Want to get more done in less time??? Of course you do, but how do you do that? Surely if you knew how you would be doing it already. It’s a no-brainer. The problem is that we’re so busy going fast, fast, fast, that we don’t slow down to identify and focus on the important things that we need to do to be more productive. We’re too busy doing unimportant stuff than the stuff that will actually move the needle.
In order to help, I did a little research and came across Evan Carmichael’s YouTube video: Max Out Your Productivity With These Simple Hacks! I figured I would share the quick list that can help you get focused and get more done:
1. Make a Three-Category Priority List – Laurie Vanderkam
Every Friday afternoon, make a Three-Category Priority list for the next week. The categories are Career, Relationships, and Self. Come up with at least one thing in each category that you want to get done next week. Make each thing something impactful and something that will make a big difference in the next week. Now schedule the time in the next week to do the items in each category. Preferably front-load your week with these items to make sure they get done.
2. Slow Down – Mel Robbins
Too often we’re so busy, going, going, going, that we don’t take the time to slow down and identify what is necessary. We’re too busy doing meaningless things that we don’t have time to do the important things. Being busy doesn’t mean you’re in control and working 60 hours a week doesn’t mean you’re being productive. You need to take control by removing distractions from your schedule and adding focus where you can. You can get more done by doing less.
Take 15 minutes each day to just slow down. Meditate, take a walk, or read a book. This slowing down can be just what you need to help you find focus.
3. Beat the Sun Up – Grant Cardone
The goal is to beat the sun up every morning. Be up before the sun comes up every morning. People often complain that they don’t have enough time, yet they sleep till 9 or 10am. Instead, wake up before the sun comes up. You’ll find this to be a very quiet part of your day. A time where you can get work done…uninterrupted. And uninterrupted work can be focused work. Plan your most important thing for first thing in the morning, and knock it out before everyone else gets up.
It can be hard to get up before sun up. In order to make it easier, get to bed a bit earlier each night. Know how much sleep you need so you can get it in and be up no later than 6am each morning. Be up at 5am if you really want to push the envelope.
4. The 90/90/1 Rule – Robin Sharma
Robin suggests for the next 90 days, take the first 90 minutes of each work day, and work focus intensely on your single, most valuable project. Identify your game-changing move that will make the biggest difference in your career. Skip the wasted time surfing the Internet, watching YouTube, or chit-chatting. Instead, find that one thing, focus on it for the first 90 minutes of your day, and commit to doing that for the next 90 days.
5. The Batching Technique – Tim Ferris
The concept here is to batch common tasks together so you can do them all at once. Tim explains that you wouldn’t wash your laundry one pair of socks at a time. You wait until the laundry basket is full and then you do all the laundry at once. Same thing for going to the Post Office. You wouldn’t go to mail one package if you know you’ll have 10 packages that week to mail. You would get them all ready and take them all at the same time.
The key is to batch similar tasks together so you don’t have the overhead of task-switching the needs to take place to shift focus from one task to another. The time it takes switching from one task to the other eats away at productivity, so group similar tasks together, and dedicate a time to do just that.
One key task that really kills our productivity is checking email every five minutes to see if anything new comes in . This is very disruptive and kills your productivity as you’re waiting for someone to send you something to do. Instead, commit to only checking email once or twice a day, at specific times. This will help you focus more on more important tasks and allow you to dictate what you work on.
6. Break/Work/Break – Dan Lok
Dan explains that we aren’t designed to work 5-6 hours straight with no break. He suggest we work for 45 minutes, then take a 15 minute break. Then work for another 15 minutes. During that 45 minutes, focus on the task at hand and don’t be distracted. At the end of the 45 minutes, take a break, walk around, hit the restroom, get something to drink, stretch, and get back to work.
In my experience, I do better if I work for an 1 hr and 15 minutes and then take a break. Personally, I think a 45 minute session and then break is too short. Double that, then take your 15 minute break. It works well for me!!!
We can always improve our productivity if we take the time to learn ways to do that. Like most things in life, iterating over better ways of doing things is the answer. Come up with a plan/schedule that puts more productivity into your day and work that plan. After a few weeks or a month, review your plan again, make some tweaks and work the new plan for a few weeks. Do this until you feel like you’re working at an optimum level.
At the end of the day, your success depends on you. So, you can either sit back, waste time, and work on things that aren’t making a difference in your life, or you can take some of these tips and use them to change your life. Good luck!!!
You can view Evan’s video here on YouTube: