The Overachiever vs. The Superachiever (3 of 4)


Just joining us? Be sure to read Installment #1 and #2

Here is a simple (but don’t let the simplicity fool you!) but PROFOUND plan to immediately multiply your productive output many times over your current rate.

I’m not talking about activity (more work, more time). I said productivity (results, money, accomplishment, goal attainment)… all the while, living much more stress free and carefree existence (more time for family, fun and hobbies!).

Let me outline a 5-point Superachiever Productivity Plan for you… this is what I do.

No. 1—Plan tomorrow today. Jim Rohn taught me, “Don’t start your day until it is finished on paper.” And the best time to do this is the day before.

This is an important and many times not so easy-to-keep discipline. The last thing I do before I shut down for the day, by routine, is to review and complete the plan for the following day.

The entire process takes less than 10 minutes. What you don’t want to do is wake up and then figure out what you should be doing—it’s way too late by then. Chances are the rest of the world will have decided what it wants you to do and it will control your day, instead of you. You will be reacting instead of creating.

Let me take you through that simple planning process, since the key to brilliant execution is always brilliant planning.

That takes us to…

No. 2—Review, or establish if you don’t already have, your BIG 3. These are your top three goals for the year. Not 100 goals, or 10 goals; it’s critical you to focus them down to just your BIG 3—your top and most important goals. The kind of goals that if you only accomplished those three you would undoubtedly have your best year ever.

This review and focus process is important to calibrate and align point number three…

No. 3—Identifying your 3 MVPs—your three Most Valuable Priorities: those few activities that are worth five to ten times the value of all the rest of the tasks.

“If you have more than three strategic priorities, you don’t have any.” —Jim Collins

No. 4—Now that you have your 3 MVPs, take your calendar for tomorrow and chunk. This is where you block out chunks of time on your calendar to specifically work your 3 MVPs. What doesn’t get scheduled doesn’t get done.

Additional Tip: During these important time chunks, clear the potential distractions. Put yourself in a “cone of silence.” Turn off your phones, your email, your Facebook, Twitter or anything else that can reach you. Also shut your door; you don’t need to have an open-door policy all the time. There is a time for intensely focused, undisturbed productive work.

I put a sign on my door that says when I will be available next. This way if someone comes looking for me, I am not just simply unavailable; it is clear when I will be

available next. No problem. If you find keeping the distractions away from you difficult then maybe do what I do often—go somewhere where you can’t be found and is away from your typical addictive distraction traps. I will go to a library, to a colleague’s unused conference room or even in my car parked at the beach or in a park. I am AMAZED at how much creative work I get done when I separate from my normal environment, which is full of distraction devices and temptations.

Now that you have your BIG 3 goals reviewed, your 3 MVPs aligned to them and your time chunks allocating to executing on those MVPs, we can now discuss what to do tomorrow.

No. 5—The very first thing you should do when you enter the office—don’t check email, don’t sort your mail, don’t review the morning news—is lick your chops and Eat That Frog (the title of a Brian Tracy book). Take the nastiest but most important priority of the day, and eat it first. Spend 90 minutes in your cone of silence doing nothing but executing, with complete and uninterrupted focus, on your most important priority… for 90 minutes straight. No more, no less.

If you do this, you will get more done. More important, you’ll get more done of what is IMPORTANT than most people will get done in two or three days of constantly interrupted and distracted 12-hour days in the office.

Exclusive Audio!

Hear an audio explanation of my 5-Point Productivity Plan:

Click here to listen

Superachiever 5-Point Productivity Plan Cheat Sheet:

1) Plan your day the night before
2) Review your BIG 3
3) Decide your 3 MVPs
4) Chunk out times on your calendar for your 3 MVPs
5) Eat That Frog—your No. 1 MVP first thing in the morning for 90 minutes.

Download free PDF Worksheet here: Superachiever Daily Productivity Planning

What do you do to plan and prepare for a high-performance day? Share your ideas with the community in the comments below.




51 responses to “The Overachiever vs. The Superachiever (3 of 4)”

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  10. Thanks for a really helpful set of pointers. I just completed a one year marketing plan in which I put everything I have done and everything I plan to do. It took 4 weeks to complete. When I was finished, instead of feeling elated I felt depressed thinking, Now what? Now I had not 1 or 2 or 3 goals but a whole 61 pages of intentions for the year.

    I really love the concept of 3 major goals for an entire year and then chunking it down regularly.

  11. thanks a million :)

    What’s the difference btwen 3 goals and 3 MVP?
    I gave it a thought but couldn’t get the link.


  12. Wow I just read this blog post thank you Darren! Since reading
    The Compound Effect and Living YBYE, I’ve saved much time, money and less clutter. I use your books with The Power of Now, my gratitude journal, Yoga Journal, Self, Success magazine and spiritual books. Using your books has made healthier, happier and more financially abundant this year. Tracking what I eat & workouts helped me live perfect bill of health…makes my doc’s job much easier-lol! Thank you!

  13. Darren, when do you think is a good time to start planning for the 2012? I started using LYBYE journal in Feb 2011 and planning to start a new Living Journal for Jan ’12. Thank you!

  14. Thanks Darren! Using Superachiever daily planner and I’m making great progress utilizing it to complete my Frog of studying for a certification at work. My MVP 2-is to complete my LYBYE weekly and monthly reviews today. Having fun while doing all of these by the pool. Looking forward to part 4.

    Happy August and enjoy rest of summer!

  15. Very valuable, simple tools for getting important things done.
    I intend to put it in practice and share it with others.
    Thanks For a great post.

  16. I have used Franklin, planner pad planner, apps prior to Living YBYE journal and I found that using Living Journal this year makes me more inspired, engaged and even happier because I see results using the behavior tracking system where I cannot fool myself. I have changed my behaviors using Darren’s journal this year. For example, I write-Write on my Husband’s appreciation journal daily secretly, track it and experience a more fun & romantic connection with my spouse. He appreciates more than real estate:-) Kidding aside, Living journal works for me.

    Thank you!

  17. Thanks Darren! Your post is a great review for daily use of Living My Best Year Ever journal.
    To prep for next day, I write my top 5 actions to take. Now, I will change it to 3 MVPs that are pertinent to my big 3 goals. I also write on my small black moleskin what I’m grateful for during
    downtimes at work. Writing how I want my day to be and how I want my next day to be in the present gratitude tense brings me satisfaction and great results usually. Then, I pray and meditate on my list seeing it as done & celebrate.

    I love my Living Journal & bringing it this Sunday for my monthly review on the beach.

    Thank you Darren! Happy weekend to you and Georgia:-)

    Love & prosperity,

  18. fabulous. fabulous. and now for the execution. what is that has people say “oh yeah totally that is so what i need to do” and then continue on with business as usual. i sure hope to find better and better ways to bring peaceful productivity to the people around me, to the world. thanks for a great post.

  19. Darren This is really well thought out and well stated. A concept that I have been working on with my coaching clients is that IT IS OKAY TO DO ALL OF THE THINGS THAT YOU MENTIONED. Unsuccessful people feel selfish etc when carving out the cone of time that you mentioned. This is why they fail. Successful people, over achievers, and super achievers realize that they have the potential to add massive value to a huge number of people when they refuse to allow their time to be squandered to a small number of people or to the wrong priorities. For example every time anyone turns on a light they benefit from Thomas Edison’s contributions correct? You have to know that he “ticked off” many people when he was “too involved” to stop working because someone “wanted to chat” or had a get together which wasn’t a priority to him. We ALL have the potential to make MAJOR contributions when we refuse to “leak oil”. We must never “major in minor things” as your friend Mr Rohn was so fond of saying!
    Have a wonderful day and thanks for not leaking oil yourself as we the reader benefit greatly from your cones of time!!

  20. Hi Hannah:

    I too use the Franklin Covey planner. I discovered after some time of planning digitally that I prefer to write instead of type my goals. I seem to stay focused better when I write. Perhaps it’s the empowering feeling of marking something “completed”. Maybe you should give writing a in your planner another try.

    Take care.

  21. Darren,

    Excellent reminder.

    I subscribe and do a good job with your suggestions except starting with email. Since last week, I’ve stopped checking email first thing in the morning (you actually prompted me to do something about it on the last blog) and start with the most important priorities. THANK YOU for the nudge! The result = this morning I first closed a $1 million dollar profitable business transaction by 9:00 AM before checking email.

    One other suggestion I have to add to your list. At the end of each week, I review the week and journal my last 7 days of activity as far as what worked, what I learned, and what I would do different. I then look ahead the next 7 days to be sure my activities are aligned with my goals. This helps me create world class results and focus.

    Best Regards,

  22. Darren, I can’t thank you enough but let me put it to you this way, the information you so joyfully pass on to All of us has truly Changed my life for the better an that was yesterday I cant wait to see what tomorrow brings.

  23. I used to do this when I used a Franklin/Covey planner. Since I’ve gone digital, I’ve lost the discipline and I’m not sure how to get it back without going to a paper-based plan.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  24. Perfect timing!
    I needed to get back on the track again! With a 5 point plant there is no excuse.
    Thanx for your precious post.
    My best, Wolfgang