My mentor recently pointed out to me that I am very likely a couple months into a sustained period of high personal productivity. We typically refer to this as a “Phenomenon” period, so called after “The Phenomenon” program by Dan Kennedy that discusses how to create intense periods of high personal productivity that enables a person to accomplish more in a few months than they have in the prior few years.
Before I get into that, just a quick announcement that this month’s Premium member content is now available in the members area. This includes “Done For You” blog/email articles and social media content, the latest Tax Marketing Monthly newsletter where I write about getting search traffic through SEO, the recording from the July group Q&A call, and much more!
As you may know, I’ve recently been working on several new projects simultaneously. Between several new books in the works (including a comprehensive tax resolution checklist manual, still in editing), the June launch of the CPA Tax Resolution Leadership Program, and a couple new web sites (which will be rolled out soon, and are being built for your benefit), I’ve been pretty busy lately.
As you may also be aware, I had a grand plan to volunteer for the next 10 months in the country of Georgia. It was a very difficult decision, but I have decided to postpone that amazing life experience until at least January. Why would I do this? More than anything else, it’s to support you.
All of my projects right now are for the benefit of tax professionals such as yourself. One of the big secrets to maximizing personal productivity is that when you’re experiencing a phenomenal period of productivity, it’s best not to interrupt it.
And this brings me to the entire point of this article: To achieve maximum productivity in your life and your practice, engage yourself in high-value activities.
What exactly are high value activities?
I consider a high-value activity to be anything that moves your toward the realization of a goal. Playing Travian (an online game) does not advance me towards my goals. Catching up on my Hulu queue doesn’t advance me towards my goals. Neither does hanging out on Facebook, or having anything more than two or three drinks at the hotel bar every night.
High-value activities in your tax practice include things such as:
- Lead generation marketing
- Lead follow up marketing
- Client touch programs
- Attending mastermind groups
- Creating and implementing systems
When you engage in high-value activities, and you engage in many of them simultaneously, and you engage in them extremely frequently, something amazing happens: You’re spending all your work time on high-value activities that push you forward to the realization of your goals.
When you are so busy with high-value activities, you suddenly have no time to deal with OPE (Other People’s Emergencies). You suddenly find yourself delegating tasks that are “below your paygrade”. You find yourself expecting more of your staff, your vendors, and everybody else around you. You’re raising the stakes, raising your own game, and expecting everybody else to up their game, too.
When you are focused exclusively on high-value activities, you automate, delegate, systemize, outsource, and streamline as much as you possibly can. This eliminates the “time vampires” that typically suck up all your valuable time. Instead of putting out fires all day, you’re either eliminating the sources of fire or empowering other people to address the matter themselves. This is how a real business should be operated.
Create an environment for yourself to succeed, and to maximize productivity. I’m in the process of doing this myself, by postponing an overseas move that I really want to make, and instead settling down for the next six months in the Pacific Northwest. Yes, I have created a situation that allows me to be nomadic, and I’ve enjoyed it for the past three years, but in order to fully maximize my productivity, I can’t be spending half my day checking in and out of hotels, driving, or sitting at airports. That’s simply too much productive time down the drain.
Critically analyze how you spend your own time. From dealing with office emergencies that aren’t really emergencies, to randomly flipping through TV channels for three hours every night, think about where you are burning critical productivity time. This time can and should be filled with moving towards your goals. Also bear in mind that one of the biggest differences between successful people and unsuccessful people is that successful people force themselves to do the things they need to do at the times when they feel least motivated to do them.
Feeling unmotivated to make direct mail follow up calls? Successful people will do it anyway. Don’t feel like driving across town to attend a networking event? Successful people will get up and go anyway. Don’t consider yourself a writer, and don’t want to write a 500-word article to post on your blog this week? Tough it out and do it anyway.
These little actions add up over time, and really are what makes the difference between success and failure. The reason I can turn tax resolution client flow on and off at will is because I pushed through my own lack of motivation to implement the systems. They’re turned off right now, but all my mailing sequences are sitting there in my Click2Mail account, ready for me to send them whenever I’m ready. In my own tax lien mailing list account, the search settings are already set for me to download a new mailing list. My phone script is already written. I could literally be back up and actively marketing my tax practice within 10 minutes, merely because I took the time in the past to create the system.
I encourage you to do whatever it takes for you to maximize your productivity. We all have the exact same 24 hours in each day. How you choose to spend those hours is on you. You can choose to move forward to your goals, stay stagnant, or even move backwards. The choice is totally up to you.
Of course, I hope you choose moving forward. Come on over to the “Phenomenon” side: It’s a great view from over here.