How To Start Working Smarter, And Not Harder !

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Do you know how to work smart and not hard? I recently read a chapter of Brendan Burchard’s High Performance Habits that spoke to me on a deeper level. The summary of this chapter was this, (said over the course of a few pages) it summed up that: Taking out the trash, while it needs to get done, is not part of being productive…

Burchard, a New York Times, Best-Seller and Life-Coach states that high performers have one thing in common with each other above all else. That thing? PQO he calls it. What does it stand for?

Prolific, Quality, Output… Recipes for Success

Examples of people who fit such practice are solid statements of what producing things does for the world. The Beatles are one of the greats, and they produced more music than anyone else at the time, and some songs were great hits. Mozart, Beethoven, Louis Armstrong, all made more music than their counterparts. Micheal Jordan took more shots, Babe Ruth more swings, and Apple had more successful product launches than Microsoft simply because they launched more products.

That got their name out there, but Microsoft’s marketing methods had allowed them to dominate 90% of the entire market come the end of the 90’s. So when Steve Jobs was hired he essentially scrapped a bunch of products to focus intensely on the few best-selling. His initiative to take the company that focused on Prolificity or Prolificness, and get them to move their efforts toward Quality and Output has made Apple the company it is today.

“Figuring out what you are supposed to produce, and learning the priorities in the creation, quality, and frequency of that output, is one of the greatest breakthroughs you can have in your career.” –Brendan Burchard’s High Performance Habits p.189

Wayne Gretzky said “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”.

I could go on about the historical accuracy and proclivity in which this axiom finds itself rooted deeply, and even in the darkest corners of society.

Hercules had 12 Labours, not one of which was easy. He also did some vile and terrible deeds to elicit such a hard reconciliation in retrospect. (See our Free Historical Poems under our Instagram),

The Romans had so many people under their command and in their borders they had to allow everyone to practice their own religion and language. Something unheard of in the imperial and mostly-dictatorial civic bodies of yesterday. Sure the idea of Democracy started in Greece as you may know. But it is often argued that the United States has the longest continually running democracy.

The term democracy, which means “rule by the people,” was coined by the Greeks of ancient Athens to describe their city-state’s system of self-rule. It reached its golden age around 430 B.C. under the skilled orator and politician Pericles. It is probable that the Athenians were not the first group of people to adopt such a system (a few places in India have traditions of local democracy that claim earlier origins), Because the Greeks named it, they have a good claim at being the “first” democracy, even though large portions of Athenian society—most notably women and slaves—could not participate.


The title of oldest continuously functioning democracy is more hotly contested. Iceland, the Faroe Islands and the Isle of Man all have local parliaments founded in the ninth and 10th centuries. When Vikings pillaged, plundered and set up legislative bodies on the sea-islands of far northern Europe. Iceland’s national parliament, the Althing, dates back to A.D. 930, but it spent centuries under Norwegian and Danish rule. Man and the Faroes, meanwhile, remain dependencies of the United Kingdom and Denmark, respectively.

The United States is among the oldest modern democracies, but it is only the oldest if the criteria are refined to disqualify claimants ranging from Switzerland to San Marino. Some historians suggest that the Native American Six Nations confederacy (Iroquois). It traces its consensus-based government tradition across eight centuries, is the oldest living participatory democracy. Others point out that meaningful democracy only arrived at a national level in 1906. When Finland became the first country to abolish race and gender requirements for both voting and for serving in government. –Nate Barksdale

When I was doing door-to-door I had only a 1 in 20 percent chance of closing a customer… Meaning I had to hit 80 houses and face 76 usually cold, hard rejections, just to make 4 deals. Needing less to say, your take from this should be to focus evermore on the work that does matter, and ever lesser on the things that don’t.

Part of Your Job is to figure out what PQO means to you

What work is the most relevant to your position? For the Writer; this might be creating better and more engaging content on a more regular basis. For the Salesman; maybe it’s setting up meetings with more qualified prospects who are less likely to waste your time. The Restaurant worker might put more effort into the quality of care they put into their cooking or customer services. The academic maybe well should be publishing more papers. And the Classicist Marketer might have to make more references to antiquity in much deeper contexts.


Production, is both Progress, and Power!

What does PQO mean to you?


Mackenzie Andres

Founder | Head of Copy



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