How to escape chaotic mediocrity. Elite performers in the knowledge economy focus on this one key thing.

In order to elevate to the top of your craft, you need to master the workday, every day.

On paper I was not supposed to succeed — college dropout, bankrupt, and a socially awkward introvert. Yet I went on to have a successful career at the very top of SaaS sales, having closed over $50M in just the past four years alone with some of the word’s most iconic brands.

Now I’ve retired early from the corporate world to share this important message — when you master each day, you own your future.

The key is developing a personal operating system, and I’ve simplified it down into applying these 3 simple frameworks each day:

Simple Framework #1: DFC

Find your ideal daily rhythm by dividing your days into thirds and applying Discipline + Flexibility + Curiosity

Start the day with Discipline (Perform like The Athlete). Athletes know exactly how to prep themselves to perform at an elite level.

  • Try this: Instead of stressing over what will happen over an entire day, only focus on executing a great “warm up” and completing your MIT (Most Important Task) before giving your time, energy, and attention away to others (like checking email, social media, or participating in a meeting). This will give you momentum you can carry throughout your day and sets a precedent that you value proactive strategic work over defaulting to reactive, low value work.
  • Action: Develop a Daily Start Routine. Create an ideal routine (everything you want to do, as planned with no distractions), adapted routine (the non-negotiables that you must complete no matter what), and the oh sh*t routine (what happens when things go haywire)

Manage the middle with Flexibility (Perform like The Artist). Artists know how to get in the zone and adapt on the fly.

  • Try this: Align tasks by your natural energy states and schedule moments of flexibility on your calendar.
  • Action: Get comfortable with accepting and managing chaos deliberately (like an improv comedian needs to adjust on the fly to a heckler in the crowd or deliver a joke that lands flat with the audience). You can do this by scheduling 1–3 blocks of deliberate chaos on your calendar (time you’ll allow completely for others throughout your workday. Note: this is outside of pre-scheduled meetings…great for catching up on all of those messages and chats that “need your urgent attention”).

End the day with Curiosity (Perform like The Scientist). Scientists aren’t guided by emotion, but instead, experiment using data to make things better.

  • Try this: Develop a Daily Review Routine to wind down. Instead of attaching yourself to an emotional moment that occurred that day, ask questions like “what went well?” and “what could have been better?” to see these events as simply a data point you can use to springboard into a better tomorrow (vs being dragged down by them and festering over into other aspects of your life).
  • Action: Collect data from the day in a simple tracker to keep score and become more aware of the factors that contribute to your best days. To make it more fun, gamify the process of collecting points and using this data to reward yourself at the key system-check milestones.

Simple Framework #2 (A): Fill Your TEA

Most professionals focus on trying to only manage their time, but elite professionals guard and optimize all three (time, energy, and attention).

Do this by asking yourself the following questions. To systemize it, add alerts that go off each hour until they become second nature to you.

  • Time: “Is this a good use of my time?”
  • Energy: “Do I have the right energy for this?”
  • Attention: “Does this deserve my attention?”

To keep your TEA full, you also need to pay close attention daily to the inputs and outputs across the 4S’s of Sleep, Strain, Skills, and Satisfaction. The 4S Framework is a helpful guide to the core components that need to be measured daily, and when effectively harmonized, deliver consistent success.

The 4S Framework for Success | ©Brandon Fluharty
  1. SLEEP: Understand how your sleep (your lack of it) affects your performance.
  • How much sleep did you get last night?
  • How much sleep debt are you in?
  • What’s optimal sleep and sleep debt for you?
  • How will you manage your energy effectively for what you have planned today?

2. STRAIN: Time-block your calendar and orchestrate your days intelligently so you can move one step closer to your personal North Star with reduced friction.

  • How much time do you actually spend working each day?
  • Where exactly is that time going? (meetings, strategic work, email, etc.)
  • What activities boost your energy?
  • What activities drain your energy?

3. SKILLS: Adopting a learning mindset helps you to acquire new skills that can be immediately applied to your workday.

  • How are you deliberately leveling up your skills each day?
  • When is the optimal time for you to learn?
  • How do you measure your progress?

4. SATISFACTION: Measure your mood at the end of each workday to maintain an emotional barometer on your progress.

  • How do you feel? (awareness)
  • What’s contributing to those feelings? (awareness)
  • What are the wins of the day? (perspective)
  • What are the lessons of the day? (perspective)

Simple Framework #2 (B): Protect Your TEA

Protect your TEA with DEADOP: Define It, Delegate It, Eliminate It, Automate It, Outsource It, or Prioritize It.

It starts by defining the activity by asking one simple question: Does this drain my energy (“ugh, I don’t want to do this”) or add to my energy (“I can’t wait to do this!”)? If it’s draining; work on delegating it, eliminating it, automating it, or outsourcing it. If it adds energy, then prioritize it!

Simple Framework #4: PREP

Lastly, deliver excellence through PREP: Plan, Rest, Effort, and Perform

  • Plan — Do this as the last thing you do today so you’re ready to go tomorrow.
  • Rest — With your mind clear, you can now rest, recharge, and rejuvenate, helping you to be fully present in other areas of your life.
  • Effort — Give 100% of your effort towards your Daily Start Routine and the #1 priority task before giving your TEA away to others.
  • Perform — Measure how well you performed against your plan at the end of the day during your Daily Review Routine.


Read this post and more on my Typeshare Social Blog




👋 Welcome! This is where I publicly share the personal operating system I used to go from earning $200K to over $1M/yr without burning out in SaaS sales.

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Brandon Fluharty 🐝

Brandon Fluharty 🐝

👋 Welcome! This is where I publicly share the personal operating system I used to go from earning $200K to over $1M/yr without burning out in SaaS sales.

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