Living an extraordinary life means giving the most effort and attention to those activities that create the most value. It means spending time every day in such a way that brings feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment. There is also a relationship component to living an extraordinary life. Just as individuals perform many activities each day, they also play many roles in their lives. These roles influence one another. However, an imbalance or a disconnect between the most important roles and where efforts are actually spent can develop over time.Similar to identifying the most important activities through the Time Matrix, by creating a Life Wheel, individuals can map out their various roles and make conscious decisions regarding the most important ones. By evaluating their performances in each role (i.e., underperforming, ordinary, or extraordinary) and plotting the roles and their connections to each other on the Life Wheel, it soon becomes apparent where attention is lacking. This honest appraisal is the first step in making adjustments in how and where time and attention are spent.
*Anyone can do extraordinary work. Every person has unique gifts, skills, and talents he or she brings to the table. By making the right decisions about which activities to focus attention on and ensuring energy is expended and replenished appropriately, those gifts, skills, and talents can be maximized for extraordinary results.
*Being extraordinarily productive is both easier and harder than ever before. In the high-tech information age, individuals have more opportunities than ever to make significant contributions in their work lives. However, the information age also brings with it a constant barrage of demands that can distract them from getting the most important work done.
*Do more by doing less. Being busy is often confused with being productive. By focusing efforts on the truly important things, individuals can do less overall while ultimately achieving more.
*People can change their brains. The brain is capable of both reactive (automatic) decision making and proactive (thought-based) decision making. By becoming more conscious and less automatic in decision making, people can change their brains to be more thoughtful on an ongoing basis, which leads to better choices in the long term.
*Do not just think–do! Thinking about making life changes is well and good, but without a developed plan for executing these changes, they are nothing more than wishful thinking. Extraordinary productivity requires a plan, a schedule, and follow-through.
*Technology is both a blessing and a curse. Technology has the capability to make life much easier by streamlining processes, enhancing communication, and creating new opportunities. However, it can also be distracting, intrusive, and a time waster if not used properly. The goal is to rule technology rather than be ruled by it.
*Manage energy, not time. There are myriad time management systems to help people make better use of their time. The problem is that time is finite. It makes better sense to manage energy by continually using it and replenishing it to get the right things done in the time available.
*Extraordinary productivity is a choice. People must choose between operating on “autopilot” and giving in to the lure of time-wasting activities or consciously taking charge of decisions regarding how to spend their time.