Episode 272: Do What Matters Most Three Life-Changing Habits

Episode Summary

What we want, what we need to do to achieve it, and the way we organize our schedule to meet our expectations are intimately connected. Without a clear direction, planning and reaching isolated goals is hard to do. But with the right vision and prioritizing our time correctly, we can achieve much more in our lives. 


Rob Shallenberger: Alright, welcome back to our Becoming Your Best podcast listeners. This is Rob Shallenberger. I hope you’re having a wonderful day and a great week, wherever you’re at in the world. Well, this is going to be a slightly different podcast than our normal podcast. We’re getting ready and we’re so excited about this new book release of Do What Matters Most that’s coming up on May 18th of this year, 2021. So, for those who are not familiar with this, we’re gonna take a few minutes on this podcast and talk about how powerful the content is of this book. I’m going to give you a little bit of a preview as to what this looks like. And really, this will also be a chance for self-reflection, looking at your own life, the team that you may work with, or those around you – you know, those who matter most to you in your life. If you’re listening to this either before the launch or after the launch, I invite you to go get a copy of this book, and then share it with those who are most important to you in your life. This is one of those books that is a type of book you can look back to and say, “That was a game-changer. That was a life-changing book.” And as I give you this short overview and share this with you today, I hope you’ll feel that and sense how powerful the three habits we discuss in this book are.

So, with that being said, you know, we titled the book, “Do What Matters Most”. If you think about those words, what does that mean to you? Do what matters most. You know, there’s probably a lot of different ways to think about that, both on the personal side and the professional side. Here’s what I’m suggesting is that tomorrow is not guaranteed for any one of us. You know, and I’ll just share something personal and some of you listening know the story; for others, you’ve never heard this before. Just three months ago, my mom finally passed away from early-onset Alzheimer’s. You know, it was this arduous 10-year process and my dad was really like an angel in her life and it was because of the three habits that are in this book of Do What Matters Most. For the last year, she was in a care facility, he was down there with her every night for three hours – at that point, she was 100% dependent on other people for hygiene, to be changed, to be fed – and it was the three habits in this book that allowed him to continue to show up in his business, in his role of father, as a grandfather, and especially as a husband in the final days and months of her life. And so what we’re talking about here will apply to every aspect of your life. It was transformational. These habits were literally almost life-saving for my father when he was going through this ordeal with my mom. And it doesn’t really matter what challenge you’re going through. You know, whether you are staying at home with the kids right now and you’re raising your kids full time, whether you’re a CEO, whether you’re a sales rep or a frontline employee in your organization, this book will have a huge impact in your life – and that is my guarantee and promise to you.

And so, let’s jump into this. I want to give you a little overview as to what this is all about. You know, I mentioned doing what matters most and that the book will be released on May 18th. For those who preorder the book, you’re getting all kinds of bonuses; we really wanted to make this a big deal. And so, if you go to the website,, you’ll see all of these bonuses that you get as part of a preorder: you’ll get a four-part course, you’re going to get an intro to the book so you can start reading that right now, you get four sessions of our peak performance coaching that we’ve done that are archived, which are awesome in and of themselves, you get all the templates for your vision, your goals, your pre-week planning, so you have everything that you need to get started as part of this bonus package for those who preorder the book. So again, I invite you to go to, preorder the book, and you will be one of the first ones to get it when it comes out. If you’re listening to this after the launch, go to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Walmart – any of these sites – and you can just find the book. Search for Do What Matters Most. It’ll come up.

So let me give you a little bit of an overview and share why this is such a powerful book from our perspective. Our hope is that this is the book you will want to order for yourselves, for your team, and for your family. You know, I’ve used the words life-changing several times because I really feel that’s what this is. These habits are life-changing when applied. For example, on the professional side, how does a sales team go from 17 to 34 sales in a month, which means an additional $2.4 million in revenue for that team? Well, how does a couple whose marriage is hanging by a thread starts playing these habits and it completely transforms their marriage? You know, they get the fire back that they had lost as they both went their separate directions of life. How does someone who’s going through the motions at work – you know, a lady in Southern California who’s just going through the motions, she’s showing up, she’s certainly not engaged, she does what she’s asked and that’s about the extent of it – how does she have a complete change in mindset, applying this new skillset and become one of the top employees in her division? Well, that’s what I’m suggesting here, is one of the common threads that bind so many people together right now – and I think you’ll probably be able to relate to this – is a desire to make a difference, to be more productive to perform at a higher level and prioritize what matters most in our lives.

So whether this is productivity in the office, whether it’s our health, our relationships, or our own well-being, people across the border are searching for a way to stay ahead of the curve and do what matters most because some of you know I was a former fighter pilot, and there’s this term we use in the fighter pilot world called ‘task saturation’. And it seems like right now, there’s so much task saturation happening in the world, there’s so many demands on people’s time that people are being asked to do more with less. And so, time management and productivity are becoming a big issue in people’s personal lives and throughout their organizations, which is why so many are thirsting for something that will help them prioritize their time and do what matters most. At least from the personal side, I’ve got four kids. And if you have children, you can relate to this. You know, you’re trying to figure out how do you take care of yourself while maintaining your relationships with your spouse, with your children, with your friends? How do you maintain your own mental and emotional and physical well-being in the process, while still showing up for your children? So most people can relate to what I’m talking about when we talk about these time-demand challenges that we’re facing in this busy world.

Now, let me get a little more specific because we did this research and surveyed more than 1,260 different managers across 108 different global organizations. And what we found, like I just described, was that 68% of those people surveyed felt like prioritizing their time was their number one challenge. What would you say? Can you relate to that? Here’s what was interesting as well, is that 80% of people did not have a process to prioritize their time to do what matters most. It typically was a very reactive form of planning in sticky notes or to-do lists – you know, both of which are fine, those are good. What I’m going to share here will enhance those, and take those and make those even better in the spirit of good, better, best. So based on this clear need for something that will help people and organizations close this time management and productivity gap, we’re going to share in this book, Do What Matters Most, three specific habits that we guarantee will increase productivity by at least 30 to 50%, while at the same time, and very importantly, reducing stress. So, what does this translate into? Well, improved teams, better teams who get things done on time or ahead of schedule, who are contributors, who are better leaders, who are more actively engaged in really doing what matters most. On the personal side, it means that we now have a focus on what matters most in our families, taking care of our health, our relationships, we have more clarity of mind and we have a clear purpose and fire when we get up in the morning. And that’s why these three high-performance habits become so powerful.

And these may be habits or terms you’ve heard before but the truth is, they’re rarely being done. So for example, these three habits are number one, to have a written personal vision, high level, you know, where are we going in life? Who are we becoming? And I’m going to share a unique way to do that, that I’ve never heard anyone else share on how to do that. Habit number two is to have roles and goals. Specific goals by role for this year on how you’re going to achieve the vision, so we’re going to get more focused. And habit number three is the term we call pre-week planning. And that is a powerful process every week to identify what matters most that week and align our week with our goals and our vision. So, these three habits – vision, roles, and goals, and pre-week planning – come together from the big picture all the way down to the daily and weekly level to identify what matters most. And over the course of a lifetime, a person who applies this skill set will accomplish 30 to 50,000 more things that are important to them than someone who didn’t have these habits. And that’s a pretty bold promise. And I want to walk through, on this podcast, why that’s true and why it’s so important to get the book and read the book. And so, let’s jump into these.

Why are these habits such a big deal? Because, certainly, you’ve heard of vision. Certainly, you’ve heard people talk about goals or weekly planning. Well, for as much as they’re talked about, it certainly isn’t done very often. In fact, only 2% of people have a written personal vision. Less than 10% of people have personal and professional goals and feel competent in doing so and 84% of people said that if they had a process for time management that it would significantly improve their productivity. So clearly, there’s a big gap that we’re all talking about here. And the reason we’re talking about this is because, like I said in the beginning, tomorrow’s not guaranteed for any one of us, and today is the day to focus on and do what matters most.

And so, this idea of Do What Matters Most is both a mindset and a skill set. The big three habits that we like to call them vision – personal vision – roles and goals and pre-week planning are a skill set. The mindset is having the discipline and consistency to apply the skill set. And the way that we define discipline is to do the right thing at the right time, regardless of how we feel about it. Think about that statement. So, doing the right thing at the right time, regardless of how we feel about it. And so, pre-week planning – every weekend, we’re inviting you to do pre-week planning. Well, there may be a Sunday where you say, “You know what? I’m tired, I don’t want to do it today.” Discipline. Doing the right thing at the right time, regardless of how we feel about it. Because it’s these three habits that will empower us to show up in every one of our roles, in taking care of ourselves, our relationships, and especially on the productive side at work, how do we show up at work and engage in a way that we haven’t before? So with that being said, let me jump in, now that I’ve given a background on the book, what it actually looks like, you know, what is in the book.

So we started the book by sharing what we call the ‘Do What Matters Most’ matrix. Now, this was originally developed by Dwight D. Eisenhower, and it was called the Eisenhower matrix. So we give him the credit, and we’ve just made some adjustments to it, which is why we now call it the ‘do what matters most matrix. And imagine in your mind four quadrants – it’ll be a lot easier to see this when you’re actually reading the book. As I describe these four, think about where you spend the bulk of your time. And for those who are in the workforce, imagine in your mind your co-workers, and see if you can figure out which quadrant they spend the bulk of their time in. So let me describe these.

Quadrant one is the “Do it” quadrant. These are things that are urgent and important. It’s high stress, it’s high priority. You know, so for example, these are not oftentimes the things we planned for, they show up unexpected, it’s the crisis, it’s the fire of the day, it’s the things where when they show up, we need to address them, they demand our attention. You know, you could go all the way to a dramatic example. If you’re a parent, you know, son or daughter sprains their ankle or even breaks their arm or something and you’d have to take them to the emergency room. Well, that’s not something that was planned for. That’s a Q1 item and you need to deal with it. It’s in front of your face, it demands your attention. Here’s the thing about Q1. In the professional setting, and in our personal lives, Q1 should be the exception and not the norm. And in too many teams, Q1 is the norm and it’s the way of doing business. And especially as leaders, if we as a leader are in Q1, by default, our team will be in Q1 as well. And what happens there is that if you think about it, what are the emotions associated with Q1? Well, it’s frustrating, it’s not enjoyable to be a part of that kind of life or team. So, what does that result in? Higher turnover, lower morale – it’s certainly not fun to be a part of that kind of team.

Now, Q2, on the other hand, are things that are not urgent, but very important. And this is where we want to focus our time and energy, is in Q2. It’s low stress, high priority. So, when we’re talking about relationship focus, productivity or strategic planning and alignment, your own wellbeing – all of these things that we can do in Q2 that are very intentional, and the do what matters most quadrant is really Q2. And that’s why it takes a focus and intention because Q2 does not happen by accident. And it’s the big three habits in the book that will move a person and a team to Q2.

Now Q3 – imagine this in the bottom left-hand corner of the quadrant – things that are not important, yet they’re urgent. So oftentimes, you know, in our lives, we have these unimportant meetings, unimportant reports, or just things that are simply not moving us towards our goals, but they feel urgent. And for those in the professional setting, you know exactly what I’m talking about when I talk about Q3. These are things that we want to manage, we want to eliminate, delegate, or automate because they’re not important in moving us towards the goals that may feel urgent, but they’re not important. And Q4 are things that we want to eliminate. They’re not urgent, nor are they important, therefore, they’re not moving us forward in any way.

Now, what we found is from the team in professional settings, if you look at mediocre teams, they spend 40 to 50% of their time in Q1 and about 20 plus percent in Q3 with less than 15% in Q2. Let me flip that. If you look at top-performing teams, meaning the top 10%, they spend less than 20% of their time in Q1, more than 50% of their time in Q2. And that’s why the big three habits in Do What Matters Most are so powerful because they will move us to Q2, they will empower us to think about what matters most and how to make that happen. And when something shows up in Q1 – like it will every week – it’s easy because we step in it, it’s low stress, we handle it and we move right back to Q2. So with this being said, now that we’ve talked about the Do What Matters Most matrix and the desire and the hope to move to Q2 is there, let’s move into a brief overview of these three habits in the book. And you know, we obviously don’t have time in a podcast to go into all the details of how to implement each habit. That’s the purpose of writing the book and that’s why we invite you to preorder it for your children, for you, for your team, your co-workers, those who matter most.

So let’s jump into this. Habit number one, as I mentioned, is to develop a written personal vision. Again, it’s something we’ve heard a lot of people talk about, right? Have a vision, have a purpose, have a why. Well, for as much as it’s talked about, why do only 2% of people have a written personal vision? And this is such a great opportunity, as we walk you through in the book on how to develop this to really get something that’s meaningful and gives you direction. Because if you think about it, your personal vision becomes the seed of your legacy. And when we plant a seed in fertile soil, what happens? Well, it has a chance to grow, right? Well, if the seed is never planted, it never even has a chance to grow. And so habit number one is about planting that seed and saying what does our destination in life look like? Where are we going, so that ultimately our goals and our pre-week planning align with that? And you know, one of the challenges I found with this is just really simply two things: people have never been shown how to do it, and haven’t made time to do it. And in the book, we’re going to cover both of those, so that’s no longer an obstacle. It’s very easy to do this, if someone will sit down and be willing to invest a few minutes of their emotions and their mental energy into developing this.

Let me just give an example of why this is so powerful. Think about Elon Musk and his vision. He’s certainly not a perfect person, like none of us are. But think about the power of his vision and how that’s changing the world. Again, Bill Gates – whether you like him or not is not even part of the equation. His vision early on was to have a computer in every home. Now, as we look at the world, how has that vision changed the world? You know, or how about Nelson Mandela to end apartheid or Gandhi to liberate a nation peacefully? When these seeds are planted, they can become a very powerful tree. And the thing about your personal vision is maybe you’re thinking, “Well, I’m not going to be Elon Musk. I’m not going to be Bill Gates.” Fine. That’s not the expectation. Your personal vision doesn’t have to change the world, it just has to change your world. And that’s why we’re talking about a personal vision being so powerful. I’ve had mine now for approximately 20 years and it’s really an internal compass. It’s our North Star, it’s what becomes our guide for our actions so that our actions are either in alignment, or they’re not. And if our life or actions are not in alignment with our vision, it’s our responsibility to get them back in alignment. And that’s the purpose of having a vision.

And what we do in the book, when you get the book is you’re gonna see that we invite people to divide their life into their five to seven roles that matter most of them, with their personal role being the most important. Personal meaning self. The other roles – when I say roles, an example might be a parent, it might be a spouse, a friend, whatever your current job title is, so sales rep manager, CEO, COO, whatever your current title is. And maybe you have two or three professional titles, and that’s great, too. So what are your five to seven most important roles? And then I invite people to use words such as ‘I am’. Rather than ‘to be’ or ‘someday’, we invite people to create the mental reality prior to the physical reality and describe the very best version of you in that role. “I am…” What? So, for example, in the role of husband, my role – and I have no notes here; I think about this every day – is “I’m a kind and caring husband who always helps Tanya feel like a 10. I’m totally faithful in thought and action and I constantly strive to compliment her, serve her, and be the husband of her dreams. Now, is that how it goes in our house every day? No, of course not. But that’s the whole point, right? That becomes my internal compass and if I’m out of alignment with that, it’s my responsibility to get back in alignment and become that type of husband. It also serves as a guide for my goals and pre-week planning, as I think about that role of husband. And that’s the power in starting with the vision, is it becomes our Northstar or guiding point of where we want to go and where we want to end up. That’s habit number one. In the book, and in the templates that you can download when you preorder the book as part of the bonuses, you’re going to get templates that allow you very easily to walk through and do this, you’ll see a bunch of different examples. And that’ll create, you know, the ideas on what you need, that really have your vision, so that’s meaningful and gives you direction.

Alright, habit number two. Habit number two is what we simply call ‘roles & goals’. So if you can imagine in your mind an upside-down or inverse triangle, the vision – habit number one – is the big picture. It’s the end destination by role in who we want to become. Habit number two roles and goals is saying, “This year, what are our clear targets or areas of focus in each role that will allow us to achieve the vision?” And there’s a real power in having that kind of focus. Remember, only 10% of people have written personal, professional goals. So this puts you in a very elite group of people by doing this. And what we invite you very specifically to do is start with your vision, with each role, and then come up with one to four specific goals for each role this year. And when I say specific and measurable, what I’m saying is we never use words like ‘more’ or ‘better’. Words matter. These are not New Year’s resolutions. 85% of New Year’s resolutions are broken two weeks into the year. And so, the way we word our goals matter. You know, I’ll just use a personal example. And then I’ll share one brief professional example.

My daughter, Bella, at age 11, came up with the role of author and then the goal of writing a children’s book by December 20th. I thought that’s awesome. I never knew she wanted to even write a book. And, you know, we went to work on this, and it became a daddy-daughter type project. Well, at the end of the year, on exactly December 20th, we finished her book called “A to Z. The Best In You And Me”. And it was such an awesome moment, we have a pitcher on the back porch holding her book, you know, we’ve gone through each letter of the alphabet, A to Z, she came up with a description of a word that associates with each letter. So A is attitude, B is beautiful, C is courage, and all the way through the alphabet. And then she came up with a little quote. And then I would send it off to an illustrator in India, who came up with this cool illustration. And it’s been so awesome to see these parents who have shared stories about the conversations they’ve had with their kids. And, you know, talking about some of these virtues and values, well, why did this happen? It was the goal of an 11-year-old. And if she would not have come up with that goal, what’s the percent chance this book would have been written? 0%. And it wasn’t even on my radar. And that’s why we are 90% more likely to accomplish something when we have clearly written goals.

You know, I mentioned this employee who was disengaged, going through the motions in Southern California. It started when she developed her vision and realized her life wasn’t in alignment with her vision. She was just going through the motions, you know, cruising, if you will, at home and at work. So once she articulated her vision, that was the purpose, that was the fire, if you will, the kindle the flame. Then she went through her roles and goals – habit number two – and she identified what success looked like for her that year in each role. She learned how – the same things that are taught in the book – how to write the goals so that she set herself up for success. And she really had some transformational experiences. She used her lunch hour, instead of doing what she had done previously for years, which was, you know, going in the lunchroom and just catching up on the latest gossip. She used her lunch hour to exercise for 45 minutes to listen to an audiobook while she was out walking and running each day, she started making her own meals for the last 15 minutes of her lunch break at home – you know, a much healthier meal than what she was using before. When she got home, instead of just doing what she had done for so many years, which was just sit in front of the TV for three or four hours, she became very intentional – Q2 – about what she was going to do with her husband, what she was going to do with her kids, and especially what she was going to do to show up for herself. And that’s why she lost 40 pounds over the course of I think it was four or five months, she became the top employee in that entire division. She said her marriage and her relationship with her kids had never been better. Her mental clarity was there when it hadn’t really been there for years. And so, my question is simply, what changed? Well, first of all, she started thinking Q2 – what matters most – and she started making time to do what matters most. Well, how does she make time? It was these three habits. She developed her vision, she had the discipline, the mindset to actually sit down and take an hour or two to develop her roles and goals for the year, and that connected her then with habit number three, which is pre-week planning. And that’s where she was able to connect her daily and weekly actions each week, so that they were aligned with her vision and her goals. Every week, she thought “Q2. What matters most this week?” And it was that process and habit, the pre-week planning that allowed her to identify what mattered most to her that week.

And so, let’s just talk briefly about habit number three. And again, I’m not going to go into all of the how-tos. It’s in the book. Pre-week planning is a powerful process that replaces, if you will, sticky notes and to-do lists. And it’s not that I say replaces in ‘they have to go away’. Maybe a better word would be to supplement them, to augment it, to add value to whatever you’re currently doing. And here’s the difference. Pre-week planning is inherently proactive, versus a to-do list or sticky note which is inherently reactive. And a person who develops the habit of pre-week planning will sit down typically between Friday afternoon and Sunday evening, and take 20 to 40 minutes to plan their week following this very specific process, which is very simple. I’m going to walk through it right here. The idea is that when someone develops that habit, they will be scheduling their priorities, rather than prioritizing their schedule. And in Greek, there’s two different words that they use for time. One is Kairos and one is Kronos. Kairos means priorities. Kronos obviously means time. what you’re doing with pre-week planning is you’re connecting Kairos with Kronos. It’s the only process like it that I’m aware of where you’re looking through this lens to create a balance of success stories across every area of our lives.

And so, let me just briefly explain pre-week planning. You know, I mentioned it takes 20 to 45 minutes. Well, that’s when we’d be sitting down some time on the weekend for most of us, and we start with our vision because that’s the direction we’re going. Right? That’s what the very best version of us looks like in each role, so let’s start with that. Next, we look at our goals – habit number two. What are our roles and goals? And if there’s things we can do this weekend in specific roles that will help align with our goals, we add that to our calendar. Right? That’s Q2. And then, step three is we look at our different roles that week, just like we did for our goals and our vision and habits one and two. So, what are our most important roles? Parents, spouse, you know, manager, sales rep, and personal being that most important role. And then we have in step three, a personal brainstorm with ourselves and say, “Alright, Rob – or whatever your name is – what matters most this week in each role?” And we identify what that is. And the last step is to simply assign a time to it. So whether it’s a paper planner, or whether it’s an electronic calendar – and for those that use Google, we’re coming out with a Google extension for pre-week planning. So it doesn’t matter whether you’re using our Google extension, or whether you’re using our paper planner, you assign a time to each weekly action item.

Now, our week is going to go exactly as planned? Of course not. Q1 items are going to pop up throughout the week, right? And so, what we would suggest is our ideal productivity quotient is between 70 to 80%. In other words, the ideal number of what you’d be accomplishing in the week is 70 to 80% of what you came up with in your pre-week planning. If the number is lower than that, then we need to look at why. Are you overscheduling? Are you overplanning? And if the number is, you know, you’re accomplishing 100%, every week, well, are you really stretching? And so, there’s this nice, happy medium in the 70 to 80% productivity quotient range. Now imagine what would happen and how it would feel to do pre-week planning like this every week, where you’re looking at your roles, what can I do that matters most in each role this week, and when will I do it? I could share literally thousands of stories about how this has impacted people’s lives in a dramatic positive way. Off the cuff here, totally unplanned, let me just share two or three.

A good friend, she wanted to take her daughter out for what she called a mommy-daughter date to celebrate her birthday. She’s like, “Oh, I really wanted to do this. But I just was so busy. It didn’t happen.” Well, she was telling us this in March, and her daughter’s birthday was in September. And we thought, “Oh, man, it’s been more than six months. You still haven’t taken her? And we introduced this concept of pre-week planning. And, you know, it may be easy to say, “Well, you didn’t take her and this didn’t happen.” Well, are we really that different than her? You know, how many times are there these things in our life that really matter that are not getting done? And so she actually is really not that different from most of us and that’s why these three habits come together to flip all of that on its head and that’s why I said it will increase productivity by 30 to 50%, and many times as much as 100%. So this particular lady, two weeks later, sent me a text and said, “Thank you, thank you, thank you. I took my daughter on her date, we had an awesome time and I owe it to pre-week planning”.

Now, when we talk about pre-week planning, you know, in the role of parent, it could be as simple as writing a note to your son or daughter. In your professional role, it could be reaching out bringing doughnuts to the office, it could be reaching out to a previous client, it could be strategic planning, or setting up a weekly meeting with your team. It’s these little things that make a big difference over the course of time. Every time we move to Q2, there’s a different feeling in our life. People start to look at us differently, and ask “Well, how are you accomplishing so many things? What’s the difference?” So it’s the culmination of each one of these things that can have a big impact, whether it’s this lady who went on a date with her daughter, or whether it’s an executive of Pepsi, where we did this training, and under the role of father he wrote “Call my son”. And we asked him, “Well, why is that a big deal?” And he said because he hadn’t talked with his son in seven years. We thought, “Oh, man, well, when are you going to do it?” And he said, “Wednesday, at seven o’clock.” We went back six months later, met with that same team, you know, to do some follow-on training. And we asked this executive, “Did you call your son?” And he responded something along the lines of this. He said, “You know, I was scared to death to pick up the phone that day. But I had it in my planner and so I did it. And as soon as I started talking with my son, we couldn’t even remember what we had argued about seven years prior. And now we talk every week, and we’re best friends.” Well, he went on to say something that just blew our minds. He went on to comment that on that call, he discovered he had two grandchildren who he didn’t even know existed. Can you imagine that? Well, there’s two ways to look at this. One, you can say, “How sad that this grandfather, that this father took seven years to reconnect with his son.” Okay, that’s one way to look at it. But we all make mistakes, right? We all have challenges. So another way to look at this is “Thank heavens that he finally made the Connect.” That was Q2. It was the result of a very intentional process and pre-week planning where he looked at his role as father, he knew he hadn’t connected with his son, even though he thought about it every day, and he said, “Call my son. Wednesday, seven o’clock.” And that’s what moved him to Q2 and made him take action when he hadn’t for seven years. And I hear that story over and over and over again.

I was just with our chiropractor yesterday who said, “You know, I’m just now learning about these habits. And I did pre-week planning for the first time last week, and I realized I hadn’t been on a date with my wife in a long time. And so what did we plan? We planned a date night, and it happened.” And so, little things start to happen that have a big impact on our lives when we combine each one of these three habits. If you found me in the supermarket and said, “Rob, what’s one habit that would just totally dramatically change my life, regardless of where I’m at today?” I would answer nearly 100% of the time pre-week planning. It’s pre-week planning that connects these other two habits down to the daily and weekly level and is truly transformational in every sense of the word. And that’s why I said pre-week planning will empower someone to schedule their priorities rather than prioritize their schedule. And in the book, when you read habit number three pre-week planning, you’re going to see several different key things that are going to be key in really helping you be successful with your pre-week planning. This is one of those that I would want my children to read this book. I would want them to understand how to develop a vision, how to set their roles and goals, and then how to do pre-week planning. If your spouse is willing, your partner, I would hope that both people would already have their vision and goals and be willing to do their pre-week planning, and then come together and align their schedules for that week, both people being focused on what matters most in each of their roles.

And here’s my final comment on this. I mentioned that a person who consistently does pre-week planning over the course of a lifetime will be accomplishing tens of thousands of things that they didn’t otherwise accomplish. You’re going to read about in the book a study we did and the average person will go from accomplishing 13 things a week to 33 things in a week. And you say, “Well, that’s about 20 more things.” Well, what if one of those is a date night? What if one of those is working out, or yoga or meditation or reading a book or calling an important client, or taking care of something at work that needs to be done, that’s Q2 so that it doesn’t become Q1? Over the course of weeks and months, that adds up to thousands of additional actions in our life that we otherwise wouldn’t have done. And that’s why these three come together – these three habits – to be so life-changing.

So, we’ve been going for 33 minutes here. What I’ve done is I’ve given us a brief overview of Do What Matters Most. This is a powerful book, it’s a powerful training solution for organizations. There’s an entire certification around this so that trainers can get certified on Do What Matters Most, their participants get a participant guide, they get a trainer’s guide, they get the PowerPoints and all the supporting materials so that they can either coach or train on this within their organizations.

My hope is that you will preorder the book if you’re listening to this prior to May 18th and get all those bonuses we talked about. I mean, my goodness, it’s like what? $19 bucks to get the book? And you get all of these things that are truly life-changing. Why would we not? Why would we wait? So go to And then once you order the book, you can click on the bonuses and get all those bonuses. The second thing I would invite you to do is if you have not done that already, go to and you can take a free productivity assessment that will help identify areas in your life right now where these three habits can be hugely impactful. So again, it’s just another bonus right there. If you’re listening to this, after May 18, go ahead, go to Amazon, go to Barnes & Noble, Walmart, get the copy of the book, and then I invite you to share it with others. And Amazon has this algorithm – the more reviews you get, the more it bumps the book up, the more people see it. Our hope is we want to reach a billion people with this content. That’s a pretty lofty aspirational vision or goal, right? And so, you’re a part of this process. We invite you to rate this book on Amazon. The hope is that you feel like it’s an easy five-star type book. And then share it again with your family, with your friends, with your co-workers. Because a person can’t apply a skill set that they don’t have. And the application of this skill set will inherently also shift the mindset. And that’s why I said in the very beginning, this idea of Do What Matters Most is both a mindset and a skill set. And it’s the rising tide that lifts all boats when you start applying these habits. The application of the skillset will raise our mindset.

And so, my hope is that this overview has been helpful for you, gives us a chance to reflect where are we at in our lives right now? Are we doing what matters most? What areas of our lives are in Q1 and Q3 that we can move to Q2 by a more intentional focus. And this idea of looking through that lens of our different roles, it’s creating the vision, the roles and goals, and doing pre-week planning is such a powerful lens to move into Q2 and doing what matters most in every area of our lives. So I’m gonna end with this – again, I’ve already talked about the website, – one of my favorite quotes is this: “One ship sails east and another west. By the self-same winds that blow. Tis the set of the sail and not the gale that determines the way they’ll go.” In other words, we all have this figurative wind at our backs. And what we’re doing by applying these three habits is setting our sails and doing what less than 1% of people have done and having a written personal vision, our roles and goals for the year, and being consistent about doing pre-week planning each week so that we can accomplish 70 to 80% of what we plan and really shift to Q2 and do what matters most. So between now and the rest of the week, I hope you have a great day. Have a wonderful evening. And remember, this is the whole spirit of Do What Matters Most and Becoming Your Best.

Rob Shallenberger

CEO, Becoming Your Best

Leading authority on leadership and execution, F-16 Fighter Pilot, and father

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