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Achieving Peak Performance: Discovering the Optimized Work-Life Equation


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From Robert Pagliarini: We’ve all been told that it’s impossible to predict the future, but it’s actually quite easy. Your life has a certain trajectory — similar to a train on a track. There will be …

From Robert Pagliarini: We’ve all been told that it’s impossible to predict the future, but it’s actually quite easy. Your life has a certain trajectory — similar to a train on a track. There will be twists and turns, but you can easily determine where you will end up professionally and personally if you stay on the track you’re currently on. If you continue to save this amount, you’ll end up with this. If you continue to eat like this, you’ll end up like that. If you continue to relate to your employees like this, you’ll end up like that. You get the idea.

The hard part is not predicting the future, it’s changing it. My goal is to help you create a richer life. Speci¬fically, I want to show you how you can bring more money, motivation, and meaning into your life today. How can you jump the tracks you’re on for a new set of tracks with a better destination? The answer to creating a richer life can be found by focusing on three core principles, and their place in the Optimum Work-Life Equation:

Time + Energy + Passion = Optimum Work-Life

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  • 1. Robert Pagliarini Bestselling Author | Entrepreneur | Wealth Creator | TV CommentatorAchieving Peak Performance Discovering the Optimized Work-Life Equation
  • 2. Achieving Peak Performance IntroductionWe’ve all been told that it’s impossible to predict the future, but it’s actually quite easy. Your life has a certain trajectory —similar to a train on a track. There will be twists and turns, but you can easily determine where you will end upprofessionally and personally if you stay on the track you’re currently on. If you continue to save this amount, you’ll end upwith this. If you continue to eat like this, you’ll end up like that. If you continue to relate to your employees like this, you’llend up like that. You get the idea.The hard part is not predicting the future, it’s changing it. My goal is to help you create a richer life. Speci cally, I want toshow you how you can bring more money, motivation, and meaning into your life today. How can you jump the tracksyou’re on for a new set of tracks with a better destination? The answer to creating a richer life can be found by focusing onthree core principles, and their place in the Optimum Work-Life Equation: Time + Energy + Passion = Optimum Work-LifeEach of the three things on the left side of the equation is required. Remove any one and you’ll be left frustrated anddisappointed. Those three core principles are variables in the equation; the greater they are, the richer your life will be. Therest of this eBook will show you how to create more free time so you can focus on what’s most enjoyable and important inyour life, more energy so you can have the physical and mental ability to go after your goals, and more passion so you canexperience purpose and meaning.Special NotePassive readers need not apply. This eBook requires action. It’s not TV and it’s not ction. To get the most value thismaterial requires you give a little. Do the worksheets. Follow the links. There are three types of people in this world: thosewho make things happen, those who watch others make things happen, and those who wonder what happened. Let’smake something happen together. page 2
  • 3. Achieving Peak Performance Get More TimeTime is impartial. The rich and powerful corporate executive has just as many hours in the day as the worn out, singlemother working two jobs. It’s not the amount of time they have that matters. What’s important is how they choose toinvest their time.So how do you spend your time and how can you get more of it to focus on the goals and activities that mean the most toyou? There is a simple exercise I’ve developed called PERK. Most people have been able to save at least 5 to 10 hours aweek by doing this simple 15 minute exercise.Here’s what you do. First, list all of the activities you do throughout the day. Everything from waking up, brushing yourteeth, driving to work, using Facebook, doing the laundry, watching TV, etc.Second, next to each activity you’ve listed, write a P, E, R, or K. For those activities you can “Postpone” put a P. For thoseactivities you can “Eliminate” put an E. For those activities you can “Reduce” put an R. For those activities you must “Keep”put a K. Postpone – This is when you can reschedule the task for the future. For example, to create free time to start a newventure or gain a new skill, you might decide to postpone another task until a later date. For my personal example, I reallywant to become uent in Spanish but I also wanted to write this book. I could have done both at the same time, but itwould have taken a lot longer. I made a conscious decision to Postpone Spanish and focus more time on writing the book.By rescheduling some of your tasks for the future, you will free up valuable time to focus on goals that are more importantto you now. Review each of your tasks to see if you can postpone any of them. Eliminate – These are the tasks you can remove completely from your life. Start slashing and cutting these tasks like amachete-wielding tribesman trekking through the jungle. Determine what you can eliminate, and better yet what youcan’t. We make so many commitments and ll our lives with so much work that our natural reaction is to believe we can’t page 3
  • 4. Achieving Peak Performanceeliminate anything. Don’t fall prey to your cluttered life. Start eliminating! Will it kill you to cancel your Twitter account orto stop watching “Lost”? For the things you can’t bring yourself to eliminate entirely, try eliminating them for just threeweeks. If by the end of three weeks you are dying to resurrect the task, then go for it! Reduce – If you are unable to completely eliminate a task from your life, try reducing it. Ask yourself how much timeyou really need to spend on each task. Can you cut back a bit? By reducing unimportant and unsatisfying tasks, you canreclaim valuable time. I’m sure there’s something in your life sucking up time that you could reduce. Maybe traveling lessfor work or spending time on Facebook, watching YouTube videos, or following celebrity gossip? Keep – For the tasks you are unable to eliminate, reduce, or postpone, check the “keep” column. There willundoubtedly be a few tasks in this category.Time Use SurveyTo get an accurate perspective of how you spend your time, I suggest tracking your time over a two day period or more.You can download the Time Use Survey form to help you categorize how you spend your day. Download the Time UseSurvey form. Get More EnergyYou can have all of the time in the world, but if you don’t have energy, you’ll be listless and unproductive. Havingsu cient physical and mental energy is crucial if you want to achieve professional and personal success.How can you create more energy without resorting to double-espressos and sugar- lled “energy” drinks? In this section,you will learn:1. How to exploit (in a nice way) your daily energy cycles through time-shifting and workshifting.2. How to determine how much sleep your body really needs. page 4
  • 5. Achieving Peak PerformanceTime-Shifting & WorkshiftingBack in the factory, you were stuck. Clock in, do what you were told, and clock out. As we have shifted o of the farms andout of the factories, much of our work has shifted away from physical labor toward mental labor. If your job is physical orrepetitive, it doesn’t matter when or where you do it, but if your success depends on cognition, creativity, or concentration,you need to take full advantage of both when and where you do your work.Two of the most exciting developments in personal productivity and achievement are time-shifting and workshifting.Time-shifting deals with when you work while workshifting deals with where you work. A little known secret is that the“what” of your work is heavily in uenced by the when and where. Time-Shifting* – engaging in activities at optimum times based on recurring and predictable daily energy cycles. Workshifting – working from anywhere other than a traditional o ce through the use of Web-based tools, such as remote access, online meetings, virtual training, etc.Time-ShiftingWhy do surfers pay so much attention to the daily changes in the tides? They are trying to nd the optimum time to catchthe best waves. Guess what? Within you there are also “waves” that shift throughout day. Chronobiology is the science of how our biology is in uenced by daily time cycles, or rhythms. An important time cycle in this eld is the circadian rhythm— the normal sleep - wake cycle that allows the cyclical release of hormones and restoration of energy, and allows optimal body functions during the day.At certain times you may have much more mental energy, and at other times, more physical energy. By studying yourcircadian rhythm, you can determine and then predict your peak energy times. Unlike ocean tides, your peak energy waves* Time-shifting is often de ned as the recording of programming to a storage medium to be viewed or listened to at a time more convenient to the consumer, but Iprefer my de nition because the focus is on creation and not consumption. page 5
  • 6. Achieving Peak Performanceoccur at the same time each day.How can you take advantage of your body’s natural daily cycles? Review the graphic below. Research shows that for themajority of us, there are speci c times in the day that are more optimum for certain activities than others.9am – noonThis is the best time to perform analytical skills and to be our sharpest mentally. This is probably not the best time forexercise as blood pressure and the bloods clotting ability increase causing a decrease in blood ow to the brain and heart.During this time is the most likely time for strokes and heart attacks. (Biological clock image by YassineMrabet, Creative Commons 3.0 license) page 6
  • 7. Achieving Peak PerformanceNoon - 2pmVerbal reasoning ability and ability to maintain mental alertness peaks.3pm - 6pmThis is when we are the most sluggish mentally. Daydreams, drowsiness, and lapses in concentration increase. This is agreat time for physical exercise because we have the fastest reaction time, high body temperature, and the greatest cardioe ciency and muscle strength.How can you use this information? Think sur ng. Time-shift your activities to take advantage of your natural circadianrhythm. If you have any control over your schedule, you should schedule mental activities in the morning. That is, do yourdaily mental heavy lifting rst thing in the AM—write that report, brainstorm new projects, analyze the latest nancialprojections. Never schedule non-critical meetings or appointments before noon.View your calendar through your circadian rhythm lens. Schedule your teeth cleaning appointment for 5pm, not 9am.Block out two hours in the morning to write that speech, not after lunch. Hit the gym in the afternoon, not immediatelyafter waking up.Determine the optimum work-time schedule for you. If there are certain activities you must do for the rst hour at workthat don’t require peak mental performance, make sure you start work at 8am and not 9am. You don’t want to “waste” anhour of prime mental time each morning on tasks that don’t require optimum creativity or concentration.Many of us also get a resurgence of creativity and mental alertness later in the evening. If your employer cares more aboutresults and what you do and less about where you are and when you do it, shift your schedule to bring out the best in you.Could you leave work at 3pm to exercise and then do work remotely at 9pm? Not only can you, you absolutely should.Later in this section, I’ll discuss how technology makes this easy.WorkshiftingAs a result of your natural daily energy cycles, when you work can have a tremendous impact on your performance. This page 7
  • 8. Achieving Peak Performanceknowledge alone can radically transform your results, but there is another important factor . . . where you work.Certain activities require you to be at the o ce, but with advances in technology, these are fewer and fewer. The goal is todetermine where you do your best work. You’ll nd that there usually isn’t one best place for everything. I do my bestwriting at home. I do my best brainstorming when I’m on vacation, in co ee shops, or even just outside. I do my bestanalytical work at the o ce.The goal is to match the “what”—the activity—with the optimum where and when.Create a matrix where you match the task with the optimum time(s) and location(s). For example: Activity/Skill Time Location Creativity • 9:30am to 11:30am • office white board • 8pm to 11:30pm • co ee shop Meetings • 7:30am to 9:30am • home office • 11:30am to 2:30pm • work officeHow can you take advantage of scheduling activities at optimum times and locations without creating a schedulingnightmare? For example, let’s say you need to write an important speech. The best time for you is from 9am until noon andthe best location happens to be at home on your backyard patio. If this is all you had to do and didn’t have any othercommitments, it might not be so di cult to pull o , but this is the real world. You have people to lead, projects to manage,clients to meet, and bosses to please.In addition to the speech you have to nish today, let’s also assume you have to complete a proposal and email it to a newprospect, check in with your team regarding a project you are managing, and review a new report with your best client. page 8
  • 9. Achieving Peak PerformanceHow can you write that speech from 9am until noon in your backyard and still do everything else e ectively? I supposeyou could get up extra early to beat tra c, drive into the o ce, create the proposal and email it to the prospect, quicklydrive back home to work on the speech, drive back to the o ce to check in with your team on the project, drive over toyour client’s o ce for a meeting, drive back to the o ce to enter notes about the meeting, and then drive home—hopingyou get home before the kids go to bed. But is there a better, more e cient way? Enter technology.What if you could skip the morning commute to the o ce and instead login to your work computer from home to createthe proposal and email it to your prospect? Further, once completed with the proposal, what if you could stroll to yourbackyard patio and let your creative juices ow into your speech? How much more e cient and productive could you beperforming key tasks at the optimum times and in the optimum locations?And since we’re living in this perfect work, what if you somehow bring your team to your home so you wouldn’t waste asingle minute driving to the o ce? Lastly, what if immediately after your meeting with your team you could instantlytransport yourself to your client’s o ce so you could walk through the report with her?While it might sound like science ction, it’s not. This is a typical day of the optimized knowledge worker who understandsworkshifting and time-shifting, and understands the technology to make it all happen e ortlessly.Citrix is a company that provides the tools to make the fantasy example above a reality. Disclaimer: This is aCitrix-sponsored eBook. That is, they asked me to write it. A logical question is, “Am I recommending Citrix tools becausethis is a book sponsored by Citrix?” The answer is an emphatic, no. I’m recommending their tools because I’ve used themfor years and think they are the best on the market. In fact, well before they asked me to write this book, I wrote thefollowing in my latest book, The Other 8 Hours: Maximize Your Free Time to Create New Wealth & Purpose: “GoToMyPC is probably the single greatest invention since a hotdog on a stick*.”I strongly encourage you to check out GoToMyPC, which would allow you to create and email that proposal from home,and GoToMeeting, which would allow you to connect with your team—again from home, as well as review the report with* As a vegetarian, I do not eat hot dogs, stick or otherwise, but I can appreciate the ingenuity of the invention nevertheless. page 9
  • 10. Achieving Peak Performanceyour client as if you were sitting across from her in her o ce.The right technology can increase your productivity and create new e ciencies, but knowing what to use and how to useit can be overwhelming. Don’t let technology intimidate you. GoToMyPC and GoToMeeting are about as simple to use assending an email.Use the right tools and you can achieve peak performance by focusing what you do at the perfect when and the bestwhere.Sleep OptimizationToo much sleep is hazardous to your health – it may be linked to higher risk for diabetes, obesity, and premature death.Although sleep requirements vary greatly by age, health, and stress level, we’ve been brainwashed to believe we need afull 8 hours at night. In actuality, research suggests that 7 hours might be the ideal amount of sleep the average adultneeds. Getting 8 hours or more can lead to increased mortality, even more so than too little sleep!Aside from being bad for your health, too much sleep can also rob you of your other 8 hours. If you work 8 and sleep 9,you are only left with 7 hours to live your life and pursue your dreams. You waste your time and your life with every hour,minute, and second you sleep more than you need.Getting too little or too much sleep can lead to both low physical and mental energy. Strive to get an optimum amount ofsleep each night. I de ne this as the least amount of hours you need to feel physically energized and mentally alert thenext day. How do you nd your optimum amount of sleep? Test it out! Here’s what you do:Step 1Sleep for 8 ½ hours. Make sure you get the full 8 ½ hours, no more and no less.Step 2The next day, download and complete the Sleep Optimization Form.  This simple form will gauge how you feel (both page 10
  • 11. Achieving Peak Performancephysically and mentally) at di erent times throughout the day. Because stress, diet, and countless other factors canin uence our outlook and energy levels, try to keep all other variables constant (i.e., as unchanged as possible).Step 3Repeat both Steps 1 and 2 for four consecutive nights.Step 4Reduce your sleep time by 30 minutes and repeat Steps 1 and 2 for four more consecutive nights. Continue to reduce yoursleep in Step 1 by 30 minutes until you reach 7 hours.Step 5Analyze your data by reviewing your Sleep Optimization Form, and identify which days you felt the best (based on higherscores). If you find that you feel just as good on 7 ½ hours of sleep as you do on 8 ½ hours of sleep, you’ve just savedyourself an hour a night and given yourself an extra 30 hours a month for creating.If you want to get more specific, you can test 15 minute increments (e.g., 7 hours and 45 minutes versus 8 hours).Remember, we’re trying to identify the absolute minimum amount of sleep you need because every extra minute you havecan be used to create......Having su cient physical and mental energy is critical if you want to achieve peak performance and live a richer life. Onceyou take advantage of your natural circadian rhythms and are sleeping the optimum amount for your body, you canpursue your goals full throttle. The next step will help you to discover your true passion page 11
  • 12. Achieving Peak Performance Get More PassionDo what you love and the money will follow. Live your passion. It won’t feel like work if you do what you love. You heardthis idealistic advice hundreds of times, but what if you have no idea how to discover your passion? It’s time to nd it!An important concept in real estate is called “highest and best use” (HABU). This concept bases property values on thebest use of the land that will produce the highest value. For example, a two-bedroom house on a busy street next to retailshops may be valued as if a strip mall occupied the land. The best use of the property that produces the highest value is astrip mall, not a house. While other two-bedroom houses in the town might be worth only $200,000, an investor may pay$600,000 just for the land in order to build a strip-mall.When you apply this concept to the other 8 hours, your HABU becomes your unique skills, talents, and expertise whichproduce the most value. It is critical that you focus on your HABU when you use the other 8 hours to create. The deadweight that so many people drag around is their feeling of unful llment at work. People feel underutilized because theyoften don’t have the exibility to use their HABU at work. We get boxed into positions and job descriptions we can doadequately, but usually don’t utilize our core strengths.This is why using the other 8 hours to create is so much fun! You create your own job description and can focus on thingsyou do the best and enjoy the most. To maximize your chance for success during the other 8 hours, you need to focus onprojects that use your best skills and most unique talents.Exercise: How to Discover Your PassionSo how can you discover your highest and best use? This simple exercise will help you pinpoint where you should focus.Start by making three lists. On the rst list, write down everything you do well, and are good at. On the second list, writedown everything you enjoy, including all of your hobbies, and special interests. On the nal list, record everything in lifethat gives you a sense of purpose and meaning. To discover your HABU, nd elements common to all three lists. These page 12
  • 13. Achieving Peak Performancecommon elements should be what you focus on in the other 8 hours.Don’t make the mistake of going for the “sexy” elements on your list, because you feel they’ll be the most exciting or havethe most potential. Instead, focus on the ones that feel right for you and mesh with your skills, interests, and greaterpurpose. Your Next StepWe are living in the most exciting and mind blowing time we have ever experienced. It is rich with opportunities thatliterally didn’t exist just a few years ago. Because of technology, e ciencies, and a global economy, it’s much easier for youto call the shots and create the lifestyle you choose.Although you’re nearing the end of this eBook, the magic is just beginning. When you have the time and energy to pursueyour passions, the Optimum Work-Life Equation adds up, and amazing things start to happen. Your next step is to keep upthe momentum.We are building a community of passionate people who want to learn and achieve more at Richer Life Insights. Eachweek you can participate in a conversation I have with an expert, celebrity, author, or thought leader that is laser-focusedon practical ways to drive more money, motivation, and meaning into your life.We are acutely aware of information overload. While there is certainly no shortage of information—even goodinformation—there doesn’t exist a system (until now!) that you can easily plug into that provides you with easy toimplement advice that can radically change your life. page 13
  • 14. Achieving Peak PerformanceWhat we at Richer Life Insights believe:  We don’t need more information; we need actionable advice.  We don’t all have the same needs; we want to consume content when and how it is best for our lifestyle and learning style.  We don’t want a teacher; we want a mentor.  We don’t want to be overwhelmed; we want to be inspired.If you want to take your life and nances to the next level and want to have some fun in the process, become part of theRicher Life Insights community.To gain access to Richer Life Insights or to make this powerful resource available to your employees, visit us About the AuthorRobert Pagliarini is a man on a mission. He is obsessed withimprovement, making the most of his time and energy, andcreating. He’s also obsessed with inspiring others to create andempowering them to live life to the fullest by radically changingthe way they invest their time and energy.Robert is the author of The Other 8 Hours: Maximize Your Free Time page 14
  • 15. Achieving Peak Performanceto Create New Wealth & Purpose, the No. 1 bestseller Six-Day Financial Makeover: Transform Your Financial Life in LessThan a Week, and the free eBook, Plan Z: How to Survive the 2009 Financial Crisis (and even live a little better).Robert writes a weekly column for CBS MoneyWatch that is a syndicated to the LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Hu ngtonPost, and many others. He has appeared as an expert on 20/20, Good Morning America, Dr. Phil, ABC Morning News,and in The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Money Magazine, etc.Robert is the president of Paci ca Wealth Advisors, Inc., a boutique wealth management rm specializing in sudden moneyrecipients. He is a Certi ed Financial Planner and has a master’s degree in nancial services.Robert is also the founder of Richer Life Insights, a learning and how-to community where Robert engages with expertson how to drive more money, motivation, and meaning into its community of members’ lives. Speaking OpportunitiesRobert is an accomplished speaker who can motivate and inspire your organization. Speaking topics include:DRIVE HIGHER PERFORMANCEThrough the Secret Power of "The Other 8 Hours"Todays top companies, like Zappos and Google, understand the critical link between nancial results and what employeesdo o ine -- in those "other 8 hours" beyond work and sleep. Simply put, as new research shows and as we knowintuitively, organizations that surround their people with resources for extra-curricular interests outperform theircompetitors. Robert delves into some of the latest research and answers questions on how you and your company canstart to capitalize on this powerful phenomenon. page 15
  • 16. Achieving Peak PerformanceYoull hear: The latest research supporting the link between non-work hours and work hours Which high-performance companies invest this way -- and how What organizations can implement tomorrow that will boost employee productivity, moral, and resourcefulness Q&A discussion on the topicTHE OTHER 8 HOURSHow to Maximize Your Personal Time to Create New Wealth & PurposeDespite being overscheduled, most of us dont make great use of our non-work hours. Yet those are the very hours thatdetermine our happiness and net worth. How can you be more ful lled? Robert delivers fresh solutions for carving outmore time, then provides the tools to use that time in a more productive way -- to start a business, write a blog, loseweight, pursue a new hobby, etc.. Youll learn about: Simple yet e ective strategies to help you get more free time Life leeches -- the 24 "time" and "life" suckers you must avoid The importance of shifting from consumer to Cre8tor 8 rules to maximize success and minimize risk Creating positive habitsFor more information on having Robert bring fresh ideas and speci c actions to your group, please page 16
  • 17. Achieving Peak Performance About Citrix OnlineCitrix Online provides secure, easy-to-use online solutions that enable people to work from anywhere with anyone.Whether using GoToMyPC® to access and work on a remote PC, GoToAssist® to support customers or GoToMeeting® tohold online meetings and Webinars, our customers – more than 35,000 businesses and hundreds of thousands ofindividuals – are increasing productivity, decreasing travel costs and improving sales, training and service on a globalbasis. A division of Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTXS), the company is based in Santa Barbara, California. For moreinformation, visit or call 805-690-6400.For a free evaluation of GoToMeeting Corporate, please visit a free evaluation of GoToMyPC Corporate, please visit page 17