How can I make myself more productive today?
“Getting things done” is a term that gets thrown around often. The average person might assume that the only way to be productive is through long hours at work and strict discipline. But, what if you could have more time for your family, friends, hobbies and health?
In this blog post, we’ll show you some of the productivity hacks practised by successful people – who find ways to live with less stress so they can focus on what matters most in life: their relationships with others.
The 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule is a theory that states: “80 percent of your results typically come from 20% of your efforts.” This means if you focus on the vital few, rather than over-trying to do everything at once, then you can quadruple productivity.
If you’re a perfectionist, the 80/20 rule may actually hurt your productivity. Here’s why: The typical person who suffers from lack of productivity usually has trouble making decisions. This is because they feel like any small mistake will be catastrophic and that everything must always go their way or else it could lead to disaster.
They spend too much time on tasks where there might not even be an outcome worth all the work put into them in return (i.e., nitpicking). For these people, working smarter isn’t really about following rules; instead, they need help learning how to make better use of their resources.
On the other hand, procrastinators are indecisive and often do not take action. They delay obvious decisions, they complicate unimportant decisions thinking them to be important, or sometimes they just plain don’t make the decision at all.
What is your biggest priority? Is it getting things done with the most efficiency possible and in a timely manner? For example, what would you say about implementing an accounts receivable process to maximise cash flow from start to finish? Sounds pretty good right!
So how would you resolve the issues a perfectionist or a procrastinator have?
The answer – Deadlines.
Deadlines are a necessary evil in our lives, but they’re needed.
Think about it: deadlines force us to get things done on time so we don’t miss out on an opportunity; without them people would do nothing because there’s no incentive for anything.
This is why the 80/20 rule sucks because of its theoretical nature. We’d like to incorporate deadlines to achieve a particular result in an efficient way,
Any task worth doing is worth completing. A deadline helps to ensure that you are able to complete it on time, which will make the task seem more worthwhile and give you a sense of accomplishment once completed.
Set a time for every task you do to avoid distractions and procrastination.
Parkinson’s law states, “work expands so as to fill up all available time.” This means we will do whatever it takes work-wise – even if the work does not need any more time!
Productivity is about systems
A productive person is able to successfully perform tasks without consciously thinking about it. What are the most profitable activities in your business? It might be acquiring new clients. You should know at least three ways you can do this effortlessly and cost-effectively. What will make them much more likely to buy your company’s services or products?
Efficient system leads to higher productivity.
What is a system? A set of rules that you follow in order to achieve the desired result.
The goal behind systems design is simple: make life easier on ourselves by doing more and making as little effort as possible.
The idea of a system is to give you the best possible result in your current situation.
The flow state – in the zone
What exactly does it mean to be in a state of flow? Well, when you are so immersed that the task becomes one with yourself. When this happens, your level of competency and speed is exceptional because no matter what obstacle comes at you – you can work past them creatively!
It’s when you become so immersed in a task, that the line between your consciousness and the outside world becomes blurred. When this happens, it’s as if time stands still; for some people even their sense of self might disappear!
It’s like kids playing video games!
State Of Flow Is The Point Where Time Stands Still.
When one becomes so immersed in the task at hand and shuts out all distractions from this world, they become an unstoppable force with an unbreakable focus on what matters most to them. If you hit your stride when it comes to achieving that perfect mental balance between work ethic and attention span then no phone call or thought would be able to pull you away for long before returning back completely refreshed.
You may be wondering how to set up your environment to get into a “state of flow” as much as possible.
How You Can Apply “State Of Flow”
Setting aside “state of flow” time is crucial to success in the workplace. This means turning off your phone so you take no incoming calls, and making sure staff or customers never interrupt you while working on top priority tasks that are urgent and important and not necessarily easy for other people to complete (for example: creating a marketing plan). So make this a part of your workday routine!
You should work on what’s most urgent in order to stay productive during this precious period–the one thing which needs to be done first for maximum efficiency!
Going in and out of flow state is a skill.
Once leant you can apply it in a distracting normal working environment. The state of flow is a mental condition that allows you to overcome distractions. If, for example, at work you’re in the middle of preparing your budget and must stop to attend an important call with a client, then instantly switch gears so as not to be distracted during the conversation.
When you’ve finished you can immediately return to the state of flow for the budget that you were working on.
Contrary to popular belief multitasking will hinder your focus. It’s more efficient to allocate a time slot and stick to one task. Switching in between tasks will waste time and energy and be more likely to make errors.
Don’t check your email while you’re in the zone for business growth. Why? Because it creates so many distractions as there are so many different reasons why people would be contacting you through emails. Save that for another time of day where you’ll be focused on that task.
Below are some of the elements you should incorporate into your state of flow practice.
Create a positive workplace environment
Finding a productive work environment can be difficult for those who are not used to the intense pressures of leading an organisation. A recent study found that during their 8-hour day, CEOs only spend 47 minutes actually working! There were too many interruptions in this type of high pressure space which disrupted the flow state and left them constantly having to start fresh on different tasks rather than being able to focus fully without interruption.
We small business owners are also busy executives who often have to deal with constant external distractions from emails and phone calls. So to help us to get into a flow state, consider these working surroundings.
The air quality, lighting and noise levels in the office all affect how we work. Numerous studies have shown that these different elements can significantly impact our mood, productivity and concentration level!
Complete 2-3 tasks set from previous night
What if you could start your morning off with a bang, by writing down 2-3 tasks the night before? This would save you from wasting energy trying to figure out what needs to be done. By having a checklist of tasks ready and waiting for you at your desk, you’ve clarity and motivation to complete the tasks at hand.
Wake up early – productivity is highest in the morning
Every day, find some time during your workday to be completely uninterrupted so that you can enter into the state of flow.
Studies have found early hours are the best time.
Get up early so you have more time to complete your tasks before starting your workday. It’s not always easy to find these moments amid our busy days.
What are the times that work best for you? When will this happen – during lunch, after dinner or in the morning before school starts? Some people find they can get more focus during the night.
Overall the majority of successful people are early risers in many studies. A German biologist, Christoph Randler, studied 367 university students, found morning people tend to be more proactive.
Apart from other health-related benefits in getting up early, you’ll be able to focus without distractions. Your body is rested and your brain is most alert allowing you to make better decisions.
Whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, getting enough sleep for your body and waking up at a consistent time is the key to health and productivity.
Make sure to take breaks throughout the day – even if it’s just 5-10 minutes every hour or two, it helps keep you focused and energised!
Ideally you should walk away from the desk, away from your screen and do something that would take you away from thinking. For example, looking out the window, standing up and walking can give you at least two benefits. Looking at an object in the distance will ease the strain on the eyes. It gives the brain some time to recover from intense focus and ready to reset your flow.
The last thing you want is to spend your time doing something that doesn’t contribute positively to the company.
If this sounds like an issue for you, then it might be time to take a look at how productive and efficient your operations are. It can be easy to grow complacent with our habits and routines as we go about completing tasks in the office or working on projects but being more productive is actually just a skill that needs practice over time.
To become more productive, you need a mindset shift. Changing how we organise our thoughts will help us better complete the task at hand. Effective habits and discipline are another important factor when it comes to becoming more productive.
Once you’ve made improvements, you will find yourself being able to enjoy work without feeling overwhelmed. That’s the goal of having a business!