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  • Productivity Champ Spotlight — Stop Chasing, Start Doing by Yannick Lhérieau

Everyone that we present here at Asian Efficiency is a model – a model for being productive and for being a better manager of your time and life.

Today, we want to recognize and introduce Yannick Lhérieau, our productivity champ for this month.

Yannick is a certified GTD trainer and he has been an active member of the Dojo since 2015. He’s also one of our best contributors in the AE community and whom we also call a productivity expert.

Read on and find out more about Yannick’s productivity journey and how he was able to achieve that sense of clarity and control over his work and life.

Introducing Yannick Lhérieau

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

I am a French citizen who migrated to Switzerland with our family 17 years ago for business reasons. I am now Swiss too. My background was in Electronics. I started my career as a field engineer in the life sciences equipment industry. I climbed the ladder to director/VP roles in the company that hired me. Eventually, we got bought by GE. I spent 7 years with GE and learned a ton. This is where I became a Lean Six Sigma blackbelt. Continuous improvement/Process improvement took me into personal productivity. That’s when I put my nose into GTD 10 years ago. Since then from after-sales, I transitioned into sales and have been running a sales force for one of the top 5 CRO which got bought.

I then moved into a consultancy role since 2018 where I am helping clients to transform their businesses, focusing on all commercial processes. In parallel, I became a GTD certified trainer. Right now I am leading the deployment of a new ERP (SAP Business One) for a UK company.

When I am not working, I am supporting our 2 kids. One who’s into the Swiss national U23 Triathlon team and the other one into acting/dancing/singing. My private life is fairly simple either in training, bike mechanics or taxying kids somewhere for a competition or a show.

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

A little be more than 10 years ago, I was overwhelmed with emails. Leading a P&L and managing teams in different countries, I asked myself, I can’t be alone with my email problems. I started to Google and discovered an add-in for Outlook called Netcentrics at that time (before it became GTDOA). As I was watching some tutorials for this add-on, I discovered that one of the co-developer had written a book called GTD and his name was David Allen. This was it, I was not alone any longer. Guess what, I started to buy every possible audiobook and read all David’s stuff more than once.

What was the wall or problem that you ran into that stopped you from accomplishing what you wanted?

I was consumed by my work and I was focusing too much on climbing the corporate ladder. I realized that all of this had terrible side effects. Lack of energy, lack of purpose and meaning, not being totally present with my loved ones when I was with them. I was traveling almost every week, spending my life on planes and airports. I needed to ground myself and rebalance my whole life.

What was the epiphany you experienced and discovered?

When I discovered that GTD was a cutting edge differentiator for me, I became more focused, more productive and it allowed me to release quality time so I could build an athlete mindset. My son was instrumental, as he asked me to join him during some of his bike training sessions. Of course, along the way, I discovered AE, its podcast and the Dojo. At the beginning of my personal productivity journey, I did all the mistakes rookies do – I was constantly testing new apps, wasting a ton of hours on my GTD ecosystem instead of executing on my agreed next actions.

What was the transformation that you experienced?

AE Dojo introduced me to the 12WY. This was the missing link for me. Don’t get me wrong, GTD is great but I was missing the feedback loop 12WY provides with its leading and lagging indicators. I decided to write a tool from the book which I shared in the Dojo. I am still using it every week. Thanks to hundreds of hours listening to various podcasts, reading personal development books (I am a great fan of Tony Robbins by the way), all of this taught me to eradicate the word “excuses” from my vocabulary. As I tell you, this makes a huge difference. I like the Asian Efficiency’s TEA framework. It’s all up to me on how I want to consume my time, energy and attention, no-one else.

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

Life is too short, what exactly are we chasing? What is the thinking mechanism at play when deciding on what goals to target? Am I contributing to a bigger good if I achieve this particular goal or is this just for my ego?

Thank you, Yannick, for sharing!

Yannick 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 or someone who has a growth mindset. 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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