I’ve used these techniques while attending graduate school, running a small business, and maintaining a somewhat balanced life. In short, I’ve always been fascinated by efficiency and ways to become more productive. After all, why are some people so much more productive than others? What is their secret? Is there anything I can do to become a lot more productive without killing myself in the process?
1. Do The Thing You Want to Avoid
As a coach, if there is one thing I notice constantly, it is the fact that most of us are sabotaged by our own minds. That’s a scary thought isn’t it? How could our own minds be working against us and even trying to kill us in many instances?
Well, the answer is complicated and involves evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and sociological influences. Since I don’t have time to write a thesis on this inner saboteur, I just ask that you become an astute observer of your own life and realize that you are not alone in this reality.
There are certain daily tasks that you probably try to avoid the most. It is often these tasks that are the most important to get done for your personal and professional growth trajectories. Try to form the habit of tackling the most important task first and you will be miles ahead of your past self. Getting small stuff done DOES NOT help you get important stuff done. Forget the small stuff for now.
2. Set an Automatic Time Announcement
On my laptop, I have an option on my computer clock, which enables the time to be announced in specific time increments. I set mine to every fifteen minutes while working. This way, you are reminded about your actual progress during the day as time goes by and it reminds to get something done before the next announcement. Try it. It’s a nice little trick.
3. Use Audiobooks in Your Car
It is amazing how many skills I’ve gained by simply getting audiobooks from the library. Every time I get in my car, an audio CD is playing. I’ve listened to library CDs on productivity, sales, marketing, business, motivation, etc.
If you go online and log into your local library, you can request hundreds of audio books on different subjects.
I’m reading an extra 2-3 books per month jus by riding around in my car and letting these materials seep into my subconscious. More so, would I really read some of these books if I weren’t listening to them on audio CD? I might not have the patience to read some of them in book form.
4. Wake Up One Hour Earlier.
Start getting up one hour earlier because this is often early before many distractions start infiltrating your brain, which prevent you from achieving certain results. Even if you are just getting up to plan your day, you will become more efficient by utilizing this planning time and even some morning meditation after you set your daily plan.
This one-hour extra of productivity per day could become a gold mine of ideas that will enhance your career. In addition, it could be utilized as your workout time. I’ve personally noticed that when I do an aerobic workout before the workday I feel better and more serene. It seems like a small change, but it can produce huge results.
5. Put Away Your Phone
Stop following the herd with your face stuck in your phone. When you are working, put your phone in your bag away from your face and don’t check it for at least an hour. Stop getting distracted like the average neurotic millennial walking around. Your phone is mostly a distraction and nothing more. Very rarely is it actually a tool helping you get work done. Practice staying concentrated on one task for longer periods. You will start outperforming your peers who are constantly distracted. This is an incredible skill to develop.
Become conscious that marketers, corporations, etc. are trying to distract you constantly and they do not have your interest at heart. These marketing distractions are increasingly creeping into the screen of your phone.
There you have it. Five ways to get more done today. Start employing some or all of these techniques and let me know about your progress.