There are a hundred different ways to approach our work, but some are less effective than others. Given the number of productivity myths out there, it’s easy to think we’re being productive when we’re really not. I once read that these are the seven most expensive words in business: “That’s the way we’ve always done it.” I can think of a few other costly phrases, but this is definitely a biggie.



These productivity myths can actually waste our time and prevent us from focusing on high-leverage projects that drive revenue and results. Just because we do something a certain way for a while doesn’t mean it’s the best approach. When I first started with social media, I wanted to be sociable. I tried to respond to every comment and every post. But it just didn’t scale.

Ready to debunk the top 9 productivity myths and finally make time for what matters most?

Sign up for my new Workshop and discover what’s holding you back and how to get better results right away. Click here to register.

Yes, Register Me Now!


Date: January 18, 2017
Time: 16:00-19:00
Venue: The Oriental Residency
Location: P.D. Hinduja Marg, Off SV Road, Khar West,
Mumbai, Maharashtra 400052
Registration fee is Rs 999/- plus service tax
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.

9 Routines Successful People Do Every Single Morning

Simple hacks to have a powerful and productive day

If you study a successful person, you will likely have found someone who has a well established morning routine that helps them to have a productive day every day. That isn’t just a good habit either – the way you start your morning has a definite impact on how the entire day goes. Here are 9 routines successful people do every single morning.

9 routines successful people

By creating routines or rituals that force you to discipline yourself to do certain necessary tasks each day, you can practically become successful by default. Having a morning ritual, is the single most important step you can take to have a successful and productive day.

Here are 9 routines successful people do every single morning. Try adopting a few of them and see if you’re not enjoying more success in your life.

  1. The Evening Planning Ritual

To have a great morning, have an evening planning ritual. It sounds counter intuitive, but the research shows it works. The evening planning ritual is simply a list of what it is you hope to accomplish in any given day. Add to that what time you will do the task and where you will do it. It is always best to have one prepared the night before. This will not only save you a step in the morning, but it will also enable you to compile the list when tasks and goals are fresh on your mind from the day just completed.

The agenda should function as something of a mission statement for the day. Though you may get off course from time to time, by reviewing your agenda you will be able get right back on track quickly. I generally focus on 3 important items to get done every day.

Planning your day at the start of the day is one of the biggest time wasters of the day. You are more likely to get sucked in by the fire fighting instead of focusing on the important tasks.

  1. Get Up a Little Earlier Than You Need To

It’s amazing how much you can accomplish in the morning simply by getting up an extra 20 or 30 minutes early. That will not only give you time to do what you need to do, but it will also allow you to do it in a slower and more thoughtful way. And that can leave you less stressed and more prepared for the day ahead. (more…)

Why energy management is better than time management

5 hacks to boost your productivity

When I shifted to a 3 day work week some years ago I was looking at key hacks to up level my productivity massively. The single biggest thing that impacted by productivity was this: productivity is more to do with energy management rather than time management.


I highly recommend the amazing research on the topic put together by Tony Schwartz in his super book: The Energy Project. While time is finite – we only have 168 hours a week no matter who you are. Energy on the other, had if managed right, can be flexed and increased.

There are 3 parts that you can systematically energise so that you have a super productive day:

  1. Physical Energy
  2. Emotional & Mental Energy
  3. Spirit Energy

In Physics, energy is the capacity to work. If you have more energy than you can get more done in the same time. So these are my 5 key energy management hacks that guarantee a Super Productive Day:

  1. Identify your highest energy time of day – Everyone is different. Some people work best at night, others are morning people. Identify which part of the day works best for you. For me it is definitely the morning. In the remaining part of the blog, I’d like to share how I set up a super productive day.
  2. Have a morning ritual – This sets me up both physically, mentally and emotionally for the rest of the day. I call this my hour of power.

    For me this covers 3 parts:
    (a) Meditation – I start with 20 minutes of meditation, shortly after getting up. There are 1400 plus studies on the positive effects of meditation on your overall well being, productivity, focus, happiness, success and resilience. It helps positively alter your blood chemistry so that you secrete happy chemicals like dopamine and serotonin.

    Meditation also helps strengthen the membrane between left and right brain hemispheres so that you are able to better utilise both the logical and creative parts of your brain.I use the 6 Phase Meditation by Vishen Lakhianai available on the Omvana app. It is a guided meditation. (more…)

[VIDEO] Take charge of your TO DO List

Take charge of your TO DO list. Research, according to Linkedin, shows that 11% of people ever finish their TO DO list, that means 89% struggle with their TO DO list. Neeraj shares a powerful #Productivity #hack to dominate your TO DO list! You will be surprised by the research behind this hack & it’s effectiveness! #Mentor

[VIDEO] Interview with Mr. Harsh Mariwala

Iconic Entrepreneur & Billionaire

Iconic entrepreneur & billionaire, Mr. Harsh Mariwala shares his entrepreneurial journey with Neeraj. Watch this captivating interview with a number of gems and tangible takeaways for every entrepreneur who wants to succeed.

Visit Ascent India Foundation on to find out how Ascent can help you enrich your entrepreneurial journey.

In this episode you will discover:

  • The first business he started as a youngster (02:00)
  • What question does Mr. Mariwala ask himself before he does anything. (05:00)
  • How does he see giving back (6:00)
  • How can innovation impact business growth (8:00)
  • A great insight into hiring great people (12:00)
  • Great tips on building a strong culture. (14:00)
  • Tips on people management and retaining talent. (17:00)
  • More details of the Ascent platform that Mr. Mariwala has created to support entrepreneurs (22:00)
  • Mr. Mariwala’s productivity mantras. (22:00)
  • 2 books Mr. Mariwala recommends for entrepreneurs that he had read recently (29:00)
  • How growth is like oxygen for a business (32:00)
  • A key to growth that has helped Marico be a market leader is so many sectors. (33:00)

Let us know what your key learning was from this successful entrepreneur by leaving a comment below.

Read the Transcript

Read a word for word transcript here.


A powerful new tool to be more fulfilled and productive

We are working longer and it’s burning us out! Most of us respond to the rising demands in our businesses by putting in longer hours. Entrepreneurs end up working 12-14 hour days. This inevitably takes a toll on us physically, mentally and emotionally. That leads to declining levels of engagement, increasing levels of distraction, lack of results, and soaring medical costs as our health suffers. Warning: This is a longer blog post than normal, but I think it will add massive value to your life.

I think there are some inherent problems with the way we view productivity that actually hinders our productivity. In this blog I’d like to look at 3 key assumptions that many of us hold and challenge them. I suggest 3 new ways for looking at productivity that will shift your paradigm. I will share a tool that will help you feel more fulfilled, satisfied and productive than ever before.

Much of what we understand about productivity has come from the industrial age. The focus was on maximising output and production efficiencies. As a result we have taken on three key beliefs that hinder modern productivity:

  1. Productivity is about getting the most done.
  2. Productivity is about doing it all.
  3. Productivity is just about doing it fast.

The current scenario

We have moved to the knowledge and connection economy. Our work is radically different. The current scenario is that entrepreneurs with smart phones are working more than 70-80 hours a week. We operate in the distraction economy that is killing our focus. We are constantly being bombarded by emails, whatsapp messages and social media notifications.
We don’t have time to get it all done. We go to bed overwhelmed. We are stressed and this is affecting our health and personal relationships.

Opting out is not an option for entrepreneurs. Yet you’re not getting the kind of results that you want in your business. You don’t have time for those projects that can really grow our business. You are working more than ever, but accomplishing less than ever.

Your business seems to consume all your time. You don’t have time for yourself, doing hobbies that you once enjoyed. Maybe you can’t even remember the last time you took a decent holiday and completely switched off? This cannot go on forever!

Time for a new paradigm in productivity

If this sound familiar then I’d like to introduce you to a new paradigm called Super Productivity. Underlying this new paradigm is 3 new beliefs:

  1. What if productivity is not about getting the most done, but about getting the most important things done?
  2. What if productivity is not about doing it all, but doing the things we love and want to do?
  3. What if productivity is not just about doing it fast, but about executing with excellence?

Buckminster Fuller said, “if you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don’t bother trying to teach them. Instead, give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking.”

I’d like to share a new tool that will help us in this new way of thinking with regards to productivity. I call it the Flow Matrix.

Let’s look at what it means to be in the “flow.”


How to grow your business by managing the right numbers

Management guru, Peter Drucker famously said “what gets measured gets managed.” I’m a great fan of managing your business by key numbers. It gave me a clear pulse of the business and gave me clarity on what I needed to focus on before it’s too late. The challenge is that many times entrepreneurs don’t measure these important numbers or they end up tracking the wrong numbers. In this blog I’d like to share four key learnings in this matter:

  1. Leading vs. lagging indicators – My biggest “AHA” moment came when I learned this distinction. I will give you a simple example of weight to illustrate the point.If you want to manage your weight then getting on the weighing scale will only tell you the current situation. No change will happen by getting on the weighing scale daily. This is a lagging indicator. It is the result of all your previous decisions and actions.If you want to change your weight then you need to focus on monitoring and measuring 2 key numbers that can proactively help the end result of managing your weight. These would be considered leading indicators. Take for example you can focus on:(a) your calorie intake – you could limit your daily intake to below 2000 calories per day.
    (b) amount of time you exercise in a week – you could decide to jog for half an hour three times a week.You could set goals here on the amount of calories you burn. It’s easy to measure these days with various watches in the market.

    Both are measurable and both are actions that you can proactively take in the future. If you focus on taking actions on these two indicators daily or weekly, then over time they will impact your weight (lagging indicator).

    For example in a business context, one of your goals this quarter could be to generate 1 crore of new revenue. This is the Lag measure.

    The lead measures or Income Producing Activities (IPA’s) that can impact the business generation are:

    (i) Number of Qualified New Prospects that you have contacted.
    (ii) Number of existing customers you have met or called today to upsell.
    (iii) Number of people on your database or social media channels.

    In one of my earlier blogs I shared a slidedeck on how to get teams to execute key goals in more detail. Have a look at how to lead and manage winning teams.


Seven Steps to Successful Delegation

One of the most important things we can do to scale up a business is to develop a team. Successful delegation is a crucial part of team management and a powerful way to boost your productivity. While most people think they know how to delegate I have found them to be ineffective because they miss crucial steps. With these seven steps you can become an expert delegator:


Step #1: Decide on what to delegate

Before delegating anything, first ask yourself whether the task needs to be eliminated or automated? If the task is necessary and cannot be automated then I put it through the following matrix to see what to delegate:

As a general rule I want to keep all items in zone 1 – The Flow Zone with me. These are tasks that I’m highly passionate about and I’m very proficient at too. These are items that energize me and add the most value to my business.

I want to delegate all other tasks in zone 2, 3 & 4, starting with those tasks in my disconnection zone first. These are tasks that I have a low passion and proficiency for.

Step #2: Select the appropriate person to delegate to.

It was a revelation for me to find that there were things that were in my “disconnection zone” that were in the “flow zone” for other members of my team. This is why it’s important to build a complimentary team. (more…)

3 powerful systems to turbocharge your business growth

If you want to scale up your business and create a saleable asset then you will need to have a systems focussed business. I look at 3 specific areas where your business can deploy systems to scale up and 5 easy steps to create a system.

One of the ways in which I was able to scale up BNI India was through having a clear written sales process. Initially we tested various methods of converting sales. For each test we only changed one variable at a time so that we could clearly see how it impacted conversion.

We kept the things that increased conversion against our benchmarks and we discarded things that were lower than the benchmark.

The research shows that if you have a written sales process that you and your team follow it increases your sales by 20% compared to companies that don’t follow a written sales process.

I am great fan of systems because they allow my business to have consistency and get predictable results. Systems enhance my team’s productivity.

My advice to entrepreneurs is to initially focus on these 3 systems:

  1. Marketing systems – You need to have systems where by you get the right qualified prospects into your funnel. I only focus on 3 areas within marketing:
    (a) Systems to get new clients.
    (b) Systems to get existing clients to spend more.
    (c) Systems to get existing clients to spend more frequently.
  2. Production systems – These are documented workflows on how to execute a particular job. I put emphasis on quality, consistency and speed of the output. These are relevant whether you are in a service or manufacturing sector.
  3. Administration systems – This is the support system that makes everything work in a cohesive manner. This would include things like your accounting, human resources, vendor management and customer support amongst others.

These are 5 simple steps I use to systemize any process in my business:

  1. Identify – which processes are (a) key to your business and (b) repetitive in nature.
  1. Document – Like a recipe, note down every ingredient and sequence you take to successfully complete the task. I use Evernote for capturing the steps.
  2. Optimise – Once you have captured all the steps ask yourself these 3 questions: (i) Which of these steps is unnecessary? Eliminate this. (ii) Which of these steps can be automated? (iii) Which of these steps should be done in a different order to improve the results?
  3. Test – Go through your recipe again, executing only what’s written. Do you get the expected result? If you don’t then it’s likely you missed a vital step in writing down the recipe.
  4. Share – Once it passes step 4 it is ready to share. Systems are a key to successful delegation. If your team is able to replicate the results following your process “recipe” then you have truly created a successful system.

Systems create consistency, enhance productivity and make delegation possible. A systems driven business fetches a much greater valuation for your business. After all my definition of a business is that you can be away from it for up to 4 weeks and will grow by itself. If you don’t have systems then you won’t have a business that can grow by itself.

So which part of your business are you going to systemize first? Please share in the comment box below.