Deep Work (Grand Central Publishing, 2016)

If we want to be productive, we have to stay focused on the kinds of projects that add real value to our businesses. But that’s harder than ever today. When I talk with busy leaders, they tell me the biggest productivity challenge they face is constant distraction.

The problem is that even if those distractions qualify as work, they don’t add much value. Cal Newport, associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University, labels most of these activities shallow work. Think about bouncing in and out of email, checking social media, or tweaking lists. This is low concentration work just about anyone can do. Deep work, on the other hand, requires intense focus and concentration. It’s demanding but adds a lot of value.

How to Finally Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions

My Free, New Webinar Reveals How to Take Charge of the Coming Year

It’s resolution time. Getting fit, getting organized, improving our personal finances, traveling, and reading more are among the most popular resolutions this year, according to research by iQuanti.

Sounds great to me. Who wouldn’t want those things? Unfortunately, despite good intentions, thousands will fail at their resolutions in just a few weeks. But that’s only the start of our problems.

The Fine Line Between Working Hard and Letting Go

Plus the Simple Heuristic I Use to Know When to Press in and When to Back Off

Some of my favorite memories of growing up are building model airplanes with my dad. I remember him showing me how to assemble, sand, and paint them. I think back on how proud I always was when we finished a project together.

On one occasion, I remember struggling to get two parts to fit together. I tried several different angles. Nothing seemed to work. I grew increasingly frustrated.

Calmly, my dad said, “Son, don’t force it.” I stopped what I was doing, looked up at him, and instantly knew he was right.

6 Powerful Apps for Managing Social Media with a Team

Equip Your Team to Increase Your Impact and Simplify Your Life

Social media remains one of the most efficient ways for leaders to get heard and make a difference. What’s not efficient for most is the management of their social media presence.

Many leaders try overcoming this problem by bringing outside resources to bear. They might involve existing teammates, hire new employees, or contract with someone like a virtual assistant. But adding people doesn’t always mean subtracting inefficiency. Unless they’re properly equipped, additional people might just gunk up the works.

A major part of the equation is deploying the right tools. These are six of the best apps my team and I use to grow my online following, increase follower engagement, and simplify my life.

Special Edition: The Real Reason You’re Afraid to Set Goals for 2017 [Podcast]

(And How to Beat It)

Welcome to this special edition of the This Is Your Life podcast. In this episode, Megan Hyatt Miller (my oldest daughter and Chief Operating Officer of Michael Hyatt & Company) and I discuss the real reason you’re afraid to set goals in 2017.

We all know what it’s like to hesitate because we’re afraid of disappointment. But all of your greatest achievements and accomplishments are waiting for you on the other side of that hesitation. At some point, you have to move past it and jump in order to succeed. In today’s podcast, we’ll discuss four negative emotions that stop you from pursuing your goals and show you how to overcome them.

Listen to the Audio

How to Avoid 3 Pitfalls of Goal-Setting

Goals Can Backfire, But Not if You Know How to Use Them

I’ve been an advocate of goal-setting for decades. Most successful people I know are. They set big goals and recommend others do as well. But some people are more doubtful.

They point to significant goal-related disasters and suggest goals can backfire. In 2002, for instance, General Motors determined to boost its share of the U.S. automobile market to 29 percent, a position they hadn’t held since 1999.

The company was obsessed with the number. But they missed it. Why?

The 2 Most Powerful Words for Reaching Your Goals

One Simple, Proven Trick that Will Set You up to Win in 2017

Tell me this hasn’t happened to you: At the end of the year, you brainstorm several goals. You start the New Year full of determination and enthusiasm. But after several weeks, you get distracted and lose ground.

Months later you realize you’ve made no real progress. You either feel lousy and quit, or feel lousy and try again—only to experience the same dynamic.

But what if I told you it takes only two little words to break out of that cycle?

Special Edition: The Top 10 Mistakes Derailing Your Goals [Podcast]

(And How to Fix Them)

Welcome to this special edition of the This Is Your Life podcast. In this episode, Megan Hyatt Miller (my oldest daughter and Chief Operating Officer of Michael Hyatt & Company) and I discuss the top 10 mistakes that are derailing your goals.

Goals are the solution we need to make meaningful progress in the areas that matter most. But there are some common pitfalls that can derail our performance and keep us from accomplishing those goals we’ve set. In today’s podcast, we’ll share the 10 most common mistakes that could sabotage your success so that you can avoid them right from the start.

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Why Gratitude Makes All the Difference in Hitting Your Goals

3 Reasons to Stay Thankful All Year

When I asked successful business and thought leaders how they prepared to reach their goals in the upcoming year, several said gratitude gave them an edge.

Some mentioned setting aside special time to reflect and express gratitude for all the positive they experienced. This close to Thanksgiving, that seems perfect this time of year. But why stop there?

Jon Gordon told me practicing gratitude one day a year isn’t enough. “If you do it daily,” he said, “you’ll notice incredible benefits and major life change.” The science backs him up.

Why You Should Never Start With Your Most Difficult Task

(And What You Should Do Instead)

Years ago, I heard a motivational speaker encourage his audience to “eat that frog.” The line has a long history. And it makes sense: Stop procrastinating and just do the thing you fear. Once you do that, everything else is easy.

While that may be helpful in overcoming procrastination, it’s exactly backwards for big goals and projects. Instead, you should tackle your easiest task first.

10 Research-Backed Ways to Create the Breakthrough You Need

Including One Trick that Works Especially Well for Introverts

Leadership and entrepreneurial breakthroughs depend on creativity. But we don’t always feel very creative, do we? Thankfully, research suggests we all have access to the kind of creativity we need to get the results we want—even if you don’t feel especially creative.

Last week I went fly fishing on Hesse Creek in East Tennessee. Nothing takes my mind off work like fishing. Worries and challenges fade into the background, and I find myself fully immersed in the present moment.

But it’s not about avoiding difficulties. When I’m finished I often find I have the clarity I lacked when I started. There’s something about the relaxation that actually sparks my best thinking.