Great leaders grasp productivity as a serious thing! It’s no mambo jumbo to be productive. On the contrary; it’s one of the essentials to becoming successful in any sphere. Even love needs it!
1. Plan your day the night before
Nothing increases a kick-start as planning your day the night before. The minute you open your eyes you will have your way paved. I guess that won’t be the way to the bathroom!
2. Do the hardest task first
In the morning, we have more physical and mental capability to solve problems and fewer distractions. Once you have completed a difficult task from your to-do lists, the sense of reward will make it easier for you to execute the rest of the items on the list.
3. Delete unimportant stuff
Sometimes we may have the mindset to put unimportant stuff on the way. Usually, playing a video game, or watching a movie may not be as important as it’s to finish your project. I favor watching a movie to relax, but after I finish my tasks. Before it, it’s a procrastination.
4. Use a to-do list
By some scientific research, we have 60.000 thoughts per day and 95% are from the previous day! That thing can’t be managed without to-do lists and taking notes.
I don’t know how many times (before I started taking notes) I had brilliant ideas that flew out of my mind in a couple of minutes. That doesn’t happen again with my notebook!
5. Use a longer to-do lists
If you have a to-do list for the week, that would be your short to-do list.
A longer to-do list would be your plan for the rest of the year. Amazing things happen when you put things on paper. Even if it’s: “I want to earn million dollars” the chances of you getting them increases couple of times more than before.
Have a precise plan written on a paper of the things you want to get, earn, possess, and even give away, of the following year. You will laugh at the end of the year. You will see.
6. Stop procrastination
Let’s start with the bad news. Procrastination is a self-made product. You are the only one to blame. Now let’s see how “you” occur to it.
In the modern world today, we have millions of distractions every next second. Even at this particular moment I am listening the air conditioning and it’s making strange sound. That can be a tiny shift of focus too!
Not to mention phones! There are so many trendy apps in 2015 that draw so much attention, it’s nearly impossible to stop and do one thing at a time.
I won’t extend it here. There are 5 practical tips to stop procrastination once and for all.
7. Use productivity tools
All productivity tools are hidden within. You won’t find any application of it on your phone!
Sometimes when I write, even during these sentences, I stand up, play a song, and dance on it for a couple of minutes. When my focus is shaky, I restore my energy with it.
Don’t tell me a movie restores your productivity, because it has to be something short. That’s why we do short brakes between classes, work, or anything that seeks your attention and creativity.
Meditation is a fancy thing now. And often, that’s a bad thing.
People don’t really know what meditation is.
Meditation is a means of transforming the mind. Buddhist meditation practices are techniques that encourage and develop concentration, clarity, emotional positivity, and a calm seeing of the true nature of things.
By engaging with a particular meditation practice you learn the patterns and habits of your mind, and the practice offers a means to cultivate new, more positive ways of being. With regular work and patience these nourishing, focused states of mind can deepen into profoundly peaceful and energised states of mind. Such experiences can have a transformative effect and can lead to a new understanding of life.
Remember the last sentence. “Such experiences can have a transformative effect and can lead to a new understanding of life“ …. that’s the meaning of meditation.
9. Practice 80/20 rule
In one of my posts, I already motioned the “Pareto principle.”
The Pareto principle (also known as the 80–20 rule) characterizes that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. It simply means that 80% of your time you do things that will never give effect to your life.
Practicing to focus more time on the 20%, will get you closer to efficient effect.
10. Clear your mind (especially from negative thoughts)
Actually, you can start with the following:
Name 5 good things about you
Be realistic. We are not all flowers and sunshines. We have negative characteristics too. But the point is to focus on the good ones we have, so we will never have to favor the bad ones.
Find good characteristics in people too. Everyone is differently pressured with stressful situations which make it harder to scan, but we all have the good voice in us for those who want to hear it. Treat people as you want to be treated.
Take a piece of paper and a pen and start writing. It will help you big time!
Then, you can continue with the rest 9 ways to clear your mind of negative thoughts.
11. Organize your stuff
Organization in your workplace will firmly ease your flow during work hours.
Imagine a kids room, around 15 years old, after 2 days of not being cleaned. And now imagine that’s your workplace, and you need ‘flow’ to work. That’s nearly impossible, right?
There is no particular rule how to organize your stuff, but you can use your creativity to suit your place best for your character.
12. Master your area of expertise
Most people take it for granted. “So what, I know how to do this.” Wrong answer.
At this time, you’re not aware of thousands of things that will get you closer to your ‘success story.’
It’s an elastic world. Things change every minute. So does your profession.
Constantly read and practice things concerning your area. Don’t scatter your knowledge around.
13. Discover your productivity periods
If you see number 7 again, I just danced! I got my head overdosed. Let’s continue.
Imagine productivity as a scheme. Your scheme is different than mine, or who knows; maybe we have the peak at the same time.
For example, my peak time productivity is 2.5 hours after lunch. I may have energy and stamina in the morning, but I’m most capable to be productive after lunch.
You will have to discover yours.
14. Be rested
In order to remove the cloudy mood, we have to get that sleep. If you exercise, work, and do another hobby in the day, you would probably need 7 hours of sleep a day. However I may have a bad news on this one:
Martha Stewart and Donald Trump sleep only three or four hours a night. The implication: big success can’t really be achieved unless you give up sleep — and lots of it.
Bottom line: I don’t want to be successful!
15. Learn from people better than you
I read a really bright sentence yesterday, quoted by Sigmund Freud. He said:
“Everywhere I go, I see that someone’s been there before me.”
Brilliant ideas come from connecting things from people that already ‘looked through the blinds’ but didn’t had your vision of it.
So learn and read from people that are better than you incase to have your eyes aiming higher.
16. Question yourself
It is all about asking questions, all the time, for the rest of your life.
There are questions to completely free your mind, and believe me, they do work! But we talk about other type of questions now.
The ability to question may be the foremost essential to increase personal productivity, because if we ask the right question it will sent us directly to the answer we seek.
17. Have a reward after completing big tasks
Usually, we don’t recall that we do things to get rewards. I used to clean my room for 5 dollars!
Completing tasks, especially big ones, must follow a personal reward. Remember why you started doing it. What was your vision back then?
Write down what would you like to see after you’ve executed your big task. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to enjoy your time on a long weekend somewhere.
18. Say “no” frequently
“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” – Warren Buffett
When a task or request threatens to take us too far away from the path to our big picture goals, we need to say no (or “not now”) to that activity or person. This can be a very challenging proposition, for fear the other person will be angry or disappointed, or that we’ll be punished or rejected in some way if we say no.
Guard your wonders and remove every distractive ‘yes’ on the way!
19. Have a straight posture
Actually, your posture affects your productivity. When you slouch down in your chair, or hunch over your computer, you start to feel unenthusiastic. Your energy levels drain away and before you know it you’re surfing on a 10th side away from your real task.
Guidance: next time you sit at your desk, think about how you are positioned. Sit back in your chair, straighten your back and move your shoulders down and back. Basically, you want your centre of gravity to be on this line. Don’t let your head fall forward. This will add strain to your neck causing it to try to tighten to correct your posture and you’ll end up with headaches eventually.
Now that you’re sitting correctly, don’t you feel more alert and more ready to act? This simple shift in body shape tricks your mind and instantly gives you the boost to tackle your todo list.
20. Delete all limitations
There are no limits, period.
Through history, every human being that knew it, broke all the limitations and made it happen. We can start by discovering the The 4 Minute Mile Myth.
Know that after every wall there is something more. As a kid (I know you did too) I imagined as the universe is infinite, but I kept questioning myself: what if there is a wall out there; a big wall stopping it all? Even after destroying that wall, there must be something more, right?
So there are no limits!
21. Work on stopwatch to improve
Some people hate it! They can’t stand to be pushed to work faster on tasks they “think” need more time. But a stopwatch, a small counting device, can prove you wrong.
In business, you know that not everything is neat and elegant. Things come out of nowhere, and we are forced to work with sweat and stressfully fast time to complete the tasks. On this tasks, practicing to work with a stopwatch will improve your productivity levels.
Give your brain a little push over the edge and let it fly!
22. Have a target
Having a clear goal and precise target of the achievement, our brain creates a vision that it must happen. The reticular cortex will help you get obsessed with the right things.
23. Schedule your deadlines
By contrast, when people who blow a deadline have plenty of other work on their plates, besides the project they didn’t finish on time. They don’t get as demotivated. They can excuse their failure to finish this one thing on time by telling themselves, ‘Well, I had million other things going on.’
Also, a study titled “The Categorization of Time and Its Impact on Task Initiation” conducted by Chicago Booth PhD candidate Yanping Tu and Dilip Soman of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management revealed that individuals are more likely to initiate a task when a deadline is categorized in a like-the-present category than in an unlike-the-present category. In other words, If today is Wednesday, and the deadline for a project is set for next Wednesday, you’re more likely to start working on the task sooner than if the deadline is next Thursday or Friday.
Tu and Soman also concluded that when a task deadline is categorized in a like-the-present category, individuals see it as a more urgent task. However, when a task deadline is categorized as an unlike-the-present category, individuals are less likely to start on the task.
Evidence from the Tu and Soman’s studies suggest that you’re more likely to get a project or task done if you change the way you think about time and due dates.
24. Always be on time
Or earlier! I know people who are always late and I know you know them too!
No matter what the situation or event, they just can’t seem to be on the clock. Some use a list of excuses to justify their constant tardiness, but the worse offenders are not only comfortable with being consistently late, but expect you to be accepting all the reasons in the world why they are late!
Not only selfish, but it’s also disrespectful.
People who are always late rob us of the most precious and valuable commodity that we own: our time. The time you spend waiting for someone to arrive is time that can be better spent doing a countless things; productive things in fact.
25. Don’t forget to visualize
It is closely connected with the reward thing. Why would you start doing something, and get all your time occupied with it, without any clear vision?
Sit down, or lay down, in a comfy sofa and see yourself in the perfect future in your eyes. The person you would like to be, is the person you see in that dark fantasy. So what else do you need? You need to keep working your as* to fulfill that! Start doing.
26. Keep practicing
Practice makes things perfect. Everything above cannot be done without practice and persistence. Nothing becomes easier without practice.
Practicing shifts your brain and gives you commands that wouldn’t be there if you don’t persistently practice one thing countless times. Do you think of all the commands you give while you drive your car? Of course not. It was done by practice.
27. Have a break
And for the last, the most refreshing task to proclaim productivity is a break; a big massive break from everything.
We form a cycle of events in a same place all over again. Even if you eat Nutella for a year, you will get tired of it. The best things are bored without a little wind in the brain.
So after all, reward yourself with a break after completing a dozens of tasks. It will refresh your productivity!