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How to have a bigger impact: surprising tips from 60 top experts

Effectiveness is more than productivity.  Whereas productivity is 'doing things right', effectiveness also includes 'doing the right things' and can be seen as a chain that links your daily activities to your deepest needs, desires and hopes for the future.

So if you want to live a purposeful, accomplished life, tuning up your personal effectiveness is one of the wisest investments you can make.

So for this important topic, I reached out to 60 very accomplished experts in a number of fields, including CEOs, leadership experts, productivity gurus and ministry leaders.  I asked them the following question:

What is the most surprising tip you’d give somebody looking to grow their personal impact & effectiveness?

I hope you'll agree that the result is one of the best collections personal effectiveness tips.  This is real practical wisdom for achieving great things in your work and life.

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RECOMMENDATION: This is a long post, so I suggest you grab the free PDF version which also includes a one-page summary that you can refer to regularly keep you on track!

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To help you digest the information, I've grouped the personal effectiveness tips according to the high-level categories of the Effectiveness Engine framework that has proven so valuable in helping people make massive progress on the things that really matter.  I've also grouped responses further into specific themes I noticed.

I've provided a very brief one-line description of each of our leaders, but they all produce great content and I would encourage you to check out their sites and learn more.

Purpose

A number of our experts gravitated immediately to the 'purpose' section of the Effectiveness Engine, the clear convictions and vivid vision that should drive and filter all our activity.  I detected four themes amongst the personal effectiveness tips in this area:

  • Clarity & specificity
  • Service focus
  • Internal signals
  • Link to others' vision

THEME: Clarity & specificity

Become more valued and visible by getting more specific

Kare Anderson is an Emmy-winning former NBC and Wall Street Journal reporter, and now connective behavior speaker and columnist for Forbes and Huffington Post.

Kare Anderson effectiveness tip

Become more valued and visible by getting more specific about your core mission, top talent, key ideas and responses to others. Why? Because specificity is the more powerful way to gain self-clarity, reduce misunderstanding with others and to boost credibility and memorability. The specific example proves the general conclusion yet not the reverse yet we often instinctively begin with generalisations.

Become more valued and visible by getting more specific.

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Clarify your values to boost your commitment

Jim Kouzes is coauthor of The Leadership Challenge and the Dean’s Executive Fellow, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University.

Jim Kouzes effectiveness tip

Personal values drive commitment. The clearer you are about what you stand for and believe in, the more effective and influential you will be. You’ll be more committed, more willing to put in the effort to succeed, more likely to persist when times are tough, more satisfied with your life and work, more credible, more compassionate, and more ethical in your practices. Take the time to clarify your values now and affirm them daily.

The clearer you are about what you stand for, the more effective you will be.

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Do the hard work of self-understanding first

Simon Mainwaring is CEO of We First Inc. and the author of the New York Times bestseller We First.

Simon Mainwaring effectiveness tip

It's easy to use all our energy externally trying harder to increase our effectiveness or impact when the most valuable use of time is to work internally to identify who you are, what you stand for and how to live in alignment with that.

It's easy to use all our energy trying to increase our impact, when the most valuable use of time is to work internally

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Don’t start off with "How can I be more effective?"

Steve Roeseler is Principal and Founder of The Steve Roesler Group with more than 30 years in training, development, and high-level executive coaching.

Steve Roesler effectiveness tip

Most clients start off with "How can I be more effective?" The foundational question for all of us is: "What is my life's purpose?" Once that question is answered, all else falls into place quite nicely. Effectiveness remains empty in the long run without an overarching purpose for one's life.

"How can I be more effective?" is the wrong starting question

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To leave a trail, you must first be able to see the way

Joel Brown is a Speaker, Coach, Author & Founder of Addicted2Success.com

Joel Brown effectiveness tip

Clarity is key when it comes to executing anything in your life. To leave a trail you must first be able to see the way. Clarity lifts the fog so you can see far ahead of you. The more clear you are on who you are and where you are headed the more effective you will be in everything you do.

Clarity is key when it comes to executing anything in your life.

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THEME: Service focus

Ask “so tell me what you want, what you really really want!”

David Zinger hosts the 7100 member global Employee Engagement Network and he is an expert and speaker on work engagement.

David Zinger effectiveness tip

Be a Spice Girl. From their song Wannabe which is now 20 years old, know what you want, what you really really want and ask others: "so tell me what you want, what you really. really want" -- determine where what you want is joined with what the other person wants and you will have work that is fully focused on results that matter.

Surprising personal effectiveness tip? Be a Spice Girl....

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Keep ethics first and foremost

Frank Sonnenberg is an award-winning author. He has written five books and over 300 articles. Frank was recently named one of “America's Top 100 Thought Leaders” and nominated as one of “America’s Most Influential Small Business Experts.”

Frank Sonnenberg effectiveness tip

“Moral character is the DNA of success and happiness.”

“Winning without honour is worse than a loss."

“Knowing what’s right isn’t as important as doing what’s right.”

“Knowing what’s right isn’t as important as doing what’s right.”

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Serve others to avoid imposter syndrome

Charles Specht is lead Pastor of a medium-sized Baptist church in central California and an independent Insurance Consultant and Sales Trainer.

Charles Specht effectiveness tip

People often fail to follow through with their goals and dreams because they’re afraid of looking like an imposter. But there’s no reason to be nervous in front of others when your focus is on service to others. Serve others, and you’ll never feel like an imposter because everyone wants to feel important enough to matter.

Serve others, and you’ll never feel like an imposter...

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Serve your tribe

Steve Farber is a top leadership speaker,the president of Extreme Leadership, Incorporated, and the founder of The Extreme Leadership Institute

Steve Farber effectiveness tip

Do what you love in the service of people who love what you do...

Do what you love in the service of people who love what you do...

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THEME: Internal signals

Follow your energy & excitement to increase your impact

Henri Junttila helps people do work they love

Henri Junttila effectiveness tip

To follow what you are excited about, what you are interested in, and what fascinates you. When you are drawn towards something, there is energy there. And when you have energy, your impact and effectiveness increase.

When you have energy, your impact and effectiveness increase.

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Stir up a raging dissatisfaction to fuel change!

Annie Mueller is a business writer, blogger, & freelancer and founder of Freakishly Productive.

Annie Mueller effectiveness tip

Dissatisfaction is the fuel that lets you leap over the gap between where you are and where you want to be. Slow down on trying to change or grow, and let your dissatisfaction simmer and simmer to a full raging boil, then use that energy to push yourself through the difficulties of change and growth.

Slow down on trying to change, and let your dissatisfaction simmer to a full raging boil...

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THEME: Link to others' vision

Focus as much on buy-in as on the content itself

Mike Figliuolo is the founder and managing director of thoughtLEADERS, LLC, a professional services training firm specializing in leadership development. He's also the author of three books on leadership and communications.

Mike Figliuolo effectiveness tip

I don't care how good your work is - if you can't communicate its benefits and sell stakeholders on supporting it, it's worthless. The ability to communicate and influence others is a mandatory component of driving impact in your organization.

I don't care how good your work is - if you can't communicate its benefits, it's worthless

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Stop prattling on and create something genuinely interesting!

David Meerman Scott is a strategist, speaker and author

David Meerman-Scott effectiveness tip

Many people steeped in the tradition of product promotion naturally feel drawn to prattle on and on about their products and services. But I have news for you. Nobody cares about your products and services (except you). What people do care about are themselves and how you can solve their problems. In order to have people talk about you and your ideas, you must resist the urge to hype your products and services. Instead, create something interesting that will be talked about.

Resist the urge to hype your products... instead, create something interesting that will be talked about.

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Plans

Many of our experts focused on the pivot point of the Effectiveness Engine - the plans that link our daily and weekly tasks to the bigger questions of purpose and vision.  In the Effectiveness Engine I refer to these as our galvanising goals, prioritised projects and demanding deliverables.

Several themes emerged amongst the personal effectiveness tips in this area:

  • Outcome focus
  • Relentless prioritisation
  • Cracking the code
  • Course correction
  • Motivating relationships

THEME: Outcome focus

Go ask yourself for advice

Gary Cohen is managing Partner of CO2 Partners, LLC

Gary Cohen effectiveness tip

If you were to imagine stepping down from your position and making a recommendation of what the next person should do, what would that be? And what would you need to do to accomplish it yourself?

If you were to recommend what your successor should do, what would that be?

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Invest in ‘smarty’ transformation

Rick Coplin is host of the Success to Significance Podcast and is an author and entrepreneurial coach

Rick Coplin effectiveness tip

Decide to invest effort in transformation. Set a handful of big goals using the SMARTY structure (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, TimeBound, and Why (why it’s important, necessary, what it leads to etc.). Then, for each one, walk backwards and repeatedly ask what will it take to accomplish this goal?

Break it down into manageable, discreet steps that will enable you make progress through small steps that will add up to significant accomplishment. Finally, review the list every day and assess progress weekly. If it gets hard, don’t give up, take time to rest & refocus.

Decide to invest effort in transformation with a handful of SMARTY goals.

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THEME: Relentless prioritisation

Make sure you say 'no' a lot more than you say 'yes'

Suzi McAlpine is a leadership development specialist based in New Zealand.

Suzi McAlpline effectiveness tip

Say 'no' to a lot more than you say 'yes' to. This can be more difficult than you think, especially if you're a people pleaser like me! We tend to have a predisposition to equate busy with productive. But unless it’s a definite 'yes', it should probably a 'no'. This is easier to do when you get crystal clear around things like your values, your goals and your purpose or strategy.

Also, get more sleep, but that's not surprising...  it’s a winner for personal impact and effectiveness!

Unless it’s a definite 'yes', it should probably a 'no'.

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Keep focused and keep saying ‘no’

Tanveer Naseer is an award-winning and internationally acclaimed leadership writer and speaker

Tanveer Naseer effectiveness tip

One piece of advice I'd offer for growing your impact and personal effectiveness is learning to say 'no'. As you grow in influence and impact, it becomes critical to your future growth that you learn to discern between opportunities that will really help you move closer to what you really want to achieve and those that are simply 'exciting' or novel opportunities.

Learning to say no early on makes it easier to keep your focus and efforts on things that will help you move in the right direction and not feeling overwhelmed by all the possible routes that present themselves as you keep pushing ahead.

Learning to say 'no' early on makes it easier to keep your focus...

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THEME: Cracking the code

Persistently apply a proven approach to success in your chosen domain

Bob Burg is a sought-after speaker at company leadership and sales conferences on topics at the core of the Go-Giver books.

Bob Burg effectiveness tip

To be your most effective at whatever you choose to do, and have the greatest impact, I suggest you: 1) Seek out the correct information; 2) Apply the information immediately; 3) Stay persistent and outlast the ‘NOs.’

Seek out and apply the proven formula for success in your field.

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Grow into the person who gets the results you want

Kary Oberbrunner is Igniting Souls. Through writing, speaking, and coaching, he helps individuals and organizations clarify who they are, why they are here, and where they should invest time and energy.

Kary Oberbrunner effectiveness tip

You don't get what you want. You get who you are. And if you want different results then you need to grow into the person worthy of those results. First, identify what you want. Second, identify who is getting those results. Third, study that person and turn off all other noise and distractions. Fourth, immediately implement what they teach you.

You don't get what you want. You get who you are.

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Learn as much as possible – then apply what works for you

Theo Ellis is a blogger who shares his experiences with personal development, self confidence and self esteem issues. Theo's been featured in the Top 100 Personal Development Blogs Of 2016

Theo Ellis

Learn as much as possible in the areas you want to be more effective and have a bigger impact in. Then use whatever works best for you personally.

We're all built differently and different strategies, knowledge, routines and so on work for different people. So learn as much as possible, test, experiment, then do what works best for you and your strengths.

Self awareness matters, and what you don't know will hurt you. Self awareness is the difference between being blind and knowing what's in front of you.

What you don't know about yourself WILL hurt you!

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THEME: Course correction

You can’t keep doing the same old crap!

Benny Hsu is a blogger, podcaster, iPhone app developer, and online entrepreneur.

Benny Hsu

If you don’t want the next five years of your life to look like the past five, you can’t keep doing the same old crap.

If you don’t want the next 5 years to look like the past 5, you can’t keep doing the same old crap...

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Stop leading from the front ... prioritise what resonates with the team

Tim Kuppler is director of Culture & Organization Development with Human Synergistics and founder of CultureUniversity.com, the premier workplace culture blog.

Tim Kuppler effectiveness tip

Stop leading from the front. Listen, be curious, use feedback as a guide and focus on a small number of priorities that resonate across your team. Orchestrate work on those priorities with incredible tenacity and continual feedback to drive shared learning and mutual experience.

Stop leading from the front. Listen, be curious, use feedback as a guide.

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THEME: Motivating relationships

Surround yourself with likeminded people and take imperfect action

Chelsea Dinsmore is the owner of Live Your Legend, a community whose mission is to change the world by helping people find their passion and build a career around the work that only they can do.

Chelsea Dinsmore effectiveness tip

The quickest way to do things you don't think can be done is to surround yourself with the people that are already doing them. Environment is everything. So if you want to elevate what you are doing, elevate who you spend time with.

Also... The only way to guarantee you will remain stuck where you are is to do nothing. Any action is better than no action. So do something. Anything. Because the more you attempt the more you accomplish. Many people spend forever learning things only to never actually do anything! Knowledge is only power if you act on it.

If you want to elevate what you are doing, elevate who you spend time with.

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Find someone to hold you to your highest standards

Ed Herzog’s mission in life is to help men become fully alive, to live passionately and purposefully, to embrace all aspects of themselves, and to know that they are enough.

Ed Herzog effectiveness tip

If you're looking to grow your personal impact and effectiveness, then I strongly suggest getting help in the form of a coach, a mentor, an accountability partner, or a friend. Almost everyone can benefit from having someone who holds them to their highest standards, who pushes them to meet their goals, who helps them up when they fall down.

Everyone can benefit from having someone who holds them to their highest standards

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Productivity

A bunch of experts zoomed in on the day-to-day habits that drive our productivity and ability to execute on our plans.  These are the tangible tasks, aligned agenda and efficient execution components of the Effectiveness Engine.

I noticed that the personal effectiveness tips they shared could be grouped in 6 themes:

  • Creating margin
  • Daily development
  • Managing time and attention
  • Sustaining performance
  • Engage!
  • Regular reflection

THEME: Creating margin

Prune and delegate to create margin - even to your 9 year old if possible!

Mark Shead runs the Productivity501 blog.

Mark Shead effectiveness tip

Stop doing stuff. So much of the advice we hear on being effective comes down to just trying to fit more things into your day. Obviously you should try to be efficient, but you only have so much time in your day and simply doing more low value tasks can only get you so far. If you want to make leaps forward, you can't be operating at 100% all the time. You have to give yourself some slack to try new things and to have time to think. There are probably some things you do today that no one would notice if you just stopped doing. There are other things you do today that need to be done but could be delegated to someone else. I've had a full time assistant in the past, but you don't have to bring on an employee to start delegating.

My 9 year old handles scanning in my business receipts for me. She enjoys doing grownup work and it is one less thing I have to deal with. I use a service called RedButler to handle random tasks like proof reading, paying bills or calling a company in the UK to shut down my account with them. I text American Express Concierge to handle event tickets, make restaurant reservations and other tasks that would normally require me to make phone calls and likely get put on hold. Delegating is a skill, but when you learn to do it effectively it can take the work you do and magnify it so you get significantly more done in a day while still giving yourself time to think and plan for the future.

If you want to make leaps forward, you have to give yourself some slack to think.

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Choose what you are going to be bad at...

Dorie Clark is the author of Reinventing You and Stand Out, which was named the #1 Leadership Book of 2015 by Inc. magazine.

Dorie Clark effectiveness tip

The best and most surprising tip I'd suggest for people who want to become more effective and productive at work is to *choose what you're going to be bad at.* This is drawn from research into service businesses by Anne Morriss and Frances Frei. They discovered that companies that try to be 'everything to everyone' invariably can't do it all, so they become average and are no one's favorite - there's nothing distinguishing about them. Instead, in order to excel in one area, the company had to choose where to let the ball drop (e.g., Southwest is a great low-cost airline, so to make that possible, they gave up trying to please premier fliers with fancy lounges). Similarly, I'm often quite bad at responding to email messages, but that's an acceptable tradeoff for me, as it allows me additional time to focus on high-impact projects.

Choose what you are going to be bad at...

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Buy time, not crap

Nancy Duarte is the CEO of her own agency that specializes in moving people through persuasive visual stories and presentations

Nancy Duarte effectiveness tip

Hire someone else to have their head in your toilet so you can have yours in the clouds. Live as far below your means as possible so you the means to buy time. Literally. Hire people to support you on the tasks that don't energize you so you can create more value out of every day.

Buy time, not crap.

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THEME: Daily development

Build personal development into your morning ritual

Hal Elrod is the #1 international bestselling author of The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life... (Before 8AM).

Hal Elrod effectiveness tip

When you study the traits that the world's most successful people have in common, you find 'morning rituals' at the top of their list. So, wake up each morning and dedicate time to your personal development, so that you can start each day by becoming the person you need to be to achieve everything you want.

The world's most successful people have 'morning rituals' at the top of their list.

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Put a mirror on your desk

David Grossman is an expert on leadership development and internal communications and CEO of an award-winning leadership and communications consultancy.

David Grossman effectiveness tip

Put a mirror on your desk. The most effective leaders regularly reflect to become more self-aware. The mirror is a reminder, too, that leadership starts with us.

Personal effective tip: put a mirror on your desk...

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Put serious time into daily learning

John Spence is recognized as one of the Top 100 Business Thought Leaders in America, one of the Top 100 Small Business Influencers in America, and one of the Top 500 Leadership Development Experts in the World

John Spence effectiveness tip

If you really want to significantly impact and effectiveness - read business and personal development material for a minimum of 1-hour per day.

Put serious time into learning, every day...

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Don’t OVER learn

Dan Miller is a creative thinker and the author of the New York Times best-selling 48 Days To The Work You Love

Dan Miller effectiveness tip

Spend no more than two hours a day learning (reading, listening, attending conferences) and six hours for understanding and application. Too many people get stuck in gathering knowledge and never move into clear application.

2 hours to learn + 6 to apply, each day.

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Find dead mentors

Thai Nguyen is a writer and blogs at The Utopian Life

thai nguyen effectiveness tip

Find dead mentors. What I mean by that is to read biographies of inspiring men and women throughout history. You will expose yourself to the minds of great people; take their ideas and apply them to your current setting. As the saying goes, “You are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.” Personal effectiveness is much influenced by the people in your life. In addition to finding real-life mentors, you can increase your effectiveness through learning from biographies.

Find dead mentors to grow your effectiveness...

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Train your mind most of all

Matt Tenney is author of Serve to Be Great and The Mindfulness Edge

Matt Tenney effectiveness tip

Training the mind to function optimally - to spend more time being aware of thinking instead of being our thinking - is the best place to focus energy for improving effectiveness. Everything else we do is influenced by how well our mind functions, by how free we are from our conditioning.

Everything we do is influenced by how well our mind functions. 

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THEME: Managing time and attention

Focus on ONE thing at any moment

Julie Winkle Giulioni is one of Inc. Magazines top 100 leadership speakers and the co-author of the international bestseller, Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go: Career Conversations Employees Want.

Julie Winkle Giulioni effectiveness tip

The toughest thing for me to come to terms with this that I can really only think about and do one thing at a time. Years of trying to master the art of multitasking left me stressed and anxious… with too many ideas/projects/tasks all converging in my mind all at once. Teasing it all out, keeping a list, setting aside time and dedicating focused energy to each item individually helps me be more effective - and more pleasant in the process.

"Years of trying to master the art of multitasking left me stressed and anxious"

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Use your calendar and your to-do list properly

Mike Vardy is a Productivity Strategist. and the founder of Productivityist

Mike Vardy effectiveness tip

The best thing you can do to make the most of your intentional time and attention – both of which are critical for personal productivity enhancement - is to use your calendar for big picture focus and your to do list for the details. For example, you should use your calendar to “theme your time” for projects and the type of work you plan to do (email, phone calls, writing, etc.) and use the to do list for the fine print of what you need and want to work on during those themed periods.

Don't hyperschedule yourself on your calendar or use it as a to do list. Doing so will create overwhelm and put you in a position to miss out on the details of your important and urgent work.

"Don't hyperschedule yourself on your calendar or use it as a to do list."

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Forget time management and develop attention management instead

Graham Allcott is the author of the global best-seller, "How to be a Productivity Ninja". He is the founder of Think Productive

Graham Allcott effectiveness tip

Forget time management and start developing attention management instead. Attention management is a more subtle skill - it means scheduling the hardest and most important work when your attention levels are high, and organising your to-do list so that when you find you're running on empty, you have tasks ready - with the hard-thinking done! - that fit that low level of energy too. Doing so allows you to work with what you CAN do, rather than what you feel you SHOULD do - a subtle difference, but one that allows for self-care, reduced stress and optimum productivity ninja status.

When you're stuck and you say to yourself "hmmmm.... I don't know what to do". Just stop, breathe, and ask yourself "what would I do if I DID know". Amazing how often it's our emotions rather than our intelligence that gets in the way of our productivity.

"Forget time management and start developing attention management instead"

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Manage time like it's the most precious commodity on earth

Kendra Wright is a blogger, writer, speaker who specializes in teaching others how to break through fear and uncertainty, productivity slumps, and create better work-life balance.

kendra wright effectiveness tip

If you want to crush it in work AND life, without abandoning your inner hustle... you have to make sure they BOTH show up on your calendar. Schedule your personal life as intentionally and intensely as you do your work life. Ruthlessly ditch anything or anyone who does not excite or inspire the sh*t out of you to do better or be better. Plan downtime. Create reoccurring events for date nights with your partner and morning routines. Smart, effective, world-changing people manage time like it's the most precious commodity on earth, because it is.

"Manage time like it's the most precious commodity on earth, because it is."

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Stop ceding control to your inbox

Jo Dodds works with home based business owners on productivity and organisation to enable them to do more of the things that they want to do whilst also running a successful business.

Jo Dodds effectiveness tip

Keep your email inbox paused / switched off except for specific times of the day and manage your tasks via your todo list / daily plan so that you are in control of what you are doing, not other people via your inbox!

Stop ceding control to your inbox!

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THEME:  Sustaining performance

Get some sleep - or you'll be drunk on the job

Penelope Trunk is a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Quistic which provides online courses to help you manage your career.

Penelope Trunk effectiveness tip

Get sleep. Research published in the Harvard Business review shows that you perform like you're drunk after missing just four hours of regular sleep. People judge you first by appearance and second by how well younget your work done. So you shouldn't forgo sleep to get your work done.

You perform like you're drunk after missing just four hours of regular sleep.

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Meditate - it's a true power tool

Steve Mueller is a writer and founder of Planet of Success.

Steve Mueller effectiveness tip

One of the most surprising ways to become more effective and have a greater impact is to meditate daily. Many people simply are not aware of the great benefits that come with meditation. That's unfortunate because it's a true power tool that – once learned to apply correctly – can magnificently transform your life. When you want to be a lot more effective, training your mind is a crucial step to take.

Meditation... a true power tool for effectiveness...

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All success begins with self-care

Vidya Sury is a writer, editor, and blogger.

Vidya Sury effectiveness tip

Eat a healthy breakfast, get daily exercise and enough sleep. All success begins with self-care, because it helps you stay healthy, focused and energetic and eager to do all the things you want to accomplish. Set aside an hour for reading every day. Make sure to disconnect from technology while interacting with people.

All success begins with self-care

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Don’t sacrifice yourself on the altar of your goals

Deb Lee is a Digital Business Coach who's passionate about productivity, coffee, apps, WordPress, blogging, & social media.

Deb Lee effectiveness tip

While having goals, effective strategies, reasonable timelines, and the right tools are important, success and growth will be out of reach if you don't take care of yourself. So, yes, create a plan of attack to reach huge milestones and achieve a big, hairy audacious goals. But, also be sure that self-care is a priority.

Success and growth will be out of reach if you don't take care of yourself

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Build physical and spiritual strength daily

Farnoosh Brock is a multi-passionate entrepreneur, published author, speaker and business coach who started her own company, Prolific Living Inc., after a successful corporate career.

Farnoosh Brock effectiveness tip

My best advice for you to maximize your impact and effectiveness is to take care of your body and mind first and foremost. That means, not just "exercise" but a holistic approach to self-care that includes physical and spiritual strength and grounding on a daily basis. If you can cultivate your body and mind with strength, you will be blown away by the impact and effectiveness and productivity that you can create in your world and the world of those around you.

If you can cultivate your body and mind with strength, you will be blown away by the impact...

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Beware of commitment fatigue: it can derail your passion

Shawn Murphy is the author of The Optimistic Workplace and CEO/Founder of Switch and Shift, a consultancy/advisory company helping build positive businesses and relevant leaders.

Shawn Murphy effectiveness tip

Pay close attention to the undermining influence of commitment fatigue. Commitment fatigue is the outcome of repeatedly working long hours for a cause important to you. It often means sacrificing sleep and not eating clean, healthy foods. Commitment fatigue derails your passion and diminishes your cognitive functioning, both of which are essential to realize the results critical to your cause. Work with purpose but don’t let commitment fatigue pause progress.

Watch out for 'commitment fatigue'...

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THEME: Engage!

No one ever drowned in a pool of sweat...!

LaRae Quy is a retired FBI Special Agent and Author of Mental Toughness for Women Leaders and Secrets Of A Strong Mind.

LaRae Quy effectiveness tip

The secret to success is simple: work hard. People who achieve success work hard to become top performers. I learned that FBI agents master skill sets by developing a flexible and agile mindset that can quickly change course if circumstances change. They know better than anyone that no one ever drowned in a pool of sweat.

No one ever drowned in a pool of sweat...!

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Be borderline intrusive!

Colonel Matthew T. Fritz is a leader, instructor & mentor in the field of complex organizational change, human resources, appreciative inquiry & corporate strategy.

Matthew Fritz effectiveness tip

Simply, Engage! Be borderline intrusive with your team to improve resiliency, conversant with your customers to encourage feedback, active with your family to deepen relationships, and involved with your school, church, and/or community to improve our world. Engagement is the thrust to your life’s jet-engine….throttle up!

"Be borderline intrusive!"

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Ignore motivation

Steve Scott believes in the idea of developing one habit at a time, which is the core philosophy of his blog Develop Good Habits.

Steve Scott effectiveness tip

Stop trying to get motivated. As much as anyone else, I am a sucker for motivation. It feels great to have the want, desire, and energy that being motivated brings.

That said, it's been my experience that motivation is fleeting. Waiting for motivation will simply ensure that you have heap of partially completed tasks. To succeed you need to think, "to hell with motivation" and approach all tasks with a workmanlike attitude. Whether you want to or not you, "just do it".

A professional ignores motivation and does what needs to be done. The amateur acts when inspired.

"To hell with motivation!"

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THEME: Regular reflection

Ask yourself three questions every single day

Scott Gould is a management consultant and speaker who helps people and organisations better engage with others, and with themselves.

Scott Gould effectiveness tip

Journal. Take a moment during your day (or every other day, as it suits you) to reflect on three things:

1. What I shipped - celebrating what you've done

2. What's the next step towards my goal - making sure you've moving in the right direction

3. What I'm thankful for - taking time to appreciate that life is good

Ask yourselves 3 questions every day...

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Stand, sleep & scribble

Josh Medeski is a thought leader in productivity and technology.

Josh Medeski effectiveness tip

It all comes back to the basics: drink water, don’t sit so much, prioritize sleep and keep a journal. All these things aren’t deeply connected, but when I do a good job at all of these things, my day seems to be more impactful and effective.

Get back to basics: drink water, don’t sit so much, prioritize sleep, keep a journal.

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Write things down, and fix what bugs you

Zachary Sexton is a writer, podcaster, teacher, meditator, skier and non-recovering business, caffeine and productivity junkie.

zachary sexton effectiveness tip

I've heard a few surprising, pithy productivity quotes through recent podcast interviews. Lean expert Paul Akers said, "fix what bugs you." Leadership expert Greg McKeown suggested to continually ask yourself, "what's important now."

I always fall back to my Getting Things Done roots and suggest people, "write things down." When thoughts and ideas are out of your head it is much easier to get clear on what you mean, know if something is worth pursuing or not, figure out the first action that can be taken and stop thinking repetitive thoughts.

Get things out of your head on paper.  It builds clarity.

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Make time for reflection

John Baldoni is chair of leadership leadership development at N2Growth.

John Baldoni effectiveness tip

Make time for reflection. You cannot be effective if you don’t know where you are now and where you are headed tomorrow. Take stock of yourself and your situation so that you can be prepared to do what is necessary to help yourself and your team succeed.

You cannot be effective if you don’t know where you are and where you are headed.

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Regularly look for recurring  effectiveness and impact themes

Dan Cumberland is on a mission to push you into the places where meaning and life intersect, and writes to help you do work that matters.

Dan Cumberland effectiveness tip

Take time every quarter to reflect on your work and think about where you've been most effective and had the kind of impact that you want to create. Try to understand the situations and conditions under which you do your best work, and use what you learn to do recreate those types of experiences.

Where have you been most effective and had the kind of impact that you want to create?

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People

A good deal of our experts turned immediately to how effectiveness and relationships are inextricably intertwined, and how impact comes from influence comes from serving and relating to others.  This is the People section of the effectiveness engine framework. I have left all the personal effectiveness tips in one theme here, as they all interrelate.

The journey is as important as the destination

Tom Schulte is Executive Director of Linked 2 Leadership and CEO of Recalibrate Professional Development in Atlanta, GA USA

Tom Schulte effectiveness tip

Leadership is best viewed through the eyes of of the follower. Opinions of a leader about himself pale in comparison to those who are subject to and affected by them. The best leaders know that the journey is as important as the destination. Leaders who are most effective are those who learn, grow, and develop other leaders.

The best leaders know that the journey is as important as the destination.

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Lead within relationships for lasting impact

Joseph Lalonde's mission is to empower young leaders to thrive in a hectic world.

Joseph Lalonde effectiveness tip

One of the best ways that I've found to grow my personal impact, and have seen it work for others, is to form relationships with those you're leading. By building trust and connecting with others, you are forming relationships that will strengthen and build you up while also creating connections that will help you have a bigger impact in the world.

By building trust and connecting with others, you are forming relationships that will strengthen and build you up.

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Give before you ask

Jason W. Womack, MEd, MA is the cofounder of Get Momentum and the author of Your Best Just Got Better

Jason Womack effectiveness tip

Build your network before you need it, and the best way to expand your circle of influence is to give, give, give before you ask. Publish, speak, share - give the gift of your passion, and people will see you as a source, someone to turn to.

The best way to expand your circle of influence is to give, give, give before you ask.

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Focus on genuinely liking people

Mark Sanborn, CSP, CPAE, is president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea studio dedicated to developing leaders in business and in life.

Mark Sanborn effectiveness tip

Quit worrying about whether or not people like you and focus on liking them. If you are genuinely interested and friendly, odds are they will like you in response.

Quit worrying about whether or not people like you and focus on liking them.

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Seek first to understand

Scott Mabry is the author of Soul 2 Work and is an Operations Leader in FinTech

Scott Mabry effectiveness tip

Seek first to understand.

Listening, gaining deep understanding, and then responding with an appreciation for the other person and their point of view.

This is how you connect on a deeper level and it opens the door for impact and effectiveness.

Listening... is how you connect on a deeper level and grow effectiveness.

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Diligently keep in touch

Ted Rubin is a leading Social Marketing Strategist, Keynote Speaker, Brand Evangelist and Acting CMO of Brand Innovators.

Ted Rubin effectiveness tip

Pick up the phone, once a day, and call someone you have not spoken to in a while. You will be amazed at the direct results, and how it will help build your personal brand. Simply say... "Hi, hope all is well, just want to say hello and see if there is anything I can do for you today." If they want to chat, great, if not, let then off easily.

Remember... Your Brand/Business is what you do; your Reputation is what people Remember and Share.

Pick up the phone, once a day, and call someone you have not spoken to in a while.

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Be generous with others and with yourself

David Hain is a Cardiff based People and Change consultant with 25+ years experience in Organisation Development. Executive coach. Very experienced facilitator and team developer.

David Hain effectiveness tip

Be generous with yourself and others, see the best in people and practice self-compassion. Share feedback widely and freely – givers always gain, and dialogue breeds new solutions that will rarely come from introspection

Givers always gain, and dialogue breeds new solutions

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Make real connections

Michael Lee Stallard speaks, teaches and consults with leaders to help them develop cultures of connection that boost employee engagement, productivity and innovation.

Michael Lee Stallard effectiveness tip

Be intentional about connecting with family, friends, colleagues and customers. As one neuroscientist described it, human connection is a "superpower" that makes people healthier, happier and more productive.

Human connection is a "superpower" that makes people healthier, happier and more productive.

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Take a genuine interest

Karin Hurt is a CEO, keynote speaker, leadership consultant, and MBA professor.

Karin Hurt effectiveness tip

Quite simply, take a genuine interest in everyone you meet.

Quite simply, take a genuine interest in everyone you meet.

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Conclusion and what to do next

That's a lot of information, and this is the Web - meaning 90% of people will skim to this point and then surf off somewhere else.  But be one of the 10% who grow instead.

Transformation only comes when education turns into execution.  So here's how you can execute today on what you've just seen...

  • Grab the free PDF and one-page summary for easy future reference
  • Take one personal effectiveness tip from the list, and schedule 30 minutes or so to actually implement it
  • Once you're done, come back and try another idea.  If you want support and encouragement as you grow in your personal effectiveness in your pursuit of your deepest and most important goals, the Purposeful People community is here for you.
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  • Fabulous roundup, Richard. Every tip is a gem and very uplifting! Thank you for including me in this wonderful post!