Welcome to your Productivity Breakthrough: 8 Basic Work Habits That Will Skyrocket Your Productivity programme, specially designed for the people of Allan Gray.

Shabit_1tephen R. Covey (author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) defines a habit as the overlap between knowing WHAT to do, knowing HOW to do it and the WANT to do it.  Putting it differently one has to have the knowledge, skill and desire to be able to create and sustain a habit.


habit_2To quote from “The Tao of Leadership”: That is all there is: principle and process, what and how.

This is the foundation on which this workshop is built.  In the 8 Basic Work Habits you will get the principle, the benefit and the process that form the 8 work habits that we know help people to significantly increase their productivity.



In your electronic manual for this workshop, as well as in the “implementation guide” handout you will receive at the workshop you will recognize this pattern (highlighted in yellow in the diagram to the left):

  • WHAT is this about (principle)?
  • SO WHAT  – why is this important for me? (motivation)
  • NOW WHAT (process)?  What can I do to make this habit part of my everyday life?


Why it this called your Productivity Breakthrough Programme rather than just refer to it as a workshop?

For us “productivity” means getting more of the right things done with as little effort as possible. That’s what we deliver.

And a “breakthrough” is a “significant or sudden advance, development, achievement, or increase, as in knowledge, that removes a barrier to progress”.  This is exactly what we help participants achieve: a significant increase in their knowledge and skills about personal productivity and how to remove “productivity handbrakes” that could currently be limiting their performance and productivity.

This is a process and not and event – hence referring to it as a “programme”.  We prefer to partner with our clients over time. We do not believe in “seagull training” where a trainer flies in, makes a lot of noise, drops a lot of stuff and flies away, never to be seen again.  We like the “drip irrigation” approach where you get your first bite at the principles, processes and benefits during a workshops, and then we remain engaged an ongoing process for as long as you want to participate.  This includes fortnightly webinars, weekly thoughts and tips about increasing productivity, and email, phone and SMS availability to support you.

We believe this to be aligned with the Allan Gray philosophy that “it makes a difference when you think long term”.

Therefore there are three phases in your programme:

  • Prepare for participating in the programme.
  • Participate in programme.
  • Continue to implement and learn from the ongoing opportunities.

Prepare for participating in the programme

  1. Create a point of reference: Self-assessment on the 8 Basic Work Habits.
  2. Read a number of selected articles relating to the 8 Basic Work Habits (See below).
  3. Establish what you would like to get from this programme.
  4. Review your performance contract and create linkages with the programme content.
  5. Discuss your participation with your team leader.

Self-assessment (NOTE to previewers: The specific way of capturing the results is still to be finalised!)

On a scale of 0 (could not be worse) to 10 (could not be better) rate yourself on each of the basic work habits.

  1.  Work Habit 1 Think “Productive”
  2.  Work Habit 2 Clarity: Make your work visible and actionable.  Your Inbox is not your work; you have to process your Inbox and then work in your Calendar and Tasks.
  3.  Work Habit 3 Alignment: Make sure that the actions in your calendar and task lists support the achievement of your current priorities.  Delete the rest.
  4.  Work Habit 4 Focus: Stay with the task at hand – no multitasking, minimal distractions and interruptions.  Turn off notifications.  Say “no”.
  5.  Work Habit 5 Adaptability: Be flexible and adapt to changes in context. Renegotiate commitments with yourself and others. Under-schedule.
  6.  Work Habit 6 Completion: Finish what you start.  Beware of perfectionism and procrastination.
  7.  Work Habit 7 Slow down to speed up: This is the paradox of high performance.  Things need to be done at the appropriate pace.  People who rush make 25% more mistakes.
  8.  Work Habit 8 Lifelong learning: There is always a better way of doing things; continuous improvement.

Pre-workshop reading (NOTE to previewers: The articles are suggested reading and can be supported by many more!)

Basic Work Habit 1    As a man thinketh

Basic Work Habit 2    Clarity of purpose and direction

Basic Work Habit 3  Alignment – Will be added  

Basic Work Habit 4  Focus  

Basic Work Habit 5   Learn the Value of Adaptability and Flexibility

Basic Work Habit 6 10 Essential Tips To Finish What You Start

Basic Work Habit 7   Slow down to speed up – Forbes Magazine

Basic Work Habit 8  Learn and improve: Will be added


Participating in the programme

  1. Join a hands-on-the-keyboard and highly interactive workshop.
  2. Get to understand and implement the principles and processes of the 8 Basic Work Habits That Will Skyrocket your Productivity.
  3. You work in your own and familiar Outlook environment and implement your new knowledge and skills.
  4. Real-time implementation means you will not need extra time after the workshop.
  5. During the workshop, due to its interactive nature, you will also hear the opinions of your peers.
  6. You will also learn many time-saving shortcuts, tricks, tips and techniques to make your life easier.
  7. You will team up with one or two colleagues to form a Productivity Breakthrough Mastermind group to support each other after the workshop.

Continuous implementation

Immediately after the workshop you will continue learning and implementing your new knowledge and skills to ensure that you don’t fall back into unproductive ways of working.

  1. Every email or any other input you receive is an opportunity to opportunity to practice.
  2. You will use Outlook as a tool to manage your “visible and actionable” work.
  3. Every day and week you will complete your productivity routines to support your efforts to increase your productivity and live a more productive, happier and fulfilling life.
  4. Every two weeks you join a 30 minute webinar and with the power of spaced repetition you reinforce your work habits to ensure higher levels of personal productivity.  The 8 Basic Work Habits form the framework for these webinars, one every two weeks, in a cycle that never ends.
  5. Every 3 months you will have the opportunity to re-asses your personal productivity and share this with your team leader to celebrate your success and explore ways of improving even more.
  6. Once a week you teach someone else something that you have learned during the week.



Executive Book Summary:   The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Getting Things Done

Getting Things Done (1)

Getting Things Done (2)

Getting Things Done (3)

Executive Book Summary: The 4 Disciplines of Execution





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