How to Increase Productivity and Do What Matters Most
I received a free copy of the book Do What Matters Most by Rob and Steve Shallenberger in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% mine. Rob and Steve Shallenberger are the founders of Becoming Your Best Global Leadership, dedicated to developing training solutions that improve performance and productivity.
Do you often feel like life is passing by, and all you do is spend most of your time putting out fires? I know I do. Simply put, I often feel like I am pressed for time, solving and tending to everything that happens here and now and leaving all my life plans on the back burner. In other words, I am not doing what matters most to me, but mostly what matters most to others. Yikes!
Summer is my season to renew and recharge, and reading is one of my favorite things to do to achieve that. If you know me by now, you know that I am a planning and goal-setting aficionado. So, when Mr. Shallenberger reached out to me and asked for my honest review of their latest book: Do What Matters Most, I was thrilled!
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Who is this Book For?
I understand my audience is, for the most part, moms and homemakers looking for practical tips on home organization. With a title like Do What Matters Most, followed by the tagline: Lead with a Vision, Manage with a Plan, Prioritize your Time, you might feel a bit intimidated. I am here to tell you, don’t be. This book is for you!
I recommend this book to anyone who wants to achieve their personal and professional goals while living a fulfilling life. The not-so-secret secret lies in prioritizing time and doing what matters most. This book tells you exactly how to do that.
Whether you are a mother, team leader, CEO, salesman, student, you name it; this book is for you.
The Principles and The Habits
When I hear the word habit, my eyes light up. Habits are magic. Habits give you the amazing opportunity to ‘cheat in life’ without being an actual cheater. Bear with me here. Habits are your tasks on autopilot. You are in charge of training that pilot.
Do What Matters Most teaches you three basic principles, and you can develop three powerful habits based on those principles.
- Principle 1: Lead with a Vision; Habit 1: Develop a written personal vision.
- Principle 2: Manage with a Plan; Habit 2: set specific roles and goals.
- Principle 3: Prioritize Your Time; Habit 3: pre-week planning.
I won’t detail how these principles and habits go hand in hand. Otherwise, I would give the entire book away. However, I wanted to mention them because they are at the book’s heart and its teachings.
Defining Roles and Goals
Perspective is a wonderful thing. Perspective is the power and capability to change things by changing how we view them. And I can’t sing enough praises on how ‘Do What Matters Most’ changed my perspective on how I look at my roles and life goals.
I wear many hats. First, I am a spouse and a mother; then, I am a business owner, admin, CEO, COO, CMO, and everything in between, not for one but two businesses. I am also a daughter, a sister, and a friend, and I often like to volunteer at my church.
Yes, you can say I have many roles, and I have hefty goals for each of my roles. Right there is exactly where the book turned things around for me and showed me the right way to look at my life and my goals, so I do not get caught up in task saturation and the busyness of urgent things.
Task Saturation, Busyness, and Focus
Another important takeaway from the book is the definition of task saturation and busyness. When it comes to prioritizing your time and making room for what matters most, it is important to recognize that busyness does not equal high productivity.
Sometimes we wear that ‘busy badge’ as a badge of honor – as if busyness equals high productivity.Do What Matters Most, Robert & Steven Shallenberger.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where everything seems to be important, and everything is urgent. Or so we think. So we end up living our lives highly stressed, putting out fires, leaving things half done.
I was in 10th grade when I read the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I remember Stephen Covey’s four quadrants of time management and the impact it made on my lifestyle. If you ask me today, there are only two things I remember clearly from the book:
- We must do what’s important, not what is urgent.
- We must be proactive, not reactive.
In Do What Matters Most, the authors emphasize the importance of time management based on the Eisenhower Matrix, but with a few tweaks.
All 3 matrices and all 4 authors agree in proactively identifying what’s important but not urgent.
In other words, if everything is important, then nothing is. The lesson here is to learn to handle high-priority tasks with low stress. We can do this by writing a vision, setting roles and goals, and planning.
One of my favorite quotes from the book reads:
How refreshing not to have to think about or decide what you have to do first thing Monday morning.Do What Matters Most, Robert & Steven Shallenberger.
That – to me- is worth more than a thousand words!
Developing Mindset and Skillset
Lastly, I would like to mention how impactful it was for me -and how impactful I want it to be for you- learning about developing the right mindset followed by applying the right skillset.
In Do What Matters Most, Rob and Steve Shallenberger explain how we should shift away from reactionary living to proactive and intentional living. We do this by writing our vision and setting goals for each role in our life.
This is so important to me as a mother and as a business owner! Sometimes I have so much on my schedule, move in so many different directions. What happens in the end is, I feel burned out, and when I look back, not much has been accomplished.
The idea of taking the time to schedule priorities instead of letting your schedule dictate what to do each day is more than revolutionary; it is life-changing.
How to Apply The Do What Matters Most Principles To Your Life
With all the things I have said about, and quoted from ‘Do What Matters Most’, your head must be spinning! But, I hope it’s spinning in a good way!
If you want to dive deep and learn more about the principles, the mindset, and the skillset that teaches you how to do what matters most, here’s what you can do next.
- Get yourself a copy of Do What Matters Most. If you prefer, you can get the digital Kindle version. I prefer the latter because it gives me the ability to highlight and take notes of a book I love. My Kindle version allowed me to review and search for my important notes in a cinch while writing this review.
- Put those principles into practice and design your life with the Becoming Your Best planner.
- Not a planner person? Do you prefer to keep track of your schedule using a digital calendar? No problem! Becoming Your Best recently launched a Google Chrome extension. It connects with your Outlook or Google calendar (within Chrome) for digital planning at its best! I am eager to try this option!
Doing what matters most, and becoming your best takes heart, desire, and discipline. This book breaks it down for you in bite-sized pieces so you can focus on designing the life you want while doing what matters most.
Oftentimes we hear how certain people are successful because of their ‘discipline’. Very few times do we stop to ask ourselves: …what exactly is discipline?
To wrap up this review, I want to leave you with the definition of the word discipline as per the authors.
This (particular habit) requires discipline, which we define as doing the right thing at the right time regardless of how we feel about it.
Do What Matters Most, Robert & Steven Shallenberger.