Productivity is a word that many people throw around, especially with the popularity of people like Tim Ferris of The 4 Hour Work Week and Gary Vaynerchuk, among other serial entrepreneur’s. However, it is important to differentiate between productive and busy. Most people end up filling their schedules with things in order to keep busy, but yet don’t seem to get much accomplished. You must define you specific tasks and learn what will give you the most return on your investment. Simply filling your schedule with tasks that are not relevant or don’t produce results gets you no where. In today’s post we’ll cover 12 habits that will up your productivity, and send you on the fast track to accomplishing your goals.
Make sure you’re getting your full 8 hours of good quality sleep. If you are constantly tired and groggy, there is no way that you can perform at your best.
2. Wake Up Early
The early bird gets the worm, as the saying goes. Next to getting enough sleep, waking up early is one of the most common attributes of highly successful people. Later in the day we tend to die down and lose energy and motivation to get tasks done. Start first thing in the morning when your full of energy and you’ll surprise yourself with how much you can accomplish.
3. Schedule Your Day
Make a schedule of what your day is going to be like, for everything. Schedule in when you eat, when you go to the gym, when you take breaks. You cant manage what you cant measure, and if you want to capitalize on your time, you need to have it planned out.
4. Prioritise Tasks
Do you find yourself jumping from task to task just barely getting through them? Stop and sit back so you can plan and prioritise tasks. It helps to plan out your main priorities the night before, and then get the ball rolling in the morning.
5. Avoid Social Media
Social Media is the biggest time waster, hands down. We all know how easy it is to get pulled into Facebook or YouTube and before you know it, its been 2 hours. Turn off your phone or lock it away, or put yourself somewhere free of distractions so that you can focus on the task at hand.
6. No More TV
Next to Social Media, TV is next biggest distraction. TV shows offer no purpose other than to waste time (unless you’re watching documentaries or informative shows). Instead of watching TV, spend the time working on the tasks that are going to benefit you.
7. 80/20 Rule (Pareto Principle)
The law of the vital few, or the principle of factor sparsity. This rule is probably one of the best productivity hacks around. Look at everything you do, and decide analyse what gives you 80% results for 20% work, and on the other side, what gives you 20% results for 80% work. Obviously, we want to focus on the 20% that gives us 80% and cut out those that only produce 20%.
8. Eat Healthy
Food is more than fuel, it is chemical signalling for our body. If you eat unhealthy, then everything else you try to do will suffer. The more healthy the diet, the more clear your state of body and mind. Avoid sugar, alcohol, simple carbohydrates and focus on whole foods like vegetables, fruits, meat and plenty of healthy fats.
9. Pomodoro Technique
Some studies have shown that the human mind cannot stay intensely focused on a single task for more than 20-30 minutes without starting to become fatigued or distracted. The Pomodoro technique is a time management strategy in which you set 25 minute intervals of work interspersed with short breaks. This allows you to keep the mind fresh and alert.
Exercise is not only good for our bodies, but for our minds as well. Exercise helps keep blood flow optimal which is key for all our organs, including our brain. Exercise promotes balanced levels of hormones which make us feel good and give us energy, all the more to get our tasks done.
11. Learn to Say NO!
One of the biggest problems setting people back is the want to accommodate everyone, often forgetting about themselves. Learning to say no in a cordial manner offers a massive feeling of freedom and allows you to focus on what’s important, yourself.
12. Use an Extended Brain
We live in an era of communication and technology. We can now outsource our brain to software and apps, taking the easy off ourselves. There are plenty of programs that make managing your productivity so much easier. Here are a few for your to check out: Evernote, One Big Thing, Optimize, Stickk, Pomodoro