Unlocking the Secrets on How To Become Unrealistically Productive with The Amazing Adrian Shepherd
What if you could get 1 years worth of work done in 3 months?
Some nights, I grin an evil smile as I check everything off my to-do list. Other nights, I spend hours watching Black Mirrors on Netflix. I often think of how much more I could have done but I also know it takes time to find and master the techniques that work for me.
I had the chance to interview Adrian Shepherd, a world class productivity coach who has spent a years researching the topic and experimenting.
Adrian Shepherd started his career as an ESL teacher in Japan, but today focuses on consulting with individuals and companies on productivity. His background in education helped him develop The One-Bite Time Management System (TMS ), a revolutionary new system based entirely around simplicity: small bites that people can digest easily. He is also a contributor for publications such as Inc., The Huffington Post, and CEOWorldMagazine. He is based in Osaka, Japan!
Try Adrian’s favorite lessons to complete your to-do lists every time:
What’s the mindset I need to focus more? Is there a routine, some sort of meditation, or something that will help me be more productive?
Adrian’s response: I find that, for most clients, the key to focus and productivity begins with mastery over the small things in our life. Too often people tell me they “can’t” do something. That they don’t have the time. What a bunch of baloney. Have you ever noticed people are always able to make time for those things they want to do. Of course you can become an uber achiever. Anyone can, but very few will. What I want them to see is that by taking control over a few small, easy tasks, that they will get results quickly. With each success, they free up a few more minutes and quite quickly those minutes add up.
One good routine I have all clients get into is breathing. Sounds silly I know, but how many of us have actually taken the time to learn how to breathe effectively. You can use your breath to increase or decrease tension in your body which is why yoga is such great exercise.
What’s the biggest time waster you see in entrepreneurs?
Adrian: This is a toss-up between two things: email and overestimating their ability to get things done in a certain time frame. Emails are easy, quick and most importantly, they’re there, right in front of us on our phones and our computer screens. As such people tend to want to get them done first. Big mistake. Most emails, even from clients and business partners are often not urgent. By responding lightning quickly (which seems great upfront) you are setting yourself up for failure later on as people come to expect, and worse, demand the same attention every time, 365 days a year. Also remember, you have your own agenda. Things you need to get done. By simply not starting each day with checking your email will increase productivity by an amazing 30%.
As for the second, there’s one skill that every entrepreneur should learn early on it’s knowing how long something takes to get done. Then making sure you give yourself some leeway to get it done as we all know something inevitably comes up. The worst thing you can do in any business is over-promise and underdeliver. You want people to know you are someone who gets things done, but sometimes revealing just how quickly you can get them done is a mistake younger entrepreneurs tend to make.
What’s something that holds them back from being more productive?
Adrian's professional advice: For many entrepreneurs, the inability to say “No” to people definitely holds them back. Yes is easy. Saying yes to requests is the easy way out. Saying no will ruffle some feathers and cause some trouble. It’s sad, but there are those people who take advantage of other people whenever they can. They love to dump their workload onto other people by simply requesting “a small favor.” I learned early on in life that most people have no trouble asking for something, but by asking them to send it to you in writing, clearly explaining what it is they want will get rid of those tire kickers.
What’s your advice to an entrepreneur,a CEO, or a company, if they want to get more done in the average day?
Adrian's response: Besides not answering emails first thing and saying no, I would have to say that our habits are costing us valuable hours at the office and at home each week. Most of the time we’re either dealing with crises which is panic mode, or on automatic pilot. Regardless, habits build up. Unfortunately habits are either helping us or hurting our productivity. When dealing with executive on a one-to-one basis, I like to find out what their average week consists in as much detail as possible and see what time leaks there are then create ways to plug them.