Being productive is very hard and challenging most of the time. In this post, I want to share with you my 10 tips on how to be more productive. Please feel inspired and try some of them out if you want. For me, these tips have made a huge difference.
#1 Figure out when you work best
During the week I usually get up at 4:30 in the morning. I love quiet mornings. My brain is fresh, I’m energized, and no one is there to interrupt or distract me. In the morning is when I get the most work done. Getting up early works for me but I’m not saying you should do the same! Everyone is different, and everyone should figure out when they work best. For some people, it might be the morning, for others the afternoon or at night.
#2 Write down your To-Dos/goals for the day/week in the morning.
There’s something about actually writing down your goals rather than just thinking of them that makes a huge difference. Do this and you will find that, in the end, things get done. I feel when I write down the goals I want to achieve in the morning, I get a better sense of the day and I know what I have to do, what I can do and what I can delegate. I mean, it doesn’t have to be fancy. For example, I use 3”x5” index cards for this.
#3 Don’t overload your To-Do/Goals-List:
The last thing you want is to have your to-do list too full of stuff. Just consider adding a few things in there, because in the end, you will be very impressed with the outcome. If I have too much on my index card I feel almost too overwhelmed, and I don’t know where to start. The idea is to keep your list focused, with fewer distractions.
#4 Follow the two-minute rule
If you haven’t read “Gettings Things Done” by David Allen, go to the bookstore and get it right now. This book contains many tips on how to be more productive. One of my takeaways was to follow the two-minute rule: “If it takes less than two minutes, then do it now”. I believe that this book will help you to better organize your day and it will provide you with the insight and help you need to create a more powerful way of working.
Based on my experience, the beginning is always the hardest part. Especially if it’s something I haven’t done before. It can be quite overwhelming, I get it, and that’s the reason why I’m a big believer in the ‘trial and error’ method. If you have an idea, don’t think too much about what could go wrong. Try it out, move fast and execute. You don’t have anything to lose, do you? And remember, at the end of the day, no idea will be worth it without the proper execution.
#6 Count how many times you procrastinate per day and write it down
Most of the time, you don’t see how much time you waste by procrastinating until you actually write it down. I recently started to count how many times I procrastinate per day. In the beginning, it’s hard, because you have to be brutally honest with yourself. I mean no one wants to admit that he or she is wasting time, right?. But what I’ve found is that it gives you a good visual of your day and it’s a great learning experience. You will learn how unproductive you’ve been and you will also see what makes you unproductive.
#7 Get that feeling of urgency and race the clock
The urgency mindset can do wonders. It’s a very good idea to have a sense of urgency in your mind. This is very helpful if you really want to get stuff done and it works amazingly well. I feel if I give myself that sense of emergency I get more things done. But that’s maybe just me. Try it out! You have nothing to lose.
#8 Follow the 80/20 rule
98% of the time it’s not necessary to have something 100% perfect. And this is where the 80/20 rule (or sometimes called the Pareto principle) comes into play. If you want to get the ultimate experience, you just need to know where you can apply your best and when you don’t have to work at your fullest. MOVE FAST.
#9 Stop watching f**king Lost
A great tip from the one and only Gary Vaynerchuk:
#10 Habits, Habits, Habits: Turn the above 9 tips into habits
If you want to learn how important habits are, you should read “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg! This is a great book that shows exactly how crucial it is to create good habits. Yes, habits are crucial. They will offer you the insight and help that you always needed. If you are serious about being more productive, form all the tips listed above into habits. It won’t be easy but I promise you, it will be worth it. Dedicate yourself to your work, do all you can and the outcome will be very impressive. I think many people underestimate the importance of habits.
It certainly won’t be easy to become more productive, but it’s something that you can do. In fact, you have the complete power to do anything in life. Try it out, you might fail but then it’s important to try something different until you find what works for you. I hope this has been helpful to you and that I’ve given you a sense of how I work. Let me know if you have any questions.