3 Questions Highly Productive People Ask Themselves Every Day

UPDATED: March 30, 2016
PUBLISHED: March 30, 2016

I teach people how to become ultra-achievers for a living. I’ve seen the habits, philosophies and motivation of hundreds of the world’s most productive, influential and successful people.

I want to let you in on a little secret about these people….

The ultra-successful are no different than you.

They simply do different things than you do. It’s an important difference. Worth reading and rereading until it sinks in.

Related: 4 Secrets of Insanely Successful People

One of the things that highly productive people do differently is ask themselves a series of compass-correcting questions every day. These questions guide, direct and ensure that these superachievers stay that way.

If you’d like to follow in their footsteps and achieve similar results, here are the three questions you need to start asking yourself today:

Question 1: What is the ONE THING I need to get the right stuff done fast?

Most people have a to-do list that spans two pages, with every to-do item marked “URGENT.”

Highly productive people, on the other hand, look over their to-do lists often throughout the day—to determine the best use of their time right now. They re-evaluate and reassess based on the current reality of their situation, and reprioritize to ensure that they are always focused on the most important task at hand.

Too many assume that productivity equals getting a lot done every day. The truth is, productivity equals the completion of high-priority tasks that are going to have the most impact on your business, and your life.

Highly productive people (unlike most people) ensure that they are assessing in real time, taking into account the variables we all encounter in our busy days, and not just blindly following a list.

Question 2: Who can I get to help me with this ONE THING?

Peak performers never perform alone.

Athletes have coaches, medical staff, assistance and more. Musical entertainers have sound engineers, instrumentalists, bus drivers and more.

The same is true for leaders of business and organizations.

That might already be obvious to you, but what you may have missed is that ultra-achievers think specifically (on a daily basis) about who is going to assist them to achieve their goals.

That difference is important.

The ultra-successful spend a lot of time building and nurturing what I call life teams. These teams are what allow high achievers to force multiply their efforts.

It means that they can walk themselves higher up the task ladder, spend more time delegating and move quickly with confidence knowing that their support system is in place.

Question 3: Is this worth my time?

One hundred percent of the people who you and I would classify as “highly successful, productive achievers” know their base worth number. Your base worth number is the minimum you need to earn to reach your goals).

With this number in the back of their minds, they are able to accurately determine their high leverage activities, which move them closer (with more speed) to their goals. They know precisely which tasks to say yes to, and which to ignore.

They are able to compare their base worth number with opportunities and pathways. From this comparison, they are able to draw accurate, quick conclusions about the “worthiness” of any given activity or potential path.

It’s a big reason why successful people seem to “get it”—constantly making good decisions, while the rest seem to bumble about rudderless.

Knowing your own base worth number, and using it to make better decisions, is like having a GPS while everyone else is trying to find their way in the dark by feel.

This is a simple practice that goes a long way, so I encourage you to use these questions as tools in your own life. Specifically, for at least 30 days, try journaling the answers to these questions every single day. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the transformation and progress you make just by consistently examining yourself in this way.

Related: 8 Ways to Effectively Prioritize the Things on Your To-Do List

Tony Jeary

Tony Jeary is an author, executive coach and presentation strategist. Jeary has published more than three dozen books about making presentations and strategic effectiveness. He coaches the world's top executives from companies such as Wal-Mart, Ford, New York Life and Texaco.