How to Increase Your Productivity in 5 Simple Steps

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How to make any program more effective and improve any area of your life

A version of this article was previously published on

Some people are what we call high performers.

They are exceptionally focused, insanely organized and (therefore) incredibly productive. They are detail-oriented, remember things well, are good with deadlines, and usually get out of bed before their alarm clock.

Others are… well, not.

I happen to fall into the “not” category.

Some of us (including me) are big performers. I say “big” because they think Big. They have Big dreams, Big goals and usually Big personalities. More than anything else, they are exceptionally skilled at seeing the Big Picture.

They are fantastic at coming up with great ideas and understanding how those concepts will play out. Unfortunately, they’re not detail-oriented, forget stuff and often finish projects just before the deadline — or just after it. And, of course, they hit snooze a few times before getting out of bed.

But people with big ideas want to bring those ideas to life — they just need help being more productive. And so, hoping for that, I undertook a quest to achieve better productivity.

Along the way, I compiled a list of five rules to increase productivity. The best part is, these rules can be applied to any job, any field of study and, in fact, any area of your life. This are especially important if you don’t have the accountability that comes from a typical working environment, and instead are working from home.

1. Write It Down

This should have been one of the easier habits to adopt, but I wasn’t able to make it “stick” until about Day 9. Writing things down is something I recommend in a lot of instances, and since I’m an intense planner when it comes to diet and training, it makes a lot of sense to me.

You see, putting something down in black and white gives it something it lacked previously: tangibility.

Writing takes things from ideas to plans.

In my case, I have working to-do lists: I simply make a list each night of all of the stuff I want to do the next day, listed in either order of importance or the chronological order that I want to finish them (you’ll have to play around to see what works best for you). By doing this, I am immediately able to get started on my day in a productive way.

This is surprisingly effective. Even writing down “walk the dog for at least 25 minutes” seems to have an impact on the weight of that task, and I’m a lot less likely to skip out halfway through.

Going further than to-do lists, I now write down nearly everything. I carry a small pocket notebook with me and jot down any idea that comes to mind that I’d like to blog about, as well as random thoughts that drift into my head, which I find allows me to organize things more efficiently.

The pocket notebook has long been a tool for some of the most productive people in history — Thomas Jefferson carried one made of ivory leaves that he used to record everything from quotes to the migrations of birds.

Other famous bad-asses are known for pocket notebooks, including Benjamin Franklin, Mark Twain, Charles Darwin, and Ludwig Van Beethoven.

If it’s good enough for presidents and scientists, it’s good enough for ol’ Roman.

To put things back in the fitness context and give you something actionable, I suggest you start recording both your meals and your training sessions. Ideally, you will plan them out beforehand and then record them during, to see how closely you can match your plan.

In the case of my coaching clients, both training and diet are planned for them, and the client has to follow the plan. If you’re using a program like Final Phase Fat Loss, you have the Training Log Sheets, and you have spaces to record your weight and reps. Life is a lot easier and more productive when these things are handled in advance (or simply done for you).

Even if you’re not going to start planning your diet and training in advance, at the very least I recommend you start recording them during the event. You are a lot more likely to get a better workout and eat the right things.

Another cool diet tip is to use your cell phone camera to take a picture of every meal. Tim Ferriss calls this “the flash diet.” Taking a picture serves as a pattern interrupt and forces you to think about what you’re eating. While you don’t have to post the pictures on Facebook or Twitter, try to look at your meals through that lens. If you’re trying to lose fat, each meal should take you closer to that goal. If you wouldn’t want your friends to know what you’re eating, you probably aren’t making the right choices.

So write it down!


Photo: James Nord

2) Wake Up Earlier

Yeah, I know. Pretty basic. I’ll go further and say it’s not just important to wake up early (or earlier), but that it’s important to wake up at the same time every day.

One aspect of working from home that is simultaneously a blessing and a curse is that my days aren’t always the same.  There are days when I train clients and days when the only thing I have on my agenda is writing and programming.

Which means that at least 50% of the time I don’t have a set schedule. This is certainly the dream for a lot of people: the freedom to do what you want, when you want and at your leisure.

Yeah, well, it sounds nice, but I seem to be the type of person who thrives with structure.

To that end, I have started getting up at the same time every single day, whether or not I have to be awake. This keeps me on schedule and forces me to start following my to-do list earlier in the day.

Currently, I am getting up at 7 a.m. I know, I know. That’s not exactly “early” by any real stretch of the imagination. (Hey, I’m an internet entrepreneur — at least I’m up before noon.) And while I’ve tried getting up at 6 a.m. or even 5 a.m. every day, it doesn’t work for me.

The thing about it is, I’ve come to know myself.

Given that this post is all about productivity, I have come to realize that I do my best creative writing between 8 p.m. and 12 a.m. That means that if I get to bed immediately after (and I don’t have difficulty falling asleep), I can still get 6-7 hours, which is good for me. This is something that’s important to me. If I’m not working on a project that involves a high level of creativity, I can go to bed earlier.

Bringing it back to fitness, something as simple as getting up earlier and making sure you do your stretching, foam rolling or even a full workout is an easy way to ensure that you actually get it done.

By mastering your time and understanding your “rhythms,” you can become exponentially more productive. I would estimate that in the 60 minutes I spend active that I previously spent sleeping, I get about three to four times as much work done as any other point of the day.

To touch on some great thinkers, Thomas Jefferson was a dedicated early riser, and Benjamin Franklin was quoted as to say, “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” I don’t doubt that.



This is one of my favorite tips, because it is applicable to nearly any aspect of life. So many times we simply let our brains get in the way — we over-think things. Well, if you can avoid that, chances are you’ll make more progress.

In the fitness context, this happens to a lot of guys. You sit and look at all the incredible options you have for training programs, and you finally decide on one. Then you’re not getting the results you want after three whole days (omg!), and you decide that the one you read about this morning sounds better, so you try that. We call this “program hopping.” And if you couldn’t guess, it’s terrible.

Then, blunder of blunders, you start trying to mix and match and combine aspects of each, and in the end you wind up doing an amalgamation of training protocols that isn’t just useless but often counterproductive.

You’re now no longer a program hopper; you’re a hacker. And most of the time, the failure of this method is monumentally epic. So stop thinking. Put your head down. Trust in the sources you believe in. Just do the program for 8 weeks. Sure, listen to your body, but give it some time to respond.

This is one reason that hiring coaches is so effective. They do the thinking for you. You just have to put in the work. Of course, I give my clients latitude to make some adjustments, and I like when they ask questions to learn, but if one of my clients says, “Well, Ballantyne says crunches are stupid and you have me doing one set during week three, and I really think we should…”  then they get a massive bitch slap in the form of email. Stop thinking. DO.

Along the same lines, I like for people to have several “no think” programs to fall back on. For example, whenever I’m traveling, I have three separate bodyweight workouts that I bring with me. Why? Because if I don’t have a gym, I have a program. If I find a gym but don’t rent a car to get there, I have a program. If I decide I want to play poker in Vegas and wind up staying at the table so late the gym is closed, I have a program. I recommend the workout from this blog post, The Dead Hooker Workout, to get you started.

In terms of nutrition, find 1-3 meals you can make in 5-10 minutes that are tasty and in line with your goals, and make sure you eat one of them each day. It takes thinking completely out of the equation, and makes time management a breeze. I can cook a steak in seven minutes (I like it rare) while listening to music. I can make an omelet while still in my post-workout, near-vomit euphoria. My body is on autopilot. No thinking. Just doing.

A great resource for this is Metabolic Cooking, which has tons of options for fast meals with few ingredients and almost no thought. In terms of time-management, I have a no-think system, as well. I spend exactly one hour each day answering no-think emails. These are usually customer service emails about Final Phase Fat Loss, which, to be honest, are the same five issues over and over. I don’t think. I just take care of it. It’s easy and monotonous, and I just do it.

I do this the same hour of every day, and that’s it. The more pieces you have in place that are done for you, the more successful you’ll be.

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4)  Foster Accountability

This. Is. HUGE. Probably the single biggest factor in people staying on track is accountability.

Accountability, simply, is having someone to answer to, on some level.

You’re a lot less likely to screw up if you know there will be a negative consequence. If you fall off your diet and no one knows about it, it’s easy to get in the habit of falling off your diet.

But if you tell the entire world you’re going on a diet, and then post pictures on your Facebook page — either of your meals or of yourself — you’ll be more likely to stick with that diet.

Workout partners keep you accountable. Coaches keep you accountable. Friends keep you accountable. People in your boot camp keep you accountable.

In terms of fitness, do you know who keeps me accountable? You do. My readers, that is. I know that the people reading my articles look to me as a credible source of information, and therefore they have expectations: They expect me to look the part. It’s not enough to talk the talk for my readers. I have to walk the walk, run the run and bench the damn bench.

And so, even on days when I don’t feel like training or am tempted to skip my kettlebell workout, I do it anyway, because that’s what my readers expect of me and what they know I would expect of them.

When I started on my productivity kick, I decided that I wanted to get up earlier every day. To help, I reached out to a friend of mine (who is up at 5 a.m. to work) and asked him if he could just shoot me a text each morning for the first two weeks to provide accountability and make sure my ass was out of bed.

Like a good friend, Craig sent a text every day at 7:05 for two weeks that said “U up?” I’d respond to let him know I was. Two weeks later, I took things into my own hands: I’d send him a text at 6:55 a.m. and tell him that I was awake. That was enough to build the habit and make sure I stuck with it.

In terms of writing and blogging, I sent another friend a schedule of my ideas for articles and the like, and he’d follow up with a text letting me know that if I didn’t post my blog tomorrow, I owed him 100 bucks. This is financial accountability, and you’d better believe I got my blogs up on time.

These are both examples of private accountability.  I find that as effective as that can be, public accountability is by far more effective.  Which is why when Vince Del Monte decided he was going to get into the best shape of his life and compete again, he told EVERYONE.  It was on his Facebook page.  It was on his blog.  It was in his newsletter.  Everyone knew about it.

How’d it work for him? Well, here’s a pic, you tell me:



In a similar way, social networks like Twitter and Facebook can become your de facto support network. Just tell your friends and followers your goal, and, in short order, they’ll be following up with you each and every day to make sure you’re doing the right things.

Recently, an even better way has emerged: Social networks dedicated entirely to fitness have started to pop up. The best of these is Fitocracy, an interactive community where users post about their workouts and diets, getting “experience points” and being able to level up. Communities like these encourage users to update, and this keeps them committed and inspires others to do the same.

Remember: Community + motivation + accountability = unstoppable results.  Know about it.


5) Create A Perfect Day

Finally, we come to an idea that I think will have the greatest long-term value for you. It’s the idea of a perfect day. And, no, it’s nothing like waking up next to Megan Fox and Olivia Wilde in a world where the economy is booming, ice cream gives you abs and Lindsay Lohan isn’t a train wreck.

Instead, the idea is to create a perfect day for your goal, whatever it is. Lay out your day, from the time you get up till the time you go to sleep, hour by hour. A day when you do everything right, make no mistakes and know with 100% certainty that you are closer to your goal.

Can you have a day like that often?

Probably not as often as you’d like. But if you have never stopped to think about what that day will look like, how will you know if you accidentally stumble upon it?

I suggest sketching out your perfect day, for any goal. I’ve done this for both productivity and writing, and it’s unbelievable how effective it can be. Sure, I haven’t managed to make every day perfect, but I know that each day, as long as I’m trying my best to get close and structuring my day to try to emulate my plan, I’ll make more progress than if I hadn’t done it.

The Final Word

There you have it. If you follow these five rules, you’ll be more productive in your job, at the gym and at life in general. Again, these tips can be applied to almost anything, so give it a shot in other areas.

I have ALSO created a perfect day for fat loss that I want to share with you right here.

Leave me some comments about your thoughts on the above post, and, most importantly, your tips for productivity, either with business, fitness, or general lifestyle!

About the Author

John Romaniello is a level 70 orc wizard who spends his days lifting heavy shit and his nights fighting crime. When not doing that, he serves as the Chief Bro King of the Roman Empire and Executive Editor here on RFS. You can read his articles here, and rants on Facebook.

Comments for This Entry

  • Do You Even Read, Bro? 8/2/15 — Fulton Training Systems

    […] How to Increase Your Productivity in 5 Easy Steps – John Romaniello […]

    August 2, 2015 at 10:06 am

  • Joseph Ott

    So maybe I'm a little late to the party on this one, but I was wondering where I can find "the magic hundred"? The links no longer work and I've searched it with no success in finding the actual list or book or whatever it is. It sounds like a book though, haha. Any help finding it or getting a hold of it would be awesome. :)

    July 4, 2012 at 2:51 am

  • Tom S

    John: Your blog follower Rod, made a good point and that's why I have stayed away from your blog and many others for a while....if I don't like something or something being peddled, I move on. Next time, if I come to your blog again and I see something you are referencing or not too keen on, I will send you a message via email like we have done in the past, so as to show respect to your blog and to your many followers that don't need to hear me rant on my dislikes for a person or product that you are posting about. Thanks to your blog follower Rod for pointing that out. There is way too much stuff being pushed out there in the health and fitness world and although I don't agree with much of it, I realize sometimes it's best to keep my opinion to myself or share directly with the blogger themself. I will do that next time if I have a comment that might not be suited for your site and just email you directly. Thanks again for allowing me to visit. Regards, Tom

    April 27, 2011 at 12:53 pm

  • Tom S

    Rod, Good points and points taken. That's why I very rarely come to blogs and the only guy I come to nowadays is John because I respect his opinion on health and fitness. My whole point wasn't to bash John or his readers, but almost the caveat emptor or yeah to just say "sometimes who gives a crap about all the self-help, life design, or being organized books being peddled". You made good points Rod, so I appreciate it when folks make a nice point here and there. You are right, if I don't like something I move, which is why I don't buy books from all the wannabe self-help folks on how to better my life. Really only need one book....Bible, but that's my opinion, maybe not yours or others. I am glad to see you have been enlightened from your Sifu and your walk. Just remember, opinions are like assholes, we all have them, LOL. Thanks again for your points, I appreciated them. Regards, Tom

    April 27, 2011 at 12:45 pm

  • Rod

    Say Tom S... I don't know I don't see anything wrong with anyone trying to better themselves and if they came up with a good life plan to it with then so much the better. Bruce Lee put very succinctly.. "Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless". Hey I get as annoyed as the next person when it comes down to someone comes by telling they have a better mousetrap. But I DON'T allow it to get to me.. you can let something burn a hole in your stomach.. or you can forget it and move on. I've always said "It's better to light a candle then curse your darkness.." So if you've already heard it a zillion times no need to flip out and sound like your rippin' someone a new one just because you're sick of it. Wow.. John-boy's just trying to help us out but offering a plan. It's nice to have someone offer help rather then keeping doing what you've been..(doing) Yep John, you're right it isn't a perfect world.. and Alessandra Ambrosio and I are NOT married.. living on the horse ranch in Brazil. But I can do the best I can to perfect my corner of the world... Personally if you're sick of it don't tell us.. tell whomever it is peddling their wares to you. If I were to hazard a guess I'd say something is not right in your life being as you had to post such a.. 'spirited' post. After all something had to be already burning a hole inside, and the response just was the end result. Ever since taking up chi gung meditation never before have I been so centered in my life. And God is stronger then ever before since bringing chi gung in my life. You're right.. in your life, money and your body means nothing to God indeed he does care about you loving others and Him. I don't however believe God wishes us to be carrying our sins and repentance dragging them like Jesus did. Wasn't that what he did FOR our sins? It's my belief that God doesn't want us to forget this.. but by the same token I am sure he wants us to be HAPPY. This is evidenced in not just Christianity but all religions.. Atheists or not He will allow them all the time they need to come out of their foxholes. "Faith is..... the substance of things hoped for, evidence of things not seen" That's why others try to give us a plan to organize. I can only repeat what my Sifu has repeatedly told me... "It is how I act that determines how I feel.. not how I feel that determines how I act..."

    April 26, 2011 at 10:17 pm

  • Tom S

    John: I wasn't referring to any of your ideas of the "perfect day for fat loss". I mainly commented because you wanted folks to respond or comment on the blog post itself and ideas dealing with being more productive in areas such as business, lifestyle, etc... You see, there are numerous guys like Dax Moy, Tim Ferris (names you mention) or other self-help gurus on how be more efficient or product in ones life, I was just putting it bluntantly and stating my opinion that I think all the stuff is a LOAD OF CRAP. I think what you do in health and fitness is awesome, but when you start bringing up some book by Dax Moy or the Ferriss's of the world, it's not that I don't believe in things they right about, or guys like them, it's just that when everyone and their brother starts writing about "how to be better in life" type crap, I just feel what the hell is going on in the world when all you see on the net these days is people peddeling their information products or how to improve or how to do this or that. It just gets old dude. It's like everyone is trying to be the next Tony Robbins or make a quick buck to tell people how to live or be more organized or more efficient with their life. You know what John, who gives a rat's ass if you wake up late or are not accountable one day or week, who really cares except yourself, right? The bottom line is this, if folks do believe in God or a God, life can be summed up in two things: 1. Love God with all your heart, might, and soul (unless your atheist, LOL) 2. Treat your brother or fellow man/person the way you want to be treated. If you do those two things in life, everything else works itself out and if it doesn't, who cares.....just keep living and driving on. Now, from a business standpoint, it comes down to three things: 1. PLAN 2. EXECUTE 3. CONTROL and FOLLOW-UP then start a new plan all over again, always striving to improve whatever business, workout, or life task that is important to you, your family, customers, etc..... If you always have a plan that you can execute and follow-up to improve, your life will be much's not overly huge, but if you want to be organized and have some control with your life, and PLAN is always best in all that you do. I hope that better explains my rant and my comments that are geared to your blog post. As always, thanks for allowing me to post and keep doing you man. Regards, Tom P.S. I hope your locks are growing back, LOL....

    April 26, 2011 at 8:10 pm

  • Per

    I think I read that perfect fat loss day somewhere on a guest blog that you did, but sure, bring it on! (And maybe we'll see a perfect muscle building day after that pretty please with whipped cream on Megan Fox on top?)

    April 26, 2011 at 3:12 pm

  • John Romaniello

    Hey Tom, Well, I see your point, and it's certainly good. I think that it's important to note that this is simply an exercise for fat loss. A perfect day for fat loss--as an exercise--doesn't necessarily take into account everything outside of that. My fitness is not the sole focus of my life, of course, and a good number of other things come before it. For example, in my perfect fat loss and productivity day, you don't see any mention of time spent with friends or family, or anything social at all. That works for fat loss, but it's not a perfect day overall. Rather, a day where I spend time hanging with my boys and watching the game, or going to a nice dinner with a special lady, or having Easter dinner with my family...none of those things are conducive to fat loss, BUT every single one of those days is "better" than my fat loss day. I think the exercise has great value, but I'm not trying to convince everyone to live their lives by a perfect schedule. That's no fun. I learned a long time ago that there's not reason to improve your health and live longer if you don't enjoy life. There is no reason to work for a perfect body if you're not going to enjoy the opportunities that body affords you, or take a day off and appreciate it. Your list is a good one.

    April 26, 2011 at 9:19 am

  • John Romaniello

    My tech guy is on this. I'm getting about 300 emails a day because of it. Sorry, man! Will have it fixed ASAP.

    April 26, 2011 at 9:14 am

  • Tom S

    John: I am going to have to agree to disagree with all this improve you life BS that is being spewed from all the so called life experts, life coaches, etc... After 20yrs in the military and learning every conceivable leadership, planning, goal setting, motivation, and all around way to increase time management and better ones life.....I have come to a's all SHIT. I am not being pessimistic John or to your followers, I am just a firm believer that we all need to stop the freakin' "I have to be more organized" soapbox. It really comes down to one word....BALANCE. Say for instance, you want to doing NOTHING one day or wake up late one day or say screw the diet one day. Sticking to all the TO-DO-LIST crap in itself may be a great concept, but when folks come back to reality and say, "You know what, it's OK to not do the list today, it's OK to say I am going to have the cheat day with diet or exercise, or just sleep in and do nothing" I am sick and tired of all the being organized or self-help crap being sold in the form of some book, eBook, informational product.. The bottom line.....HAVE BALANCE in your life and don't try and do so much that you forget to LIVE YOUR LIFE. I don't want to preach, but this is what I was always taught with how one should live life. 1. Put God first in all you do each day 2. Live for your Spouse or Family next 3. Live for your kids after that 4. Focus on your work, career, etc.. 5. Whatever else you decide to put on your list of priorities. Now I know John, you may not have a lot of Christian type or religious folks on this site and many folks are looking to improve the OUTSIDE from your health and fitness expertise....but as I get older (now going on 43yo) I always remember my Catholic mother telling me to put God first, otherwise you don't have a good base in your life. So for all your followers, what ever your spirituality is, put that first, before working on the outside appearance or trying to make more money in ones life. Because, when it's all said and done, the money and physical appearance don't mean crap to our God....he cares about LOVING OTHERS and LOVING HIM comletely. I apologize John if I offend anyone on your site, but just had to speak up since I respect your knowledge on health and fitness and wanted to give you another take, since I know your Italian upbrining, religion and family are hugely important. Thanks man for allowing me to post once again on your sight, since I don't do it that often. Regards, Tom

    April 26, 2011 at 1:00 am

  • Rod

    Can we PLEASE.. have an OPTION TO SHUT OFF THE F*CKING COMMENTS!!! It's nice at first.. but it gets pretty damn sucky if you check your mailbox and you get like 20 comments!! **NOTE to everyone else.. NEVER check the "receive an e-mail when new comments are posted" just check in occasionally.. DON'T CHECK THAT DAMN BOX!!!!

    April 25, 2011 at 11:14 pm

  • John Romaniello

    Hey, thanks for picking up FPFL. Definitely go ahead and start the program. Supplements are just supplementary (obv), so no need to wait. You can do the program without them for a bit to great success!

    April 25, 2011 at 5:49 pm

  • John Romaniello

    LOL! I KNEW I FORGOT SOMETHING. Damn it. Someone hire me an assistant so I can remember to add more bullshit. I appreciate that =) Honestly, I have a hard time shutting up as it is, so if I add BS my posts will be like 7000 words. None of us have time for that!

    April 25, 2011 at 5:47 pm

  • Deb

    Have you been watching me???? I have a stack of goals to achieve this year including busting out pull-ups, running my first half-marathon, finishing the second year of my Architecture Diploma, and getting my life organised! Trying to squeeze: exercise, study, 3 kids, running a house and doing the admin for my husband's business, (plus a heap of other side stuff like school committees etc.) into my busy life is crazy without a schedule. What a timely post to me to hurry up and get my sh*t in gear, get my schedule DONE already and organise myself instead of just winging it everyday. I am juggling so much that I tend to drop more than one ball at times which is mega-frustrating and costly in terms of time and sometimes even money (late fees anyone??)! I am writing up my perfect day as soon as I finish posting this comment, and then moving onto finishing my daily schedule I started writing a few months back. Shame on me. But thanks Roman! You rock.

    April 25, 2011 at 6:03 am

  • sam

    Megan Fox and Olivia Wilde? You sir have good taste in women. :)

    April 24, 2011 at 10:15 pm

  • Nora

    Hey Roman, Thats really great stuff, definitely gonna give it a shot! But I actually had a question about FPFL 2.0, I just bought it and was looking through the exercises and got confused, In lactic acid workout #5 Set A and set B You did not specify how many time to repeat the circuit. Same thing for lactic acid workout #1 set A and set B. So if you could just let me know that would be awesome! Also would I be needing a lot of equipment to do this? and I really cant afford the prograde stuff so would that stall my results? or should I not start FPFL until I CAN get the prograde stuff? and while we are on the program are we allowed to do other workouts along with the ones in FPFL? Thanks a lot Roman, your techniques are great! Nora~

    April 23, 2011 at 1:31 am

  • Richard

    Roman, there appears to be one or more levels of bullsh*t missing in your program. If I'm missing something, shame on me; otherwise, thanks for being real.

    April 22, 2011 at 9:09 pm

  • Pete Stevens

    Keep them coming, Roman. Yoiu do a great job separating the information 'wheat from the chaff' for me. Have a great Easter weekend. Pete Stevens

    April 22, 2011 at 5:26 pm

  • Grace

    John - It sounds so simple and yet it seems like it makes a HUGE difference. I am going to try it! Thanks for the post keep them coming.

    April 22, 2011 at 1:44 pm

  • Rod

    I love the information.. great stuff! Though speaking of lame.. how you shut OFF the comment notice? I mean.. Holy f*ck, how do you STOP hearing about new comments?

    April 22, 2011 at 12:53 pm

  • Grinder

    Thanks man! You're an inspiration to me

    April 22, 2011 at 11:18 am

  • Joseph

    Some of these are definitely things I knew about, but things that I haven't been able to stick to consistently. Some of them are completely new to me. I love the info, and I'm definitely going to try implementing them in a systematic fashion. What's also funny is that I am slowly discovering that I also do much better when there is some kind of structure already in place (even if it's not everything that's laid out in a particular program, just enough to provide basics and groundwork). Thanks for the awesome blog!

    April 22, 2011 at 9:24 am

  • Ty

    I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that living a productive lifestyle while Not being awake within an hour of sunrise takes more work than waking up between 6 and 8 Every Day.

    April 22, 2011 at 2:28 am

  • Mary

    Great advice - now it's time to implement your tips! Thanks!

    April 22, 2011 at 12:41 am

  • Tim

    Good stuff Roman. I sporadically write things down. Which is stupid that I don't make it a full on habit since I know that when I do I AM MORE PRODUCTIVE. Your post here is the kick in the biscuits I need to just make it a stinkin' habit. Thanks, Tim

    April 21, 2011 at 2:24 pm

  • Shelby Meidinginger

    Love the posts, keep on sending them.

    April 21, 2011 at 1:48 pm

  • John Romaniello

    I do indeed have some incredible friends. And, regarding foam rolling, I do have a blog about it! Enjoy =)

    April 21, 2011 at 1:02 pm

  • Kirk

    Thank you so much!

    April 21, 2011 at 12:40 pm

  • Tish

    Thank you for the reminders! While none of your tips are new new, it's great to rethink and reflect and remind ourselves - they really do work! So what is it about us people-types that makes it soooo difficult to learn in, as you say, all aspects of our lives? I'm at procrastination station for some writing I have to get done, so today I'm working on the accountability piece... As for a perfect day - well it's starting out pretty good right now - thanks!

    April 21, 2011 at 12:35 pm

  • BJN

    Great Blog! I get up early to workout and then find myself wasting time when I could be accomplishing a lot more! And I love CREATE A "NO THINK" SYSTEM with clients.

    April 21, 2011 at 12:16 pm

  • Tom

    Great blog. As someone who can do the workouts and take supplements consistently, i suffer from laziness & fear of cooking my own meals.Partly by habit due to being a traveling salesman (no excuse) your advice makes sense.I would like to see maybe a video or blog on foam rollers.This to me is a head scratcher.Thanks!! John- you have some great friends.

    April 21, 2011 at 11:37 am

  • flora

    Loved it!!! Want more!!!!!!!!

    April 21, 2011 at 11:32 am

  • Raj

    Very nice post!!! I think that none of the tips you stated I followed. I am going to start now!! Thanks!!!

    April 21, 2011 at 11:16 am

  • Mitch

    This is good stuff. I once again find myself need to drag my broken ass back up in the saddle. This helps. Read a great quote the other day written on a gym wall that I visited, "Discipline is remembering what you want."

    April 21, 2011 at 10:48 am

  • Michael

    Good stuff :)

    April 21, 2011 at 9:52 am

  • Rod

    As my Sifu told me.. "Habits determine your future.. a good habit is the same as a bad habit, it's just something you've developed over the years.. good or bad --habits determine our future. It takes 21 days to create a habit. After 21 days you own that habit!"

    April 21, 2011 at 9:05 am

  • Sheryl

    Great post (as always) Roman! A life coach I talked to once told me to always replace a bad habit with a good habit so your body doesn't feel a void - making it more likely to successfully kick said bad habit - and that it takes 21 days to form a habit. Mixing that with your blog post: if you can last 3 weeks then the remaining 79 days should be easier, and will serve to reinforce the good habits, making them a part of your regular life.

    April 21, 2011 at 8:15 am

  • Ernie

    Next to women I like sleeping best.

    April 21, 2011 at 8:04 am

  • JB

    cool blog John, you're a thinking mans thinker! haha

    April 21, 2011 at 7:12 am

  • Guillaume


    April 21, 2011 at 7:08 am

  • Joy

    Hey, thanx!!!! I don't feel so bad about going to bed round 1am any more......

    April 21, 2011 at 6:51 am

  • Roan

    Inspiring stuff! I've been in the self-help world, becoming the best you, removing all obstacles world for some time now and it really works. I am way more productive then I used to be! It's fun and gives a great feeling of fulfillment :D Three 'Yay's' for constantly improving!

    April 21, 2011 at 6:29 am

  • Denis

    Helpful. When I bought the program I read through it to master the general Idea and have a look at the when, the how, the what, the etc. It becomes easily confusing at first trying to incorporate new ways of : when to eat, what to eat, when to workout, what exercise to do and all this being added to our already busy day. These tips will help organize the day and make it more easy to achieve my objectives. Thanks

    April 21, 2011 at 5:51 am

  • Tom

    Thanks Roman. There is a lot of crazy info out there and I really feel like your blogs are the best there are. While you do try to sell me stuff from time to time, hey we are all trying to make a buck, I like that you walk the walk and give me real tangible advice that I can use. Again, for me, you seem to know me to my core. You know the stupid shit I do and why I do it. Thanks for being awesome. When I grow up I want to be just like you.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:43 am

  • Sumeet

    awesome post Roman!! - will definitely try implementing few of them going forward. Keep up the good work

    April 21, 2011 at 5:37 am

  • William

    Nice post Roman! I actually really enjoyed it, although it wasn't a fitness post per se, it was very useful. Not sure I would like my mates texting me and telling me I owe them money, if I didn't have something done on time, though. You must have better friends that me ;o)

    April 21, 2011 at 5:04 am

  • Natalie

    Thanks Roman, just the wake up call I needed to get me out of my lethargy and self-pity mode! And I have been guilty of program hopping and a bit of hacking I'm afraid:-(

    April 21, 2011 at 4:04 am

  • rolonde

    nice, lots of stuff i identify with there. I can be a bit of a thinker and program hopper. Some good simple/straightforward tips here, where are the side-boobs man?

    April 21, 2011 at 2:51 am

  • Wilfried

    Great! And very useful (I'm a kinda "overthinker" :S)!

    April 21, 2011 at 2:11 am

  • Rick

    I like your 5 solid tips and even more the real value and reality of your commentary. Gotta love the perfect day scenario ... I tend to wander and setting up the perfect day in your head may actually get it going more than not. Excellent insights Roman.

    April 21, 2011 at 1:49 am

  • randy

    I love this article. It feels lke a good wakeup call. Good way to organize like the 90 day wonder(are you familiar wth that roman?). I think ive been doing this every now and then when i have to get a lot of things done. I put "things to do" on an index card and while you dont get everything down, your productivty increases 100 percent. The challenge s staying on track, you will have lazy days or rest days and just simply forget. The hard part for me mght be getting up on time everyday. wich means sleeping on time. Sometimes life gets in the way( a night out with friends, an unplanned breakup and other lifechanging stuff). But this is an awesome article nontheless. BRAVO!!!!

    April 21, 2011 at 1:01 am

  • Ely

    Hey thanks for the blog! As someone said it really is kinda no brainer stuff but for me its not something I think about (or do...) so reading it tonight was great! I especially liked the no-thinking rule. I seriously overcomplicate things sometimes (...alot lol). Thanks again for the ideas :) and well done on your increased productivity :) oh btw, as far creativity goes, check out "the artist's way" it's helped me.

    April 21, 2011 at 12:11 am

  • Donovan

    59; just kidding ;) I really like your energy Roman...the blogs, the random video rants (you with diet coke vs bathroom coke...ROCKED)...anyways, this is a great angle for motivating all parts of your one aspect reaches a higher level, it only makes sense to bring all the others along.

    April 21, 2011 at 12:08 am

  • Annie

    I think the one thing that makes me more productive in ANY situation is attitude and by that, I mean a positive attitude. I ALWAYS find a silver lining to any situation because there is one! By doing that, I can keep going rather than give up or get discouraged......discouragement is NOT allowed in my life!!!

    April 21, 2011 at 12:00 am

  • Rod

    Terrific tips even if some are no brainers for a few of us. I'm also into chi gung meditation and one of techniques I have learned is how to still your mind. Relax your body.. stop the thoughts.. still the mind.. why would you need to do this? Because sometimes at the beginning of a workout (using tip # 2 getting up earlier and thusly working out --after all you're more dedicated if you can come home from work and you've already worked out to say nothing of benefits of working out first thing in morning) your mind wanders.. what you have to do today.. what you did yesterday.. what's coming up --a party a business meeting.. you need a technique that's going to still your mind and clear it of any extraneous thoughts. Simply.. hold your breath for a count.. 10 secs.. 20 secs.. 30 secs.. then concentrate on the task at hand --AND FINISH IT focus on finishing and doing that ONE THING..

    April 20, 2011 at 11:34 pm

  • Peter Allitt

    these tips sound like very good advice. I especially like the 'write it down', 'get up early' and the 'perfect day'. I too prefer structure in my life and with the way I work, sometimes I'm very busy and sometimes I have time to kick back. If I can aim for my 'perfect day' on the days where I am not busy then who knows how often I can acheive it. Thanks for continuing to inspire me.

    April 20, 2011 at 11:09 pm

  • Megan

    I am a list-maker! Always have makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something during the day, even if it's "laundry" or "put gas in the car". One of my best friends and I have the buddy system via text also, when it comes to the gym (and life in general). We are 250 miles apart but still do a check-in. The whole waking up earlier is tough when I don't have to get up for work. I love my sleep. :-)

    April 20, 2011 at 11:02 pm

  • rathna

    Excellent set of 5. Now for 100 reps to make it a habit:-) Thanks!

    April 20, 2011 at 10:51 pm

  • Ben

    Great post Roman! Informative and entertaining. Thanks!

    April 20, 2011 at 10:34 pm

  • Peter

    Some good points, main thing is to be goal oriented and dont make any excuses for failures. Just constantly adapt and persevere.

    April 20, 2011 at 10:20 pm

  • Joanne Butler

    Great post. I use all of these techniques with my clients. Those with the best 'before and afters' and the biggest achievements are the ones who've taken these ideas on board. I especially like 'write it down' and 'foster accountability' Jo

    April 20, 2011 at 10:09 pm

  • j

    i just realized i'm a program hopper and a hacker

    April 20, 2011 at 9:59 pm

  • Shawn

    Enjoying the blogs. Have been exercising every day, but have been off the wieghts - other than pushups and pullups. Need to get back to the lifting workouts to hit the next level i think... (52 lbs lost to date though!)

    April 20, 2011 at 9:35 pm

  • Heidi

    Great post!!!!! Simple things like this make a huge difference in "getting things done." Thanks for the reminded plus new ideas. Also, want to let you know I'm not program hopping or hacking :) I purchased FPFL and am in week 5. OMG what a tuff program!!!! I keep telling my husband I WILL NEVER DO THIS AGAIN :) it is so hard, however, my body is re-shaping and for the last 10 days I've been using Metabolic Cooking ... hoping the results will be "picture worthy" at the end of the month. MY favorite workouts are the Lactic Acid and Dynamic Workouts. As a female, I hate the Strength workouts, but at last you've got me doing them :) and the Density workouts are really challenging. You've really created a great program and I will be glad when I am done. BTW your results look outstanding,

    April 20, 2011 at 9:23 pm

  • TJ Carrell

    I have no problem sticking to my program. If anything, exercising has become addictive to me. If I do not go to the gym for two days, my sleep starts deteriorating. I don't feel right and when I DO go to the gym right after work 5 nights a week, I feel great, amped, ready to do anything! No trouble sleeping at all. My weakness is eating the right foods, in the right amounts. If I get too weird with the meals, the wife gets ticked. She just doesn't understand my goals and she thinks I am nuts at times. It can cause problems. I do the best I can, though, and have gone from a 44 inch waist at 250 lbs, to a 33 inch waist and now weigh about 174, give or take a couple pounds. Putting on muscle, with my arthritis, is not easy, but I keep plugging away and I see some improvement. For almost 57 years old.... I have done quite well.

    April 20, 2011 at 9:03 pm

  • Matty

    .... on your perfect day, still no shot with olivia and megan?? There is a quote. " How you do anything, is how you do everything" If you doubt your abilitiy to enjoy the delectible taste of a "wilde fox", where else are you creating doubt in your life? Love and light, Matty

    April 20, 2011 at 9:00 pm

  • Joe

    Awesome post Roman! This is just what I needed after a horrible and less than productive day in the office.

    April 20, 2011 at 8:44 pm

  • Rodrigo

    This was Great!

    April 20, 2011 at 8:41 pm

  • Pat

    Very good ideas!! Now I need to make myself do them. Thanx

    April 20, 2011 at 8:20 pm

  • lpa

    these are ideas I have come up with for my own life in the last few years, when I have taken the time to really take care of myself. when one really looks inwards, great things happen. thanks for such a succinct summary! :)

    April 20, 2011 at 8:17 pm

  • Connie

    Great ideas, as always. I will work on the first couple to make a start and try to get all 5 in use by summer. Thanks for all your guidance.

    April 20, 2011 at 8:07 pm

  • Larry

    Super article! Lists are a great motivator and help keep you on-track.

    April 20, 2011 at 7:59 pm

  • Joseph

    This is your best post yet! Go for it! Don't limit yourself to fitness. Fitness is one (important) piece of the puzzle.

    April 20, 2011 at 7:57 pm

  • Mike Echague

    So that's why I see this ripped guy in the gym writing down stuff after every set of his workout. Will buy a notebook then. It's the low tech Twitter. :-)

    April 20, 2011 at 7:50 pm

  • rocky

    The getting up earlier thing is so true and Vince is the man when it comes to making his goals public. And he never let's us down either.

    April 20, 2011 at 7:46 pm

  • Rick

    Great ideas Roman!! Going to start using some of these tips tomorrow. And, Congratulations on making to 78 days!

    April 20, 2011 at 7:34 pm

  • Carolyn

    Great post. I'm a list I'll need to work on getting up early!

    April 20, 2011 at 7:34 pm

  • Christine

    I particularly like #3 ... reminded me of that saying "Failing to plan is planning to fail" - if you have a map for the day ahead (meals, training, other activities to be completed/worked on), it means you expend your energy on getting things done rather than thinking about what you "should" be doing. There are plenty of programs out there that will work if given their due but for many people, it's a challenge to create the necessary focus and make the time in their day to get stuck into it. This sort of information is the real key IMO - thanks Roman!

    April 20, 2011 at 7:25 pm

  • Jill

    Bring it on! Need daily dose of motivation, no matter how good you are.Loving your blogs, keep it up.

    April 20, 2011 at 7:11 pm

  • Guillaume

    Hi Roman Very interesting blog. With Motivation and Accountability ! These are great tips! Thanks

    April 20, 2011 at 7:03 pm

  • Larena

    Love getting the emails - perfect fat loss day, sounds like a good read. I'm interested to know if you should stop training if you are experiencing muscle soreness, until it goes away - or if you should still train but lightly?

    April 20, 2011 at 6:52 pm

  • Jean

    Inspirational AND motivational! Will have to pursue the Magic 100.

    April 20, 2011 at 6:42 pm

  • Andrea

    Steps 1-5 are wonderful and very easy to grasp! Cell phone pics for meals is awesome as well as creating a perfect day. Planning ahead of time makes a huge difference in how my day goes!

    April 20, 2011 at 6:42 pm

  • Terry

    Great post! I very much like those themes - especially the Write It Down! I just started using a cool cloud computing service called Evernote (I have no financial interest in this outfit - but I almost wish I did). It lets you store everything: handwritten notes, anything from the web or e-mail, scanned docs, photos, voice notes, etc. and makes them searchable and available from any computer...and it's free! Makes great to-dos also.

    April 20, 2011 at 6:40 pm

  • Miguel

    amazingly productive to be able to write that up in just 20 min.! Can't wait to hear about the "perfect fat loss day"!!

    April 20, 2011 at 6:39 pm

  • Melissa

    I have to get up at 4am to go to work. On my days off I am usually get up by 530. Dont really think I can get up any earlier.

    April 20, 2011 at 6:35 pm

  • John Romaniello

    Much appreciated, my Jersey Boy friend. Thanks for stopping by =)

    April 20, 2011 at 6:34 pm

  • Kathleen

    Great article. The Perfect Day is the best idea I've heard of in ages. I am new to your site and look forward to yours posts. Love your style and your abs!

    April 20, 2011 at 6:22 pm

  • Tony Roe

    Very cool post, Roman. I've noticed that getting up at a set time (around 7) every morning has really helped me out. I started doing it so I could foam roll and go through some dynamic warmups before lifting and then just kept doing them every day - lifting or not - because I found that I'd just sleep later and that seemed to carry on into the rest of my day. I'm very interested in "The Magic Hundred" now - might have to look into it. ;) Thanks!

    April 20, 2011 at 6:21 pm

  • John Romaniello

    As always, we would be lost without your erudition, master Kerley.

    April 20, 2011 at 6:17 pm

  • Jim Labadie

    You are a very talented writer, my friend from LI. Great post.

    April 20, 2011 at 6:16 pm

  • John Romaniello

    I really appreciate that, David. Means a lot and I'll absolutely continue to do my best and improve my writing even further.

    April 20, 2011 at 6:16 pm

  • Michael kerlz


    April 20, 2011 at 6:16 pm

  • David

    Roman, Besides having great info, your writing is as good as it gets! You're one of the few people I "click through" regularly because of both the great content and the unbelievably fun writing style. What a winning combo. Thanks!

    April 20, 2011 at 6:10 pm

  • John Romaniello

    ha! As I said, I'm better with big ideas than details. I normally just wait for someone to point out errors and then correct them. Hopefully, by Day 100 I won't make errors anymore.

    April 20, 2011 at 6:10 pm

  • Kia

    Very good... I especially like the idea of getting a clear idea of your own perfect day and creating it. Look forward to your next post on your perfect fat loss day - Thanks!

    April 20, 2011 at 6:10 pm

  • jess

    good info..will look into this...but, I am guessing that the 22 min. it took to write this blog did'nt include time to spell check or proof...just sayin'

    April 20, 2011 at 6:06 pm

  • Sirena

    Awesome post Roman! I stumbled upon Dax's program a couple years ago and still carry my original 100 list. On a new list now, and steadily making my way through. I bet you can't guess what (who) made #54 on my current list? :)) S

    April 20, 2011 at 6:04 pm

  • Karen Praxel

    OMG! I love the idea of taking a picture of your meals with the cel phone! GENIUS. I struggle with a similar lifestyle. I am a brilliant employee, tell me what to do and I'm your gal. But I want freedom! Creativity! A bohemian lifestyle!! What?!?! I have to create it out of nothing?!?! This is a go-to list! Thanks JR.

    April 20, 2011 at 5:59 pm

  • Ron Fox

    Great Tips! I needed # 3 especially. I so often rethink, overthink, and I need to practice to set up the goal and then just follow through on working towards the goal for the day and not to rethink it to death. Thanks for the great tips!!

    April 20, 2011 at 5:57 pm

  • Debbie

    I have always been a list maker so the writing things down already works. It's the over-thinking that gets to me! Okay, so I can work on that! These are great tips! Thanks!

    April 20, 2011 at 5:53 pm

  • becky

    The info about overthinking really resonated with me. I'm afraid I'm a bit of a program hacker! Awareness is the first step! I'll do better.

    April 20, 2011 at 5:39 pm

  • Joe

    Great post as usual! With exams soon and a holiday straight after, trying to get in my revision and gym time/diet is not easy but i will definitely implement these ideas so thanks =) Any ideas on a perfect muscle gain day?

    April 20, 2011 at 5:32 pm

  • Richard

    Gonna check this out. I feel like I'm on autopilot lately and not in a good way

    April 20, 2011 at 5:29 pm

  • DanhDoan

    DEFINITELY agree with accountability. I realize that the more and more I tell people that I'm gonna do "so and so" then I'll be more likely to accomplish it

    April 20, 2011 at 5:14 pm

  • John

    Yep. The more you want to accomplish, the more organized you have to be. Discipline is a habit and a process. Good stuff.

    April 20, 2011 at 5:14 pm

  • Andrew

    Agreed, the magic hundred was something I heard about a few years ago and it's great. Love the increase in posts on the blog

    April 20, 2011 at 4:53 pm

  • Deborah

    OK, I'm up and running on the first 4 but never thought of the 5th, but what a thought provoking and motivating idea. Will get to it. Thanks :)

    April 20, 2011 at 4:49 pm

  • scott

    You nailed it with me that is so huge...thanks for the good blog

    April 20, 2011 at 4:48 pm

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