"Wake up at 5am with a suit and tie already on and the coffee already brewing!"

They say…

"This will bring you paramount success!"

They say…

Of course it never really pans out that way though — does it?

Don't get me wrong, I'm an advocate for routine. I think that the things we do in the micro will help compound into the macro.

If you can commit to doing the work now— no matter how monotonous — it will compound into a future progression that just may surprise you.

But does it always have to be as extreme, nuanced, and profound as we're constantly told?

I don't think so.

In fact, the Mayo Clinic notes that, among other things, "extremes of activity" are a precursor to experiencing burnout. If you are trying to take on too much with your day in order to fortify it into an impenetrable fortress of work — chances are, you'll run out of fuel later on and crash back to just where you started.

With working for myself, I have grown accustomed to building and maintaining a sustainable routine to help me produce quality work at a higher level. I find the "sustainable" part of the equation is the most important. I want to be able to deliver over the long-haul — not just for the next couple of months.

Let's look at the various ways to develop an average routine that helps produce above average results…

Start with a "Big Three."

Or two.

Or even one.

Priorities — that is.

As the internet entrepreneur and CEO of MobileMonkeyLarry Kim puts it,

"Busy people think that getting more things done in the sanctioned eight or nine hours at work is the way to go. They fit in too many tasks in their to-do list only to end up moving most of their tasks the next day. Productive people know too well that they do not need 40 tasks in their to-do list. They take a less-is-more approach when it comes to planning their work day by only accomplishing those that are important."

What are the three (or two or even one when starting out) priorities you can get done today that are:

  • Sustainable over the long haul
  • Get you excited about performing the work
  • Help you progress each and every day

Use daily affirmations.

I used to think a daily affirmation was a bunch of "woo woo" malarkey.

That is of course until I read, "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill. In the book, Hill talks about (among many things) the idea of desire and how desire is foundational to any goal setting in life.

In the book, Hill lays out the formula that one can adopt that aligns with their own desires and goals,

"Suppose that you intend to accumulate $50,000 by the first of January, five years hence, that you intend to give personal services in return for the money, in the Capacity of a salesman. Your written statement of your purpose should be similar to the following:

By the first day of January, 19.., I will have in my possession $50,000, which will come to me in various amounts from time to time during the interim.

In return for this money I will give the most efficient service of which I am capable, rendering the fullest possible quantity, and the best possible quality of service in the capacity of salesman of (describe the service or merchandise you intend to sell).

I believe that I will have this money in my possession. My faith is so strong that I can now see this money before my eyes. I can touch it with my hands. It is now awaiting transfer to me at the time, and in the proportion that I deliver the service I intend to render in return for it. I am awaiting a plan by which to accumulate this money, and I will follow that plan, when it is received."

Now I have to be honest — in recent months, I have slipped with regard to telling myself this affirmation. Sometimes life takes you away and you need to remind yourself to reinstitute things back into your life.

What I find remarkable here, is when performing the affirmation (I tend to compound it with my mindfulness meditation) it helps with visualizing the goal. Furthermore, it helps with actually defining the goal — which I know for many can be tricky in itself.

For a lot of people, it might feel strange to put a dollar amount at the precipice of an affirmation — I know it was for me.

However, Hill goes further to illustrate that the dollar amount isn't the goal in itself but rather a way of measuring and benchmarking if the actions that you're taking are actually helping you get to where you want.

With your affirmation, you're going to want to consider:

  • What it is you want (how much do you want to make, how much weight do you want to lose/gain, how many dates do you want to go on, etc.)
  • By when do you want to achieve this (by July 1, 2021; August 5th, 2022; etc.)
  • What you are willing to give in order to receive (I am willing to go to the gym and achieve a heart rate of 150 for at least 30 minutes 5 times a week)

When you can add this to your daily routine — not only does it help you with the wider monthly and yearly goals, but it helps reinforce the daily goals and tasks that are needed in the interim.

Practice the compound effect.

What is the compound effect you ask?

Well before I can describe what the compound effect is — let me describe for you tasks, jobs, and practice that doesn't compound…

Why do we brush our teeth? Because we need to clean them every single day. When you brush your teeth once — it doesn't set the health of your mouth in a better position from that one cleaning that can be added on the next day.

Essentially — you brush your teeth to remain at equilibrium.

What about producing content on the internet, however?

My roommate is a YouTuber.

He has a small and growing channel. Due to personal responsibilities, he had to put his content production on hold.

Last week, however, he gave me an update of what his channel was experiencing.

Back in June (when he uploaded his last video), he had about 30 subscribers and 600 minutes of watch time.

Without posting any new videos, he checked back again on his channel in early November and saw:

  • 60 subscribers
  • 2,400 minutes of watch time

Without doing any more work — his channel's impact was compounding in it's growth.

Think about what can be done on your end if you adopted some compoundable work:

  • The viewership of your article can keep rising
  • Your email subscriber list can keep growing
  • Your YouTube channel can keep generating view time
  • Your self-published Amazon book can keep selling

Your efforts can keep growing.

Plus — if you were to continue producing work on top of all the work that is already compounding, you will experience faster growth.

In his book, The Compound Effect, Darren Hardy notes the extreme power of this idea,

"If you were given a choice between taking $3 million in cash this very instant and a single penny that doubles in value everyday for 31 days, which would you choose? […] Let's say you take the cold, hard cash and your friend goes the penny route. On Day Five, your friend has sixteen cents. You, however, have $3 million. […] After 20 full days, with only 11 days left, Penny Lane has only $5,243. […] On Day Twenty-nine, you've got your $3 million; Penny Lane has around $2.7 million. It isn't until Day Thirty of this 31-day race that she pulls ahead, with $5.3 million. And it isn't until the very last day that your friend blows you out of the water; she ends up with $10,737,418.24." (Hardy, The Compound Effect. 2010 SUCCESS Media)

Unfortunately, we aren't living with a gambit that doubles every day.

But that doesn't mean you should be able to understand and realize the potential effects of such a phenomenon.

When you adopt this into part of your daily routine — who knows what Day 31, let alone Year 3, can yield for you.

How to develop a routine that produces above-average results

You can apply small practices in your day that can have a profound effect on your life later on down the road.

And like the intro of this article noted — it doesn't have to be something that requires you to completely retool your entire existence.

In fact, much of what has been discussed here is really more of a reduction of things in your day rather than taking more things out.

Let's take a brief inventory of what we talked about:

Start with three big priorities.

So often, people think that if they want to achieve more — they need to take on more.

In fact, quite the opposite is true.

When you take on more, you are doing a few things to yourself:

  • You expose yourself to the potential of "work overload"
  • You open the door to needing to constantly push tasks to the next day
  • You can reduce the much-needed focus on actually performing the task to the best of your ability

Instead — if you can find three big priorities to get done in a given day that will help set you up in a better position compared to the day prior, it can have an above-average effect.

Adopt a daily affirmation.

In order to produce above-average results, you need to have a clear direction of where you want to head.

This is where your daily affirmation comes in.

I'm not talking about telling yourself all the things about yourself that are lovely and that you accept (of course I'm not diminishing the importance of those types of affirmations either). Rather, I'm talking about using a clearly guided formula that can be adopted from "Think and Grow Rich" in order to map out a clearly guided path towards your success.

That formula should include:

  • What it is you want.
  • When you want to achieve what you want.
  • What you are willing to give in order to receive what you want.

Practice the compound effect.

This idea compounds (yes — pun intended) on the first subsection of this article.

We want to perform work in our daily routine that has the ability to grow, even when the work is completed.

What kind of work can you perform — whether in your career and job or with your side hustle — that will compound with every task shipped?

This type of work can include (but are not limited to):

  • Producing written article content
  • Working towards growing and nurturing an email list
  • Producing content on your YouTube channel
  • Uploading and selling a self-published book on Amazon

“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”

―John C. Maxwell

We are the product of what we do in our daily pursuit.

Often times, we are told that in order to achieve more, we have to do more.

But what if that isn't the entire equation?

What if instead the things we took on that helped us save time and gain clarity were actually the things that over time, would help us progress farther and accomplish more?

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