We all face the same challenge every day, productivity. There are only 24 hours in the day and some people just seem to have twice the amount we do. Despite having multiple projects they still smash their goals. If only you could be as productive as them you might think. Well, you can be. Start today and follow these 5 tricks to being super productive every day.
We all want to be productive, but there are key things that we do every day that make it hard to achieve our goals. It’s hard for people to know what successful people do to stay productive, but following those that have close relations with these people helps us find out what really makes them productive in their day to day life.
“Whenever you see a successful person, you only see the public glories, never the private sacrifices to reach them.” –Vaibhav Shah
The best thing about the following daily hacks is that they are easily implemented. This means you can leave the unproductive you behind and immediately start with these simple tips. Wave goodbye to the old you, and start watching as you start hitting those goals.
1. They don’t multitask.
Multitasking, we’re all guilty of it. The problem with multitasking is that we feel like we are being more productive right? Research has shown that it’s actually quite the opposite. A study conducted at the University of Standford showed that people who thought that doing multiple tasks at once were more productive found that they were actually around 40% less productive that those who only did one task at a time.
The best way to focus on one task at a time is to think, what’s the most important thing I need to do today? What task, if done before everything else, is going to make the others easier or redundant? By thinking about these two questions, you can actually eliminate a lot of unnecessary tasks that don’t bring you closer to your goal.
2. They say no to almost everything.
In particular, this is one that I’ve had to focus on a lot in order to improve my productivity. I found myself saying yes to everyone and everything. Bogged down by all the small things, trying to please everyone, and going on every night out. I’m not saying you need to say no to everything, as that would make you a boring recluse.
After listening to Derek Sivers on The Tim Ferriss Show, I learned about the Hell Yeah or No mentality. Below is a quote from Derek, explaining just what he means by this principle. You can find his full post about it here. I’d highly recommend listening to the full podcast as well, which can be found here.
When deciding whether to do something, if you feel anything less than “Wow! That would be amazing! Absolutely! Hell yeah!” — then say “no.”
When you say no to most things, you leave room in your life to really throw yourself completely into that rare thing that makes you say “HELL YEAH!”
3. They get ready for tomorrow before the end of today.
There are a few reasons why this one works wonders for your productivity and hitting those essential goals. Here are some of the many reasons this is key to a productive tomorrow:
- It allows you to evaluate today’s performance.
- You’ll wake up with a direction the next day, meaning productive work from the outset.
Just spending ten minutes focusing on this simple task can work wonders. Already planning ahead? You can improve on this task by reflecting more on what you’ve done. Try thinking about the following questions before you start planning for tomorrow:
- What could I have done better today?
- What tasks took up most of my time and why?
- If you did the tasks today in a different order, would you have got more things done?
By having the mindset of continuous improvement, you are setting yourself up for a well earned productive day tomorrow.
“For every minute spent organising, an hour is earned.” – Benjamin Franklin
4. They use a notebook.
Freeing your mind from all the thoughts and ideas running around in your brain is liberating. One of the most effective methods used by a lot of successful people is to carry a notebook around with them all the time. Richard Branson is a key example of this and even said he wouldn’t have been able to create Virgin without a simple notebook.
By freeing your mind of all the thoughts and ideas, you allow your mind to focus more on the task at hand. You’re essentially freeing up brain capacity to be more productive and smash your goals.
It also allows you to go back and look at those notes, instead of again using important brain energy to try and remember all the little ideas you have. I find sometimes there are so many ideas rushing through my head, that if I don’t write them down there and then, I will never remember them. Go check out Moleskine for some awesome themed notebooks, and in no time you’ll find yourself carrying it everywhere!
5. They follow the 80/20 rule
I first came across the 80/20 rule when I was reading The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss, where he used it in a productivity concept. The actual concept was first thought about by Vilfredo Pareto and is formally known as the Pareto Principle. The theory is that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. At first, this might seem confusing but let me show you examples below:
- 80% of a person’s problems can be attributed to 20% of cases.
- 80% of a company’s profits come from 20% of its customers.
- 80% of a company’s complaints come from 20% of its customers.
The principle is applied in hundreds of different areas in the world, such as mathematics, investing, sport, software and many more applications. By applying this optimization mindset to your everyday life, it will allow you to really think about the clutter. Focusing on the 20% of tasks that really matter and contribute to being super productive.
Bring It All Together
Now it’s time to apply all of the above tasks to your daily life, allowing you to unlock your productivity potential and smash those goals. The above is only a start, and I will be focusing in more detail on more ways to be productive in blog posts to follow.
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