aaron-lynn-asian-efficiency-high-performer

I’m Aaron Lynn And This Is What Makes Me a High Performer

You are given 24 drops of time every day. Whether you choose to drink, spend, or invest them – we’ll show you how to do it efficiently.

This is the first thing you see when you visit the website of our next guest in the “Habits and Habitats of High Performer” interview series. Productivity expert, big-time blogger, social media celebrity and a world traveler with a passion for taking things apart, putting them back together and pushing the limits of what’s possible. He is an Efficient Asian at Asian Efficiency. A wildly popular website dedicated to teaching people how to get things done in a smarter and more efficient way.

But teaching productivity and time management to other people is one thing, putting it to practice each and every day, that’s the real challenge (I speak from experience here).

Let’s see how he does it (quite successfully as you’ll see).

Please welcome Aaron Lynn from Asian Efficiency.

Aaron, take it away…

Who are you and what do you do?

I manage operations and am a team member at Asian Efficiency. Our company’s vision is to make the world a more productive place, and right now that translates into creating great content and products about productivity for professionals and business owners.

What’s the first thing that you do when you wake up?

I drink 500ml of water.

How does your typical day look like (start, end, type of activities)?

My morning routine takes about an hour. It involves all the usual stuff like washing up and getting dressed. It ends with a review of yesterday’s wins (something I learned from Marc and Angel) and a review of my outcomes for today. I don’t eat breakfast, but I do like to drink green tea in the morning.

I then tackle my most important, or taxing task for the day, which is usually producing content for one of our products or for our blog. This typically takes up most of my morning.

When my most important outcome is done, I’ll either go work out, or work on a secondary task until lunch time.

Lunch is my first meal of the day, after which I try to read for at least 30 minutes and then get in some downtime, or do some lighter tasks like clearing email and checklists.

aaron lynn asian efficiency

Aaron during a downtime moment!

In the afternoon I try to get in a second round of heavy tasks and project work – which could be anything from a development project we have going on, or handling some of the back-office stuff.

I close out my day with dinner, spending some time with my girlfriend and then an evening routine (Note from Kosio: here’s how you can create one for yourself) to wind down towards sleep.

Besides sleep, what activity takes the most out of your day/night?

“Work” for Asian Efficiency. I put that in quotes because the lines between it being “hard work” and “a lot of fun” tends to get blurry :)

How many emails pass through your inbox every day?

My personal inbox – less than 5.

Our combined company-wide inboxes – close to 100, but we have more than 1 person on them.

How often do you think about your goals, review them, and take action on them?

Every day and every night. I have a system and structure for reviewing goals every day, week, fortnight, month, quarter and year.

In terms of action – every moment that I can. One of the definitions of productivity is the amount of time you spend moving towards your goals. With the exception of sleep, I try to make that as close to 100% of the time as possible.

What are the essential habits that you’ve formed to help you achieve your goals?

The system of reviews and reminders I mentioned above.

Also, in no specific order: working out, self-discipline, ability to focus.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

There are a lot, so will try to keep this concise :)

Work Apps: Atlassian OnDemand, Dropbox for Teams, Google Apps.

Personal Apps: Evernote, OmniFocus, Spotify, Whatsapp/LINE/Facebook Messenger, Mind Manager, 1password.

Gear: iPhone. iPad. Bose QC15 Noise Cancelling Headphones. Combo printer/scanner (for going paperless).

What’s your workspace setup like (brownie points for including a picture)?

I have a 27″ iMac with a second Apple Cinema Display. Being able to open 4 full-size windows at the same time is extremely productive.

Apple USB keyboard + Logitech Performance MX mouse + Apple Magic Trackpad. I love Apple keyboards and usually switch back between a mouse and trackpad depending on what I’m doing.

My workspace furniture is nothing fancy – I picked up an office desk from SB Furniture which is a local brand in Thailand. For my work chair I recently picked up a Steelcase Think.

aaron lynn workspace

Aaron’s Workstation

What’s your best time-saving trick?

Plan out your tasks for tomorrow the night before. Seems simple, but it makes a world of difference.

How do you deal with failure and how do you pick yourself up if you are struggling?

It’s just part of the process.

It also helps to have a great team that you can share the highs and the lows with and bounce ideas off.

What motives you to do what you do?

A combination of my own goals and what I’ve seen other people do.

What’s in your RSS reader (what blogs do you follow)?

These are completely random, but:

http://signalvnoise.com/posts
http://blog.asmartbear.com/
http://blogs.atlassian.com/
http://rippedbody.jp/
http://blog.highperformancelifestyle.net/
http://calnewport.com/
http://tuckermax.me/
http://jamesclear.com/blog
http://www.marcandangel.com/

If you invite me for a cup of tea what types of books would I find on your shelf at home (more brownie points for including a picture)?

A pretty weird mix of business books, assorted fiction, history books, bibliographies and general non-fiction stuff about societies and politics.

aaron lynn bookshelf

If you could have dinner with any person (dead or alive) who would it be and what would you ask them?

Lee Kuan-Yew, the former Prime Minister of Singapore.

I’d ask him what he would do to develop China/Asia/the world based on what he did with Singapore.

Over to you now

This is how Aaron walks the talk. The biggest takeaway from how he works, something that you can put to practice tomorrow, is always have a plan for the current/next day and take some time to review your “wins” from the one before. This will keep your productive, but also happy and motivated to keep going, and both are equally important.

If you want to learn more about Aaron and Asian Efficiency (which I highly recommend you do) visit their blog here, enjoy all the articles and guides, and make sure to sign up for their free (and awesome) newsletters!

If you really want to take your productivity and performance to the next level, check out the “Productivity Blueprint”, Asian Efficiency’s flagship training course. It is a step-by-step system, delivered in a series of videos, which will take you from where you are now to being focused, able to eliminate procrastination and distractions and be able to handle email effortlessly.

What is your biggest takeaway from this interview? Share in the comment section below: