Rise Over Run - The Blog


FIVE Productivity Hacks to Unleash the Dragon Within

high performance newsletter productivity Jun 06, 2023
Dragon during Chinese Festival of Lights
Image by Rhonda Morrissey

"Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort." 
Paul J. Meyer

Productivity — it's not merely a byproduct of random events, but a result of well-defined strategies and focused determination.

We all have within us a hidden power, a dormant potential like a sleeping dragon. This power, when unlocked and harnessed, can breathe fire into our lives, lighting up the path to our dreams and ambitions. Unlocking this potential, however, isn't about adopting run-of-the-mill productivity tools; it demands a courageous leap outside our comfort zone, a paradigm shift in our thinking patterns, and a relentless determination to transform the status quo.

In the words of productivity expert, Ali Abdaal, "Productivity is about doing more of what matters, and less of what doesn't." So, let's dive into some unorthodox yet strong productivity hacks that can serve as the catalyst to unlock your latent potential and boost your effectiveness:

1.  Embrace the Magic of the Morning:

"Early morning has gold in its mouth," said Benjamin Franklin, a man known for his morning routine and productivity. Waking up early offers an undisturbed, peaceful time window where distractions are minimal, and focus is at its peak.

To adopt this practice, start by pushing your wake-up time a little earlier each day, say by 15 minutes, until you hit your desired time. Utilize these undisturbed early hours to practice meditation, plan your day, exercise, or work on high-focus tasks. The tranquility of the morning acts as a breeding ground for your most profound thoughts and innovative ideas, making it an incubator for your untapped potential.

One extreme example is Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, who reportedly wakes up at 3:45 am every day. He utilizes these early hours to catch up on emails and enjoy some personal time before his day officially starts, demonstrating the productivity potential of early mornings.

2.  The Power of Napping:

Napping, often misunderstood as an act of laziness, holds a remarkable power to refresh the mind, stimulate creativity, improve memory, and reduce stress. Winston Churchill, a renowned advocate of napping, once said, "Nature has not intended mankind to work from eight in the morning until midnight without that refreshment of blessed oblivion which, even if it only lasts twenty minutes, is sufficient to renew all the vital forces."

To harness this superpower, schedule a short nap in the afternoon, ideally between 2 pm and 3 pm, when people typically experience an energy dip. Limit your nap to 20-30 minutes to avoid sleep inertia and ensure your nighttime sleep isn't disrupted.

3.  The Eisenhower Matrix:

The Eisenhower Matrix, named after U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, is a powerful tool for decision-making and prioritization. The Matrix divides tasks into four categories: Urgent and important; Important, but not urgent; Urgent, but not important; Neither urgent nor important. See example matrix below:
To effectively use this hack, list down all your tasks and assign them to one of the four categories. This will help you focus on tasks that are genuinely important, leading to productive work and reduced stress.

As Stephen Covey explains in his book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," focusing on important but not urgent tasks (Quadrant II activities) leads to long-term productivity and reduced crises.

4.  Monotasking:

Despite the glorification of multitasking in today's fast-paced world, research has shown that juggling multiple tasks simultaneously can lead to mistakes and decreased overall productivity. Monotasking, or focusing on one task at a time, allows for deep concentration, leading to higher quality work and enhanced productivity.

Cal Newport, in his book "Deep Work," writes about the importance of blocking off large chunks of uninterrupted time for cognitively demanding tasks. By committing to a single task, eliminating potential distractions, and deeply focusing, you can achieve a state of flow, leading to increased productivity and better results.

5.  The Controversial 'No Meeting Day':

Workplaces today are rife with meetings, often to the point where they consume significant portions of the workday. A 'No Meeting Day' is a day set aside each week for uninterrupted work. While this may be controversial, it's incredibly effective.

To implement this, choose a day that works best for you and your team. Make sure everyone understands the purpose and respects the rule. Use this uninterrupted time to dive into tasks that need your full attention.

Former CEO of LinkedIn, Jeff Weiner, is a known proponent of scheduling 'buffers' or empty slots in his calendar to ensure he has time to think. A 'No Meeting Day' takes this concept to a broader scale, allowing for deep, focused work.


All these productivity hacks invite you to challenge traditional norms, step out of your comfort zones, and stimulate transformation. They hold the key to not just doing more, but doing better. They offer a path to harnessing your inner dragon, igniting its fire, and letting it illuminate your way.

By stepping into this new dawn of productivity, you are opening doors to limitless possibilities, empowering yourself to rewrite your own destiny. These hacks are your first step towards this transformation. Now it's time for you to take the leap.

I invite you to schedule your own productivity session, armed with these potent tools. Embrace the challenge and dare to unleash your inner productivity beast. The journey might be demanding, but the rewards are unparalleled. The stage is set; the spotlight is on you. It's time to step forward and shine. It's time to unlock your potential and transform your life!

Schedule your productivity strategy & discovery session today!


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