How to Plan Your Days - Matt East, Productivity Coach - Issue #275
Schedule your Fluid Layer and Habit Layer activities
My guest for this episode is Matt East. Matt is one of the world's leading experts on productivity and high-performance. You can learn more about his coaching and community on his business website, Matt East & Company.
He’s also the person who convinced me to start a podcast! If I hadn’t met Matt, the Invincible Career podcast probably wouldn’t exist.
His books, podcasts, and coaching teach how to plan your day so you can spend more time on the projects, activities, and relationships that are most important and meaningful to you. He's best known for his productivity coaching and mastermind, where he's been lucky enough to work with many incredible clients.
Matt is one of those success stories that I love to talk about. He left his corporate gig as a Vice President at MOBI Wireless Management 4 years ago and has been running his own business ever since.
Matt is the author of The Purposeful Planning Method: How to Plan Your Day, Beat Procrastination, and Regain Control of Your Time (my affiliate link). He hosts two popular podcasts, The Goal Achievement Podcast and the Better Humans Podcast. He’s also a startup enthusiast and advisor.
Matt lives in Indianapolis with his wife Rachel, and two dogs Spike and Sweet Pea.
Key points from our conversation
I want to call out a few points from my conversation with Matt to help you if you occasionally struggle with procrastination and having productive days.
You need more failure to increase your odds of success. Matt essentially says that you have to get more “at-bats,” which, of course, means that you will experience more failure. But, that’s ok.
Some of the most successful people in this world experienced tons of failures along the way (e.g., Sir James Dyson, J.K. Rowling, Walt Disney, Oprah Winfrey). They didn’t just walk up, try something once, and immediately succeed.
The more you try, the more people you meet, and the more you put yourself out there, the more you will experience rejection. But, that also means that you will experience more positive total outcomes than taking one swing and giving up.
Matt recommends that you focus and decide what you want to be known for. He is known as the “productivity coach,” and that was an intentional decision.
It takes courage to niche down like that and resist the urge to do everything and appeal to everyone. You don’t need a massive audience to be successful. You don’t need to charge crazy fees to make a living.
The same is true for employees, not just entrepreneurs.
What is your professional brand?
What are you known for being the best at doing?
Where should you focus and stake your claim?
Planning your days
Almost all high performers have clarity around how they are spending their days. They know what they will be working on, and they are intentional about their energy and focus.
In his book, Matt talks about planning your days using:
The Fluid Layer
The Habit Layer
Your priorities for a given day are your Fluid Layer activities. It changes from day to day and even throughout the day. For example, one morning, you might focus on writing during your fluid layer time and then updating your website in the afternoon.
On the other hand, your morning and evening routines are your Habit Layer activities. It’s the same every single day. What daily habits do you need to be happy, healthy, and more successful?
Successful people have consistent habits in the morning and evening. For example, getting up, making coffee, journaling, and exercising every morning. Then, at the end of the day, going for a walk every evening and reading for 30 minutes before bedtime.
⬆️ Scroll to the top if you want to listen to our full conversation and hear Matt’s generous offer to get his book for free. 🎧
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This week’s professional development challenge
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Larry Cornett is a leadership coach and business advisor who also runs a professional and supportive online community (join us!). He lives in Northern California near Lake Tahoe with his wife and children, and a gigantic Great Dane. He does his best to share advice that can help others take full control of their work and life. He’s also on Twitter @cornett.