Podcast on Your Purpose and How to Make New Habits


I’m working on a new podcast and would love your feedback on my ideas. I’m thinking it will include:

  • One segment of my comments on topical news stories about motivation, purpose, success, and productivity.
  • One segment on a new idea I’ve recently learned or developed
  • One segment of an interview with an expert or entrepreneur

Please let me know what you think of that format and what you would like to hear in the podcast. I didn’t add in any music or special effects for this one, but that’s in the plans.

Here is a short sample of the kind of podcast I would like to do:


The following is a rough transcript of the podcast (except for my interview):

Today we’re going to hit on the idea of finding and pursuing your passionate purpose, how that makes a difference in the world.

Then we’re going to talk about how much habits impact our lives and how to get rid of the bad ones and create new ones.

And we’ll end with an encouraging message to go for the life you’ve always dreamed of.

Ready? Let’s GO!

We’re all diff, but some things are universal. You want to matter, count, and make a difference. You want to live a life of  value and significance.

God made us that way. You want to live intentionally, with purpose and passion.

How do we do that? We have to find our passionate purposes in every part of our lives. We have to take the gifts we were given and increase them and use them to help and serve others.

When we do that, everyone wins. In our relationships, family, work, finances, faith. It all gets better when we’re doing what we were brought here to do.

I love seeing this in people’s lives:

We had family movie night at the Knapp house over the weekend and we watched Eddie the Eagle. It’s a feel good comedy based on the true story of Michael Eddie Edwards.

What I loved about the film was the message on the importance of a Passionate Purpose.

Eddie had knee problems as a child and had to wear a leg brace. The doctors told him he should give up on sports. His father told him he would never be an athlete.

But, when Eddie was little he read a book about great moments in Olympic history. From that point on he was determined to become an Olympian, have his moment, and prove everyone wrong.

He had a passionate purpose and he had a strong why that supported it.

He tried a lot of different sports and none seemed promising. He had spent years trying to get on the British Olympic team in downhill skiing, but couldn’t quite make it. Most people would have given up.

His passionate purpose continued to drive him.

Eddie figured out that no one had been a ski jumper for Britain since 1929 and there were no qualifying distances to make the team. (However, the Brits decided to rewrite the rules and set up a qualifying distance.)

He convinced an old, drunk ski jumper to coach him. Using his own money, and any he could borrow, Eddie trained for a year and made the Olympic team.

Not only had his passionate purpose turned him into a decent ski jumper it also gave his coach a purpose to get sober and do something with his life.

A strong purpose can change more than just your life. What strong purpose is motivating you to great things in your life?

If you don’t have one right now, it’s time to find one.

Greg, Can I Really Get the Life You Want? Yes! If…

You’re excited about the idea of finding and pursuing your passionate purpose. You’ve visited a few websites about it, watched some videos, and maybe even read a book about how to do it. You’ve been dreaming about what your best life would look like.

But…nothing’s changed. You aren’t taking action. Five years ago you were in the same situation and a year from now?


–Amelia Earhart said, The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”

If you read my blog, social media posts and book, you know I’m a super positive, encouraging, optimistic guy. (And humble!)

But, let’s get real here, ya’ll. Tough love time. IF you really want to live an extraordinary life where you pursue your Passionate Purpose, I can’t sugar coat this.

If you have thought about it – or tried to do it – before and failed, you’ve made excuses.

Here are some that I’ve heard (and used myself from time to time).

  • Only the lucky few get to do that
  • I’m not rich enough
  • I’m afraid I’ll fail
  • I don’t have the right connections
  • I’m not a genius
  • I’m afraid I’ll lose all my money
  • You have to be really talented to do that
  • I don’t know how to do it
  • I’m afraid I’ll get divorced over it
  • I don’t want to sacrifice my wife/husband/kids/relationships to do that
  • I’m not educated enough
  • Now’s not the right time
  • It’s too hard
  • I won’t make enough money to live on if I do that
  • I’m not good enough
  • I don’t deserve it
  • People from my family don’t do that
  • It’s selfish and greedy to want to do that
  • I don’t have enough time to do everything I would need to do
  • I’ll do it someday

Those are just some of the excuses I’ve heard to make people feel better about giving up on their dreams. I’m sure you could help me come up with more. Some of these concerns are real. I don’t want to suggest that going after what you really want is easy and requires no sacrifice. That’s just dreaming.

But, if you really want to pursue your Passionate Purpose and go after that extraordinary life, you have got to cowboy up for a serious ride.

Do you really want to look back on your life and list the excuses why you never tried? Do you want to use your children, spouse and friends as human shields to protect you from your fears of going for something great? Do you really believe that ALL successful people are divorced, greedy, horrible human beings who sacrificed all their values to get where they are in life?

Am I going to stop talking in questions? Yes. Right now.

The reason you aren’t taking action and going after this isn’t because you don’t have talent—nothing in the world is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. It’s not because you aren’t smart enough, don’t know the right people, or don’t have enough money to get started. It’s not because you don’t have enough time. We all have the same 24 hours in each day.

Look, all the excuses really boil down to one. Fear.

Change is scary. All those excuses we listed create fear. Your mind is screaming at you to avoid fear and risk. Subconsciously, your brain is telling you that you get more out of not changing than you think you would get out of changing.

“But, I really want to change. What? Your actions are so loud I can’t hear what you’re saying.”
— Greg Knapp

IF you really want this, it’s time to convince yourself these aren’t just wants, they are needs.

Time to convince yourself that the fear and pain that always comes with change is worth it for the chance to live the extraordinary life of your dreams.

Time to convince yourself that NOT changing is risky, too. Imagine living your whole life and NEVER going for what you could have had!

If you are tired of just getting by and letting days, months, and years slip past without achieving what you know you were put on this earth by your Creator to do, then now is the time.

  • Get your mindset right.
  • Understand fear creeps in but can be handled.
  • Determine what you want.
  • Set your course.
  • Take action.

How much longer will you wait?

Another thing that can hold us back is our habits. So much of what we do habitual. We try to change and we fall back to old habits.

We can use habits to our advantage if we can create new, good ones that keep us on course to live out our Passionate Purpose intentionally.

Charles Duhigg has written a great book about this, called, The Power of Habit- Why we do what we do in life and business, and he’s joining me now on Your Passionate Purpose. Charles, how are you?

(Interview audio)

I want to encourage you that you can find and pursue your passionate purposes in every part of your life. God gave you gifts and talents that he wants you to grow and use for His glory, to serve people and to live an abundant life.

Steven Covey said, “Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment”

The world needs what you have to offer. I’ll see you tomorrow.

Let’s GO!

I now offer one to one coaching and an online coaching program. Click here for more details.

How To Do Awesome Things

*Special Notice* I’m hosting a FREE webinar – 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose on 7/14/2016. That’s also the date I’m launching my three month personal coaching programs with value and premium pricing and my 40-day online ecoaching course. Stay tuned for details…

Now, on to the video blog post.

We’re so busy all day, every day that we seldom take time to do an extremely important thing – take time to think.

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

6 Steps to the Perfect, Productive Day – Everyday





Do you feel overwhelmed with too much to do in your day? Do you have such a long list there is no way it’s all getting done? No matter how much you accomplish, do you feel a little bit like a failure because there’s still so much you didn’t do?

Do you just feel like you don’t have all your ducks in a row?

I know I feel like this sometimes. It’s been getting me down.

I’m putting everything I have into my business and I’ve been going a little crazy. I want to create more content for helping people and organizations pursue their Passionate Purpose. Here are some of the ideas I’m working on:

  • Create a 40 day email course – 40 Days to Finding and Pursuing Your Passionate Purpose – in written, audio, and video form
  • Film an online video course for individuals and businesses
  • Book more speaking engagements at seminars, conventions, colleges, and churches
  • Expand my personal coaching
  • Create a 365 day email encouragement program
  • Write an eBook of my most uplifting quotes
  • Write another book with new ideas, stories, and humor to help people take the next step in their journey
  • Develop an Internet marketing plan to promote my products
  • Increase my audience and email list subscribers
  • Do the research to make all of these things happen

Just writing all that down got me feeling overwhelmed again. The good news is it also got me super excited again. I love the idea that all my products will help people.

I’ve tried a lot of productivity systems. Some of them were so complicated and so much work that they just didn’t do it for me. I’ve devised a very simple, easy to implement system, that has led me to producing more meaningful work than at any other time in my life.

If you give these steps a try for a week, I bet you never go back to the old way. (Actually, even when you see how well it works for you, there will probably be times you backslide. It happens to all of us. Don’t give up. Give yourself some grace, and get back to doing what you know works for you.)

First, we need to challenge the idea that to be productive means doing everything as fast as possible and being accessible to everyone who needs us.

Ask yourself, are you trying to take on everything to please everyone and not doing your best work, or are you choosing the essential projects where your best effort makes a difference? Which would you rather do?

Step 1) Write it all down the night before. (I know you’ve heard this before, but stick with me.The way we’re going to do it, this will have you starting your days focused and excited.)

Pick a time every evening where you will spend 10-15 minutes planning the next day.  Make a list of everything you want to do tomorrow.

Step 2) Focus on what’s vital and acknowledge there will be tradeoffs.

Prioritize the tasks you want to do tomorrow. Look at your list and ask, what is the most important thing to do today that is in line with your Passionate Purpose? That will be task #1. Ask that question again to find task #2, and so on until you’ve completed the list.

“What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”
–Gary Keller from The ONE Thing

Focusing on your most important thing is the key to a productive, rewarding day.

If you start to feel overwhelmed at anytime during the day, go back to your list and stay true. Or ask yourself anew, what’s the most important thing for me to do right now?

Step 3) Estimate how long each task will take. (This is what will keep you from setting yourself up for failure and over scheduling your day.)

Start with your most important task and estimate how long you think it will take to complete. Write that down next to the task. Do that for every task you listed. Add in 5-10 minute breaks every hour to refresh your mind and body. Schedule in two 30 minute blocks for something I’ll explain later.

When your time estimates equal an entire working day, you’re done. If you still have more things on your list, but no time left to do them, they must be put on the next day’s list. You must get clear on the fact that tradeoffs are necessary. That’s why we prioritized everything, remember? Don’t over schedule.

Step 4) Start your day in Concentrated Focus Time doing your most important thing.

Now it’s time to reap the rewards from last night’s planning. Start your day with two hours of Concentrated Focus Time. During this time you will only work on your most important task. You will need to explain this to your coworkers so they can support you in this. When they see how much more you’re getting done, you might even find some of them want to start doing it as well.

Start with 2 hours a day. Over time, you can expand it to 4 hours and then even 6 hours of your day. (Using this method you’ll do more in 6 hours than most people do in 8-1o hours.)

During these 2 hours there are no interruptions.

  • Close your door if you have one.
  • Put a “Deep in Concentrated Focus time” Post-it note up.
  • Close all email programs.
  • Mute all chimes, ringers, and pings.
  • Turn off visual alerts and social media messaging.
  • During your concentrated focus time this is all you do.
  • Nothing else is allowed to take up your focus and time.

Set a timer for one hour. Do nothing else except your most important thing. Then take a break to stretch, walk around the building or up and down the stairs, just clear your mind and think for 5-10 minutes. Then repeat the process. Do it for at least 2 hours of each morning.

As you complete your most important thing, move on to what next becomes your most important thing.

Step 5) Cluster your less important things, that still need to be done, to two times a day.

It would be great if you could just focus on your most important thing all day long. The reality is that we do have some other things we need to do each day as well. Remember how I had you schedule in two 30 minute blocks of time into your day? We are going to use those blocks to cluster some daily tasks.

Take your simple tasks and do them all at the same time instead of allowing them to constantly interrupt your day. I do this with email, snail mail, voice mail, and more.

What can you cluster during your day to prevent constant interruptions to your flow?

Schedule two times a day to handle these and don’t spend more than 30 minutes at a time doing these.

Step 6) Do NOT start your day with email. (This is really part of step 5, but it’s so important I made it another step.)

You spent last night getting ready for today. You are ready to hit the ground running, working on your most important thing. You fire up the laptop, open your email program and…two hours later you still haven’t started on your most important thing. You just gave every one else the power to run your day and distract you from your most important thing. Why?

Instead, let everyone in your company know you are changing the way you handle your email. Set up an auto response, and the signature of your email, to say something like this:

In order to be as effective and efficient as possible, I only answer my email twice a day – after 10:30am and 4:45pm. If there is an emergency, you may call me.

In very special circumstances, you may need to check your email 3 times a day. But if you’re telling me there is no way this will work for you, I have a question:

If you check your email three times a day, are you really telling me your customers and coworkers must have you returning emails more often than every three hours?

If that’s true, what can you do to change that? What training can you do for your co-workers? How can you delegate more and allow your coworkers to work more independently so they can get more done? What expectations can you set up with your customers so they understand what better quality – and quantity – of work for them you can get done when you focus instead of being tied to your email?

Let’s GO!

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

Getting Started is the Hardest Part

You have big ideas, big plans, big goals! But, first you have to check your email. Hey, your daughter needs help with her homework. The lawn isn’t going to mow itself, you know. My desk is so disorganized, I won’t be able to get anything done until I fix that. Time to update my LinkedIn profile.

Why do we procrastinate from the things we know will make our lives so much better? Why is it so hard to get started on something we really want to do? What can we do about it?

The first thing to do is make sure this really is something you want to do. Are you procrastinating because this idea/plan/project/goal doesn’t line up with your values? Is it really your Passionate Purpose?

If you know this really is what you want, then why haven’t you started?

Research shows our minds tend to focus on all the difficulties and complexities of a project or task before we start to do it. So, we tend to avoid starting big projects.

Yesterday, my youngest daughter was a perfect example of this. She was having a self-pity party over all the homework, projects, and studying for finals she had to do. She went on for several minutes and even began to cry.

We then acknowledged she had a lot of work to do, but that getting started is the hardest part. We then organized her work, decided what to do when, and came up with a manageable plan. Then we decided she would work on her first project for 15 minutes and take a break. The idea was to just get started, then she would see it wasn’t as hard as she thought.

It worked great! She ended up working much longer on it and didn’t even realize she had gone past her 15 minutes. It dawned on her that it wasn’t as hard as she thought and that she was getting a lot done.

Another great tool to get things started is to use the Zeigarnik effect to your advantage. The Zeigarnik effect is the tendency to remember projects/tasks/goals that you haven’t completed. In fact, research shows your mind keeps coming back to uncompleted tasks. So, once you get started on what you really want to do, your mind has a tendency to keep coming back to it until you complete it.

Isn’t that great? It’s almost like someone designed us to get important things done. Hmm….

I’m using this a lot right now. As I’m ramping up my professional and personal development business I often feel overwhelmed. I have big ideas for my speaking and coaching. I’m working on creating online courses for “Business On Purpose” and “Life On Purpose.” I’m writing my second book. I’m starting to play gigs again with my acoustic guitar.

Each of these ideas will take a lot of work. Many of them will require me to do things I’m not quite sure how to do yet. So, I sometimes find myself doing busywork instead of getting started.


But, once I start, I get on a roll.


I’ve found the 15 minute trick I used with my daughter works with me as well. Just do it for 15 minutes. I can do anything for 15 minutes. Then I tend to keep going.

Another great technique is to break down the task into smaller bites and just do one bite. Your little successes will lead to big ones.

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
–Martin Luther King, Jr.

You don’t need to know how to do it all before you start. Get started and you’ll learn what you need as you go.

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

No More Business as Usual


How would you like to work for a company that lets you take as much vacation as you want, bans internal email, does away with the annual performance review, and truly puts the employees welfare first?

Those are some of the idea’s in Under New Management, by David Burkus.

I had a chance to interview David about these ideas. He said many of our long standing business practices are counterproductive, wrong and misguided. It’s time to change the way we do things.

Click below to here the interview.

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose.

Workin’ Hard Getting Nothing Done


We all work hard and it seems like there’s always more work to be done. My last two posts were on 7 Steps to Having More Time. (Click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2)

I’ve noticed something about myself and I’m wondering if it’s the same for you. When I plan out my day to focus on my most important thing and stick to the plan I get a ton done.

“Most of what we say and do is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you’ll have more time, and more tranquillity. Ask yourself at every moment, ‘Is this necessary?'”
— Marcus Aurelius

When I just have an idea of what I’m going to do, I don’t get as much done. Yet, I still feel like I worked just as hard. How does that happen?

This morning I realized how it happens for me.

I work from home in the mornings and I had great plans on important things to do. But, first I decided I needed to merge my domain email with my Gmail account — 40 minutes gone. Next, I decided I needed to upload the video of my daughter’s performance with the Starlight Stars. My phone didn’t sync with my Mac, so I had to download a program – 30 minutes gone.

Then I noticed a few hundred photos on my phone that were taking up space so I decided I needed to upload select photos from my phone to my Mac – another 20 minutes gone.

And so it went:

Send YouTube video I created to a contact (and watch some of my old ones) – 30 minutes

Check and reply to FB messages and notifications – 10 minutes

Check my LinkedIn account and reply to messages – 10 minutes

Renew my library books online – 5 minutes

I finally shook myself and realized that although I felt like I was working I had spent almost 2 hours doing absolutely no work on my most important thing. Not good.

I hadn’t planned well, and I wasn’t even sticking to my not so great plan. It wasn’t that the things I was doing were bad, it’s just that they were taking me away from the more productive things I really wanted to get done.

Focus, Grasshopper, focus.

At the end of the day we’re usually tired. If we’ve run around all day chasing our tail, putting out fires and just doing “work” we will experience an empty, dissatisfied, frustrated kind of tired.

If we focus on what’s essential and make great progress on that, we will experience a job well done, life is good, now I’ve earned some relaxation time kind of tired.

Questions for comments: How do you stay focused on your plan?

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose.

7 Steps to Having More Time (Part 2, with link to Part 1)


Everyone gets 24 hours in a day, yet some seem to get more done in the same time. How? My last post was part 1 of 7 Steps to Having More Time. It covered the first 4 steps. Don’t miss them. Today we’ll cover steps 5-8 (But you said there were only 7 steps. Bonus step!)

“It’s not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: what are we busy about?”-Thoreau

Step 5) Delegate:

Check your list of how you are currently spending your time again and look for the tasks that need to get done that you either don’t like to do, you aren’t good at doing, or just aren’t the best use of your time. How many of these tasks could you delegate to someone else?

Almost all of us could delegate more. Why don’t we? Is it because we think no one can do it as well as we can? Sometimes, that’s true. But, often that’s because we don’t invest the time to train someone to do it the way we want it done.

Have you ever tried to delegate something, spent a couple of minutes explaining what you want and then gotten upset when the results weren’t what you were hoping for? Well, you need to take responsibility for that. If you spend the time necessary to explain and train them so they are able to do the task better than you can (yes, I said better than you can – it’s possible) you will save so much more time from that point on. It’s an investment and it’s worth it.

You also have to let go of the idea that the way you do it is the only “right” way to do it. As long as the job gets done well, who cares if a different way was used to get there?

Another reason we don’t delegate as much as we should is we don’t have the staff to handle it.

Here are a couple options: If you work for someone else, go to your boss and explain how much more productive and profitable you can be for the company if she could help you delegate these tasks to someone better fitted for them. Offer to do this on a trial basis so she can see how much more productive you will be on the things that matter most. Once you prove yourself, she will have no problem letting you delegate more.

If you’re self-employed, why not outsource like the big boys do? There are a ton of outsourcing companies in and out of the United States that can do virtually anything you need done. I listed several of these in a previous post. I’ve used outsourcing for many different tasks and have been very pleased with the cost, quality, and speed of the work. I recommend using a company with many employees rather than one person. That way, if one person quits, gets fired, is on vacation, etc. your work still gets done.

Step 6) Negotiate:

If an offer, opportunity or request comes your way that doesn’t fit your strengths or the best use of your time, don’t immediately say yes to it. Take a little time and figure out the best way to handle it.

Could you simply say no?

Could you explain what part you could do really well and why you think Susan or Bob would be perfect to handle the other part of it?

Could you take on a different project in exchange for the one that doesn’t fit you?

When you explain how this negotiation will help everyone, you will be surprised how often your counteroffer is accepted.

[Tweet “You have all the time you need to do what you were born to do. Don’t waste it.” ]

Step 7) Spend 80% of your time doing what you do best and what you love to do.

Congratulations. You have cleared away so much from your life that you don’t really need to do. You still have the same 24 hours in every day, but now you have much more control over how you will use them. You can focus on what you do and like best.

Here’s a great way to plan out each workday:

In the evening prepare for your next day. Ask yourself: What is the most important thing that if you got it done tomorrow would make the biggest difference to your business? Decide on it.

Getting this one thing done would make your day a success. That’s what we’re looking for here. IF you finish that, what is the next most important thing you will get done? IF you finish that, what is the next most important thing you will get done?

The next day:

  • Do your most important thing until it’s done. I know sometimes “things come up.” But you need to schedule time for your most important activities or something will always “come up.” At the minimum, work on this task for one hour. Then take a break for anything that requires your attention. Then repeat the process.
  • If time remains, do the next thing on your list.

Step 8) Celebrate a great day!

Go for a walk with your spouse. Read a book to your kids. Go out for dinner. Eat some boiled peanuts and watch a martial arts movie. (Wait, that’s just what I like to do. Sorry.)

Let’s GO!

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose.

7 Steps to Having More Time


Everyone gets 24 hours in a day, yet some seem to get more done in the same time. How? The place to start is to figure out how you currently spend your time. And that is the precise way to talk about time. We spend it.

Time is money.
–Benjamin Franklin

I agree with Franklin to a point.

But, Greg, you said you were going to give me steps to have more time. Now you’re telling me you can’t make time. Come on!

We can’t make time, but we can spend it wisely and free up our time for what’s most important. That’s what we’re going to do.

But, before you spend time being efficient, make sure you’re being effective – at what’s important to you. Are you spending most of your time on what you want to become and do? Let’s find out.

Step 1) Keep a log of how you spend your work and leisure time for one full week.

Greg, you’re killing me! We’re talking about how little time we have and you want me to use some of it logging how I spend it?

Yes! Trust me a little. You will be shocked at some of the things you are spending your time on.

Write down how you spend every minute of the day — everything — sleeping, getting ready for work, commute time, how much time you spend on different tasks at work, (including talking with colleagues, water cooler, etc.) lunch, dinner, family time, television, email, web surfing, social media, golf, workouts, going out with friends, church, phone calls, etc. I know it can be tiresome to do this, but we’re only doing it for one week to see where your time goes.

At the end of the week, review your list. Which activities on your list do you like doing? Which ones do you dislike doing? Which ones are you really good at? Which ones are a struggle for you?

Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have 24 hr. days.

Step 2) Avoid Time Sucks

Take a look at your list. What are you doing that is truly a waste of time? We all need to relax and recharge, but are you doing it purposefully? Be strategic in your choices and look at all the extra time you will have to do the things that really matter to you.

Time Sucks:

  • TV – Americans watch an average of four hours of TV a day. Don’t channel surf. Plan the few shows you actually want to watch. Don’t just chill and watch Netflix, search for a specific movie or show to watch once or twice a week. Or, just don’t watch it at all. (I know it sounds crazy, but if you try it for a week, you will be shocked at how much time is freed up for better things.)
  • Internet – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. How many funny cat videos do you need to watch? Do you really need to see what your “friend” had for lunch? Schedule your Internet time and set a timer when you log on.
  • Email – Everything doesn’t have to be responded to the second you receive it. This can distract you from your important focus and turn your day into a series of reactions. What if you made this the signature of your email? “In order to be as efficient as possible, I only check my email at 11:00am and at 4:30pm. If there is an emergency this policy doesn’t take care of, you may call me.” (Some of you are saying, No way can I only answer email twice a day! Maybe, maybe not. Send out an all staff email explaining why you are doing it. Try it for 2 weeks. If it really doesn’t work for you, how about checking email only 3 times a day. How would that improve your life?)

Eliminate, Automate, Delegate, and Negotiate.

These are concepts we all have dabbled with. I like how Jennifer White describes them in her book, Work Less, Make More. We will get into these one at a time.

Step 3) Eliminate:

Look at the list you made on how you’ve been spending your time. What can you eliminate to create more time for what energizes and excites you? If you’re about to say nothing, then you need to look again. All of us do some nonessential activities.

Remember the 80/20 rule: Twenty percent of our activities produce eighty percent of our results. So let’s get rid of some of the stuff that doesn’t work.

If you’re really worried you’ll miss something try this. Stop doing a few of the activities you think might not be very important and see what happens. Did anyone notice? Did you really lose anything?

What do you do to fill time and feel productive instead of doing what you know you need to do? Stop doing that. It’s simple, and very effective.

I bet 20-50% of what you are currently doing you don’t need to do. You have to say no to the good so you can say YES to the great. That’s one of the ways to get more time.

Step 4) Automate:

What do you do every day, week, or month that could be automated? With your smart phone and laptop you have more power than kings used to have.

Research what software programs and apps can help you automate.

Many of them are free and save you a ton of time. Here are just a few ideas for apps and software that help automate tasks and save you time:

Create email templates.

Certain types of emails are required frequently. Write a great thank you email and save it as a template for the next time you need one. You can then spend just a minute or two personalizing it and you’re hitting send. Sweet.

Do the same thing for every type of email you tend to write repeatedly. Huge time saver.


A close cousin to automation is clustering, grouping, or batching. This is where you take your simple tasks and do them all at the same time instead of allowing them to constantly interrupt your day. I do this with email, snail mail, voice mail, and more. I create all my tweets and Facebook posts at one time and schedule them via Hootsuite to go out at different times throughout the week. I spend one day working on ideas for several blog posts.

What tasks can you use clustering with?

That’s enough for now. I will get you the final 3 steps to having more time in my next post.

Questions for comments: What strategies do you use to help you have more time for what’s most important to you?

Outcome or Purpose?


Do you know what the purpose of the business you own or work for is?

Well, of course, Greg, the purpose is to make a profit. If we don’t, we go out of business.

I get that. Profits are great. But I call that the outcome of the business. Every business wants the outcome to be profit. But, there are a million ways to make a profit. What is the purpose you are fulfilling in order to get the outcome of a profit?

This isn’t just a pointless word game. Deloitte has been studying this and I have some of the data on how important it is for your employees, customers and bottom line for you later in this post.

But what made me write about this today is a story a friend told me. He said the purpose of what he used to do was to keep people healthy and free of deadly diseases.

My friend isn’t a doctor. He’s a retired engineer. He designed wastewater management systems. Look at the purpose he saw in his work. Do you think that made him a more engaged, enthusiastic, and joyful employee and person? You bet!

The purpose of your business, career, or job should be the difference you are making in the world. That’s important, engaging stuff – and every job can make a difference.

A school bus driver can see her purpose as driving a bus, or she could see it as helping the future of America get safely to and from school prepared to learn amazing things.

Most companies haven’t figured out how to be purpose driven organizations. Here are a few mission statements I found from fortune 500 companies:

  • Profitable growth through superior customer service, innovation, quality and commitment.
  • Guided by relentless focus on our five imperatives, we will constantly strive to implement the critical initiatives required to achieve our vision. In doing this, we will deliver operational excellence in every corner of the Company and meet or exceed our commitments to the many constituencies we serve. All of our long-term strategies and short-term actions will be molded by a set of core values that are shared by each and every associate.
  • To grow profitably in the world’s vehicular markets and provide industry leading shareholder value

Do those mission statements resonate with you? Do you know what the purpose of those companies is? Are you overcome with a desire to join their team and help them with their mission?

Me neither.

The first mission statement is from an agricultural equipment company. Maybe the purpose could be: “To help American farmers feed the world.”

Companies could learn a lot by looking at Steve Jobs’ mission statement for Apple in 1980: “To make a contribution to the world by making tools for the mind that advance humankind.”

That sounds like something I could get excited about. How about you?

The bottom line is that having a purpose for your business that resonates with your customers, employees, and investors helps get the outcomes you want – including increased profit.

Here is the data I promised you. Deloitte found that at organizations with a strong sense of purpose compared to those without a strong sense of purpose:

  • 73% of employees were engaged compared to 23%
  • 80% of employees said they were encouraged to innovate compared to 35%
  • 92% of employees had long lasting relationships with their customers compared to 69%.

If you’re not sure what your organization’s purpose is, its time to find it.

It’s not what you do. It’s why and how you do it.

It’s not your title. It’s your values.

It’s not what you think other people want it to be. It’s what connects with you at your core.

Take some time to think about it. Take out a piece of paper and write:

The purpose of my company is ____________________.


The purpose of my role in ________ is ________________.

How does that call you to action?

How can you start doing it in your life today?

It can be a baby step, don’t try to do it all at once. But, what can you do today to take action on your purpose?