Little known tool is a productivity maximizer

The TMM also lessens stress and improves fulfillment in all areas of life

Ready for a simple-to-use time management tool that will change your life? What If I told you that by using it you could:

  1. Accomplish more of what you’d like to accomplish on a daily basis
  2. Experience less stress
  3. Feel more freedom and fulfillment
  4. Minimize major crisis situations
  5. Be more planned and intentional with what you do each day
  6. Move your life into a future that inspires you

Sound good? I consider this little hack – called the Task Management Matrix (TMM)  — a real game-changer.

The TMM is a grid with four quadrants that you can use as a guide for dividing your daily tasks. It doesn’t look particularly sexy, but trust me when I say it will produce crazy results for you.

The grid helps you focus on what you want to achieve in life, and then helps you automatically distribute your daily tasks intelligently, so you progress in the areas that matter most.


How to use the Task Management Matrix

The TMM was originally designed and used by President Eisenhower. He’s credited as the most productive president in U.S. history and likely it’s because he used this tool each morning to decide what tasks to do when. I’ve added an additional step to further improve his formula.

Here’s what the Task Management Matrix looks like:


If you’ve never seen this before, don’t let it intimidate you. It’s easy to use.  All you have to do is consider all your tasks for the day and divide them by quadrant.

You’ll want to distribute your time so you spend approximately 65% on tasks that fall in Quadrant 2. To better understand why and how to use it let’s consider the most common time management errors that most people fall into.

Common task and time management errors

Many people spend the majority of their time in Quadrant 1. If that’s you, it means you mainly engage in tasks that are IMPORTANT AND URGENT. In other words, tasks that require your immediate attention and contribute to some long-term goal or commitment in life. Activities like:

  • Delivering a work project by a short deadline
  • Calming a crying baby
  • Seeing your doctor to get a plugged ear de-waxified
  • Cleaning out a moldy kitchen fridge
Is cleaning your dirty fridge in the way of your aspirations to become a Nobel laureate

Is cleaning your dirty fridge in the way of your aspirations to become a Nobel laureate?

Yes, these are important things to do, but spending most of your time here is a trap that’s easy to fall into. Humans are hardwired to manage short-term disasters first.  It’s how our early ancestors survived.

But the brain doesn’t delineate, which is why we can sometimes fall into a trap of living a life where we are always “putting out fires”. That means, we get into a routine of always reacting to crisis, versus doing what needs to be done to ensure the crisis never happens in the first place.

The problem with focusing your energy on tasks in Quadrant 1 means you are always reacting to life. You are always rushing to finish or fix something. You’re thinking can become narrow with no concern for the long-term future. You end up doing what needs to get done today with no regard for the fact that your present actions will dictate the future you are living into.

You can’t avoid Quadrant 1 altogether. There are times where crisis situations arise around you that are not under your control. For example, if your boss drops a project for a multi-million dollar client with a two-week deadline on your desk, it’s in your best interest to comply, even if you don’t exactly want to (especially if you want to keep your job!).

But, the way you work is on you.

You can be someone who rushes last minute the night before. Or, the moment you receive the project you can spent some time planning your hours of work over the two-week time frame to ensure you’re not rushing and have time to do your best work. Which person would you rather be?

Now, if you spend most of your time on UNIMPORTANT BUT URGENT tasks you might spend most of your time in Quadrant 3.  These are activities that don’t further your progress into the future you desire to create for yourself. Tasks such as:

  • Dropping what you are doing to help a friend or family member do something that requires immediate attention and is important to them but doesn’t further your life
  • Going to a job you hate every day without making plans to change your career
  • Responding to personal text messages or emails that get in the way of important tasks

If the majority of your time is spent in Quadrant 3 you’re likely busy yet you often feel like you’re not getting anywhere in life.

Is knitting sweaters for your dogs in the way of your career as an astronaut?

Is knitting sweaters for your dogs in the way of your career as an astronaut?

What’s worse is spending most of your time in Quadrant 4.  If you spend most of your time having fun, engaged in activities that make you feel good, but don’t forward your life in any productive way, you’ll likely have an enjoyable life, but limited achievement. These activities are primarily distractions. You may find yourself feeling unfulfilled. Do you do these things often?:

  • Watch TV
  • Play video games
  • Browse the web or social media
  • Shop
  • Gamble
  • Knit matching sweaters for your dogs

This not to say that you shouldn’t engage in fun.  It’s very important for your mental health.  But, if you have too much fun it doesn’t forward your overall commitments.

How to manage your life so you feel relaxed, organized, “on top of things”, and  you get where you want to in life:

If you spend most of your time in Quadrant 2 – then, BRAVO!  If not, you might want to try this right away:

Spend approximately 65% of your time engaged in activities that are IMPORTANT but NOT URGENT. Tasks that fall into this category include:

  • Relationship building
  • Recreation
  • Creating action plans

If you do this, you’ll minimize crisis situations because in many cases you’ve already taken care of these issues before they have time to develop into major problems. For instance, if you throw out expired food on the day it goes bad you’ll be able to avoid the dirty, moldy, stinky fridge.

Ideal distribution of tasks would look like this:


Here’s what’s crucial, before you divide all your to-do’s for the day into the four quadrants you need to remind yourself of what you are committed to in life and what specific outcomes you’d like to achieve that day. This will help you ensure that your daily tasks are aligned with where you’d like to guide your future.

For instance, if you’d like to improve your physical fitness, you’ll need to make sure you remind yourself of that commitment to ensure you incorporate daily fitness tasks into your schedule.

Therefore, prior to filling out the matrix and distributing your daily tasks you’ll need to answer the question “What outcomes am I committed to achieving in today? ” for all areas that contribute to your well-being.

Use the Task Management Matrix for at least one day, and up to one week. It can take as little as 15 minutes for you to divide your task at the beginning of your day.

I guarantee if you use it even just one day you will see it’s tremendous value.

Grab a printable PDF version of the grid here with step by step instructions.



Time travel through upset

How to easily get through an upsetting or ugly time in life

Time travelThe Time Travel Reality Hack

If you want to learn how to get through a tough time in life, then here’s an incredible reality hack that you can use to deal with a bad day or difficult situation.

I call it the the Time Travel From Upset tool or the TTFU tool.

If you think this seems crazy, then you are not alone. When I share this incredible method, some people think – at least initially – that it is silly. But trust me it works.

Now, I am not talking here about opening up a wormhole in the space time continuum and leaping through it into a future moment in time to escape a high level of stress, or an unpleasant situation, or even great sadness.

All those things are escapable with the TTFU, but we’re not messing with physics here. We are simply using the power of your mind and your consciousness and the human experience of time.

Here is how it works.

First a bit of background and a small exercise:

I want you to jot down on a piece of paper what time you got up out of bed on June 6, 2011 or pick a date at least 6 years ago.

Don’t remember?

Ok, then how about this: What outfit did you wear on the afternoon of June 27, last year? Not sure? No peeking at photos or your calendar. Just use your memory.

Unless either of those dates were very special days, like your birthday, your anniversary, or the day you got a medal from the President of the United States (or which ever political leader runs your country if you are non-American) then there is a very good chance you have no clue.

Let’s make it easier. What did you have for breakfast last Tuesday? You can probably guess, but even a week ago it’s hard to remember details, even if you cooked the meal.

Frankly, I have a hard time remember what I did yesterday.

Ok, hopefully you got my point. Details, even basic details about your day are hard to recall, even as recently as 8, 10 or 12 hours ago. There are too many things to keep track of in life so the mundane daily details don’t matter.

So now, try this. What was the last fight you had with your spouse, or boyfriend or girlfriend? Or if you’re single, then recall a fight with a friend or coworker? You might remember the nature of it. But you couldn’t speak it word for word as if it were a script. Most human beings don’t have that level of recall. If something is emotionally charged, there might be a better chance of recalling details for a period of time. However, the memories don’t linger. They fade over time and in the course of a lifetime the may be erased by the brain’s natural process of reconfiguring itself.

Neuroscientists tell us that short term memory is really temporary. And long term memory is very coarse. Humans can remember places and events, and maybe a few details, and certainly general emotions. But not much more than that.

That’s really good news when you are going through a tough time. That’s because even though your present experience may be extremely unpleasant and even seemingly unbearable in the moment, it’s actually fleeting.

The secret is to remember that fact when you are suffering. All experiences are fleeting. Good, bad and indifferent. Time marches on. So this moment may be unbearable, but the next moment it may not be.

And if you are having the worst day of your life, you can use the Time Travel From Upset tool. Here’s what is to do.

  1. Acknowledge that you feel awful, or sad, or afraid, or miserable to yourself.
  2.  Now remember the information above. That time is fleeting. That unpleasantness is transient and that some point in the future, perhaps tomorrow, next week or in 93 days…you will experience that today’s unpleasantness will be the past. Things will have changed in your life.
  3. Project yourself into the future. Imagine yourself looking back on this unpleasant moment and imagine what it will be like looking back on this unpleasant day. You might feel relief. You might realize that it’s true that today is not the worst day ever. That it just felt that way. But your FUTURE SELF might smile at the naivety of the thought that today is the worst day of your life. And really it could be.
  4. IMPORTANT: The moment the day is over and you wake up the next day, become aware of the fact that yesterday – the worst day of your life – is gone and has been swept into the past. Celebrate that it’s over. And from you new vantage point in your yesterday’s future (now turned into your present), think about what happened.
  5. Remember again that that awful moment in time is gone and that suddenly you are in the future (yesterday’s future). Reflect on how easy it was it to suddenly arrive at “tomorrow”.
  6. You can shore up this process by doing it again a week later – recall your bad day in the past. And mark it in your calendar so you can remember it in a month’s time. You might even recall it three months later or a year later. This will demonstrate to yourself that suffering is temporary and time moves quickly. And the next time you have an upset or miserable moment, use this technique to travel in your mind into the future, and know that this present will soon be a distant and vague memory. This will become really easy after a while and you can use the technique to take the edge of any moment, event or circumstance that is upsetting.

I will leave you with this final story on how I used it in a very effective way in my life. More than six years ago (as I write this in 2016) I was going through a very uncomfortable and upsetting divorce. It dragged on for months and I could barely stand it day in day out. I had to live in a house with my very angry and uncommunicative soon to be ex-wife. But I reminded myself that it would pass, and soon the whole miserable experience would be in the past.

The divorce was negotiated several months later. I moved out. And fast forward to today, I married  Kay Walker (the gorgeous and brilliant founder of this website) and we have a fantastic toddler son. So that ugly upset, all those years ago, is now ancient history for me. The time I was longing for then, has now arrived. I live happy in my future. And the ugliness is behind me. That experience gives me the ability now to deal with any day of my life.  Time travel works. You just have to let it.

Would you like the TTFU worksheet? CLICK HERE or the button below, and join the Awesome Life Club and get the tool, plus tons more awesome life changing tools ( Joining the Awesome Life Club is free!)





Build confidence on demand

3 ways to be confident on demand

How to be confident on demand

How to be confident on demand

Let’s face it, when you are confident about yourself (and your abilities), it feels amazing. I’m sure you’d agree with that statement. In moments of confidence, we feel invincible, and we act accordingly.

On the flip side, a lack of confidence gets in the way of your ability to seize major opportunities and express yourself in all areas of life.

In the book, The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance, co-authors Claire Shipman and Katty Kay  goes as far as to say that confidence is:

“life’s enabler — it is the quality that turns thoughts into action.”

And taking action is crucial. It’s one of the only ways you make progress in all areas of life.

Without confidence, you could end up living a very small unfulfilled life. And that’s not you. Well, it’s not anybody. All humans are meant to be involved in life. To have fun. To feel. To enjoy. To be fully self-expressed.

So, lack of confidence, no more!  Here are three methods you can use to gain confidence in any moment when you lose it. Use whichever one you like and feel works for a given situation.

There are two free tools you can grab below. A template for building your own Awesome You List and a guide called: 12 Ways to Be Confident On-Demand.

And if you think they are silly or seem weird the first time you try them, stay with them. You’ll abandon that they are “silly”, and will get the tremendous results using them.

Be Confident on Demand – 3 Easy Methods

#1 – Build yourself an ‘Awesome You’ list:

Spend some time alone building a list that expresses why you are an incredible person. Make sure you have the list handy, that you can pull it up easily from your mobile phone, for example.

In times where don’t feel confident step away from what you are doing and read your awesome you list. It will help you become grounded in how powerful you are and the contribution you have to give.

What’s important is that when you build the list you brag about all the great qualities you have and your accomplishments. Indulge your ego! Write down all the reasons why you believe you’re awesome.

It can be anything from: “I take great pride in the way I look. I love my long brown hair”, to “I’m proud of the business I built two years ago and how it’s succeeded”, to “I’m an incredible mother. I bake cookies for my son, I play with him everyday, I make an effort to be with him each day”.

Build an awesome you list

Build an “Awesome You” list

If you have trouble generating your list you can query someone you have a close relationship with. Ask them why you are great. They might be able to tell you better than you can tell yourself. And when they do, listen and don’t dispute what they say.

Humans are great at ruining their positives traits with negative thoughts. Don’t let those run the show. The entire point of the list is for it to be used as a tool that reminds of your strengths. It’s meant to be a personal “cheerleader” for you at all times.

Personally, I use my awesome you list before I speak or am interviewed or before I meet people for the first time. It helps me shake off the nerves and reminds me that I am a valuable asset to all situations.

#2 – Character Modeling:

Take on the characteristics of someone else

Take on the characteristics of someone you admire

What if you were in a moment where you lacked confidence and you could immediately shift from being you to being the person you think is the ideal person for that situation? Like, you’re about to step on stage but you’re a pile of nerves because you’re not a practiced live speaker. Perhaps, you’d love to be like Oprah Winfrey who has spent her life interacting with people and being on stage and on tv.

You can do that. You can step out of being you and take on the characteristics of someone else. Think of it as if you are putting on a suit, or role-playing. Here’s how:

Mentally take a moment to think about the person you’d like to be in that moment. Sometimes it helps to close your eyes and visualize them and how they would behave in a similar situation. Then, mentally or on paper list the traits they exhibit that you admire.

Before you get into action, tell yourself you are going to be like that person. Alternatively, you can tell yourself you are going to model their traits. Anytime you lose confidence go back remind yourself of this.

If it helps, you can build an avatar – a detailed description – of how that person looks and behaves on paper. If have access to your avatar from anywhere you can remind yourself of the qualities you would like to exhibit.

Eventually, you’ll stop needing to put on your “character suit” because the behaviors you’ve been practicing are yours, because you’ve physically rewired your brain.

#3 – Visualizations: 

Your brain does not know the difference between you visualizing yourself taking action or physically taking action. The same pathways in the brain fire. The more a pathway is triggered the faster it speeds up. Which means, the action will become automatic to you and your body.

This means, you can mentally practice achieving any desired outcome. When you see yourself winning in your mind you’ll start to believe in yourself and become more confident.

So visualize a scenario where you see yourself being confident. You can visualize a performance many times prior to it. However, if you find yourself in a moment of weakness right before or during an activity, simply close your eyes for a few moments and see yourself achieving what you desire. In your minds eye, see yourself e confident on demand

For instance, if you’re standing behind a curtain waiting to go on stage and you’re feeling nervous, you can close your eyes and practice seeing yourself speaking eloquently in front of an engaged audience. When you step on stage the negative chatter will die and you’ll step into being confident.

These three confidence-boosting tactics can be used anytime, anywhere. Try them two or three times before you say they aren’t working for you. Get over the “this is silly, why am I doing this?” thoughts that you may have and do it anyway. You’ll love the results.

And, if you love what you’ve read here, grab this free guide: 12 Ways to Be Confident On-Demand.

How to read body langauge

How to decode body language and read unspoken communication

How to read body langauge

How to decode body language:  Free cheatsheet available in this post

Free body language cheatsheet – DOWNLOAD at the bottom of this post

Want to activate a SUPER POWER you already possess?

It’s the ability to read body language. In this post I am going to teach you how to decode body language and use it to your advantage.
There is also a free body language cheatsheet you can download at the bottom.

Millions of years ago, before humans developed an ability to speak, the main mode of communicating with the tribe was through throat grunts (how unsophisticated!) and by reading the body language cues of others.

The skill of reading body language is innate to all humans. But, as we’ve evolved, we now express ourselves with spoken language, most people have lost or dampened this natural ability.

Although most people are not particularly adept at read body language, we all use. Gestures are fired on autopilot. Most of the time you’re unaware of what you’re saying with your body. These knee-jerk reactions are controlled by your brain as you react to stimulus in your environment.

Just as others send signals to us, we send signals to them. And some people are better than others at decoding gestures.

Ask yourself: How aware are you of the signals you’re sending?  How aware are you of the signals people are sending to you?

It may surprise you to know that: 55 percent of communication is expressed using body language. (7% is through spoken word, and 38% through voice tone)

So, it’s worth learning to interpret the silent language of everyday gestures, and se it to your advantage.

And remember: People may lie with their words, but they never lie with their bodies.

When you activate this super power you’ll become an expert people reader. And, when you understand what others really think (behind what they say) you increase your chances of achieving outcomes you desire.

Below, are the top ten body language cues you should know. If you’d like a free body language cheatsheet you can download and print with the 10 cues and images CLICK HERE or download at the bottom of this post.

How to decode body language and read unspoken communication

Here is a summary of the 10 body language cues. These are illustrated in my free body langauge cheatsheet.

1.The pursed and stretched lip smile

When a person smiles without showing their teeth and by stretching their mouth as far as it will go from side to side they are hiding something from you. They either don’t like you, are withholding a negative opinion about you or what you are saying, or they know something you don’t and are not going to share.

2.The covered lip lie

If you are watching a person speak and they cover their mouth it’s a direct clue that they are lying. Ever heard the term “speak no evil”? It will help you remember this body language cue. Your brain unconsciously directs the hand to cover the mouth in an attempt to try to block out words of deceit.

3.The torso hug

Crossed arms is a closed off position. It signals that a person is not comfortable with you or doesn’t like what you’re saying. It doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t like you. Some people have a tough time letting people get close to them because they’ve had a bad past experience by being hurt by a person or group of people. From this perspective, the arms crossed presents as a barrier of protection.

4.The one-handed head support

If a person supports their head with one hand and places an index finger pointing up along the side of the face, they are not interested or being critical about what you’re saying. Often they have an opposing opinion.

5. Increased blinking

This can be more difficult to notice, but when a person increase their blinking or leaves their eyes closed a bit longer than seems natural, they are bored by what you’re saying.

6. The pointed-foot stance

How legs are positioned send unconscious cues. In group settings if you see a person standing with a pointed foot they’ll be directing it to the person they think is most interesting or attractive. Conversely, if you’re talking to someone that wants to leave you’ll see their foot pointed towards the door.

7. Arms crossed, legs crossed.

If a person crosses their arms and legs, they are not interested in communicating. If you notice this while speaking in front of a group, your audience is not engaged.

8. Handshake equality

Dominance is often expressed using a handshake. If you meet someone and they shake your hand with their hand slightly above yours, they want to dominate you. A completely equal shake where both hands meet and remain parallel to one another (no hand is above the other) shows respect and even power.

9. Pupil dilation

This one is tough to identify but highly valuable. If a person is in a positive mood, becomes excited or is attracted to something they see, their pupils will dilate. If you’re good a detecting dilated pupils it can help in sales positions or if you’re single and want to know if your date is interested in you.

10. The upper hand triangle

If you’re in a negotiation, playing a game or having a friendly debate, and you see a person bring their hands together and place them into a peak position (they make a mountain with their hands) this means they believe they are confident that they are winning the deal, game or debate.

Now you know how to decode body language, use the ten gesture cues to understand what the people you interact with are not saying and are silently communicating. If you see a negative cue, you’ll be able to address it. A positive cue will let you know that you are on track and should continue the conversation.

And, keep in mind that context (ie. the environment and specifics of a situation) matters. This should also be considered when assessing body language cues. For a detailed guide on how to be a superior body language decoder grab this cheatsheet you can print and refer to.

-or learn mastery – buy my definitive ebook…