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The Holy Grail Of Productivity

The Holy Grail Of Productivity
A Repeatable Approach to Elite Level Productivity In Your
AVOID Falling Prey To Your Business BURNING OUT.
By Re’ Peters. Copyright 2020.
This document contains business strategies and other business advice
that, regardless of mine or others’ results and experience, may not
produce the same results (or any results for you). The author makes
absolutely no guarantees either expressed or implied, that you will make
money or improve your profits as there are other factors and variables
that come into play regarding any business. Primarily, results will depend
on the nature of the product or business, market conditions, the
experience of the individual, and situations and circumstances that are
outside of the author’s control.
As with any business endeavor, you assume all risk related to any
money or activities you choose to invest or engage in using the advice
given below.
Liability disclaimer:
By reading this document, you assume all risks associated with using the
advice given below, with a full understanding that you, solely, are
responsible for anything that may occur as a result of putting this
information into action in any way, and regardless of your interpretation
of the advice.
You further agree that our company cannot be held responsible in any
way for the success or failure of your business as a result of the
information presented below. It is your own responsibility to conduct your
own due diligence regarding the safe and successful operation of your
business if you intend to apply any of our information in any way to your
business operations.
You are given a non- transferable, “personal use”, license to this product.
You cannot distribute it or share it with other individuals.
Introduction…………………………………………………Pg 3.
The Realization…………………………………………….Pg 5.
The #1 Stealthiest killer of your productivity……….……Pg 9.
Challenges………………………………………………...Pg 12.
Faces Of A Stealthy Killer Of Productivity.………….….Pg 13.
Triggers………………………………………………….…Pg 17.
Spot The Triggers Technique………………………..…..Pg 22.
The Price You Pay……………..…………………..……..Pg 25.
Your Antidote………………………………………..…….Pg 30.
Garden Model. Garden Model…………………………...Pg 32.
Garden Model Vs. Silver Bullet………………………….Pg 44.
About The Author…………………………………………Pg 47.
As an entrepreneur, you are responsible for not just
the survival but also the thriving of your enterprise. Think of
elite athletes or special forces.
That’s you in the world of revenue generation as you
provide a product or service that solves a problem in the
marketplace. As entrepreneurs and self-employed
professionals, you carry entire economies on your backs and
create jobs to put food on the tables of families.
To perform at such a high level, you need to make
sure that you are firing on all cylinders at all times…right?
Wrong! You can’t fire on all cylinders for every waking hour.
Even the fastest cars in the world overheat if they
maintain that speed nonstop for extended periods.
By the end of this eBook, you will be able to identify
and eliminate the #1 stealthiest killer of your productivity.
Just managing this one thing will translate to getting more
done in less time.
I’m not saying you’re going to build a multi milliondollar business working 4 hours a week. I mean you will be
able to generate better, and measurable results and reclaim
as much as 10 productive hours in your week.
You will no longer be at the mercy of your to-do list:
bumbling and stumbling through your days until eventually
you burn an entire year and have not moved the ball
Others around you will not only notice a change about
you, but they will come to see you more and more as the
true leader.
Whereas if you don’t address this, you would become
the bottleneck in the progress of your team. The progress of
your enterprise. They say that a business that isn’t growing
is dying. Where does your business lie?
By learning the tools and exercises in this eBook, you
get to feel totally in control of your time and efforts. You get
to start living like your business is serving your life and not
over running it.
When I decided to put this eBook together, it was
because of two things:
Firstly, I’ve been an entrepreneur since 2008, having
run a company in the real estate and construction industry
doing 7 figure years. At different times, I had been
inconsistent with my focus and my productivity. I have also
had experience in the world of Mergers & Acquisitions
(basically the buying and selling of businesses).
I was “ALWAYS ON” so even when I wasn’t working, I
actually was: I’d be at the theaters with my family but my
brain was at the office or jobsite, thinking about one thing or
the other.
Whatever it was, my mind was often split. That ever
happen to you before?
Don’t get me wrong, I got things done but I sometimes
found myself in a state of being “brain fried” (I’ll be using that
term interchangeably with mental fatigue). I am also no
stranger to the feeling of burnout. I wanted consistency in my
performance without hitting those walls of mental fatigue or
The second reason was, well you know how as an
entrepreneur you sometimes feel like you’re going through
stuff that’s unique to you?
If you hate spreadsheets or you would rather take a
bullet than go knocking on doors, you feel like you are
somehow not measuring up to what an entrepreneur should
Well like many other high performing entrepreneurs, I
felt this was something that I alone was struggling with
because all these other entrepreneurs seemed to have
figured something out that I hadn’t (Hello perfect looking
social media posts!).
Anyways I decided to slow down and pay attention.
At some point, something came into focus that was true in
some other aspects of my life: No one has it all figured
out. We’re all going through the motions in one form or
Think about it: You might be an absolute shark in the
negotiation room but a scared little mouse when it comes to
serious number crunching. I’m not talking about putting
together an income and expense report. I mean, working
with numbers for about 4 to 5 hours in a day.
We’re all just doing some things more efficiently than
others and not as great in some things compared to others.
Even though I made this realization a while ago, I decided
that it was time for me to share to help entrepreneurs and to
help myself, let me explain.
I’ve heard it said that if you can’t explain a concept to
a stranger in such a way that they would understand, then
you don’t fully understand it yet.
To properly explain the issue of this deadly killer of
your productivity, I am forced to present it in such a way that
I bring clarity to all that stuff from multiple sources of
Before we go forward, I want to make a quick
disclaimer. I have written and published a #1 best selling
book and have written other publications in which my
language has been very clean: I’ve used no profanity
In this eBook, you might not go unscathed by a
random word here and there. It won’t read like a sailor wrote
it, but the occasional word might jump out at you. Hopefully,
you’re not offended.
I say hopefully because my intention is to help you
identify and eliminate one of the deadliest killers of your
productivity. If you can’t go through it and get the value that’s
in it that’s okay too. Unfortunate, but okay.
Having been an entrepreneur since 2008, I’ve learned
SOOO many things about productivity from mentors,
coaches, peers, courses, personal experience…I mean its
quite the mixed bag if I can be honest.
Okay so as I was writing this, my wife came and sat
down beside me to help her put on her sneakers and
tie them. She’s 8 months pregnant.
That distracted me and because I am aware of the
very thing that kills productivity, I was irritated at
first. Then I caught myself. I’ll talk about this very
scenario later.
This was perfect because it speaks directly to this
entire eBook.
By laying it out to you in such a way that it has a proper
progression and solution, I can bring order and some
structure to this whole thing.
Okay, where was I? oh right. So up until recently, I’d
been doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that when it
comes to productivity. I know many of the do’s and don’ts
and sometimes I get it right, other times I don’t.
As you will see, rather than share with you another
silver bullet, I’m giving you a model you can use daily such
that you can plug your own little pieces into it and create
your own custom solution to the #1 silent killer to your
If you haven’t nailed this productivity thing down, then
try it on. Just like when you go to a store and you try on an
outfit to see if it fits, pay attention to the value I’m offering
and try it on for size. Hey, you might actually improve your
productivity drastically!
Okay so what is THE one stealthiest killer of your
productivity as an entrepreneur or self employed
I say stealthy because it happens so seamlessly and
sometimes unconsciously that if you don’t know the signs,
you wouldn’t catch it until it’s too late: You’ve had a busy yet
useless day, week, month or year.
This enemy of your productivity is context switching.
So, let me define it for you. Context-switching simply is when
you mentally engage in more than one unrelated thing either
at the same time or in quick succession.
Its more that just multi tasking because multi tasking
is usually you do more than one thing at the same time.
Context-switching includes multi tasking and more.
In addition to multi tasking, you also get caught when
you do a series of unrelated tasks in rapid succession for a
stretch of time.
You might not come back to a task you did but then
you are jumping to another unrelated task and then another
unrelated task…all the way till your brain is fried at the end
of the day.
In an article by the American Psychological
Association, there was a 2001 published experiment by
Joshua Rubinstein PhD, Jeffrey Evans PhD, David Meyer
PhD on switching between tasks.
The article talked about the price we pay mentally
when we engage in task switching. The article said that
switching can happen very quickly between each task, but
your productivity can suffer by as much as 40%.
Here’s a remarkably simple example of how contextswitching might be happening in your life.
1- You sit down to watch a tv show with your partner.
2- You are both on your phones while watching the
show. Either texting or on social media. (doesn’t
matter what you’re doing but you’re each on your
3- Throughout the show, you are both micro switching
back and forth between the phone and the show.
4- Something happens on the show and one of you
asks, “what did she just say?” or “what just
And you’re thinking, “um...weren’t we looking at the same
screen?” Well you both weren’t. This was just a basic
scenario that you maybe you can relate to. What’s it like in
your daily activities as an entrepreneur?
In order for you to be as productive as humanly possible,
you want to ideally be in something like a flow state: A state
where you are so immersed in your task that its almost as if
time flies. Context switching will either keep you out of a flow
state or it will reduce how long you can stay in that state.
We’ll get into all that later, but I wanted to basically help
you see that its like two sides of a coin:
When you are productive, you are in a form of flow state
with your tasks like a samurai. When you are unproductive,
its like you are bumbling and stumbling in a noisy kitchen
with pots and pans constantly banging on each other. Its all
a matter of degrees but you get the picture.
Listen. I have invested time, I’ve spent money on
courses, even coaches who shared some of that as part of
their coaching. I’ve paid with my own mind through countless
“brain fried” days and many burnouts.
Over the years, I’ve had some friends who have jobs
talk about how entrepreneurs have it easy because they get
to do whatever they want with their time.
Haha if you’re a high performing entrepreneur, you
know how much bullshit is in such a statement because they
don’t know the half of it but that’s okay.
Yeah as an entrepreneur you can do whatever you
want with your time. Doesn’t mean you get to actually do
whatever you want.
You must do what is necessary to keep your business
viable. Its not all sunshine and rainbows on this side of the
fence bud.
As an entrepreneur, you start your day and you create
a full list of things to do. Let’s say you’ve accounted for every
breathing minute until you must get home, right?
What happens instead? There are at least 3
“business fires” that come up during the day. You get 4 other
calls from folks who want you to call them back. Oh also, a
couple of the things on your to do list took longer than you
accounted for.
Remember when you had every breathing minute
accounted for? Where are you supposed to squeeze these
new things in?
Here’s another one. You decide you want to work
from home. Hahaha. Have kids?
You have two choices as I see it. Become the grinch
during your work hours so your kids sprint to other parts of
the house where you are NOT, or you be a great parent and
pay dearly by having their cuteness interrupt the shit out of
your day.
Context switching usually takes a few forms:
1- Multi-tasking:
This is when you are engaging two or more unrelated
tasks at the same time (just like the scenario I gave of
you watching tv while playing on your phone).
Your brain is split between two different contexts at
any one time. If you are playing with the kids and
thinking about something at the office, you are
2- Rapid-Fire Tasks:
Usually for this, you have a completely full calendar
for the day where you leave one task or meeting and
jump into another without much breathing room.
In many cases, each new task is a different context
from the last. This is usually a result of using just a todo list of tasks that need to be accomplished.
You see, building a to-do list is pretty much a
brainstorm: You write down in point form, the list of
tasks that need to be done for the day.
Because some ideas will come more readily than
others, you will come up with random stuff and if you
jump into your day just from that brainstorm, you are
bound for trouble mentally and not even know it.
When you find yourself at the end of your day where
you realize that you haven’t so much as had a drink of
water, you friend have had a rapid-fire kind of day.
3- Open loops:
You start a task and before its completed, you jump to
another task.
Even if the new task is related somehow, you still
have some unfinished business that is still open.
Please note that this is not the same for larger tasks.
For example, in writing this eBook, I had to chunk it
The outline for the first task, then first draft, then
looking it over etc.
I wouldn’t have been able to fit all those steps into
“one task”, that’s just setting myself up for
If you are working on something and then someone
else in your business drops off some documents for
you to look at and then you decide to look at it, you’ve
just switched contexts twice no matter how brief.
I say twice because you switched from your current
task to the documents, then depending on what you
do with the documents, you eventually switch back to
your original project.
There’s a reason I called it the #1 stealthiest killer of
productivity. It comes in so many forms that if you don’t know
what to look for, you are losing almost half of your
productivity and don’t even know it.
The first step to besting context-switching is to first
develop the awareness of what it looks like in your daily
If there’s a task that stresses you out, slow down and
become aware of what specifically led to it. If there’s a
certain relationship that works you up, slow down and notice
where in that relationship causes you to get stressed.
When you learn to identify and demonstrate control
over the triggers of context switching in your life, you my
friend will have one of the ingredients of peace of mind in
your day (that’s saying nothing about the results you get).
Now if you let the triggers of context-switching run
amok then you will just be in a constant state of reaction
even if you think you planned your day (think about that for a
minute). In other words, things will just keep happening to
you and not for you.
Another thing you will gain from learning about these
triggers is that others will start to notice something shift
inside you.
They might not be able to put their finger on it, but
you’d be calmer. Why? Well you know exactly what to
eliminate to be the best version of yourself in business.
Being at the whim of your triggers would seep into
other aspects of your life. I don’t know about you but I as a
father used to get so tied up in work that I wasn’t present
with my family.
My wife, kids and friends did not get the best of me
because I was sometimes worked up from having had a long
day. I know confidently that other entrepreneurs have
struggled with that balance.
You’ll also notice how once you become aware, it’ll be
like the phenomenon when you decide you want to buy a
car: you start to notice that car everywhere you go.
It would be hard to ignore but more importantly, that
level of awareness will allow you to constantly be at the top
of your game.
So of course, its only right that I describe this thing
about triggers that cause context-switching right?
So, a trigger as I would describe it, is some sort of
stimulus that elicits a corresponding behavior.
Basically, something happens (whether you are
aware or not) and then you take an action that is in direct
response or reaction to what happened.
When it comes to context-switching, I want you to
know that there are two types of triggers that make you
switch contexts. Things that you somehow feel like you need
to respond to either right away or at some point.
External triggers are triggers that come from someone
or something outside of your control at the time.
Whether it’s a phone call that comes in the middle of
your task or you receive a text or even emails. It could also
take the form of unscheduled meetings.
You those ones where you run into someone who
starts chatting about something. 45 minutes later and you
realize you have other stuff to get back to.
When you think about it, these triggers come at any
point in time throughout your day. The trigger is activated
when you take the action of responding to it.
The moment you do, you’ve switched contexts.
Imagine how often and randomly you receive texts and calls
to your business and you can get an idea how much context
switching is going on in your head in any one day.
This one is usually tricky for entrepreneurs because it
requires self awareness on your part to notice when it
happens. We all have varying degrees of self awareness
from total oblivion to monk level awareness.
If you are like me and most people, you are
somewhere in the middle where you catch yourself much of
the time.
Internal triggers usually start from within yourself.
Sometimes you develop habits that have become almost
There was a point in time when the very moment I
opened my eyes, the first thing I did was open up social
media and scrolled through then after that, I checked emails.
I did not even get out of bed, go to a desk, and do this.
I would open my eyes, reach over for my phone, and
start scrolling. Crazy right?
With internal triggers, there are the autonomous
processes like bad habits with your technological devices
(social media, text, emails) and then there are unwittingly
self-imposed internal triggers.
So when I talked earlier about planning your schedule
back to back to back, I was talking about how you would
plan your days by creating lists toward your goals and you
just executed according to where on the list they were.
That means you could end up engaging to-do items
that relate to the company’s vision at three or four different
times throughout the day so you’d have to switch into that
head space three or four times in the day. Make sense?
Here’s the general process of how triggers work as it
pertains to contexts-switching:
1- You are in one state (e.g. sleep, working on one task,
spending time with family).
2- Your brain gets an instruction, or something gets your
attention (internal stimulus from habit or external
stimulus from the ping of a text).
3- Your brain feels that it needs to be responded to and
so you engage it.
You respond to the text in the middle of a meeting or
you answer a call just to tell the person you would call
them back
(I never understood why I would call a professional
who doesn’t know me, and they would answer the
phone just to tell me they were in a meeting and
would call me back. Just let it go to voicemail and I’ll
leave a message).
I remember watching a comedy a long time ago about
some guy going through police training and he had to go
through an obstacle course, shooting pop-up cardboard
images of bad guys.
The police academy would sometimes mix innocent
civilians amongst these pop-up cardboard images and if the
cadet shot an innocent person, they lost points or something.
Anyways I talked about self awareness and being
able to identify these triggers that cause you to fall victim to
the #1 stealthiest killer of your productivity. Well what’s a
consistent way to know what’s a trigger and what’s not?
Nothing beats the use of a simple time audit, to
identify your specific internal and external triggers.
A time audit helps you identify inefficient use of your
time as well as spot triggers that caused you to switch
contexts throughout your day.
When you do a time audit, you’re not doing it for the
purpose of don’t anything other than taking stock. You are
simply an observer and nothing else.
Here’s how you execute a time audit (You should do it
for at least 5 consecutive days):
1- Take a pen and notebook (You can do it in your daily
planner if it has a blank back page)
2- Track what you do from when you wake up till when you
go to bed (You do that by simply logging the start and end
times for everything you do throughout the day. You log it at
the end of the specific task)
4- You go back at the end of a week of daily audits and you
identify triggers: separating between internal and external
So, here’s an example. When I wake up, I brush my
teeth, take a shower, read a little, and respond to emails. I
would have an audit log that looks something like this:
6am – 6.20am – brushed teeth
6.20am – 7am – showered and got dressed
7am – 7.30am – checked and responded to emails
Do this every day for about 5 days. At the end, I want
you to go back and through each day, you can mark each
item according to “Business advancing activity”, “internal
trigger”, “external trigger”.
What you will discover is how many hours you are
actually productive in a day. Don’t be too shocked by what
you find.
So, something I need to tell you about the time audit
quick. Its somewhat that you won’t be consistent. I
intentionally said to do it for 5 days and not 30 because
doing 30 days straight for something that does not come
naturally to you, is hard. I get it.
If you skip a day of the 5 or whatever, just get back on
track and do it for the next day. You want to have 5 days in
succession to get a picture of what your days look like.
If you still need help with, I am offering a bonus. You
get a FREE 30-minute brainstorming or strategy zoom
call with me. We can put our heads together to help
you untangle this or any one thing in your business.
Only 2 caveats are that you
1. must have an established business and
2. Its first come first serve so my calendar may
not always be open if you wait too long.
To schedule your FREE 30-minute brainstorming call, go
HERE (you’ll be asked some online questions to
Back to it. So, if you skip a day during the 5-day
stretch, get back on track the next day. If you skip 2 out of 5
days, get back on track the next day. Just make that
commitment to yourself.
Remember I’m not asking for you to do 30 days and
besides, if you already work with daily planners or to-do lists,
you already have that list in front of you so you can simply
add it on the back page of your to-do list as you perform
Once you have completed the steps above to perform a
time audit, you take stock after 5 days and you will identify
two main things:
1- Times when you engaged in activities that might have
been busy but not moving the ball forward and
2- You will be able to see for yourself where you
engaged in context-switching that popped you into
unrelated tasks in succession.
The thing about productivity and specifically context
switching, you make lots of decisions in any day. You go
from a project management context to business
development to sometimes client facing representation.
Now I’m not only talking about solopreneurs here. I’m
talking about entrepreneurs who have people under their
employ too. Human Resources rep? supervisor? You name
A day in the life of an entrepreneur usually demands
decisions that encompass different facets of the business. If
you have more than one business, then I want you to
multiply the number of different, often unrelated decisions
you must make.
You see, the brain can function optimally up until a
certain point after which it would start to struggle and or
make mistakes.
As an entrepreneur you are expected to perform like
an elite athlete: at the top of your game. Day in day out you
show up and produce but even elite athletes cannot sustain
that level of plugged in engagement for extended periods of
They can’t, yet you do it in your business: You stay
plugged in for extended periods of time even though your
productivity diminishes.
Now if you engage in one thing where you are in a
flow state, then I can see how you can stay plugged in for
quite a while but notice that in order to get into that state,
you are usually plugged into one thing throughout that length
of time.
Let me share with you what things look like when you
don’t catch yourself context switching: When you become a
victim to the stealthiest killer of your productivity.
There was a time I used to wake up and start working
at 4am and I’d go until 7pm or later. I also had construction
crews who did construction improvements to some of the
properties that we acquired.
I noticed that one of the crews liked to talk about
anything to do with money or important aspects of our
agreement, around the 4pm mark. I also noticed that they
seemed to get terms or prices that were outside of what we
would normally do for the other crews.
Everyone got what was fair for the project, but these
guys seemed to get more cream on top for some reason.
It wasn’t until one week I was so busy I couldn’t meet
with them except one morning. I offered them that time slot
and the gentleman effectively said, “Oh no problem. I’ll wait
till whenever we can meet in the evening.”
Okay? Just an innocent statement, right? Well there’d
been a pattern of us meeting only around 4pm so I was
curious because when its about money, most folks would
make time to make it work right?
So, on that day we met, we talked and I made some
concessions that were not major, but they were outside of
what we normally do. It wasn’t until later that I realized, I was
in a state of being slightly tired physically. Slightly.
The real problem was that I was brain-spent before
the meeting and so during the meeting, I wanted to speed
things up to move on for the day.
In case you haven’t guessed it, I don’t do such
important meetings at the end of my busy days anymore. I
do them when I’m relatively fresh and sharp for it.
Context switching is certainly a stealthy killer of your
productivity because every time you switch from one thing to
another, you require a little bit of brain power to plug into that
new specific task.
Now if you are switching constantly between
unrelated tasks, imagine how many times you are using
mental energy just to switch tracks in a single day.
Oh and by the way, the lesson in my story about
dealing with the crews on items about money, is that you
should try hard not to schedule an important
meeting/negotiation to fall around a time when you are not at
your best mentally.
You just might pay for disobeying that lesson and I’m
talking in real dollars.
Pretty much every high performer I know has
experienced it in one form on another. For some, it feels like
your body is heavy and light at the same time.
Sometimes your body feels sick. Usually you want to
keep going but you realize sooner or later that you are
moving but going nowhere. You are beyond tired!
In sports, you train so much that your body is
temporarily broken. When that happens, you start making
bad decisions in your sport if you keep pushing at that level
or the chances of you getting hurt, skyrocket.
In negotiation, you make so many concessions on key
items for your business simply because you are no longer as
focused as you could be. You are now just coasting, and it
would likely cost you.
For your mental health (disclaimer: I am not a mental
health expert), you get worked up so much with anxiety or
overthinking negatively that you crash mentally. You want to
do nothing, and you want to see no one. You simply don’t
have the energy and are “people’d out” (Yes, I said “people’d
I know people who become incapacitated for a couple
of days when they get hit with this burnout. They feel too
weak to even move around the house.
Burn out is no joke and it usually stems from a
consistent exposure to being mentally fatigued over a period.
When you hit the wall of burnout, your productivity will
take a nosedive and depending on your role in your
enterprise, both you and the business could suffer during the
time when you are down.
As we get into how you can overcome this stealthy
productivity assassin, I want to share with you a model of
sorts okay? I’ll use the analogy of you tending to a garden
(and will call it the garden model).
I am using a garden model because it would help you
really look at context switching differently and I would argue,
more efficiently.
If I just told you “do this and this and this” how would
that be different from all the other blogs and books you’ve
read up until this point? It would just add to the noise.
Remember I told you that since 2008, I’ve been
exposed as an entrepreneur to coaches, courses, books,
and they all had “one thing” to do to improve productivity.
If you have had a similar experience to mine, then
how is me giving you a “thing to do” any different?
The garden model helps you to understand every
single aspect of this without you having to really memorize
specific tasks to do. It makes you master your productivity so
much easier.
Once you understand the garden model, you can get
put into any situation and you can very quickly calibrate
yourself and take control of your productivity.
Once you learn this, no one can take this away from
you. Remember that.
This garden model will also help you catch and stop
yourself from losing control of your entire day which leads to
a week, a month, a year. You get my point.
When I first put this together, I was quite excited.
When you learn it, it would add to your self esteem simply
because you will know that no matter what comes, you have
the tools to handle it well.
Finally any day you don’t use the model, you will be
able to tell the difference: Your unproductive days will suck
more than before because now, you know the solution even
if you didn’t use it that day.
Okay let’s jump into the garden model and how you
can use it to eliminate the #1 stealthiest killer of your
productivity we’ve talked about up until this point.
So, the idea of a garden is that you combine some
components to grow plants and sometimes food. Simple
To have a healthy, beautiful garden, you need to have
specific components functioning properly otherwise the
product of the garden would suffer.
Britannica.com has an extensive explanation about
the principles of gardening including the history, components
and practices for gardening (check it out here:
When I made the connection between gardening and
extreme productivity, it not only improved my productivity but
it also made consistency so easy because I did not have to
remember a whole bunch of fancy words to describe “tricks.”
I remembered what a garden was about, and I was on
track again.
So, with gardening, there are some key things that
need to happen for you to successfully grow a healthy,
beautiful garden just like they talk about in that Britannica
article. Still with me?
Here’s an overview of what you need for a garden:
1- You need good soil that will sustain and nurture the
roots of the plan.
2- You need seed or a plant that needs to be planted in
the ground.
3- You need plant nutrition (fertilizer and or water) to
feed the plant as it develops.
4- You want to often keep weeds down, so they don’t
compete and eventually overtake the plants for use of
the nutrition.
5- You want to make sure to keep away pests as they
can damage your plant that you’ve put time, energy,
and some money into.
6- You get to experience the harvest of beauty or
tangible harvests like fruits and vegetables for you to
prepare and nourish your own body.
So just for ease here, when you think garden, you think
of the soil, seed, nutrition, weeds, pests, and harvest. Simple
So, for the sake of analogies just like in a garden, here
are the components that come together to add rocket fuel to
your productivity:
1- The environment you create for where you are
working like the soil (remember context switching is
not only about work. Its about productivity in
2- The idea(s) that you are working on are related to the
3- The input you give to the ideas to bring them to life
are the nutrition.
4- The internal triggers are related to weeds.
5- The external triggers I shared with you earlier, relate
to pests.
So, you decide to have a productive day with some
tasks that would help you grow your business by 30% this
year. You decide to work from home.
Your goal is to create a complete marketing campaign
for your business to get more quality clients with marketing
systems etc.
(Seed or plant)
You decide to write a blog, create an outline for your
marketing guys to create other content as well as create ads
As you go about your day, you randomly check on
Facebook, Instagram, you have a meeting with your
marketing manager at 10am and then again at 2.30 pm), you
catch yourself going on social media again .
You decide to go for lunch and when you get back,
Tyler stops by to talk to you.
45 minutes later, you think to yourself, “we’ve been
talking about a whole bunch of nothing” so you tell him
politely that you have to get back to work then he takes
another 10 minutes dragging the goodbye.
(Pests. Sorry Tyler)
You were doing good on your tasks and ideas until
you started dealing with bad habits and bad intrusions.
Now I want to go into each of these components to
tell you the solution you apply to them and then tie it back to
the garden model.
Environment (soil):
As an entrepreneur, you need to be aware of your
environment in which you choose to perform. Its often
overlooked and you have folks conducting business on their
phone while eating at a restaurant.
Your environment plays a key role in how you
manage your mindset. Remember in the introduction I’d
talked about how when you are unproductive, its like you are
in a kitchen, around pots and pans constantly banging
together. Distractions galore.
Goals (plants/seeds):
Okay so you have an idea of what you want to
accomplish. You would want to be clear about what it is you
are going after otherwise you can certainly put energy into
something that goes no where.
As a matter of fact, I wrote an eBook titled, the “5
minute” goal setting hack for that purpose. I might put that up
on the site for you to download.
If you are planting a seed, you don’t need just any
seed. You first need to know what you want to see growing
out of the ground before you plant it right?
Same with your task/goal, you want to be very crystal clear
on what it is that you want that to look like.
Reaction Time (nutrition):
I first heard this from the late, great marketer Dan
Kennedy where he talked about leaving some time in your
schedule intentionally open.
You know how we talked early on in this eBook about
how you schedule your entire day jam packed and you still
have new things pop up in the day? There’s no room to fit
those new things in and yet they still need to be addressed.
What you want to do is plan out an hour or two in your
day spaced out where you will respond (not react) to new
things that come up because they certainly will.
Having some reaction time in your schedule also
gives you peace of mind because otherwise, you would have
things lingering in your head that you need to attend to.
Things that you would not be able to attend to otherwise.
Breaks (nutrition):
Aside from having reaction time scheduled into your
day, you want to schedule breaks as well. Now the
difference between the two is that with breaks, you take time
aside to let your brain rest and reset.
It doesn’t have to be a lot of time, but you want to
leave your mind alone to reset.
When you go into reaction time however, you are
responding to all those new triggers that came in throughout
the course of the day.
Many times (and I have been guilty of this), we think
we’re taking a break but during that time we’re engaging our
minds in scrolling and emailing and such.
That’s not a break. Your mind is still switching
contexts so its still engages whether you know it or not.
Just…take time to breathe.
CONTROL TRIGGERS (pests & weeds):
The solution for both internal and external triggers is
Multi-layer boundaries (weeds):
After you have identified what your internal triggers
are, you would want to create some multi layer, self imposed
boundaries to engaging in these things.
You want to have these multi layer, self-imposed
boundaries put in place BEFORE you engage in your tasks
for the day.
Set your phone on airplane mode, disable the app
from your phone’s screen, locking your phone into “focus
mode” (different phones call it different things but it disables
the other apps on your phone’s screen so you can’t click
A multi layer boundary approach is important because
for those things you automatically do, you would have to
jump through 3 or more hoops just to get to them.
If you stay true and set all those 3 or more layers, you will
catch yourself somewhere in the middle and think that its not
worth it. Here’s an example of how I do it:
1- I disable the app’s image from my screen, so I’d have
to go through about 3 steps to activate that app back
on my screen.
2- I set my phone on focus mode for work so I would
have to do a 3-step process to disable that.
3- Then I could also set my phone in airplane mode.
4- And finally, I sometimes put my phone in another
What I’ve essentially done ahead of time is that in order
for me to check social media or chatting apps (like
WhatsApp) on my phone, I would have to get up, go to my
phone, disable the airplane mode, disable the focus mode,
go into my background settings to enable the app THEN I
get to use it.
Yeah, I don’t have that kind of patience just to find out
what the next person had for breakfast today.
Physical boundaries (pests):
Its funny because I was writing the draft for this and
my wife came by to talk to me.
She’s 8 months pregnant at the time of me writing this
and she needed some help with tying the laces on her
shoes, so she came and sat next to me as I was in the zone
of writing.
I looked over at her and I got mildly irritated. I was
irritated because by helping her in that moment, I’d have to
take my mind out of the writing zone to tie her laces. Shortly
after that feeling, I smiled inside because:
1. She needed my help. I was going to help her.
2. It happened when I was writing about overcoming contextswitching.
3. I had basically left my proverbial door open so that she
could just pop in anytime.
Because I did not set a boundary that time, it wasn’t her fault
that she came into my garden and sat in it. Make sense?
For external triggers, you must have externally visible
boundaries like you would in a garden so that when
someone externally gets to you, they realize that you are not
ready for an intrusion.
If they choose to still insist, it better be for a good
reason. My question to you is, what might be some
boundaries you could set for external boundaries to protect
your space of productivity?
Having one of those signs you can hang up (or make
up on your own) that says, “I’m unavailable to speak right
now” or something to that effect.
The ideas are endless and the specific thing you put
up is not as important as you understand it within the context
Once you know that, you will very easily come up with
your own boundaries to set because you know from your
audit what those triggers look like over a week and you
would know what boundaries to put in place to protect your
You control the flow (nutrition):
Another thing about the internal triggers is this issue
of how you plan out your day.
If you created your to do list in a brain storming style,
you are creating a situation where you might have say 5
similar items spread out over the course of the day so your
mind has to switch constantly throughout that day to keep up
(remember switching is what leads to mental fatigue and
then to burnout).
Brainstorming your to do list is simply the first step to
planning your day. The next step is for you to group the
tasks into similar activities based on how your brain tackles it
(emails, phone calls, etc.).
Just focus on minimizing how often your brain must
switch between related activities. It would allow you to stay
in a flow like state for longer in the day. In turn, your brain
would stay sharp for longer.
Finally, with your segmented to-do list, you want to
start your day with your most important task first while your
brain is still sharp, then work your way down from there.
So up until this point, we have talked about a whole
lot on this one topic of context switching and how it is THE
#1 stealthiest killer of your productivity.
Master the garden model with your productivity and
you can look forward to going home at the end of the day
knowing that you gave it your all.
Master the garden model and you can be fully present
with your family without having “work stuff” linger over you
during family time.
Master the garden model and see your short and mid
term goals come to life faster because you are focusing on
the more efficient tasks (not just being busy).
Garden model Vs. Silver Bullet
I hope that you can also see the benefit of thinking
about your productivity within the context of the garden
model rather than just a whole bunch of tasks to do. I’m
trying to make it stick you know.
Do the time audit throughout your week and see just
how productive you really have been and identify the triggers
in your day (you’ll notice a pattern of both behavior and
around a specific time).
You’ll also identify the triggers keeping your business
from a high level of performance.
If you still need help with, I am offering a bonus. You
get a FREE 30-minute brainstorming or strategy zoom
call with me. We can put our heads together to help
you untangle this or any one thing in your business.
Only 2 caveats are that:
1. you must have an established business and
2. Its first come first serve so my calendar may
not always be open if you wait too long.
To schedule your FREE 30-minute brainstorming call, go
HERE (you’ll be asked some online questions to
Boundaries set you up for a flow state and breathing
is a key component like sprinters take short bursts then
catch their breath before they can go again.
You know, the garden model brings up one especially
important point. Many people think that success (whatever
that means to you) is like a destination you get to and then
its done.
If you applied the garden model to anything you want
to be successful at, you might surprise yourself: lose 15
pounds? Garden model. Reduce stress? Garden model.
Grow your business by 50% this year? Garden model.
Look, being an entrepreneur is not as easy as some
folks would lead you to believe. I know. It can be rewarding if
you take care of yourself and produce.
Might not work for you if…
Now the garden model can have some applications
where it won’t work. Off the top of my head the way I can
think of right now is if you decide to only take some of the
components of the entire garden and discard the rest.
If you don’t approach it like a garden but instead you
try to “do this here” or “do that there” then you are unwittingly
exposing yourself.
Take for example, you set your multi layer boundaries
for your internal triggers but don’t set external boundaries. Its
only a matter of time before someone or something from the
outside will knock your focus off and then you switch twice
just from one interruption.
Use the garden model as it is intended. We’re talking
about your peak performance. The holy grail of your
I’d love to connect with you to brainstorm on either your
productivity or we can work on one thing that can be
measured in terms of performance in your business and or
your mindset. GO HERE to book it.
About the Author.
Re’ Peters is principal at BoostYourBusinessBottomline.com
where he and his team can grow a business to between a
$1million and $5million valuation within 24 months or less.
He is a 2-time author of “Your House, Your Choice” (#1 bestseller) and “5 Figures in 50 minutes.” He also has been an
entrepreneur since 2008 having done several millions of
dollars in transactions in real estate at an investor level.
He also has experience in the world of Mergers &
Acquisitions where he had assembled a Board of Directors
of 4 highly experienced professionals with over $2 Billion in
M&A transactions combined.
One of the basic services is the Business Jumpstart
Roadmap assessment can find most ANY business an extra
$100,000+ in revenue guaranteed or your money back.
https://BoostYourBusinessBottomline.com offers assistance
from DIY level service all the way to high-touch one on one
assistance to ad-hoc Done-For-You business
implementation services.
Check out https://BoostYourBusinessBottomline.com