Productivity Tip #22: Choose Your Friends Carefully

Ben Franklin's Guide To ProductivityThe following is an excerpt from Ben Franklin’s Guide To Productivity–the new book I posted on Kindle this week. I hope you find it useful food for thought.

Choose your friends carefully

The rotten Apple spoils his Companion. [Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1736]

Just as one rotten apple in a bushel basket will soon cause other apples to become rotten, so one rotten person will soon cause other people around him to be rotten.

This affects our productivity more than we realize. If we hang around successful people who are busy improving the world or at least their world, we’ll be more motivated and likely to be busy improving our world. If those we hang out with aren’t very motivated, optimistic, or hard working, it will be very hard to stay motivated, optimistic and on task. We won’t receive encouragement to keep up the good fight. Quite the contrary. They won’t understand why you would want to work hard or why you don’t share their perspective on things. Slowly and often subconsciously, we begin to adopt the viewpoints of our peers.

Stay away from rotten apples. Instead, intentionally seek out like-minded people to spend time with. You’ll advance your career much faster and have more fun in the process. You’ll get far more done, and your new friends will help keep you on track by challenging you to work on your most important and valuable priorities.

As Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

Action: List your current five closest friends. Are they helping you move toward your goals? List the five people – you may not know them yet, so feel free to list the characteristics – you need to surround yourself with to be more productive. If your two lists match, congratulations. If not, figure out how to spend more time with people on the second list.

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