Our productivity blog series features interviews with leaders in the industry, highlighting relevant tips and tricks for those looking to optimize their time.
Jeff Sanders is a keynote speaker, productivity coach, author of The 5 AM Miracle, The Free-Time Formula, and founder of The Rockin’ Productivity Academy. Jeff is also the host of The 5 AM Miracle Podcast, which has ranked #1 in Apple Podcasts in the Self-Improvement and Business categories, been nominated for 6 Podcast Awards, and exceeded 10 million downloads.
He is a plant-based marathon runner and personal development junkie.
We recently spoke with Jeff about his core principles when it comes to living a more productive lifestyle – see his thoughts below:
Prioritize health and block distractions.
I heavily prioritize health, energy, and enthusiasm over just about anything else in the productivity world. In practice, what that means is that if I take care of my mind and body, I will have a lot more to give to my work each day. Personally, I have maintained a plant-based (vegan) diet for the last 11 years, and it is a huge part of my energy and health goals. Great sleep, daily movement, and eating a dozen bananas a day (not a typo!) has been vital to boosting my energy and enthusiasm while keeping me healthy.
I also do whatever I can to block distractions and work in focused blocks of time, allocated to specified tasks. If I’m healthy and focused, it’s amazing how much I can get done.
Dominate your day before breakfast.
The 5 AM Miracle isn’t necessarily a requirement to wake up at 5 am, but more a mindset to “Dominate Your Day Before Breakfast,” whatever time that means for your schedule. I shift my wake up times based on my calendar every day, though I tend to wake up early as often as possible. I love getting up before my wife and daughter, so I have time in the morning to organize my main priorities for the day before anyone else is awake.
Make smart technology choices to improve efficiency.
I recently switched from Evernote to DEVONthink on my Mac. It’s been a great transition to clean up most of my digital documents and notes, and reformat how I organize my projects and ideas for the future.
I also recently switched to using the Apple Wallet system on my Apple Watch, which makes contactless payments very simple and efficient.
Eliminate non-essential tasks and meetings.
When I teach people about productivity, my first rule of thumb is: Cut everything you can. The best way to get the most important work done is to stop doing all of the non-important work. It’s amazing how often we say yes to meetings, events, and projects that never had to happen. When you let go of those you free up plenty of time for what matters most.
Get outdoors and take breaks from technology and work.
I love working out, especially weight lifting and hiking, and my current hobby that keeps me busy on the weekends is woodworking. I build practical home items, including garden beds, tables, workbenches, mailboxes, bookshelves, and anything else I can put to use in my house. I try to spend as much time moving my body as I can, and getting out of my office and off technology whenever possible.