What is the path to career and financial success?


In my college days, the people that really annoyed me were the all-India top rankers. These guys beat us by a mile in the entrance exam, even though we tried so hard. But there was one consolation – they surely slogged 18 hours a day. So at least, we had a better life!

Or so we thought until the semester started.

Very mysteriously, despite scoring a GPA of 10 semester after semester, these toppers seemed to live a surprisingly good life. Many of them played inter-hostel cricket, took part in quiz competitions, dumb charades, and all extracurricular activities. They studied, but not any more than the rest of us.

What could be more annoying? 😅

I used to wonder, “How do they make everything so effortless?” In fact, you might have seen the same thing in the workplace. Some people just seem to have everything under control – they get things done, remain calm under pressure, and keep growing in their careers.

On the other hand, in our careers, we might be feeling overwhelmed and stuck in the daily grind, drowning in a barrage of tasks and distractions, hardly able to focus on our real priorities.

How can we change this and be like those effortlessly successful folks?

The truth is that this path to success is not a mystery known to a select few. Nor is it about doing something dramatic – no need to take 4 am ice-baths. 🙂 

Massive success actually comes from a subtle but fundamentally different approach to work. And we will now break it down, step-by-step.


If we want to make any change, the absolute first step is to stop this frantic busyness and overwhelm. As long as our mind is running wild, our body is in the ‘fight or flight mode,’ trying to just survive. In that state, no change is possible.

That brings us to the first step:

Step 1: Create Space for Clarity
Overwhelm is the enemy of productivity. Stress deactivates our prefrontal cortex, the part of our brain in charge of executive function, logical thinking, etc. And one common reason for overwhelm is having too much to do, and a packed calendar. It leaves no breathing room, making you anxious.

So first, cut down the things you have on your plate at a given time. Of all the tasks, never pick more than 2-3 at any time to work on. And of them, work on one thing at a time. Also, make sure that at least a few hours a day, your calendar is free for you to work on tasks that matter. (I keep my calendar 95% free of meetings.)

Once you declutter your mind and your calendar, you will have space. That will unlock your natural intelligence and problem-solving abilities, which you already have. This is the starting point of all success. 

Step 2: Identify High-Impact Tasks
Focus on tasks that have a disproportionately large impact on your career. And here is how you do it. Visualize your next big goal and convert it into tasks. Here are a few typical career goals:

  • Getting a promotion: Think about what the next performance review should look like. What would you like to accomplish before that review?
  • Getting a new job: What should the job interview look like? What is the preparation required for that?
  • Getting a new client: What would help you acquire a big client?

Now identify the tasks that will help you achieve that goal. For example, if a good performance review requires you to get 10 clients, things like attending HR meetings may feel good but won’t help you get closer to your goals.  

So every day at work, fight to find time for your priority tasks. Minimize all other things as much as feasible (without making too many enemies). 

Step 3: Set Weekly Targets
Now that you have translated your financial and career goals into tasks, next set some targets. For example, it could be:

  • No. of focused hours per week working on a chosen task or learning goal.
  • Reaching out to 10 prospective clients each week.
  • Any other action – try to quantify it if possible.

Now you know what you have to do and how much. Remember, this target-setting is not a dogmatic process – it gives us a rough sense of the effort we have to invest. 

Next, it is time for deep work.

Step 4: Engage in Deep Work
Allocate uninterrupted time for deep work, especially on the tasks identified in the previous step. Deep work involves focusing intensely on cognitively demanding tasks without distractions. This is where you’ll make real progress on important projects. 

Remember: In knowledge work, almost all value comes from deep work.

Step 5: Avoid Meaningless Activities
None of the above will be easy because you will be pulled into ad hoc tasks, unnecessary meetings, distractions, and interruptions. Cut down on these time wasters. 

Every hour wasted in a pointless meeting could move the needle on your big goal.


All these ideas have to now be implemented. You need to talk to your boss and get their sign-off, and take your colleagues into confidence so they support your deep work plan.

At the end of each week, review how things went and how you can fine-tune it.


Implement these ideas and in a matter of weeks you will witness unbeatable momentum. And if you want to do this swiftly, without missteps and wasted effort, our Zen Productivity program can precisely guide you step-by-step. 

We provide a systematic, 6-step process to achieve the transformation we talked about above. 

Our program is like a GPS map that gives you turn-by-turn guidance to reach the destination without wasting time or getting lost.


Even if you are not ready for Zen Productivity, remember, career growth and financial success do not require complicated maneuvers. Just follow the process I described, and within weeks, you’ll be cruising.

Yes, it may still take time – but when the daily progress starts compounding, it will be magical.

Take the first step today. A year later, you will thank yourself for that.

Thank you for reading this. And good luck.

Best Regards,


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