Tips on productivity
who’s not busy? Most of us wake up each morning facing crammed calendars and mile-long to-do lists.
Instead of doing eight tasks at once that will take you seven
hours to complete (poorly), do one task completely, and then move onto the next. You’ll do better work, finish faster, and move onto other tasks that you actually enjoy. Good to enjoy productivity rather than disorder.
For years I ONLY did my best work during the day!
Not true, and here’s why, I thought that’s just how I was programmed to function best built in.
During the night, I had ZERO distractions (everybody was asleep!) and I was up against a hard deadline (article publish dates usually) to produce finished content.
During the day however, I allowed myself to get distracted while trying to multi-task everything. I would write an article while checking email, talking on Chat, sending texts, and updating Facebook.
Tasks that should’ve taken me minutes took hours. I was multitasking my way into a really awful and inefficient use of my time.
STOP MULTI-TASKING! In order to do that, you need to remove distractions from your workspace so that you can ONLY focus on what you’re doing.
On top of that, set hard deadlines with rewards. If you need to write a article, paper, or memo, set a deadline, and don’t allow yourself to have a reward until your task is completed
The best way to hit the ground running is to start the night before. Before leaving your workspace, or before going to bed, take ten minutes to look over the next day’s commitments. What appointments can’t be missed? What do you need to have with you for those appointments? (Make sure you’ve gathered those materials and have them ready to go.) What three to five tasks must get done? Decide what you’ll do first. Look at that to-do list and decide whether any tasks on it can be delegated to someone else.
The less clutter you have, the less likely you’ll be to get overwhelmed.
Check email in the afternoon so you protect the peak energy hours of your mornings for your best work.
Stop waiting for perfect conditions to launch a great project. Immediate action fuels a positive feedback loop that drives even more action.
Remember that big, brave goals release energy. So set them clearly and then revisit them every morning for 5 minutes.
Mess creates stress. So clean out the clutter in your office to get more done.
Sell your TV or at least don’t have it on. You’re just watching other people get successful versus doing the things that will get you to your dreams.
Say goodbye to the energy vampires in your life (the negative souls who steal your enthusiasm).
Run routines. When I studied the creative lives of massively productive people like Jack Ma, John Grisham and Thomas Edison, I discovered they follow strict daily routines. (i.e., when they would get up, when they would start work, when they would exercise and when they would relax). Peak productivity’s not about luck. It’s about devotion.
Get up at 5 am. Win the battle of the bed. Put mind over mattress. This habit alone will strengthen your willpower so it serves you more dutifully in the key areas of your life.
Every one of us has one or more tasks on our to-do list that we dread doing. Maybe it’s that unpleasant phone call you don’t want to make. Or that blog post you’ve been putting off writing because you don’t know how to start. Or that project that just overwhelms you because it’s so massive. Whatever it is, it hangs over your head, distracting you with guilt because it keeps getting pushed to the next day and the next. It’s time to end that cycle. Do it first thing.
Don’t do so many meetings.
Don’t say yes to every request. Most of us have a deep need to be liked. That translates into us saying yes to everything — which is the end of your elite productivity.
Outsource everything you can’t be Best in the World at. Focus only on activities within what I call “Skilled Zone”.
Stop multi-tasking. New research confirms that all the distractions invading our lives are rewiring the way our brains work and drop our IQ by a few points!. Be one of the rare-air few who develops the mental and physical discipline to have a mono-maniacal focus on one thing for many hours.
Get fit like an athlete. Getting to your absolute best physical condition will create explosive energy, renew your focus and multiply your creativity.
Workout 2X a day but here’s the key: exercise is one of the greatest productivity tools in the world. So do 20 minutes first thing in the morning and then another workout around 6 or 7 pm
to set you up for wow in the evening.
Drink more water. When you’re dehydrated, you’ll have far less energy. And get less done.
Work in 90 minute blocks with 10 minute intervals to recover and refuel (another game-changing move I personally use to do my best work).
Write a Stop Doing List. Every productive person obsessively sets To Do Lists. But those who play at world-class also record what they commit to stop doing. Steve Jobs said that what made Apple Apple was not so much what they chose to build but all the projects they chose to ignore.
Use your commute time. If you’re commuting 30 minutes each way every day — get this: at the end of a year, you’ve spent 6 weeks of 8 hour days in your car. I encourage you to use that time to listen to fantastic books on audio + excellent podcasts and valuable learning programs. Remember, the fastest way to double your income is to triple your rate of learning.
Be a contrarian. Why buy your groceries at the time the store is busiest? Why go to movies on the most popular nights? Why hit the gym when the gym’s completely full? Do things at off-peak hours and you’ll save so many of them.
Get things right the first time. Most people are wildly distracted these days. And so they make mistakes. To unleash your productivity, become one of the special performers who have the mindset of doing what it takes to get it flawless first. This saves you days of having to fix problems.
Get lost. Don’t be so available to everyone. I often spend hours at a time in the cafeteria of a university close to our headquarters. I turn off my devices and think, create, plan and write. Zero interruptions. Pure focus. Massive results.
There’s a limit to how long anybody can devote deep focus to a task. No matter how busy you are, after a certain amount of time the law of diminishing returns kicks in, and fatigue — physical and/or mental — starts to impair your effectiveness, so schedule breaks periodically even during the busiest days. Take ten minutes to stand up, stretch, get a drink of water, walk around the block. You’ll return to your work refreshed, both mentally and physically, and ready to be even more productive.
Here are a few other tips and tricks to ensure you’re only spending time doing important stuff:
Pick three big things that need to get done each day, and NO MORE. I stole this tip from Tim Ferriss, and it has worked wonders for me (buy the Four Hour Workweek, if only for the sections on elimination and productivity — WELL worth the price). Pick THREE big things you need to accomplish before the day is up. Don’t create a list of 100 things — you’ll just pick the easy stuff to avoid the important things.
I’ve read Getting Things Done; I’ve paid big bucks for programs like OmniFocus to organize my to-do list. This very basic 3 big things has been the only thing that works for me. Because I know what I need to do the next morning, I don’t have to check email in the morning before completing the first task.
Declutter your desktop. I use a program called QuickSilver on my Mac to bring up programs so I don’t have to use my menu-bar. I have removed ALL icons from the menubar and desktop and keep it hidden. I keep two folders on my desktop (Stuff, and Nerd Fitness).
Unclutter your desktop…seriously. Does your desk look like this? What small steps can you take to make it so?
Use InstaPaper or Pocket. This is one I’m still working on. At any time I’ll have 10–20 tabs open at the top of my browser, full of articles and links I want to read later. Instead of doing that, I’ve been (trying to) use InstaPaper. When I find an article I want to read, I quickly click “read later” in my toolbar and close the tab. At the end of the day, I go into InstaPaper and read all the stuff I’ve been waiting on.
Turn off alerts and push notifications on your phone. I know some people who get a new notification when new people follow them on Twitter — that is INSANE. Just because you CAN be connected 24/7 doesn’t mean you NEED to be. Turn off email and social media notifications — you can survive without knowing your twitter followers or @replies instantly. Life goes on.
I’ll confess: I stink at this. I hate to ask for help, and often it seems more trouble to explain a task to someone else than to just do it myself. But not everything that needs to be done in your life must be done by you. Evaluate that to-do list carefully. What tasks could someone else do, thereby freeing you up to focus on the things only you can do? Look around you: who is available to do some of those tasks? A secretary? A colleague? A family member? A paid helper? An important key to productivity is doing only those things that only you can do, and giving somebody else the opportunity to contribute by doing those other tasks.
Updated With Apps
There is no shortage of productivity apps available. But which ones can have the biggest impact on your day and help you get more done? from the below video, Scott Friesen has reviewed and tested a very long list of productivity apps over the years. But there is only a handful that he would include in his essential list of tools. In this video, Scott shows you the 10 productivity apps that he uses on a daily basis. From to-do lists and email to timers and reminders, you’ll find something new to help you get the most out of your day. Try out the apps here:
Google Keep: https://keep.google.com/
Take a Break desktop timer: http://download.cnet.com/Scirocco-Tak…
Clock (mobile timer): pre-installed on your device CardStar for iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/cards…
CardStar for Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/de…
7 Minute Workout for Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/de…
Apps By Keywebco: