Maximum Leverage Factor: Focused Ferocity
Now we have come to the factor that will MULTIPLY your output in the same amount of time: focused ferocity.
Focused ferocity is applying all your mental and physical energy into your focus-window. It’s about being FULLY ENGAGED for that set amount of time.
Intensity is the ultimate leverage factor because of it’s multiplicative powers.
It’s simple, if you’re 3X as intense and produce triple the normal output in 20 hours, you’ll accomplish more than most people do in a 40 hour week.
Let’s compare 2 people to illustrate the power of focused ferocity on productivity.
Bob and Tom are both email writers for a marketing company.
Bob, who’s never read this report or use any of it’s techniques, works like a normal employee. His output is about 1 email per hour and he usually tries to write for about 4 hours a day. His output is 4 emails a day on average.
Tom, who embraces intensity and uses this report, gets laser-beamed for two, one-hour focus-windows a day on email writing. His output is 3 emails per hour. His output is 6 emails a day on average. Tom is producing 50% more work in half the time.
These numbers aren’t taken out of thin air. I’ve worked with many email writers and my output is between 3-4 emails an hour. Most email writers produce about 1 email an hour. Of course, experience, skill and proficiency come into play. However, most people operate at a LOW level of mental intensity or a low level of proficiency. Most people are lackadaisical with their work ethic.
Focused Ferocity is an extremely valuable mind attribute. You could call it: MENTAL SPEED. Just like focus, it’s buildable. There’s a major caveat:
“Speed is a byproduct of SLOW, good practice.” - Guthrie Govan, one of the greatest guitarist alive
Before you focus on unleashing Focused Ferocity, you should be at level 4 of competence.
The 4 Levels Of Competence
- Unconsciously incompetent:You don’t know that you don’t know
- Consciously incompetent:You know that you suck
- Consciously competent:You can perform if you actively think and focus
- Unconsciously incompetent: You can perform automatically without thinking
Before you start “going crazy” and working at hyper-speed, keep in mind that you only want to PUSH YOUR INTENSITY when you start going from stage 3 to stage 4 of competence.
As you start moving towards stage 4, now is when you start PUSHING YOUR MIND ANDBODY.
How To ENJOY Intensity
Some of you might be reading this and thinking,“This doesn’t sound fun, I just want to go with the flow.” I’ll discuss “flow” in a minute.
Here are some reframes that will make focused ferocity enjoyable:
a. Compete against yourself.
Your brain gets dopamine hits anytime you realize you’re improving. Competing against others may be stressful at times, but competing against yourself is rewarding.
b. Track your output
“If you can't measure it, you can't improve it.” - Peter Drucker
A simple way to track your output is to measure your work. For an example, I’m writing every day and I record how many words I wrote and how many minutes. This gives me a word per minute count and that’s my intensity measurement. My goal is to double it in the next twelve months and triple it in the next 24 months.
c. Enjoy your evolution
You won’t triple your output overnight, so enjoy the journey. Be grateful for where you are, how far you’ve come.
d. It feels better
It FEELS GOOD when you learn to push your mind. The sensation is similar to finishing a kick-ass workout. You feel great about yourself. It’s a powerful self-esteem booster.
e. You will love the end result
If you can triple your output in the same amount of time, you’ll feel great about it. Once you have the right team, you can cut down your hours if that’s your goal and work on the critical money moves.
Once you’re at stage 4 competence and you embrace focused ferocity, you will begin hitting flow states. This is where you will perform at your best. This is the maximum productivity zone.
In flow, you’re producing magic effortlessly. Your creativity is at it’s peak. You’re naturally intense without forcing it. Things get done quickly and efficiently. Your actions and decisions occur seamlessly.
In his book, The Rise of Superman, Steven Kotler, one of the top experts on flow decodes how extreme athletes get into flow. Stephen has interviewed top athletes along with top scientists to break down what these athletes are doing to consistently achieve flow.
Kotler writes, "Action and awareness merge. Our sense of self vanishes. Our sense of time distorts. And performance goes through the roof,".
In a 10-year McKinsey study, top executives reported being five times more productive while in flow. The study's researchers said if you could increase the amount of time in flow by 20 percent, workplace productivity could double.
Here are the four stages that Steven explains that we go through in order to get into flow:
Stage One – STRUGGLE
The first stage feels like the opposite of flow. This is when you’re struggling to get into the groove, researching, and brainstorming. If you’re starting a new project, this is often when you feel confused and overwhelmed. Most people never push past this first stage, which is why they don’t hit a flow state.
Stage Two – RELAXATION
One of the big keys is to RELAX during overwhelm. Not let your brain run with the confusing and create more stress. When you’re in that state it helps to recognize that’s it’s normal. Listening to relaxing music, going for a walk or doing somethingphysical can help. We will discuss more relaxation strategies in Productivity Booster #10.
Stage Three – FLOW
This is the magic zone where creativity, action and intensity merge into an effortless experience. You come up with the best ideas, and you often surprise yourself by your own performance. You’re operating at your highest levels of performance on auto-pilot. It’s a beautiful thing.
Now that you understand that achieving flow doesn’t happen in 10 seconds. This is why the cost of distractions is SO HIGH and you must protect yourself from them because a distraction will take you out of flow in seconds.
Stage Four – RECOVERY
Flow is taxing on your mind and nervous system. It takes a lot of energy to produce and maintain flow and it can drain you.
You go from feeling like superman in “Flow”, to feeling like absolute exhausted in “Recovery”. This is where MASTERING recovery is critical which is what the next section is all about.
We cannot sustain focused ferocity without a strong recovery program. You will either: hit the wall and burnout. Or your performance will slowly drop over time.
By properly scheduling your recovery on a day to day basis, you’ll be able to achieve flow consistently.
When In Social Environments
Forget about focused ferocity when you’re meeting people. It’s best to be relaxed and go with the flow. You’ll have a stronger presence if you just relax and enjoy talking to everyone.
This also applies for team meetings. Meetings should have an intensity to them, but they should also be fun.
One of the simple things Google does to make meetings quicker and more productive is that they must be conducted standing up. This reduces the lackadaisical factor.
Focused ferocity combined with focus-windows is the only way you can consistency TRIPLE your productivity.
Keep track of your performance. Become highly skilled, effective and efficient and then slowly start pushing your speed up.