A client of mine heard a talk by Bing Gordon, who gives talks that contain a lot of advice, and he recommended that I look it up. My client was excited about “Bing’s Rule of Seven,” which Bing seems to mention in just about every talk he gives (Really. Watch a few of his talks. I’m not kidding.) The rule is this: 

On a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the most productive you’ve ever been and 1 being the least productive, see how productive you are on a daily basis.

If you’re at a 6 or below, you’re probably unhappy.

If you’re at a 9 or 10 (where many of my clients seem to be, particularly when they first start working with me), you’re probably working too fast, making a mess, and creating stress for those around you.

And if you’re at a 7 or 8? Generally speaking, that’s good news. You’re probably feeling fulfilled by what you’re doing, and you can probably handle a little stress if you get to crunch time or something unexpected happens and you have to take care of it.

This is definitely useful advice for highly motivated (and overwhelmed) students, or entrepreneurs, or people who give advice to entrepreneurs or employees. 

Where do you fall? What can you do to bring yourself to a 7? How will your life be different if that happens?


[Note: this post used to credit Bing Gordon with two ideas, one of which I actually heard in a talk by Marcus Buckingham. I’ve edited this post and its title to match my actual experience, rather than my mis-remembered experience.]