Michael Hyatt is one of the top influencers in the leadership space today. His books consistently reach the New York Times best sellers list and his company helps millions of leaders a year become better.

In this interview, Michael explains how to focus with far greater effectiveness in a world filled with distraction, how to work less and accomplish more, and shares dozens of practical productivity tips. Plus, he talks about succession and where he’s heading next in life.

Welcome to Episode 261 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

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Guest Links

Michael Hyatt | Facebook | InstagramTwitter | Free to Focus

Episode Links

Join me and May 22-23, 2019 in Dallas, TX at the Pushpay Summit. You’ll hear from some incredible leaders as we help you solve your ministry’s hardest problems. Save almost 50% off by using the coupon code: CAREYN.

Get your life and leadership back with the High Impact Leader. It’s an online course you can do on demand to beat burnout and get things done without giving up the things you love most. Check it out at thehighimpactleader.com.

Getting Things Done by David Allen



Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

3 Insights from Michael

1. Stop total work and find freedom through productivity

People are going crazy with work, some would call it Total Work, and it’s consuming everything in our lives. Productivity should not lead to more work, but, unfortunately, it often does. Different types of freedom should be found through productivity, not more work.

Freedom to focus – which offers margin for problem solving and creativity.

Freedom to be fully present – both at work and at home.

Freedom to be spontaneous – interruptions offer opportunities.

Freedom to do nothing – breakthrough ideas don’t always come with an agenda.

2. Cut the things someone else should be doing and focus on your zone

Michael’s new book, Free to Focusis all about achieving more by doing less. One way to do that is to make sure to stay in the right zone, the Desire Zone. We achieve the results we’re expected to produce when we apply passion and proficiency.

The Desire Zone: your work produces the most results and leads to more freedom because there’s clear focus.

The Drudgery Zone: your work has no passion or proficiency. Plenty of other people on the team could do what you’re doing, so it’s not the best utilization of your time.

The Disinterest Zone: you’re good what you’re doing, but possess no joy in the work.

The Distraction Zone: you’re not good at the job, but enjoy doing it. It’s a place to get lost in busy work and hide from more important responsibilities – the most dangerous zone.

3. Act with intention in order to be proactive instead of reactive

Imagine your ideal week. If you could design your schedule so that you had 100% control of your time and resources, what would it look like?

While it’s rare to be able to fully consolidate your calendar there are ways to structure it to better suit your work week in order to be more proactive rather than reactive.

Divide your time into 3 categories: Front Stage, Back Stage & Off Stage.

Front Stage: time for you to deliver the results you have been hired to do.

Back Stage: time necessary to prepare in order achieve Front Stage work.

Off Stage: time where work is off the table so that you can rest and rejuvenate in order to get back on the clock.

Quotes from Episode 261

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 261

Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?

Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.

Get Your Life Back

Do you want to unlock more of your potential in life and leadership without sacrificing time with your family and your health?

Sounds crazy, but it’s not. I know because I’ve lived it. A few years back, I seriously crashed and burned because the demands on my time and life were bigger than the time I had to accomplish them. I promised myself that wouldn’t happen again.

Today, I still have bigger goals than ever before, but I’ve made fundamental changes that have led to a healthier, happier lifestyle without sacrificing my family and vastly increasing my productivity at work. I’ve taken what I’ve learned during this journey and put it into the High Impact Leadercourse.

You can complete the three-hour course at your own pace. It’s the most comprehensive content I’ve ever created for leaders to help you reclaim HOURS every day so you can become more effective at work and more present at home. When your time, energy, and priorities are all working together for you, it’ll impact everything you do.

  • You become a better leader, because you’re doing what you do best when you’re at your best
  • You become a better spouse, because you’re focused at home
  • You become a better parent, neighbor, and friend, because you actually have time off to relax and engage

These principles will free you to thrive in every area of your life.

You can learn more and gain instant access today.

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Next Episode: Nona Jones 

Nona Jones works for Facebook and shares about what most leaders are missing when it comes to getting people to engage on social media. Nona is also pioneering a way for churches to go beyond social media and dive deeper into social ministry. Plus she shares a host of tips and insights on best and worst practices on social media and where social is heading in the future.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 262.

CNLP 261: Michael Hyatt On How To Focus in a Distracted World, How to Get More Done in Far Fewer Hours, and Why Succession Matters

1 Comment

  1. Brian McMichan on May 1, 2019 at 1:24 am

    I have read a few of the comments, advices, guides offered over the last few weeks but so far I have not read any reference to …. Rom 8:13 For if you live according to [the dictates of] the flesh, you will surely die. But if through the power of the [Holy] Spirit you are [habitually] putting to death (making extinct, deadening) the [evil] deeds prompted by the body, you shall [really and genuinely] live forever.
    Rom 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
    Zech 4:6 …. Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit [of Whom the oil is a symbol], says the Lord of hosts
    & if you are a son of God, it follows …. 1 John 4:17 In this [union and communion with Him] love is brought to completion {and} attains perfection with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment [with assurance and boldness to face Him], because as He is, so are we in this world.

    THEN, you can join the Holy Spirit & Lord Jesus, (see romans 8:27 & 34) to intercede for ALL the saints …. Eph 6:18 Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose {and} perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).

    Because … as Paul stated (if you are born again – John 3:3) … a new creation (2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh {and} new has come! … ingrafted into the True Vine by Father ….. otherwise …. John 15:5 …… . Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.

    So, as Jesus set the example, leave your “old self” behind (He left the carpenter behind in the River Jordan as He came up from UNDER the water & came up Jesus, the Christ … anointed by Father’s Holy Spirit).

    The Holy Spirit is available to ALL people as soon as they turn to the Light & realise that Christ Jesus set them free ON THE CROSS …. as His closing words were “It is finished! (John 19:30) …. He had ACHIEVED what He had come to earth for ……. Luke 4:18 ……. He has anointed Me [the Anointed One, the Messiah] to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed [who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity],
    Luke 4:19 To proclaim the accepted {and} acceptable year of the Lord [the day when salvation and the free favours of God profusely abound].

    As Paul said a few years AFTER Christ Jesus was crucified … after he “saw the Light”, & was baptised (full immersion) …..Gal 2:20 I have been crucified WITH Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

    Anyone can say that, after they turn to the Light & see what Christ Jesus achieved on the cross for mankind …. simply accept His payment & believe …..John 3:16 For God so greatly loved {and} dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that WHOEVER believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.

    THEN …. 1 Thess 5:18 Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].

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