumped and ready to go. And this is something, again, I pull it up every single day I read this. I’m a success. Nothing can stop me. I have a plan that I execute every day. I trust the process. The results will follow. Love is at the center of what I do. I’m here to serve. Generosity gives me great pleasure. I’m living an optimal life that is satisfying. I’m kind and gentle and loving toward my wife. We have an intimate connection in the love story of all time. I’m a ruckus maker and people grow tremendously with my coaching and leadership.
Daniel: 11:28 I help powerful people remember how powerful they are. I expand in abundance, success, and love every day as I inspire those around me to do the same. I come from greatness. I attract greatness, I am greatness, and that’s my affirmation. I read through that every single day. You can see why it inspires me. Replay that section. Download the transcript. Use it as a guide to write your own, but find something that will inspire you every single day. So we had silence, we have affirmation visualization. Real quick. Just thinking about a big project you have or a challenging conversation, whatever that may be. Picture yourself doing it. Picture yourself being a success. Really think about all your senses and what you’ll experience. Be successful before you have to even get there, right and actually do it. You’ll be training your mind to actually be that success before you even get to that moment.
Daniel: 12:30 It’s amazing how it works. Exercise. So that’s the E and whether that’s going to the gym or playing a team sport, hopping on a bike or a row machine, or if it’s just doing air squats, jumping jacks or burpees, some exercise R is reading. And for me it’s something inspirational, something that’s going to challenge me to think about the greater things in life, not just work. So this is not professional reading. I find this to be a time of inspirational reading and S is scribing. So I summarize what I’ve read. I write down three things I’m grateful for. I write a positive affirmation for my wife. I think about what’s the biggest challenge I’m facing today. Who can I help today and not expect anything else in return. And then what am I most excited about today? That’s what I do for a journal. Every single day. Coaching tip for the miracle morning start small.
Daniel: 13:30 I have the pleasure of setting my own schedule. So my miracle morning lasts between 60 and 90 minutes. That doesn’t even include exercise because I do that mid day, and that’s a nice break. That’s for me, that’s my life. But start small is the coaching tip. You can do a miracle morning in one minute per section, one minute of silence, affirmation, visualization, exercise, reading and scribing. Here’s what Linda said about the miracle morning. If I can accomplish all of that in an hour before work, I wonder what else can I accomplish today? I’ve worked with Linda within the mastermind. She’s a leader in Canada and so that’s one way I’m able to help out. Well, that’s about all I have to say about the miracle morning. So let’s move on to the ideal week, which is tactic number two.
New Speaker: 14:23 The ideal week is really about being intentional now, not just your morning, but being intentional about how you’re going to spend each day, turning that into a week. What would make it the best day, the best week ever. And what I want you to start thinking about is in very big, broad categories of time, and if there’s one thing that you need to add that you might not have on there already, it’s a deep work session. The deep work session should take about 90 minutes up to three hours, if you can afford that amount of time. This is when you work on all the inspiring and passionate projects that you either put off or you never get to. And that’s because these are the things that are not only important, they’re significant, they’re going to stand the test of time. They’re really gonna move your organization forward, but they’re not the urgent. They’re not the fires, the emergencies that pop up.
Daniel: 15:24 And that’s why we have trouble getting to them. I would argue that we’re not getting to them. A big reason is because we’re not intentional. We don’t have a block of time when we’re going to work on them. And we need to be courageous to say no to everything else during that block of time. So if you think 90 minutes is a stretch, do it for an hour. Okay? But believe me, if you put together all the hours you’re at work, 60 minutes to 90 minutes, you can afford that amount of time to do the things only you can do to move the organization forward. So that’s one idea for the ideal week. Next after that you want to put on meetings that are recurring that you can’t get out of, any observations you have to do, build in time for debriefs and that kind of stuff.
Daniel: 16:10 And then you get into the administrative. So writing staff newsletters, filling out administrative paperwork and a time to check email. So don’t have that open all the time. Have your notifications off on your phone and give yourself, maybe start with three blocks of 15 to 30 minutes. And as you get better with blocking your email, maybe go down to two, maybe go down to one block per day and that will free you up to do even more valuable work, right? I guarantee you’ve never, nobody’s ever saved the world through an email. It’s just not going to happen. And so that’s the ideal week. Thinking in broad general categories and a coaching tip is where to start. So I just talked about work, but that’s not where you start. You start with yourself. What are the things that fill your cup? So my ideal week, I have the miracle morning.
Daniel: 17:09 I have a time where I’m in the gym or I’m playing football. I have time to read, right? Or to play guitar, play video games. Those are things that I need. Then family. So I can tell you every Friday I have a time from eight in the morning until 10 where it’s just me and my wife and we go out for breakfast, we connect, we communicate and that’s family time. Then start putting your work stuff on there. We miss out on dates with our partner. We miss out on our kids’ performances, whether it’s sports or the arts, whatever it is, because we build our work schedule out and then we say, Oh, I’m sorry family. Oh I’m sorry myself. I don’t have time. No. Do you, do your family, then do your work. And of course there’s going to be busier seasons and that’s why it’s called an ideal week.
Daniel: 18:05 But connecting it to the overall system. If you are doing that at a high level, let’s say 80% of the time, wouldn’t you be a lot happier than you are now? So that’s the ideal week. Charlie is a CEO of a green building architecture firm. I know that’s not education. I work with him though one-on-one. I actually work with his team too. Anyways, he said the ideal week has given me back control and that’s what it’s all about. So that’s all I have to say concerning the ideal week. And let’s move on to the last tip. This is tip number three. Tactic number three. This is your daily huddle. A daily huddle, if it’s face to face, should be standing. And it’s just a quick accountability for what are the tasks you’re going to do today aligned to your big goals, right? This isn’t brainstorming, it’s not soliciting advice, right?
Daniel: 19:00 It’s not really a conversation. This is two to five minutes of time where a small team would just say, here’s my big goal everybody, right? So let me do this real time role play it for you. One of my major objectives is to create amazing content. So today I would tell you that I’m recording a video about productivity and I’m recording this podcast on productivity. I have two tasks today. That’s it. I don’t need any advice, don’t need any help, anything like that, and then I’m going to huddle at the end of the day and just say, team, my objective I’m working towards was creating amazing content and I can tell you I was two for two. I created my video and I created my podcast. So you have to make that specific to your goals and aspirations and the activities that you’ll do, but it’s just an accounting for here’s how many tasks I’m going to do and here’s what they are, and at the end of the day, did you get them done or not?
Daniel: 20:02 That’s a daily thing just for accountability and keeping everybody in the loop. If you want to dive deeper. So this is the coaching tip. You can do a weekly or biweekly accountability meeting where it’s longer, let’s say 30 minutes, maybe up to an hour. I don’t even think you need that. Depends how big your team is, but you can say, Hey, I’ve been punting on this video. I just can’t seem to get it done. I’m really stuck because of blank and you could live mastermind or coach each other. What is the challenge and how can I get around it? Right? What do you see that I’m not seeing? And so that’s a coaching tip. The huddles, five minutes, face to face, a very short, but if you want to go deeper, do that weekly or biweekly. If you have a virtual team like I do, I just connect on Slack.
Daniel: 20:53 So you could do that. You could do it through texts, you could do it through email, so you don’t have to necessarily do it face to face. John, he’s a leader, actually of a business. I worked with him one on one and I did the productivity sprint with him. He got a ton of value from it and he said daily huddles are a nudge that I’m moving in the right direction. So it’s not supposed to be a big thing. It’s just a quick reminder like this is where I’m supposed to be headed.
Daniel: 21:22 The Better Leaders Better Schools Podcast is brought to you by Organized Binder. Organized Binder is an evidence-based RTI, tier one universal level solution and focuses on improving executive functioning and non cognitive skills. You can learn more and improve your students’ success @organizedbinder.com.
Daniel: 21:44 Today’s podcast is sponsored by SaneBox. I’m a current subscriber to SaneBox and it is absolutely a tool that all school leaders cannot live without. Why do I love it? It just works. There is nothing to learn, nothing to install and SaneBox works directly with every single email service out there. Imagine a world where only the important emails make it to your inbox. All the unimportant stuff is magically filtered out to folders that you can review later, that’s SaneBox’s artificial intelligence, working behind the scenes. It has saved me countless hours of filtering emails each week and it will do the same for you. If I could give you three or more extra hours each week, what would you be able to accomplish with that time? That’s what SaneBox does for me and it will do it for you. Start your free two week trial and get a $25 credit by visiting sanebox.com/BLBS. That’s sanebox.com/BLBS.
Daniel: 22:52 So I want you to think, I want to ask you a question. If you were able to get in 2020 5%, 10%, 15%, 20% more productive, would you be thrilled with that kind of result? How would you feel differently about yourself and the work that you create? How would your family feel and view you differently? How would your coworkers and the team that you lead see you if you’re able to level up in your productivity? A lot of people ask how they can work with me in regards to ideal week or productivity and this kind of stuff. And I’ve worked with leaders one-on-one. So Charlie, the CEO I was mentioning of the green building architecture firm. This is just real talk. He invests$1,000 per month plus a percentage of his profits to work with me and his team, right? There’s leaders that I work with in the mastermind, there’s school leaders that I also work with one-on-one.
Daniel: 23:50 Don’t worry, they don’t have to pay out Charlie’s investment. School budgets are a little bit different, but that’s the way that I work with people, right? Now the neat thing is in order to make the biggest impact and to do something in community, which I love working with groups, I think that’s a super power of mine, is bringing people together, I’m inviting you leaders, ruckus makers to something I’m calling The Productivity Sprint. And so for 12 weeks you could surround yourself with other leaders focused on just one thing. All we’re talking about is productivity and how to maximize the impact we have in 2020 and three of the points in this 10 point system, I’ve already talked with you and you could just take action on those and you’ll see your productivity increase. But if you want to learn the other seven points and go deeper with each point and even better be surrounded by leaders all doing the same thing you’re invited to The Productivity Sprint.
Daniel: 24:51 So there’s 10 points. We discussed the miracle morning, we discussed the ideal week and daily check-ins. We’ll also have video content, written content and templates on, okay, ours, Zig Ziglar on goals, something called leaping and the project life, setting up your board notes on planning, measure your execution and weekly deep dives. So who has this worked for? It’s worked for industry leaders, leaders in education. It’s worked for people who haven’t been able to see big projects through. They’ve abandoned them all the time and they just haven’t shipped big projects. It works for folks that have had moderate success, ruckus makers that have created value in their organization, shipping major projects, but maybe inconsistent in their implementation. And if you could record a podcast right now, teaching the world how to be more productive because you’re an expert, it even helps folks like you, ruckus makers like you.
Daniel: 25:53 I can teach you a few tips and tricks that’ll get you 2 to 5% more productive within my 10 point system. Most online courses don’t work. That’s a fact. And it’s because you do it on your own. There’s not a lot of accountability. So those projects get abandoned. Most online courses have a lower than 10% graduation rate. But this isn’t most courses. Yes, there’s video and template content that you’ll have there, but you’ll be surrounded by other leaders in education and in business that will be cheering you on, challenging you and holding you accountable and pushing you. We’re all going towards the same goal, including myself. And so that will generate momentum and excitement and accountability to move forward. So let me at least tell you what you’ll get in the entire program, and then I’ll give you a special offer for just listeners of the podcast.
Daniel: 26:49 So the sprint itself is a 10 point system. There’ll be video content, some articles shared and templates, templates on productivity in an ideal week. And then there’s seven group coaching calls, which will be live. If you miss them, there’ll be taped. But that’ll be about 45 minutes, maybe an hour where we just go over your biggest productivity questions and questions about the 10 point system, a lot of value there. So that’s the whole program, but there’s three bonuses too. So if you sign up and you’re the first five very clear, I want to make that very clear. First five will get a one hour deep dive coaching convo with me. Everybody will get the second bonus, which is a authentic leadership video course, which is just about leading in alignment with your principles and core values. And then everybody will get the third bonus, which is a goal reflection template.
Daniel: 27:42 The exact process and questions you should ask to reflect on the sprint to maximize the value, maximize the learning understand why you were a success, where the challenges were and how to adapt to them for the future. So that’s it. The 10 point system video, private Slack community, the productivity and ideal week templates, seven group coaching calls, the three bonuses, the one hour deep dive coaching convo for the first five, the authentic leadership video course for everybody. The goal reflection template. And that’s for everybody too. And so all of that is worth way more than what I’m asking for. It’s worth over $2,000. I’m actually online for people that just find this productivity sprint. I’m asking for $497 which is a steal, but for you, since you’re special, you’re a ruckus maker that listens to the podcast, if you go on the website and enter the code ruckusmaker, all one word, you can join the sprint for just $297 so that’s $200 less than what I’m asking on the website. So that’s betterleadersbetterschools.com/productivity-sprint. Of course there’s a link in the show notes for you as well.
Daniel: 29:01 You could also put me to the test. 30 day money back guarantee. If you commit to watching all the videos, if you actually keep score of your implementation and implement at 80% or higher. If you attend 80% or more of the Slack huddles, the daily huddles, and you still don’t think the value’s there, I’ll give you your money back, no questions asked, but you have to engage in the content, you have to take action. Other opportunities out there, I’m telling you are untested theories, but with this 10 point system it is proven. It’s worked for me. It’s worked for others that I’ve taught it to. It will work for you. So if you want that, the videos, the templates, the private Slack community, the group coaching calls and the bonuses go to betterleadersbetterschools.com/productivity-sprint. Last story I’m going to end with. Eric is a superintendent I work with in Ohio.
Daniel: 29:58 He has invested in one-on-one coaching with me for years now. I love him. He’s just a super sharp very logical, very inspirational, just great leader. I so enjoy my time with him. He invested good money to work on an ideal week, just one part of this 10 point system. For some reason he didn’t implement it and so there we were in one of our coaching calls and typically he’s prepared. He’s laser focused on what he wants to work on, how he wants to grow. Well this meeting, for some reason, he didn’t really have much to talk about. So I said, Eric, how’s ideal week going? And he had to admit he hadn’t taken action. I don’t know why. Maybe it was what some leaders experience where it’s a fear. If I tell you what I’m going to work on, right. If you know where I think the most value is in investing my time and where I’m going to ship these different projects, then you’ll ask if I actually do it.
Daniel: 31:05 So maybe it was some fear with having his team know. Maybe he’s wondering if it would really work. The point is he hadn’t taken action, but he did the work to create it and invested in working with me to make it happen. So we agreed by the end of that day, he would hand off his ideal week to his admin assistant and he’d tell his leadership team how he would spend an ideal week. Within just two weeks, alright, are you listening? Two weeks here’s what he told me. Daniel I have this sense of peace and focus and calm like I’ve never had in years. Normally over the weekends I want to connect with my family, but I’m preoccupied. I’m thinking about all the things that need to get done during the week and especially on Monday morning. Now because I have an ideal week he said, I trust the system.
Daniel: 32:05 I trust that I have a plan. I’m able to fully engage with my family and then go into work on Monday knowing I know exactly what to do. So ruckus maker, you have a choice. You can keep doing the same thing and keep getting the same results or you could choose a new path. You can take action on the three tips that I shared with you today, the miracle morning, the ideal week, the daily huddle or you could jump into the productivity sprint. That’s betterleadersbetterschools.com/productivity-sprint and I guarantee by surrounding yourself with other leaders in education and business all focused on one thing. Just one thing, productivity. Starting on January 6th and ending at the end of March, you will see yourself be able to produce even more value in 2020 so it’s up to you. I hope to see you in the sprint. Thanks for listening and keep making a ruckus.
Daniel: 33:18 Thanks for listening to the Better Leaders Better Schools Podcasts ruckus maker. If you have a question or would like to connect, my email is [email protected] or hit me up on Twitter @alienearbud. If the Better Leaders Better Schools Podcast is helping you grow as a school leader, then please help us serve more ruckus makers like you. You can subscribe, leave an honest rating and review or share on social media with your biggest takeaway from the episode. Extra credit for tagging me on Twitter @alienearbud and using the #BLBS. Level up your leadership at betterleadersbetterschools.com and talk to you next time. Until then, class dismissed.
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