Jeff Sanders: The Power of Saying No


Own Your Day

Today's episode with Jeff Sanders teaches us that there is more to time management than meets the eye. In fact, productivity and good time management are key to unlocking greater health and wellness. When we have our energy, focus, and clear mind, any goal can be accomplished with a head-on approach. 

In a world where it's easy to be overwhelmed by messages, meetings, and task lists, how can we get it all done and avoid decision fatigue day after day?

Many of us are trapped by the belief that to be productive, we have to continue to stay busy and say ‘yes' to every task, opportunity, or event that comes our way. However, that's the exact opposite of being good at time management.

Being busy doesn't necessarily lead us to be productive or successful. Essentially, it's just adding on more stress than we can handle.


In fact, deciding to say ‘no' to something doesn't just allow us to take time back into our own hands, but it also liberates ourselves from unworthy distractions too.

On today's episode, public speaker, productivity coach, best selling author, and host of The 5 AM Miracle Podcast, Jeff Sanders, joins us once again to teach us how to be more productive, say ‘no' and take our time into our own hands.

We'll learn from Jeff about different tools and life hacks that can help us get from Point A to Point B, schedule time into batch or theme days, stay clear from distractions, and discover our own purpose behind staying determined to move forward in our goals. 

Whether it's e-mails, task switching, or we're all over the place to get a project done, Jeff has the perfect piece of advice to help us manage our time. 

Listen To Episode 115 As Jeff Uncovers:

  • How he became such a thought leader in productivity.
  • What you can do to create the reality you want regardless of the reality you have.
  • What Jeff did to let go of the habit of being his own worst critic.
  • How can we be more productive? What does productivity even mean?
  • What is a batch day as far as productivity? How do theme days come into play?
  • How can we commit ourselves to having a regular batch day?
  • The importance of having a why or a reason for becoming more productive.
  • How to segment time blocks during batch days.
  • What tasks are better to do early on in the morning?
  • How the tool, Freedom, is helping Jeff stay clear of distractions like social media, emails, and more.
  • What are the benefits of theme days and how can they apply to anyone?
  • How we can give ourselves the freedom to dive deep rather than hold ourselves back.
  • The top excuses we tell ourselves that hold us back from being more productive and accomplish more each day.
  • Why we don't have to fall victims to saying ‘yes' to everything that people ask us to do for them.
  • How does Jeff plan everything out while still having the time and energy to focus on his wellness?
  • Why health and wellness are so pivotal for our productivity and success.
  • Jeff's advice on how to get started on being more productive and creating better results:
    • Make a list of what's coming up in the near future.
    • Combine different tasks that have the same theme or are similar.
    • Find times in your calendar and assign batch or theme days.
  • Jeff's 2 Minute Rule for answering e-mails.
  • How can we switch from one task to the next without losing our focus?
  • Why we should give ourselves enough mental time to switch from a creative task to an analytical task.
  • How to know when it's time to rethink how we're managing our time.
  • Jeff's mantra that helps him become productive when he's busy or stressed.
  • The most important part of the day for us to change our state.
  • The power of saying ‘no' or cutting tasks from your schedule.

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • Batch days can help us take advantage of the time that we have in a week. By focusing on related tasks on one day of the week, we can make better use out of our time and move forward with other tasks that we need to focus on for the remaining days.
  • Having a why or reason behind wanting to become more productive is vital for the entire process. You don't need to get a jump start at 5 am to begin the day. When you love an activity or task and have the motivation to do it, it'll be so much easier to commit yourself to getting something done. Saying ‘no' to different tasks or distractions will help you stay on track with your goals and move you forward.
  • You can schedule out your tasks according to you energy cycles. Like Jeff, if you find that you're more productive in the morning compared to the afternoon, plan ahead to get strategic work done first thing in the morning before moving onto other basic tasks.

Power Quotes From Jeff Sanders

  • “If I can build myself up from nothing to five miles a day, a marathon is the exact same thing. You just keep growing and building. And in the same sense with my life, I ask myself, ‘How can I add a little more each to day to what I'm already doing?' If I can see a little growth each day, then those bigger goals that once seemed unachievable, are actually possible.” – Jeff Sanders on recognizing that any goal is possible. 
  • “When I stay committed to daily, incremental growth, it's much easier to envision what my next move is going to be.” – Jeff Sanders on completing goals and tasks that can help us envision our future. 
  • “Productivity is very much like success. It's the progressive realization of our worthy goal or worthy ideal. All in all, making progress itself is success.” – Jeff Sanders on what being productive means to him. 
  • “Rather than looking to your distractions as an excuse, think about what you could do with what you have.” – Jeff Sanders
  • “Theme days allow you to stick to one specific project or idea for an entire day. Theme days not only help you schedule for when things are going to happen, but they also allow you to say ‘no' to an activity or distraction because you've already chosen how you're going to spend your day. It gives you a clear sense of priority so that you know what matters today and what does not.” – Jeff Sanders on the benefit of theme days. 
  • “Once you realize that you control your own time, you control what you let into your life. All of a sudden, you can shift gears completely and start to be more proactive on how your time is scheduled. Once you reach that point, your day becomes your own.” – Jeff Sanders on how we can take control of our day and the time that is available to us.
  • “Health and wellness is what makes productivity possible. Health is really the number one goal because it makes everything else possible. If you want to get tasks done, you have to be healthy enough to do so.” – Jeff Sanders on the importance of health and wellness when it comes to our productivity. 

About The 5 AM Miracle by Jeff Sanders


is a resource guide for high-achievers. It is for anyone who has a wild passion for life and is in search of a structured system that will hone those passions, clarify their big goals, and produce real, amazing results.

1. Begin Your Day the Right Way

Yes, it's true, I'm a big fan of early mornings. But, more importantly than waking up at an arbitrary time like 5:00 a.m., I'm a strong believer in intentionality. Choosing to wake up with a written plan is something most people just never do, and it's astonishing how much it can change your life once you embrace this single habit.

2. The 5 AM Blueprint: 7 Steps to Extraordinary Productivity

The bulk of the book breaks down my blueprint for unprecedented progress. From healthy habits and productivity strategies, to review systems and professional-grade daily routines, you will find more actionable content than you could possibly imagine.

3. Built-In 30-Day Action Plan

Let's not forget that at the end of the book I summarize the multitude of ideas into an easy-to-follow 30-day plan just so you have a clear plan of action.

About Jeff Sanders

Jeff Sanders is a keynote speaker, author of the best-selling and award-winning book on productivity, The 5 AM Miracle: Dominate Your Day Before Breakfast, and founder of The Rockin' Productivity Academy.

Jeff is also the host of The 5 AM Miracle Podcast, which has ranked #1 in iTunes in the Self-Help and Business categories, been nominated for 4 Podcast Awards, and exceeded 4 million downloads.

He is a 10-time marathon runner, personal development junkie, and passionate raw vegan. Every week you can find Jeff writing and speaking at

Jeff has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and Psychology from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. He has been married to his wife, Tessa for seven years. They live in Nashville, Tennessee with their quirky pug, Benny.

Resources Mentioned by Jeff & Josh

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About The Author, Lauren Bryant, Podcast Production

lauren bryant wellness forceLauren Bryant

is the Podcasting Assistant and Show Notes Writer for Wellness + Wisdom. She has a BBA in both Marketing and Spanish for Business as well as certificates in Advanced Business Communications and International Business from the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire.

Lauren’s wellness journey began at a young age when she joined her local YMCA swim team, The Wave, of La Crosse, WI. One of the most profound views on wellness that anyone has said to her was when she was an assistant swim coach for that same YMCA swim team.

One day during a practice, former head swim coach, Jon Brenner, shared with her that the most important thing about coaching the swimmers was that “It doesn’t matter if they become the best athletes in the world. What’s important is that we give them the tools and guidance they need to live a healthy, active lifestyle for the rest of their lives.”

Since hearing those words, she has taken it to heart to not only focus on continuously living her own healthy lifestyle, but to help others pursue their wellness goals as well.

Lauren’s not only an avid swimmer, but a fan of running, yoga, cooking, and doing any activity outside that involves being surrounded by nature. In the Fall of 2014, she completed a long-awaited goal of walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain.

According to Lauren, wellness is about finding gratitude and joy in doing any type of physical or self-care activity that we love. Wellness means providing ourselves with self-love, good nutrition, and the inner peace that our individual minds and bodies need.


About Josh Trent

Josh Trent lives in Austin, Texas with his love Carrie Michelle, son Novah, daughter Nayah + a cat named Cleo. He is the host of the Wellness + Wisdom Podcast and the creator of the BREATHE: Breath + Wellness Program. Josh has spent the past 20+ years as a trainer, researcher + facilitator discovering the physical and emotional intelligence for humans to thrive in our modern world. Helping humans LIBERATE their mental, emotional, physical, spiritual + financial self through podcasts, programs + global community that believe in optimizing our potential to live life well.

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