tomorrow starts todayIf you don’t know what you are going to do first thing Monday morning, you are already beginning the week with a poor start. Because you have not defined your top two or three most important objectives and blocked time to complete them, you are already in reactive mode.

Odds are, if you don’t know what you need to do and haven’t defined that work, you will go to the one place that feels like work but isn’t, your email inbox.

Not Harder, Not Smarter

Working harder doesn’t make you more productive. Neither does working smarter. You can work very hard on things that don’t move you any closer to your goals. That isn’t going to make you any productive than watching television. You can also spend time trying to hack productive by working smarter. Nothing is gained by applying greater efficiency to activities that aren’t aligned with your goals and objectives.

The only thing you can do to increase your productivity in a meaningful way is to do the most important work you need to do each day. Being able to do that work is going to require some preparation.

First Thing (singular) First

First, you are going to have identify your priority. The word “priority” is singular. What is the most important outcome or objective you need to achieve?

You no doubt have multiple priorities competing for your time. But before you can decide what is your second most important outcome, you have to decide what is most important. You can make progress on two or three priorities each week, not two dozen. But productivity starts with doing what is most important.

Second, after you know what you need to do, you have to block time to do that work. Your calendar is a reflection of your priorities. A calendar with too much white space means you are working in reactive mode. The world will fill that time for you, if you let it. Schedule appointments with yourself and give yourself time to do your real work.

To keep small things from preventing you from spending time on big things, you have to crowd out small things. Being productive is a matter of focus and discipline.

The reason I get up at 5:00 AM every day is so I have two solid hours for my priorities every day. No one wants your time and attention at 5:00 AM. What could you do with 14 hours each week?

  • What task, if completed, would move you closer to your most important goal or outcome?
  • How much time are you going to dedicate to that task this week?

Comment to send me your thoughts, ideas, and stories. Hit forward to send this newsletter to someone you know who could benefit from greater productivity. Ask them to join us here each Sunday by signing up at

Do good work this week, and I’ll see you back here next week!

Anthony Iannarino

P.S. I have opened If you want to join this program, now is the time. Registration will close later this week.

P.P.S. On November 17th, I am presenting at the Digital Sales Engine online conference. There will be a lot of stuff about your sales stack there, but I am talking about Intimacy at Scale, because I believe relationships are still what matters.

P.P.P.S. I still have 10 tickets for the Sales 2.0 Conference. If you can be in Philadelphia on November 14th, email me directly so I can hook you up.




Contributor Anthony Lannarino is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, and consultant. He writes daily at and you can subscribe to his newsletter at