CNLP 442: Andy Stanley Flips the Mic to Talk Productivity Secrets, What Happens to Leaders Under Stress, and How to Ensure Other People Stop Hijacking Your Priorities

Andy Stanley flips the mic this time on the podcast as he and Carey discuss productivity secrets, what happens to leaders under stress, and what you can do to stop other people from hijacking your priorities. Plus, Andy shares the rationale as to why leaders need to put limits in place.

Carey and Andy’s discussion springs from the launch of Carey’s new book, At Your Best: How to Get Time, Energy, and Priorities Working in Your Favor, which you can learn more about at

Welcome to Episode 442 of the podcast. Listen 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.

Plus, in this episode’s Ask Me Anything About Productivity segment, Carey answers Glenn’s question about battling decision fatigue.

Have a question about productivity? Let Carey coach you. Leave your message here!

Guest Links

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Website | Podcast

Episode Links

At Your Best

My newest book, At Your Best, releases today.

So, let me ask you a question. Take an honest look at the pace that you’re currently living at. Could you do this forever? Would you want to?

For most people, the answer is no.

You tell yourself it’s a busy season, but if your busy season has no end, it’s not a season—it’s your life. I understand what that’s like.

On the road to recovery, I discovered a strategy that got time, energy and priorities working for me, not against me, allowing me to accomplish far more in far less time.

When you apply the strategies you’ll find inside At Your Best, you’ll have built a life that you no longer want to escape from. Instead, you might actually start loving it.

Go to to order At Your Best, and get FREE access to bonuses including a Masterclass taught by me, for a limited time.

Conversation Links

The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron

At Your Best by Carey Nieuwhof

Get Carey’s Content Straight to Your Inbox

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Insights From Carey and Andy

1. We’ve all experienced the Stress Spiral before, but some of us reside there

The Stress Spiral is when you’re:

  • Overwhelmed: “I’ve got too much to do and no time to do it.”
  • Overcommitted: “I’ve said yes to too many things. What was I thinking?”
  • Overworked: “Why doesn’t my weekend off reenergize me anymore?”

Carey clarifies that the Stress Spiral begins when your time is unfocused, your energy level is unleveraged and your priorities are being hijacked by other people. If you’re wondering if you’re in the Stress Spiral now, ask yourself if you are always looking for an escape from daily life. When you’re in the spiral, you’re living in a way today that will make you struggle tomorrow.

2. Time off will not heal you when the problem is how you spend your time on

Maybe you’ve taken that vacation and thought you’d come back to work with tons of energy and renewed focus, only to be hit by your to-do list and avalanche of requests from clients or managers when you return.

The truth is that when a system is damaged, stepping away from it for a break doesn’t mean you come back to a fixed system. To truly live in a way today that will help us thrive tomorrow, we have to fix the way we spend time on.

3. When you’re doing what you’re best at when you’re at your best, you’re capitalizing on the Thrive Cycle

In the Thrive Cycle, you learn to focus your time, leverage your energy and realize your priorities. This requires identifying the three different energy zones you have during the day—red, yellow and green.

Your Green zone is the three to five hours where you’re thinking clearly and at peak performance. Your Red zone is that one or two hours where you’re exhausted and laggy. Your Yellow zone is everything in between when you’re not the most energetic or most effective.

The key is to take your most important activities and prioritize them in your Green zone. When you do this, you get more done in less time, make progress in your prioritized goals, and take steps to guard your schedule against would-be time hijackers.

Quotes from Episode 442

If your busy season has no ending, it's not a busy season. It's your life. Click To Tweet Live in a way today that will help you thrive tomorrow. Click To Tweet If you figure out how to lead better at work, you will lead better at home. Click To Tweet A vacation is not an answer for an unsustainable pace. A sustainable pace is the answer. Click To Tweet Time off will not heal you when the problem is how you spend your time on. Click To Tweet Nobody will ever ask you to accomplish your top priorities. They will only ever ask you to accomplish theirs. Click To Tweet Do what you're best at when you're at your best. Click To Tweet Scarcity creates value. Click To Tweet You deserve to stop living at an unsustainable pace. Click To Tweet Get comfortable with silence. That is where your creative juices will flow. Click To Tweet We all have some sort of mental game we play, and sometimes the escape from stress is healthy, sometimes it's not healthy. @AndyStanley Click To Tweet Leaders love progress. It's very difficult for us to say no to something that even looks a little bit like an opportunity. @AndyStanley Click To Tweet For most leaders, you're at your best for three to five hours in a day. Click To Tweet Electronic correspondence is always sent at the convenience of the sender, not the recipient. Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 442

Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?

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

Watch Back Episodes of The Podcast on YouTube

Select episodes of this podcast are now on YouTube. Our YouTube Channel gives you a chance to watch some episodes, not just listen.


Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Adam Grant, Seth Godin, Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, Nancy Duarte, Henry Cloud, Patrick Lencioni, Francis Chan, Ann Voskamp, Erwin McManus, and many others.

Subscribe using your favorite podcast app via

Apple Podcasts


Google Podcasts



Spread the Word. Leave a Rating and Review

Hopefully, this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast on Apple Podcasts and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn as well.

Your ratings and reviews help us place the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Erin Meyer

Erin Meyer studied Netflix’s culture and shares the principles behind many of Reed Hasting’s radical ideas that have shaped Netflix’s culture: Why adequate performance gets you a generous severance package, talent density and how an unlimited vacation policy actually works.

Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 443.

CNLP 442: Andy Stanley Flips the Mic to Talk Productivity Secrets, What Happens to Leaders Under Stress, and How to Ensure Other People Stop Hijacking Your Priorities

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.