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  • Productivity Champ Spotlight — Implementing Habits by Mike Pärssinen

Everyday we continue to share productivity strategies on our blog posts, newsletters, podcast, and our online community, The Dojo. These strategies have helped our readers get more work done in the time they have without sacrificing their health, family and personal time. At Asian Efficiency, we believe you can achieve your goals faster by creating a system that works for you.

Today, we want to celebrate our productivity champ, Mike Pärssinen.

We’d like to share his story of how he has achieved success since joining the AE community, healthy habits he crafted from what he’s learned along the way, and productivity tips he recommends everyone should implement.

Introducing Mikael Pärssinen

Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you’re up to.

My name is Mike. I work as a manager at a global transport industry OEM. As such, my days are filled with meetings, coaching, planning, strategic work and all the different challenges that are connected with working within a global corporation. Right now, my industry is in transformation. Connectivity and new technologies for vehicle handling and propulsion make 2019 the most exciting year – so far – in my career. When not enjoying my work I enjoy spending time with my wife and my son.

What is the backstory that ignited you to get started on becoming more productive?

Before I started applying the productivity methods taught by Asian Efficiency, I had a constant backlog of emails and I frequently used nights and weekends to catch up with work. There never seemed to be enough time for getting my most important work done. My main productivity tools were to put in more hours and work harder. Today, I realized that this is like using a band-aid for healing a broken bone. Visually the bleeding stops, but it doesn’t do anything for healing the bone.

The sad thing is that this situation was not unique to me. That way of working and living is the norm for so many smart and ambitious people out there. A couple of years ago, it dawned on me that there must be a better way of managing life. So, of course, I started to search for information. Man, I could never have imagined the sheer amount of tips and tricks out there. But eventually, a lot of leads pointed me in the direction of Asian Efficiency. What attracted me was that Asian Efficiency had a different approach than most others. Rather than just providing the most recent tips and tricks the guys at AE are passionate about really providing value that lasts.

What was the transformation that you experienced?

My first serious attempt to turn around my situation was identifying the habits that would set me on the right path on a daily basis. The second was getting the knowledge of how I would implement these habits. I started to learn about the concept of rituals. The results did not emerge immediately but on a Friday afternoon, after 5-6 weeks, something strange happened. There was no need for me to spend the upcoming weekend trying to catch up on work. I knew that I was sufficiently on top of things and that I had a system that – when needed – would put me back on track.

This was the turning point for me. From that point, it was a matter of getting more insight into personal productivity. Using myself as a guinea pig, I have methodically tried out what works for me (and what doesn’t work…). After two years of refining my system, I made a self-assessment of my ability to reach my targets. My conclusion was that I had quadrupled my ability to reach my goals while decreasing my working time.

If you have one piece of productivity advice for someone who is struggling to make progress toward their goals, what would it be?

My number one tip would be to identify and understand the daily habits you need in order to be productive in a consistent manner. Start small and aim for consistency. If you, today, are overwhelmed by emails and todos your aim is not to turn this around in 24 hours. Your aim is to set yourself up on a long term path to high personal productivity. Have faith in knowing that regularly doing the right thing will get you to your target.

Second, create boundaries in your life. Today I do not feel the slightest stress during evenings at home when I happen to think of work. This is because I know that evenings at home are not designated for work. I know that the more detached from work I can be at home the more effective and efficient I will be during my workday. Rather than always being occupied at work – at least mentally- at 70% efficiency – I work in sprints in which I am 100% effective and efficient. Between these sprints, I recuperate and focus on all the other stuff that makes life worth living.

Thirdly, prioritize your health. This includes ensuring that you get enough sleep and take care of your body and brain the best as you can. Actually, this could have been my number one tip. Your health is the foundation that carries everything else.

By following the above advice you are setting yourself up for high personal productivity. You do not have to aim for perfection. I am far from perfect, but I have reached a level of doing the right things most of the time. From time to time, every one of us falls off the wagon. Use these setbacks as learning experiences and hop on the wagon again.

What Does it Take to be A Productivity Champ?

Thank you, Mike, for sharing!

Mike is a great example of what we refer to in our community as a “productivity champ” — someone who continuously looks for ways to become better for themselves and their family. Other examples of people who have succeeded are Lisa and Scott who we have written case studies about.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, or distracted, you can overcome that and become a productivity champ too:

  • Review our TEA Framework, and become familiar with the 3 Pillars of Productivity.
  • Take our super-quick Productivity Quiz, which will give you actionable insight into where you should get started.
  • Pick one (only one!) action step and schedule it on your calendar to implement it.

If you think we should feature you as a productivity champ, get in touch and let us know!

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Thanh Pham

Founder of Asian Efficiency where we help people become more productive at work and in life. I've been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, and The Globe & Mail as a productivity thought leader. At AE I'm responsible for leading teams and executing our vision to assist people all over the world live their best life possible.

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