The Missing Link That Stops Your Productivity

Today, you’re going to learn about the missing link that is holding you back from being super productive. You’re also going to discover a weird, super strange secret about the book, Think and Can Grow Rich that will help you get more done and make a lot of money.

Think and Grow Rich is probably the bestselling personal development book of all time.

If you exclude the Bible, there’s been over a hundred million copies sold of Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich. If you haven’t read it, you shouldn’t do that after you watch this video and learn the secret that I’m about to share with you right now.

Everybody loves the book because everybody wants to think and grow rich, but most people don’t know that up until about three hours before the deadline for the book, Napoleon Hill was going to call Think and Grow Rich by this really strange, funny name.

He was going to call it, “Use Your Noodle to Get the Boodle.” So, then Napoleon Hill did something super strange. You might think that if you had three hours to come up with a great idea for a better book title that you would sit down, and you’d brainstorm, and you would do all this stuff and you might even call some friends and ask them for their ideas.

No, what Napoleon Hill did was in hindsight, genius, he went to sleep. That’s right, Napoleon Hill with this huge deadline, just went, “I’m going to go have a nap.”

Napoleon Hill understood one secret: the brain needs to think for you to grow rich, and he believed in the power of the subconscious mind.

I’m going to talk about a powerful concept called subconscious setting and how this can make you more productive. Three hours later or an hour and a half later, whenever he woke up from his nap, Napoleon Hill went, “Think and Grow Rich,” and that was probably one of the most important decisions he ever made because if he had used “Use Your Noodle to Get the Boodle,” Think and Grow Rich, his book, probably would not have sold a hundred million copies because I wouldn’t be saying, ”Hey, you’ve got to go read this book, Use Your Noodle to Get the Boodle.”

Most people wouldn’t be using that word of mouth no matter how good the book was.

It’s just a little bit more awkward. But, “hey man, Think and Grow Rich, you got to read that book.” It’s an easy share. So that power of subconscious setting is so important combined with that missing link of productivity that I was sharing with you before. So for years I have been helping people get more done. About 10 years ago, one of my clients called me the world’s most productive person, and then another one said, no, Craig, you’re the world’s most disciplined man. And you might think that to be productive and be disciplined, you have to work all these hours, like 12 hours a day. You got to sacrifice your family and you just react and do all this stuff.

But that’s not true because the genius in productivity comes from this missing link, which is planning and preparation. What I discovered over my 15 years in the fitness industry of helping hundreds of thousands of people transform their bodies and their lives was that, you have to have better planning and preparation than ever before if you want to reach a goal.

Think about somebody who finally quit smoking. It wasn’t their first attempt. They didn’t just go, “OK, I’m done smoking today.” No, they failed probably dozens of times. And then they realized “I need to better plan and prepare. I need to have a replacement activity for when I usually have my smoke breaks. I need to have something like gum to help me get through my nicotine cravings and so on and so forth.” They’ve built up this plan that all of a sudden, the 17th time they try to quit smoking.

Everything that they’ve learned and built into this plan makes for better preparation than ever before, and sure enough, they finally achieved their goal.

Another way to look at this is think about your favorite movie, your favorite comedy, HBO special, even your favorite sports team. Are any of those people just making things up? Does Chris Rock just get on stage and make up a bunch of jokes and film a perfect comedy special?

Of course not.

He puts incredible amounts of planning and preparation into that HBO Special. Sports teams do an incredible amount of planning and preparation in every play. Broadway plays have a script and your day needs a script as well. So you can probably understand the concept of thinking, “I should plan and prepare my day.” Most people do is they fail to do that properly.

So some people take the route of, “OK, I’m going to get up in the morning and do my to-do list,” but if you’re doing your to-do list in the morning, you’re already too late.

Research shows that we have the greatest willpower and discipline and intention first thing in the morning. And so if you’re using that discipline just to figure out what to do, man, you are blowing it.

So the really, really, really, really smart people, the geniuses who are experts in planning and preparing, who maximize their productivity, who can run multiple businesses and still get done work on time to spend with their family at night, know that you plan and prepare the day before.

That’s why I built this and that’s why I created this, the Perfect Day Formula. And we focus so much on better planning and preparation than ever before. Now there are three steps that are in my system, and then when you add in Napoleon Hill’s fourth little component of subconscious setting, all of a sudden the projects that you’ve been working on for six months are going to get done in a week.

So let’s go through step number one.

The first thing that you’re going to do when you’re planning, preparing for tomorrow is do a brain dump. A brain dump is where you take all the thoughts running through your head about the emails you want to send, the calls you want to make, the errands you want to run, the projects you want to work on, the gym visits you need to do, the grocery list that your spouse wants you to go and pick up, and you put that all down in the brain dump section of mine planning and preparing planner.

Now that feels good, and this has a side effect of helping you sleep better. So if you’re struggling at night, if you go to bed and your mind is racing and your engine is revving and your wheels are spinning, it’s because you have too many thoughts cluttering up the attic of your mind and you need to use the brain dump earlier in the day to get that all out.

And then when you go to sleep at night, again, your mind won’t be racing. So this has a powerful benefit for your sleep because when you sleep well, you produce well in the morning, but now we have that brain dump. We might have 18 things written down. What do we do next? Then we move to our priority to-do list.

Again, the to-do list must be done tonight for tomorrow. We don’t do it first thing because that’s already too late. Now what we do with our priority to do list is we look at those 18 things and we go, you know what? There’s 18 things there, but only one of them can be number one. Only one of them can be number two, and only one of them can be number three. And we look at our most important tasks, the ones that are going to move us ahead in our business, the ones that are going to generate revenue for us, the ones that are going to leave a lasting impact, and we focus on those activities, doing email, checking social media.

Sure, those are things we really want to do, but those are not the ones that are going to have the great impact, and so we need to prioritize. So now you’re way ahead. You’re like Mary Poppins, half begun is half done. You’ve got your brain dump, you’ve got all the thoughts out of your head, you’ve got your priority to-do list, and that’s where most people stop. But if you really want to take this next level, you go to level three, which is process planning.

I learned this from Chip and Dan Heath in their book, “Made To Stick.” This was all about habit change. They used the analogy of when you want to change a habit, you need to make the path to success as friction-free as possible. A really great example of that is imagine somebody who wants to start exercising.

Well, if they want to exercise first thing in the morning and they wake up in the morning and it’s cold and they want to stay in their warm bed and they don’t know where their exercise clothes are and they don’t really know what to do in their home gym or they don’t really want to drive to the gym and they don’t know what to do when they get to the gym, there’s all those friction points and they will not make exercise a habit. Now, if you flip that instead you’re like, okay, listen, what we’re going to do is first of all, we’re going to put your exercise clothes right beside the bed so you can just grab them.

You can put your shoes on there right beside the bed, and we’re not going to make you drive to the gym. Instead, we’re going to cue up a home workout on your iPad from YouTube and you’re just going to turn it on and you’re going to go into the spare bedroom and you’re going to do the exercise and you’re done.

And it’s only going to take you 15 minutes using one of pre Valentine’s home workouts that are on YouTube. That is friction-free, and that person will stick the habit over the person who has to go and find exercise clothes, drive to a gym, and figure out all the machines, and we want the same thing for our number one priority.

Now, I learned this the hard way when I was writing my books, Perfect Day Formula, Unstoppable, Perfect Week Formula. There were days when I’d wake up in the morning and my to-do list was done, but it would say, ”Write chapter two.” And so I’d open up my computer and I’d see that blank word document sitting there, and I’d all of a sudden, have writer’s block and I wouldn’t know what to do.

So I would go and I’d start to procrastinate and I would maybe even sometimes clean the house, and I have no idea how to clean the house. I don’t like to clean the house. I don’t even know how to turn a broom on, but sometimes I would try and clean the house because I didn’t know what to do in my writing. Because I had writer’s block. So I learned that I need to make that path to success smoother.

I need to do a bit of process planning the day before. And so for me, it was easy. If I want to write chapter two, I need to know the topic and come up with five bullet points, and if I come up with five bullet points and then I write 300 words for each one of those bullet point prompts, that’s so much easier than just writing 1500 words on a blank document. Now, if you’re in sales, you might set up your sales calls and you might practice them so that when you actually get on the calls at nine, 10 o’clock, 11 o’clock in the morning, you’re much more effective.

You might do some sales training, you might review a sales call, you might do something that’s going to improve your skills. Maybe you have to make a PowerPoint presentation. Well, you could again, bullet point a few things out the night before so that in the morning the path to success is smoother.

I even used it with a couple of my clients who were eight-figure entrepreneurs and they wanted to have more Bible study in their life, but they weren’t making even 10 minutes a day to do Bible study yet it was so important to them. It was part of their identity. And so I said, well, why don’t you just open up your Bible, put it on your kitchen table, put it to the verse that you’re going to study, and then when you get up in the morning, you go right to it. You could even have your water sitting there.

We just made the path to success smoother by doing a little bit of process planning. So you remove the obstacles, decrease the friction, and you’re going to be more successful. So brain dump, priority to-do list, process planning. That’s 99% of the game, but if you want to go to the next level, let’s go back to Napoleon Hill and his subconscious setting.

That’s what the process planning kind of does. I know there were so many days when I did my bullet points and I’m going to write chapter two tomorrow morning and it’s going to be on mindset and I’m going to cover overcoming a bad mindset, overcoming negative thoughts, then vision, then sticking to it, and then getting accountability.

Those are my five bullet points. I would wake up and I’d sit down and 2000 words would be written in 60 minutes because I had done the process planning, but I also incorporated a bit of that subconscious setting that Napoleon Hill used to come up with Think and Grow Rich. He told himself, I need to come up with a better book title, and he went to sleep, and his subconscious mind did the work. Now, this is super woo woo. You might think that sounds crazy.

You can’t program your brain to do the work while you sleep, but I truly believe you can.

So every night, what you should do is you should get a sticky note. You finish up your process planning for your preparation, and then on your sticky note, you tell your brain what you want it to do. I want my brain to write chapter two on mindset, and I want it to include a story about this, that and the other thing. Put it on your computer, tell your brain and go to sleep. And as you sleep, your brain will work. It will put together the stories. It’ll put together the work. Maybe on the PowerPoint that you want. Maybe it’ll help you with the Bible study. Maybe it’ll help you design exercise programs, whatever it is that subconscious setting and you wake up in the morning and what you have to do, it’s like when you’re in the shower and you have a great idea, you can’t just go, “OK, I’ll remember this later.”

No, those great ideas disappear.

So you have to go and you have to write it out by hand, or you have to open up your computer and get it down. Get the thoughts out of your head as quickly as possible. That’s why it’s so important to get to work first thing in the morning, even if it’s just for 15 minutes, because even in 15 minutes you can write 500 words on your book if that’s what you want to do.

When you combine all of those things, those four steps, brain dump, priority to-do list, process planning, subconscious setting, it’s like you get an extra day’s work when you sleep. Now, the last thing that people have problems with is they forget to do this three-step planning or four-step planning, and it’s the end of the day, they’re tired. Five o’clock they got to get home to their family, or maybe they work at home and their family’s outside.

You can hear them getting ready for dinner. It’s like, I don’t have time to do this. You do have time. You just didn’t make time to do it. So it’s much better for you to do your process planning and your entire preparation early in the day, even if it’s incomplete than to not do it at all.

I had a client named Eric and he had a two-year-old child, and that two-year-old kid was just taking up all of his five o’clock time, and he kept on forgetting to do it, and I said, “Eric, do your planning and preparation at noon.” He made that a habit, and his productivity jumped through the roof because he was at least doing it at 80%. At 80% of this magical technique is exponentially better than 0% of doing it perfectly.

So don’t let perfection ruin your planning and preparation because better planning and preparation is the secret ingredient to productivity, writing books, making money, doing Bible study, improving your fitness, fixing your marriage, whatever it is that you want to do, better planning and preparation is the secret ingredient to Planning and Growing Rich.

Make sure that you bookmark this article, share this, drop a comment down below how this is going to help you and keep me posted on your progress as you use better planning and preparation to completely transform your life!