Smacked 5 times

Andy Meikle was interviewing one of the real-life Last Samurai. During the interview, he got slapped five times.

Over the last 20 years, Andy has interviewed and worked with some of the world’s finest minds and organisations which lead him to build one of the largest and most unique human high performance data banks in the world. 

One of the individuals he interviewed was one of the last Samurai Master. Turns out, this Samurai wasn’t being rude. He was teaching a lesson in performance. When Andy’s mind wandered, the slaps brought him back. Talk about an intense performance technique!

Bonjour, in this video, I want to make a few simple suggestions that could really have an impact on your performance. 

Now, speaking of performance, I’m currently in the mesmerizing city of Bangkok, soaking in the luxurious vibes of the Four Seasons hotel. Stunning views—it’s truly a gem.

I just wrapped up a workshop with leaders from a global chemical organization. We dived into a topic that hits home for many: FOCUS. In a world of constant emails, back-to-back meetings, and a million things demanding attention, creating focus seems like catching a unicorn.

Here are a few simple but game-changing suggestions we explored: 

1.      Book a Date With Yourself:

Imagine booking a meeting but with yourself. I suggested to these leaders that they pick a specific time and detail exactly what they want to focus on. Instead of generic labels like “thinking time,” it’s more like “Wednesday, 10–11 AM: Prep for Next Week’s Team Offsite.” Specificity is key. 

2.      Protect Your Focus:

Interruptions are productivity killers. We’re likely to be interrupted every three minutes in the business world. Every three minutes… So, the idea is to create a distraction-free zone. Turn off tools, silence your phone, maybe even hide in a room if you’re working from home. It’s about shielding yourself from those sneaky distractions. 

3.      Rituals for Deep Work:

Waiting for inspiration is a trap. Instead, create rituals. I shared my “plan, do, format” ritual. Plan what you want to achieve, dive into the work, and then format what you’ve accomplished. This ritual sets the stage for deep focus and productivity. 

Why does this matter? Well, according to the research Andy McCall did with top performers worldwide, the ability to create focus is a defining characteristic. When you manage to hone in, you become five times more productive.

So, my question for you is this: How skilled are you at creating deep focus on what truly matters to you on a regular basis? 

This is this week’s Work Smarter: Live Better tip.  

Wishing you an incredibly focused and productive day! 

A bientôt,


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