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How to Increase Your Productivity by 1000%

increase your productivityBrian Tracy is a highly successful and influential motivational speaker and author.

Today I came across a YouTube video in which Tracy explains a 7-step formula for increasing your productivity by 1000%, and I wanted to share the formula with you.

Tracy explains in the video that when he was just starting out in his career, the first year his income totaled $14,400. However, twelve years later that number had jumped to $1,440,000. He had increased his income by 100 times in twelve years.

Tracy sat down to analyze how he had achieved this incredible increase in income and he realized that he had been applying a formula which he gradually articulated and came to call “the 1000% formula”. The formula is based on incremental improvement, or what the Japanese call “kaizen”– getting a little bit better each day.

Tracy asks his audience to think about the following: Could you increase your productivity, performance, and output by one tenth of one percent (.1%) each day? That’s such a small change that everyone would probably conclude that it is something they can do. After all, it just means being a tiny bit more efficient, or working a little bit harder each day on an important task.

Tracy goes on to say something which he wrote about in his book, “Focal Point”:

“If you become one tenth of one percent more productive each day, five days per week, at the end of one week you will be one half of one percent more productive (1/10 x 5 = .5%). At the end of four weeks, you will be two percent more productive (4 x .5% = 2%). At the end of fifty-two weeks, you will be 26% more productive than you were at the beginning of the year (13 x 2% =26%).

By becoming 26% more productive over the course of a year, and continuing to improve by one tenth of one percent per day, five days a week, you will actually double your overall productivity, performance and output in 2.7 years.

If you continue learning, growing and becoming more effective and efficient, an improvement of 26% per year, compounded over ten years, will result in an increase of 1004% in your overall productivity in one decade.”

Tracy goes on to say that as your productivity goes up, your income will almost undoubtedly increase by a similar percentage. That is, increased productivity–doing the right things more efficiently–results in increased income.

The seven steps of the 1000% formula are the following:

  • Step One: The Golden Hour
  • Step Two: Plan Your Day in Advance
  • Step Three: Prioritize
  • Step Four: Focus
  • Step Five: Turn Your Car Into a Mobile University
  • Step Six: Review Your Experiences
  • Step Seven: Treat Everyone Like a Million-Dollar Customer

Each of these seven steps is explained below.

Step One: The Golden Hour

The first step is getting up an hour earlier each morning and investing that hour in yourself. Tracy refers to this hour as your “Golden Hour”. You invest your Golden Hour by reading something that is uplifting, educational, motivational, spiritual, and so on.

Here are some ideas on what to read during your Golden Hour:

  • If you’re in sales, read something that will help you improve your selling skills.
  • If you need to increase your motivation, read something motivational.
  • If you’re spiritual, read something spiritually uplifting.

Tracy explains that reading for an hour each morning will prepare your mind for the rest of the day.

Step Two: Plan Your Day in Advance

At the end of each workday, or before going to bed, make a list of all the tasks which you need to achieve the next day. In other words, plan your day in advance. By doing this you’ll be making sure that each day you work on the tasks which will move you closer to achieving your goals, instead of working on the wrong things or wasting time wondering what you should be doing next.

In addition, by planning your day the evening or the night before you’ll be programming your subconscious mind to think about the best ways to tackle the tasks that you need to get done the next day as you sleep at night.

Step Three: Prioritize

When you’ve written down everything that you need to get done the next day, you have to prioritize. Determine what’s most important, what’s second most important, what’s third most important, and so on. By prioritizing, even if at the end of the day you’ve left some tasks undone, you can still rest easy knowing that you got the most important things done.

Step Four: Focus

Once you’ve determined what your most important task for the day is, you have to make sure that you work on it before doing anything else. In addition, give the task your full focus and all of your attention. Work on the most important task–the one that will give you most value–until it’s done.

When the most important task for the day is done, go on to task number two in order of priority and do the same thing: give one hundred percent of your focus  to the task until it’s completed.

Step Five: Turn Your Car Into a Mobile University

Tracy recommends that you turn your car into a mobile university by listening to educational audio programs in your car. He indicates that a study at the University of California concluded that if you listen to educational audio programs as you drive around, you’ll practically get the same benefits as full-time educational attendance.

In fact, listening to audio programs in your car is even more beneficial than taking college courses since you get to pick and choose exactly what you want to listen to. Therefore, you can choose those audio programs which are most relevant to your needs.

Choose audio programs on sales, time management, overcoming procrastination, communications, building your self-confidence, goal setting, and so on, depending on what skills you most need to develop and which topics are most valuable to you at the moment.

By reading every morning during your Golden Hour and turning your car into a mobile university, you can easily go through one book a week, which means 50 books in a year. In order to get a PhD you have to read anywhere from 30 to 50 books and combine them into a dissertation.

If you read 30 to 50 books in your field in the course of a year, you get the equivalent of a doctoral degree. This can be in selling, business, entrepreneurship, or any other field. Because you’ll be reading material that is practical to you, and which you’re applying in your life in order to get better results, you’ll be doing the equivalent of preparing a dissertation.

Step Six: Review Your Experiences

As you go through your day, after every event you need to review the experience by asking yourself two questions. Tracy refers to these questions as “the magic questions”. He indicates that these two questions will change your life. The two questions are the following:

  1. What did I do right?
  2. What would I do differently?

After every experience you have throughout the day–whether it’s a sales call, a meeting with your boss, a presentation, a job interview, and so on–the first thing you want to ask yourself is what you did right. Write down everything that you did correctly as you were going through that experience.

Next, you should ask yourself what you would do differently if faced with a similar experience or situation in the future. Write down all of the things that you could do to improve the situation the next time you have it. An important observation here is that you shouldn’t ask yourself what you did wrong. Instead, ask yourself how to do better the next time.

Step Seven: Treat Everyone Like a Million-Dollar Customer

The seventh and last step in the 1000% formula is to treat everyone you meet like you would like to be treated yourself. In other words, treat everyone like a million-dollar customer. This includes the people you work with, potential customers, your family members, your friends, and so on. The better you treat other people, the more they’ll want to work with you and be around you.

In addition, the better that you treat others, the better that you’ll feel about yourself.


Tracy explains that you don’t move forward in life by making quantum leaps. You don’t become rich overnight and there’s no such thing as making easy money. Instead, you work on yourself. Bit by bit, day by day, week by week, and month by month, you get a little better. Continuous improvement is the key to living your best life.

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