Stop the four thieves of productivity.

The above four thieves of productivity encompass most of the distractions and obstacles in the path of success. Stop them in their tracks, and they will not have a chance to derail you from your goal.


  1. The first thief: The inability to say no.
    You can’t please everyone, so don’t try. When others come to you for favors, learn to say no. Understand that when you say yes to doing a task for someone else, you are saying no to the tasks you need to do for yourself. To say no in a helpful way, suggest an approach the other person can use to complete the task themselves, or direct them toward help elsewhere. Only say yes to requests that are connected to your One Thing, i.e., the one goal you want to achieve.

  2. The second thief: The fear of chaos.
    When you strive for greatness, chaos is guaranteed to show up. When this happens, deal with it in a manner that does not take time away from you working toward your goal. Ask others for help, beg and barter. Or, come up with a creative alternative solution.

  3. The third thief: Poor health habits.
    Don’t sacrifice your personal health in pursuit of your goal, as this will decrease your personal energy and actually keep you from achieving your goal. Ensure you get sufficient sleep, nutritious food, and enough exercise. Plan your daily meals a week at a time, wear a pedometer and walk 10,000 steps per day, take breaks throughout the day to relax and refocus yourself, and get at least eight hours of sleep per night. Physical energy isn’t the only important type of energy, though. You should aim to meditate every day for spiritual energy, spend time with your loved ones for emotional energy, and clearly plan your day for mental energy.

  4. The fourth thief: An environment that doesn’t support your goals.
    Your environment is who you see and what you experience every day. Surround yourself with positive, driven people, and your actions will reflect that positivity and sense of direction. Find the physical place at which you are most productive, and work on your tasks there.


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