You are exhausted.
Another late work night is about to end…
NOT because it´s late…
NOT because you have completed all your important tasks…
but because your brain has stopped to function properly.
(And it probably did several coffee cups ago).
No matter what you do, you can´t keep up with your never-ending growing to do list.
The only thing you know for sure…
is that if you don´t handle the situation NOW…
you will become BURNED OUT.
No worries, I´ve been there too.
Relax. I got your back.
When you want to fix a problem, it´s not necessarily about starting doing new activities.
The solution can actually be to stop doing existing activities.
Want To Become Super Productive? Stop Doing These 5 Stupid Activities
1. Plan as you go
Perhaps it worked in fifth grade to just wing your tests without impacting your grades in a negative way.
However, you are now in the grownups class in productivity, and if you really want to become among the best, winging it just won´t cut it anymore.
They say that every minute spent in execution will save you ten minutes in planning.
If you don´t plan your day and week, you will just be responding to other people´s requests.
Your schedule will actually NOT be your schedule. It will be THEIR schedule.
You might as well put on a cap with a big red L in the front (L standing for loser).
And you don´t want that, right?
Good, I didn´t think so.
So this is what you SHOULD do.
Start planning your day a week in advance. If that might be bit too hardcore for you in the start, no worries. At least start with planning the next day the night before.
Then you should have ONE master to do list. That means that you will only be using ONE to do list. Tasks that are NOT included in your to do list, won´t get done.
Then over to how to prioritize the tasks on your to do list.
It´s important to NOT…
2. Categorize your tasks as if they are all equally important
Few activities can cripple your productivity more than to categorize your tasks as if they are all equally important.
That means that you will be working on the wrong type of tasks most of the time. As Brian Tracy says, if you believe all your tasks are equally important, NONE of your tasks are important.
Use the 80/20 rule (also known as Pareto´s law) to determine which type of tasks you should prioritize. It says that 20% of your most important tasks will result in 80% of the total production value.
If you have 10 tasks on your to do list for the day, and you manage to complete only the 2 most important tasks, that will result in 80% of the total production value.
That is pretty cool, right?
In other words, as long as you are able to identify and complete the 20% of the most important task every single day, you will be extremely productive, and way ahead of the rest.
Another stupid activity that will pull your productivity down into the mud is to…
3. Say yes to all unreasonable requests
We only have 24 hours in our day, and your time is your most valuable asset. The big difference between very successful people and you is how you have spent your time.
Donald Trump doesn´t have any more hours in his day. He just spends it better. Do you think that he is planning every single day? You bet, he does.
You should really protect your 24 hours each day like it was food for your family. Every time you give away an hour, you give away a meal for your family. In other words, you should be very selective on how you spend your time.
By that I mean that you actually should start saying no to unreasonable requests. Every time you say yes to a request, you automatically say no to other activities.
I know it can be hard in the start to say no, and you probably feel uncomfortable doing it. However, once you get the hang of it, you will be able to protect your time better, so you can spend it on the activities that TRULY matter…
your family and friends.
The next activity most people have heard about, but few people fully understand how it can poison your productivity.
4. Working longer hours believing it will cure all problems
Working longer hours won´t cure anything. Of course, there might be days that you really need to do a long night. However, it should be the exception and not the norm.
Studies have shown that the majority of people are the most productive during the 2 first hours after they get out of bed. This may of course vary from person to person. Some people are the most productive in the evening and other people are night owls.
You should find out at what time of the day YOU are the most productive, and block that time out to work on your most important tasks.
Building your career is like building your muscles in the gym. You shouldn´t do several training sessions per day (at least not if you are a beginner). And if the training sessions are too long, they will have a negative effect on your overall training.
Because your body needs time to rest. Only by resting will your body strengthen your muscle fibers and replenish your strength and energy.
By training too much, you may tear a muscle or hurt a joint, and then you won´t be able to train for several weeks.
Yeah, I´ve been there. I used to train 8 times each week, and my primary goal was to fight in the cage (yeah, it was mixed martial arts, like the UFC). Long story short, I trained with the best trainers in Norway: kickboxing 2 times per week, Brazilian jiu jitsu 2 times per week, boxing training 1 time per week and running 3 times per week.
What happened? After a while, I got big problems with my ankle and I couldn´t train for 6 weeks. So my when I started training again, my shape was really bad.
You might be thinking, “Okay, Tor, I get it. Working longer hours isn´t good. What should I do?”
You should increase your productivity, which will help you to INCREASE RESULTS while working FEWER HOURS.
How can that be done?
Plan your day in advance, use the 80/20 rule to work on your most important tasks WHEN you are the most productive during your day, say no to unreasonable request and avoid…
5. Being easily distracted
Few things are making you procrastinate MORE than you being easily distracted.
Imagine that you are going to write an important article, and suddenly your mom calls and asks you if you want to come over for dinner on Saturday. 10 minutes later your friend knocks on the door wanting you to join him for a concert on Friday night. A few minutes later, your neighbor is at the door asking to borrow some flour.
You get the point.
You will get VERY little time working on your article.
They say that the person who is able to focus on one single thought for 2 minutes straight, will be able to accomplish anything.
In order to become super productive, you need to be able to focus.
Nothing will turbocharge your productivity more than you being able to work focused on ONE single task at a time until it´s completed.
Here´s what to do next…
Okay, you know that in order to become super productive you have to actually take a look at your existing activities and habits.
Let´s say that you want to bake the perfect cake, and you are experimenting in the kitchen.
It´s not necessarily about constantly ADDING new ingredients to each new version of the cake…
the solution might be to REMOVE some of the existing ingredients.
The same goes for your productivity.
What´s your experience with doing the wrong activities regarding your productivity?
What happened when you stopped doing them?
This is a guest post by Tor Refsland. Tor decided to leave his six-figure job in order to follow his passion – to help online entrepreneurs SAVE TIME and INCREASE RESULTS. Want to become more productive? Download his free eBook and learn how to DOUBLE your productivity in 7 days.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.