Jeff Sanders: The 5AM Miracle & How to Dominate Your Day Before Breakfast
Today, we are joined by Jeff Sanders, the public speaker and author behind the Amazon Bestseller, The 5AM Miracle.
I know what you’re thinking – 5AM is damn early – but stay with me, because morning rituals are really interesting and important.
In this episode, we’re going to learn how you can better dominate your day by hacking mornings to work in your favor – before you even have breakfast.
As someone who has really been struggling recently to get out of bed before 7AM, and who, to be completely honest, has been struggling to stay productive past 1pm, I was really interested in learning some strategies for hacking mornings and creating more effective days. As you guys know, I’m a huge fan of learning any productivity related hacks I can get my hands on, so I was really excited to dive into this episode.
In this episode with Jeff Sanders, we discuss:
- How did Jeff Sanders go from “no idea what to do” to where he is today?
- What's the magic about 5AM, and do you really have to get up at that time?
- What is the “secret sauce” to Jeff's day-dominating methodology
- A step-by-step walkthrough of Jeff Sanders' morning
- What if you're “not a morning person?”
- What are Jeff Sanders' strategies for beating the snooze button?
- How does The 5AM Miracle compare to Hal Elrod's Miracle Morning?
- What are some of the most inspiring stories of lives changed with the 5AM Miracle?
- What other productivity hacks does Jeff Sanders have to offer?
- A discussion on how to set (and achieve) goals in a systematic fashion
- What are Jeff's current major goals in life?
- What is Jeff working on now?
- What is Jeff's homework assignment for SuperHuman Academy listeners?
- What is the #1, major takeaway that Jeff hopes you learned from this episode?
Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
- The 5AM Miracle: Dominate Your Day Before Breakfast by Jeff Sanders
- Your Road Map for Success by John Maxwell
- Our previous episodes with Chris Bailey (#1 and #2)
- My productivity course, Become a Speed Demon
- Our previous interview with Hal Elrod
- Focus@Will, a music service built around productivity
- Our previous episode with Dr. Anthony Metivier (the first of a few)
- My most recent course, Creating a Meaningful Life (discount link)
- Evernote (highly recommended)
- Asana task management software
- Nozbe task management software
- Marie Kondo's book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
- The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan
- Essentialism by Greg McKeown
- The 5AM Miracle Podcast with Jeff Sanders
- Jeff's Website, https://jeffsanders.com
Favorite Quotes from Jeff Sanders:
Introduction: Welcome to the Becoming SuperHuman Podcast. Where we interview extraordinary people to bring you the skills and strategies to overcome the impossible. And now here's your host, Jonathan Levi.
Jonathan Levi: Before we get started today, I just want to let you guys know that this episode is brought to you by Four Sigmatic Foods. Now, some of, you may remember our interview with the Founder and CEO of Four Sigmatic, Tero Isokauppila, where we talked about Reishi mushrooms, Lion's Mane, Quarter Seps Chaga, and tons of other mushroom varieties that you can and should be incorporating into your diet for optimal health.
Now, so many of you have reached out. And told us how you took advantage of that exclusive 15% discount that we offered and that you really enjoyed the products that we actually wanted to feature Four Sigmatic again, on this episode as a sponsor. So to take advantage of that 15% discount code and try some of their highly recommended mushroom supplement products, visit jle.vi/mushrooms.
Well, hello SuperFriends, and welcome to this week's show. Today, we're joined by a public speaker and author behind the Amazon bestseller, the 5:00 AM Miracle. Now I know what you guys are thinking. Yes, 5:00 AM is freaking early, but stay with me because as we've learned in so many episodes before morning rituals are really interesting and important.
No matter what time you wake up. And our guests has a lot to share about building intentionality into your morning and the reasons why you want to structure your morning in a way that creates the most effective day. However, it is that you go out there and crush it, so to speak. So in this episode, we're going to learn how you can better dominate your day by hacking mornings to work in your favor.
Before you even have breakfast. Now, personally, I've really been struggling lately to get out of bed before 7:00 AM. And I really, really want to figure it out how I can crack that, how I can dominate the day before lunchtime and then maybe take the rest of the day off. I don't know. We'll see, we'll see where it goes.
So I was really interested in learning some of this. Individuals strategies for hacking mornings and I'm a big fan of anything productivity-related. So it was great to pick his brain and learn some of his tips and ideas on that. So without any further ado, let me present to you guys, Mr. Jeff Sanders of the 5:00 AM Miracle.
Mr. Jeff Sanders, welcome to the show, my friend, how are you doing today?
Jeff Sanders: Are doing really well. How are you?
Jonathan Levi: Yeah, pleasure. Uh, I have to admit, this is my third podcast recording today. And so I'm energized, focused, the weekend is starting in about 10 minutes for me, 20 minutes. So we're hanging out on the weekend and I'm feeling good about that.
Yeah. So, uh, thanks so much for making the time. I really appreciate it. I know you're a busy guy. You've been up since 5:00 AM I imagine?
Jeff Sanders: Yeah. It's been one of those nicer, early morning days, so yeah, it's good stuff.
Jonathan Levi: Awesome. So Jeff, tell us a little bit about your story. How is it that you became an expert in the realms of productivity and habits and personal growth?
I'm just, I bet you, there's a really great story behind it. So I want to get to that.
Jeff Sanders: Well, I think there's a number of factors. I think that for me, my whole journey began when I graduated college and realized I had absolutely no clue what I wanted to do with my life. And so my mood was my girlfriend at the time, now my wife, we moved to Boston together and I got a job as soon as I could. The second I got there in door-to-door sales, and it was the worst job on the planet. I mean, just an awful experience. But my boss told me to read a book from John Maxwell. That was a personal development book and I was just obsessed with it.
And I realized at that point that there was a whole world that I didn't know about. And so I began to read like crazy, listen to podcasts, watch documentaries, uh, whatever I could do to learn more. And that is when I realized like there was like, I wanted to be like the people that I was learning from that was my real epiphany.
A moment at that point, I was like, there's something here. So I wanted to figure out like, well, how can I do this for a living? How can I blog or podcast or speak or write books? And so that was my side hustle for many years, was figuring out how to make that happen as I was learning more about myself.
And then that just grew until I was able to go full-time with it. Yeah, about two years ago. And so now that's what I do and I absolutely love it. It just, uh, it's been a really fun journey.
Jonathan Levi: Awesome. Awesome. So I love that. I hear a little bit of my own story and your story. And in that, the whole thing was about kind of discovering how you can make it, your job to improve yourself, and then share that wisdom with other people.
So. Tell us about the 5:00 AM Miracle then. You know, we've had Chris Bailey on the show and I have to admit when I asked him about what his kind of failed productivity experiments, where he actually admitted that the worst experiment he tried was getting up at 5:00 AM. And that it was one of those things that he actually like forfeited on a lot of stuff stuck.
And when he still meditates every day, but his worst productivity hack was 5:00 AM. So I want to hear what you have to say about 5:00 AM and the 5:00 AM Miracle and where that whole idea comes from.
Jeff Sanders: Well, I think that the 5:00 AM thing, fortunately for most people is that it's totally optional from my perspective, meaning that yes, you can get out of bed at 5:00 AM if you want to.
But it's a very arbitrary time. You know, I chose 5:00 AM for myself because about four and a half years ago now I was working a day job. I was building my side business and I was training for a marathon. And I realized I didn't have time for marathon training in the middle of my busy day. So the question was, well, when do I do it?
And the only answer I could think of was to wake up early and run before work. Which I did not want to do cause I was not an early riser at that point. And so I thought, well, as an experiment, I'll just try it and we'll see how it goes. And the very first day I fell in love with it. I realized that I had this opportunity to use time that I didn't know.
I really had to wake up early, go for a run, kind of dominate my day before breakfast. That was kind of the tagline I created at that point. Cause that's I was trying to do, and it just stuck with me. It works so well because I, I really felt so much better, you know, approaching my day from that perspective.
Now I realized that 5:00 AM sounds incredibly early for a lot of people. And it's totally fine. What I've realized over the years is that it's the intentionality behind that. That's what makes it work. So you could intentionally get out of bed at 7:30 and still have a very productive day, as long as you're being intentional with it.
And so it's not a question of when do you get out of bed, but what do you do once you are awake?
Jonathan Levi: Hmm. Okay. I was going to say, it sounds a little too simple, waking up intentionally and being like, all right, I'm getting up at this time and I'm going to do this stuff. So go into a little bit of detail around that and tell me what you mean by intentionality and, and what is it that I need to do when I wake up intentionally?
Jeff Sanders: Well, it's a good question. I think that the reality is that I realized that to be intentional, immense, I had to plan my entire day kind of from scratch. And so if I wanted to wake up early to go for a run, I have to go to sleep early in order to get enough rest. And so I had to count backwards plan my day from there.
And so I created an 8:00 PM boundary. So at eight o'clock every night, I'm stopping my work for the day. So I can grab a shower, read a book and be asleep by nine. Whereas it gives me a full eight hours of rest. So I can wake up the next morning. And then this is kind of where the five-day miracle part really kicks in.
It's the question of, well now what do you do with this time? Because just simply waking up early, it doesn't mean anything by itself. It's using that time for something that means something to you. And, you know, as a contrast, when I did for many years, was wake up at the very last second before I had to be at work and my mornings were very stressful.
I was trying to do way too much weight too fast, and I would get to the office just exhausted and out of breath and not enjoying my day already. So to kind of have the better version of that waking up earlier with a plan allowed myself to say, well, I have a little more flex time now in the morning to do something that is valuable to me.
And so what I realized over time was that I wanted my mornings to give me more energy. And so if I could structure my day around that, I would feel a lot better. I got to work. And so I wake up at five and do activities that specifically lead to me having more energy, whether that's drinking a lot of water, having a morning smoothie going for a run, I choose these healthy habits because I want to have a certain kind of experience.
And that for me is the miracle is that I am living the life I want because I'm choosing to do so intentionally, as opposed to just kind of you know, arbitrarily waking up at the last minute, because that's what I've always done. It's taking a step back and asking yourself, what could my morning really look like?
And what could I do with that time? And you can choose to run or choose to work on a business project or a personal goal. It doesn't matter what you choose to do. As long as that thing matters a lot to you, and you can actually carve out time in your day for that thing.
Jonathan Levi: All right. So walk me through your morning.
Cause I have to admit the reason I wanted you on the show today is actually, this is something I've really been struggling with. You know, I talk a lot in my courses about getting a good night's sleep. It comes up in my learning course, obviously, for the brain benefits, it comes up in my productivity course.
You know how you can sleep. You don't need to sleep nine hours to get a good night's sleep. And obviously, through the podcast, we've done a lot on sleep. What I haven't mastered, I mean, I sleep well. What I haven't mastered is actually waking up and feeling energized in the morning. I mean, it's so comfy in bed and stuff like that.
So walk me through your morning routine. What are you doing? Let's say from 5:30 in the morning too, I guess, 10 or 11, or maybe till you break for lunch? And then I want to kind of dive into the, getting out of bed stuff. Sorry. I'm all over. But first walk me through 5:30 to noon, if you would.
Jeff Sanders: Okay. So let's, do we have an out of bed for about a half an hour? At that point, I am using my first few, you know, as of this, like the first hour of the day to prep for my morning workout. And so at that point, I'm addressing my workout clothes. I'm drinking enough full liter of water, or at least part of it at that point. And I'm preparing for that run. And so. Sometimes I'll choose activities before the run.
Like I might read a little bit of a book or I might meditate for a little bit, but really I'm trying to get myself out the door as fast as I can. And so once I, I will do a run usually about 30 to 45 minutes. Uh, come back home. I shower I'll make a morning smoothie and have that for breakfast. And then from there, I shift into my actual Workday, which starts generally around 8:30 and 9.
And so the goal for my morning is to say, well, how can I, you know, get that workout and get all those healthy habits in. So when the Workday begins, so let's say that nine o'clock. I am, you know, at this point, I've worked out, I've had nutrition, I've had hydration, I've had Deloitte bit of caffeine, I'm dressed and I'm ready to begin my work.
And at this point I also, during that time, I was getting ready for the workout. I look at my to-do list of the day. So I've got a very clear idea of what the priorities are for that day. So when 9:00 o'clock rolls around, I know my first most important project is, and for my kind of ideal work schedule.
And then the days this works. I have very dedicated, focused blocks of time for the certain high-priority activities I want to do that day. And in that focused block, I am cutting all distractions. I am, you know, making sure my dog's not going to bother me. And, and my wife is off to work. Or if she works from home that day that she knows I'm in a focus block.
And that I have this time where my phone is turned off, my email is turned off. I'm just doing my key activity for that day. And that leads me up until my lunch period. So that focused block is what makes the biggest difference for me in terms of productivity for the day because I've kind of carved out that time that says, this is when I'm going to get a lot of work done.
I'm energized, I'm hydrated, I'm ready to go and I'm not going to be distracted. And with that in place, it really means I can kind of go to my lunch break, uh, feeling really accomplished. Cause I've already gotten a lot done that day.
Jonathan Levi: Got it. Okay, so it sounds like the miracle, so to speak in the 5:00 AM miracle is really around intentionality, not rushing your morning, going through step-by-step in kind of a calm way that sets you up and like not rushing through breakfast, not having to rush through the shower, not having to rush through the workout, but really like creating space to do the things that give you energy and focus throughout the day.
Would you say that's fair?
Jeff Sanders: I think for me, that's definitely fair. I mean, that's been my perspective on the 5AM Miracle for my own experiences that I like to have that space. And I like to have a slower pace going through the activities because I contrast that with the stress that I had experienced before, where everything was way too much, way too fast.
My wife is kind of the opposite though. Like she actually thrives on a very quick routine in the morning, so she does not have a ton of space, but that's the way she likes it. Like, she has a very specific way that she wakes up and does her kind of own mini 5AM Miracle where she's doing like the things that allow her to get ready for her day at her own pace.
And so there's no specific, you know, tempo. You have to have, it's just that question of intentionality as to this is what's ideal for me, and this is how I'm going to make sure that happens.
Jonathan Levi: Got it. You know, I was actually going to ask, you know, going to bed at nine and waking up at five is all well, and good if you're a bachelor or bachelorette, you know, how does it factor in when there's someone else sharing the bedroom?
Jeff Sanders: It's a good question. My wife actually sleeps a lot more than I do. I probably average between seven to seven and a half hours a night. Uh, but she gets probably around nine hours every night.
So she goes to bed before I do usually and wakes up after I do so to that degree like she's always asleep when I'm asleep. Um, so I have to be quiet at night and quiet in the morning and make sure I don't disturb her, but that's part of my intentionality piece is making sure that I'm scheduling things that won't disturb her.
And that's a big, I mean, if you have a roommate, if you have a spouse, if you have someone else you're in that space, you're working with that other person is extremely important to make sure that everyone's getting what they need. And so that's been a big part of my journey is making sure that I'm creating these things that work, not just well for me, but works well for everyone. That's there.
Jonathan Levi: Got it. And Jeff, what do you say to folks who claim to not be morning people?
Jeff Sanders: Well, I was not a morning person. So I think that it's totally doable to kind of get into this habit of believing that you are a night owl. And it's so easy to think that that's just who you are. But I think that it's only who you are because that's what you've done and you can just simply change what you do and you can change that identity for yourself.
And so for me, it initially, it was kind of hardcore, you know, tomorrow morning. I mean, out of bed at 5:00 AM, even though I'll be exhausted and just make it work. Um, that approach is really usually too intense for most people. I think on most occasions, I don't even like that style anymore. And I go for much more of the slower approach.
So if you're current, you know, wake up time is7:30, then I would say then tomorrow morning, try 7:15. Just do a little incremental, you know, smaller break where you're getting up a little bit earlier, and then you kind of work your way back to 5:00 AM. I think that that will help you make that transition to waking up earlier and kind of prove yourself over time that it's totally doable to wake up earlier and still feel great.
And to kind of disprove the fact that you think you're a night owl forever. You don't have to be.
Jonathan Levi: Right. Okay. So that's a really good segue into my, kind of a self-serving question, which is like I said, I sleep well. I have a really hard time, like so many people getting out of bed, especially, you know, for those in the audience who control their own schedules, stuff like that.
I mean, realistically, I don't really have to be out of bed at a certain time for much of anything. And if it's a particularly cold morning, it's super hard to get out of bed. So yeah, how would you advise going about, you know, breaking the snooze habit in a healthy way and also creating intentionality and positivity and excitement about getting out of bed in the morning at a specific or early enough time.
Jeff Sanders: Those are great questions. I think that you know, to approach the alarm clock, I have basically two strategies that I've used. The first one is going to bed super early. So that let's say for example, that you want to get, you know, seven hours of sleep like a minimum, then you would go to bed. I say, try to be in bed by eight.
You know, and if you're in bed at 8:00 PM, that's a team of 10 hours before five or sorry, that's nine hours before five. And so if you're in bed a lot earlier and you sleep earlier, you get plenty of rest. 5:00 AM is only going to be difficult. It's going to be hard to get into crowded bed. If you're super tired still and you want more rest.
So I found that if I'm really well-rested, then I'm already kind of want to get out of bed. So that helps in terms of that transition. And it may not be possible if your sleep schedule is a little more intensive, eating activities are hard, but the more rest you get, the easier it is to get out of bed because you're already rested, ready to go.
The second part is that. You want to wake up and actually be excited about the first thing you're doing, which then causes you to want to kind of not snooze so much and get out of bed. I definitely like to schedule an early morning run just for that pure sake that I know that if I don't get out of bed at five and I delay that process, that it's really likely I'm not going to run at all.
And so I know that it's all kind of hinged on that wake-up call, but I get up and I go right away. And that's a super important part that schedules early morning, things that cause you to kind of feel like you have to get up and you don't have that motivation or a reason to do that. That's newsy. And is this going to be so natural and then you're going to start your day later than you actually want it to?
So anything that, to me, it really helps a lot. And I think another piece too, though, is that the more that I work out, the more my body kind of gets adjusted to that early morning workout. And I actually feel kind of antsy in bed. Like I want to get up, like my body's physically like saying, Hey, it's time to get up now let's go.
And I just, I love the fact that all kind of works together. So if I wake up and work out and continue that habit, then it's so much easier to maintain that long-term and to, to not want our news.
Jonathan Levi: Fair enough. Fair enough. I'm interested because we had a Hal Elrod, on the show before talking about the miracle morning?
So I'm interested how the 5AM Miracle compares or contrasts with his whole miracle morning thing. I mean, I see a lot of parallels. You both are podcasters, you both are publishing books on the power that can be held in morning routine. So tell me a little bit about that.
Jeff Sanders: Yeah, Hal's system actually works really well with any kind of an early morning routine, because the way that he breaks his system down is you have these kinds of six steps in the miracle morning, and you can do them whenever and whatever timeframe you want.
So you like the six-minute version or the six hour version. Like there's a lot of flexibility in how long it lasts, but if you woke up at 5:00 AM, you could go through his exact miracle morning system between 5 and 6 or 5 and 7. And so if that's what you want to do with your morning routine, Then, yeah, it works completely well with that.
I love his system. He, bakes and things that totally aligned to what things I love affirmations and reading, and exercise, and all of these pieces that are really do give you a great foundation for your day. So to that degree, I think that they really do work well together.
Jonathan Levi: Rock on. So Jeff, tell us a story that has inspired you, one of your readers, or someone that you've coached and what they've been able to achieve with the 5:00 AM Miracle?
Jeff Sanders: I actually got an email was probably about two months ago now from a podcast listener who said that she began waking up early a year before that email came in. And for the last year, she had been waking up to write a book. She has, I want him to be a novelist and she'd never written a book before. And she literally wrote an entire novel just in her morning routine hours.
And so she was able to finally get her book, you know, kind of finished hasn't published it yet, but she was able to write the entire manuscript. In that morning routine. And I realized that like, that's exactly what I was hoping for. And that sense that, you know, I spent my morning routine in the beginning, you know, train for a marathon.
Uh, she used it to write a book there's so much potential. There's so much time you can use. And if you are intentional about it and you have that thing, you want to get done. I think it's just, it's really obvious to say, well, then the time is there. So just take advantage of it and then you get those amazing results.
Jonathan Levi: Totally, totally. I mean, I do wake up earlier. I mean, when I say I have difficulty waking up, it's difficulty waking up at 6:00 AM, but I'm usually out of bed at 7 or 7:30 at the latest and that extra half hour or hour has allowed me to develop a daily meditation habit, which is something that I never thought I'd actually crack, but hundreds of hours now of meditation just by cracking at it at the morning, every single morning.
Jeff Sanders: Exactly. I love the fact that there's the little small pieces that add up over time. So even just 15 minutes a day will give you a whole lot more success in progress than doing nothing a day. So it's just that, you know, adding in a little bit of those extra habits that work towards your goals, I think that it's really powerful in the long run.
Jonathan Levi: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So, Jeff. What are some of the other productivity hacks that you find incredibly powerful or that you've used? I know, I mean, you've written a whole book on productivity and you do a whole podcast. Tell us what's coming to the surface. What's some of your favorite stuff.
Jeff Sanders: I think one of the things that I use, I mentioned the idea earlier about having focused blocks of time.
One of the keys to that is I listened to a certain kind of music during that time. I was from a service called focus at will. Oh yeah. It was just a really awesome service. And they create music tracks that are based on neuroscience designed to make your brain focus. So the music tracks that they provide are intentionally designed so that when you hear it, you're actually not hearing the music and your brain is able to the center in on what you're doing, which I have found to be so beneficial.
I literally use that service every single day when I'm working. Because it just, it works so well. In the past, what I had done was listen to music that I enjoyed, or over time I realized I liked listening to techno while I was working. I realized that I liked the techno music because of that reason that it was giving me that kind of focal benefit.
Like my brain was using that in that way. But now the service exists as music tracks that designed just for that. And so for me, it's like, it's a no-brainer. Now, I want to use that because I want to get that kind of focus when I'm working and it's, it's incredible how much more I get done when I'm not distracted and how much more I'm able to look at the quality of my work that improves and how much more I get done in a smaller timeframe.
And so whatever I could do to reduce distractions and focus for me is really huge.
Jonathan Levi: Yeah, that's awesome. Anthony Metivier, previous guests that we've had on the show, and a good friend of mine has tried to convince me on this thing, but I've never really gotten into it. I think I need to give it another look, really pay closer attention to it cause he swears by it.
Jeff Sanders: Oh definitely. I think it's one of those things where once you kind of find your station on there that you like, you're going to be hooked forever. Cause I've got two stations on there that I use consistently. There's like probably 12 or 13 others that I don't use at all. But depending on what you prefer to listen to, while you work, there's a lot of variety there.
Um, there's even stations where people who have ADHD and that those who like classical music, or if you like acoustic music, or if you like, you know, more of the techno house style, they're all there. And they all work really well.
Jonathan Levi: That's awesome. I'm going to check that out. I've been laboriously building a Spotify playlist that gets the same goals, but it takes a lot of time and effort to curate.
So I think I'm going to check that one out.
Jeff Sanders: Yeah, definitely. That's a good goal,
Jonathan Levi: Jeff, I know one of your big messages is really about pursuing dreams and structuring your life around goals. I'm actually a really, really big advocate of that myself. I just recently released a course with one of my mentors around creating a life of meaning and building goals into your daily thinking.
So tell me a little bit about your thoughts on goals, setting them, and also how people can go out and get what they want in life.
Jeff Sanders: That's a great question because goal achievement has been on my mind for years. I think that once I discovered personal development, you know, back at, after I graduate college. I realized, there were a lot of things I wanted and I wanted to figure out kind of how to structure my life, to make those things possible. And the 5:00 AM Miracle just kind of amplified that. But what I've been doing over the last few years is focusing a whole lot more. I mean, it's a much smaller list of things I want to do that I'm going to commit to.
And so one of those strategies is that I use what's called a quarter system where basically, instead of looking at my goals in a whole 12 month, full-year long plan, I look at my life and just three-month chunks and ask myself, when does next quarter. What are my absolute top priorities that I'm going to commit to, and then everything else is going to be delayed till later, or just cancel it completely?
And with that kind of focus, I may only have one or two goals for the quarter, but I'm completely focusing my entire life around those things. And then that provides so much more progress and so much more ability to be clear on what you're doing because you're not allowing yourself to be distracted with a thousand things.
So I think that's one of the biggest problems that, you know, entrepreneurs have, or people who have just tons of ideas of things you want to do, you can do it all. Like you cannot pursue everything you want to do and making those cuts as hard as it is, is what allows you to be able to achieve the most important goals that matter to you a lot.
I think determining what matters to you, it takes some practice and as an experimentation, but once you've nailed down a few things, you are confident that you want. Carving your life around those things and crafting your life in a way that says this is going to get my attention all the time. Well, then you actually make progress, and then you begin to see those dreams become real.
And to me, that's a such a powerful thing. I love seeing the results that I get when I focus on something exclusively.
Jonathan Levi: Yeah, absolutely. You know, I struggle cause I do 20 goals every six months, and uh, I struggled to narrow it down. Like for me, I like having them, but then again, they're also so varied.
They're everything from taking piano lessons to increase my overhead squat to, you know, release a new course. So there's a lot of variety and stuff like that. It professionally though. I definitely see the value and I have like one focus goal per half-year. So my focus goal right now is outsourcing more of my business delegating more so that I'm working less and focusing on areas of life that are going to kind of provide more value to me. Like starting a family, things like that.
Jeff Sanders: Yeah. I think that that's exactly right. I know that I have a long list of things that I want to pursue in the future. Some of those things will sneak into my kind of life, you know, kind of on accident. But in general, like yeah, having kind of that main thing, like I'm working towards this one overarching goal, I think provides ability to filter, to know like, well, does this activity today, help me move towards his goal or not, but asking those kinds of questions, I've realized, Oh, I'm doing things that are actually distractions and I needed to cut this or delay it or postpone it.
So I can get to the thing that matters more and it's definitely an art form. It takes some time to get really good at it, but the more that I, you know, ask those kinds of questions and really focus, um, the easier it is for me over time to be able to stay on track for the things that I really want to do the most.
Jonathan Levi: Awesome. What are your current goals right now? What are you working towards?
Jeff Sanders: Well, there's two big things in my life right now. I'm working on the first is public speaking. And so it was a part of my book launch. I had back in December, I'm trying to establish more of like, who do I want to speak to? And how often do I want to speak?
And then pitching those companies and going out and talking. Uh, so that's been kind of a, an amplified goal of the last few months. And then the second one I'm actually currently like super excited about is minimalism. And so I'm looking through my entire life and asking those same kinds of questions.
How can I do less than achieve more? Or how can I own fewer things or get rid of stuff? And that has been such an eye-opening experience for me because I realized that I own way too much stuff. I am pursuing your way too many things I have just there's way more going on and there needs to be. And so if I can find ways to cut that clutter, then it's going to make my life that much better.
I mean, I'm applying these principles to everything from the landscaping in my house, to the website that I'm trying to make it more simplistic. I mean, it just, it applies to every area of my life and, but those same kinds of questions of how can I do less and achieve more. It applies so well to everything and finding it to be so helpful to ask those kinds of questions.
Jonathan Levi: Right. Absolutely, I'm completely on board with you. I wanted to ask you what are some tools that you're using? I mean, I always swear by Asana, I swear by Evernote. I know you and I both use Skype extensively. What are some tools that are making you more effective and more productive in your daily work?
Jeff Sanders: Well, very similarly. I love Evernote. I use that all the time and instead of Asana, I use a program called Nozbe, which is very similar to digital task manager that allows me to organize all of my to-dos and my calendar. And everything's built into that and knows me related for me has become kind of it's my go-to for everything.
Like I put all of my tasks in there, all of my projects, everything I'm working on. And that's where I operate out of every single day is trying to establish what that priority list looks like. And what am I commit to them when I'm not gonna commit to? And so for me, like that is like the one most important tool I'm using constantly in addition to Evernote and Google drive for a lot of my file storage.
Jonathan Levi: Cool. N O s, N O Z B E.com. Nozbe?
Jeff Sanders: Yes, exactly.
Jonathan Levi: Cool. I'm going to check it out. I'm going to check it out for sure. You mentioned minimalism, which made me think of Marie Kondo. I know her book is like exploding right now, which then made me think what are some, uh, thought leaders who are some thought leaders or kind of books that you're a fan of?
Jeff Sanders: Uh, there's a bunch of them. I think the recently all in the same lines of minimalism, there's two books that I read probably a few years ago that I'm now rereading. First one is the One Thing, by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, which is an awesome book, all about doing just one thing that matters most.
And the second one is Essentialism by Greg McKeown. And both of those books have the kind of the same message, just using different words to describe it, which is just kind of back to the idea of minimalism. Like you're just narrowing your life down to the fewest, things that matter most, and figuring out how to wrap your life around those concepts. I think that there's a lot of different perspectives on, you know, doing less. And so I love to read all those different books that really point to that same idea that, you know, these kinds of things matter. And so I, that's in business and in life, like those principles just, they always apply.
They're always great.
Jonathan Levi: That's fantastic. So Jeff, you're focused mostly on the podcast or you're still doing the promotions of the book. I mean, what's the big goal you're trying to take away professionally from 2016, I assume it's successful launch of the book?
Jeff Sanders: The launch of the book is definitely kind of where the year began.
And then, um, you know, converting that into public speaking as well. I use the podcast as kind of like a marketing tool of everything else I'm doing, but yeah, the book launch plus public speaking is kind of the, as the year is progressing, that's becoming the main focus for sure.
Jonathan Levi: And what's the format of the podcast? I mean, what can people expect to check out on there, it's interviews or?
Jeff Sanders: Yeah. I alternate between interviews and doing shows where it's just me. And so I'll usually alternate back and forth and every other week is a different kind of format. And so I'll bring on a guest and I'll talk to them about the same kinds of things with productivity, healthy habits, personal developments, and then episodes where it's just me.
I'll take those same kinds of categories, but dive into a specific lesson and talk about something that has worked really well for me or something that's not worked really well. And then how that all breaks down. So I just kind of, it's 30 to 45 minutes per week, and I try to make sure that I provide as much actionable takeaways as possible.
That's been one kind of major focus in the book and the podcast is you know when you finish listening to some content, you're going to have action steps. I think they go do that next day. And I think that that has really allowed me to be more intentional about what I'm producing and then the audience can leave saying, well, I know what to do now.
And I think that's, that's really helpful.
Jonathan Levi: Brilliant segue into my next question, which is if we were to assign a piece of homework for this episode for people to do while they wait for next week's episode, what would you like that piece of homework to be.
Jeff Sanders: I would say plan tomorrow on paper tonight. And that sounds pretty simple.
And that's the whole point is that you're going to, if you don't already have a really well-crafted plan for what you're going to do tomorrow morning, then start with that good handwriting and put it ever know wherever you want to do it, but be very intentional about specifically when you're going to get up.
What you're going to do next, uh, what that means to you and knowing exactly how that day is going to be laid out. And then, you know, the following day do the same thing, but do it better and how that routine continues for the next week. If you want to, I'm doing that every day of being a little more intentional, a little more planned so that you can get the very most as possible.
Jonathan Levi: Fantastic. Jeff, if people want to learn more or get in touch with you, where should we send them?
Jeff Sanders: Jeffsanders.com is the websites. And of course, the 5AM Miracle Podcast is on iTunes. And the 5AM Miracle book is on Amazon.
Jonathan Levi: Awesome. And we will link all that stuff up in the blog post. For this episode, Jeff, I want to close on one kind of special question, which is if people take away one lesson from this episode and carry it with them for the rest of their lives, what would you hope for that lesson to be.
Jeff Sanders: I would say be intentional regardless of what you choose to do, uh, do it on purpose. And I think that that is something that I have struggled with because it's so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day. It's so easy to just keep doing what we've been doing, but to actually pause and think about why am I doing this and how can I do this better?
Or how can I not do this at all? And the intentionality behind that provides such immense of benefits. So if anything, take your life seriously and do it on purpose. And when you do that, you get phenomenal results.
Jonathan Levi: That's a fantastic note to close on. Jeff Sanders, thank you very much for sharing your time with us. I know you've been up since 5:00 AM, so I really appreciate it.
Jeff Sanders: Yeah. Thank you.
Jonathan Levi: All right. We'll do keep in touch.
Jeff Sanders: Yeah, definitely will do.
Jonathan Levi: All right, SuperFriends, that's it for this week's episode. We hope you really, really enjoyed it and learn a ton of applicable stuff that can help you go out there and overcome the impossible.
If so, please do us a favor and leave us a review on iTunes or Stitcher. Or however, you found this podcast. In addition to that, we're always looking for great guest posts on the blog or awesome guests right here on the podcast. So if you know somebody or you are somebody, or you have thought of somebody who would be a great fit for the show or for our blog, please reach out to us either on Twitter or by email or email is email@example.com.
Thanks so much.
Closing: Thanks for tuning in to the becoming superhuman podcast for more great skills and strategies, or for links to any of the resources mentioned in this episode, visit www.becomingasuperhuman.com/podcast.
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