Zach Sexton has learned the most ambitious people are often those who get stuck most often. He writes for the productivity blog Asian Efficiency to educate others about the key to productivity: focus and using your limited energy more intentionally.
Zach tried on many different careers to wind up where he is today. He got his degree in economics and business administration and interned in the Senate during college. After college he bounced around between several jobs, until he took some time to reflect.
He ended up getting excited about teaching as a career, so he decided to become a teacher. As he was completing a student teaching assignment for his Masters degree, he realized he was not able to meet the emotional needs of a classroom full of children. He decided primary education wasn’t the best fit for him, so he moved on, ultimately starting his own business.
He became a tech and productivity consultant to small business owners after working with the employees in his father’s office. He was able to help them better utilize the technology available to them. The experience inspired him to start his own business. Now he has taken that knowledge to become a productivity expert for Asian Efficiency.
Key UnStuckable Takeaway
Use your time intentionally!
Many of us have a lot going on. Our time and energy are divided up among many competing priorities. To use your time more intentionally you have to understand your priorities and your goals first. Then look for ways to better align your time, energy and actions with your goals. Finally, find ways to make your processes easier and simpler, so you can get more done in a shorter amount of time.
Quick Action to Get Unstuck
Take one small action.
Zach says to keep it simple; just take an action toward one of your goals. It can be anything, no matter how small. Taking a small, two-minute action is a start and will build momentum. Don’t focus on your huge goal just yet, but rather on one small part of it.
UnStuckable Quotes From Zachary
“I like ideas. I like figuring out new things.”
“I suffered from a series of anxiety attacks.”
“You really have to decide what you’re going to do everyday.”
“It took a full year between quitting the masters program to starting my own business.”
“I went down before I went back up.”
“What I was missing was a solid foundation.”
“Mistakes are only failures if you fail to learn from them.”
“The way we define productivity is getting important things done consistently.”
“The most ambitious people are the ones who get stuck the most often.”
More Habits & Actions
- Develop a learning habit. Zachary says that with each new venture, you are going to go through a learning curve. Form a learning habit now to make that transition easier.
- Prioritize the projects you want to work on now, rather than trying to spread yourself out across several things.
- Zachary helped out his first client by helping them to put a filter on their technology. This meant filtering the constant flow of information you get to only focusing on the important things. We are bombarded with so much information each day that it is impossible to take it all in properly, so you need to choose what you want to focus on and when.
- Zach has discovered meditation to be essential to becoming more productive. It allows you to calm your mind, so that you can focus.
- Another habit Zachary mentioned was having a strict diet. If you can control something like the food that you eat, then it will be easier to have control in other areas of your life.
- Try out different jobs and projects. Zachary tells us to see it as an experiment, and not to tie your ego to the process. It is okay if you fail, as long as you learn from it.
Getting Things Done by David Allen
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey
Questions & Feedback
Thank you for listening. If you like something you heard in the show, let Zach, Chris and Stephen know by tweeting us @unstuckable
If you’re a big fan of the Unstuckable podcast and think it can help other people get unstuck in their careers, please rate and review it on iTunes by clicking here.
Thank you for for your support and let’s get unstuck!