Is there something you have to stop doing today to increase your productivity?
Does that sound strange, not doing something to be more productive? Maybe, but I am sure there are many things that you do every day that do not contribute to your productivity. Being productive does not mean that you do as much as possible on a day, it means that you do as many useful things as possible.
Today I show you how to increase your productivity in the right way so that you get valuable work done and end your day with a satisfying feeling.
What is really important to you?
I still remember that I was constantly looking for tweaks to get more done in a day. Send more emails, complete more silly tasks, answer all my social media messages and so on. For me, productivity was a “shitload” of work done on one day. It didn’t matter if it had anything to do with the goal I had in mind. I was simply responding to emails and responding to social media messages from people who were frankly not that important to me.
I have news for you:
Real productivity is about how you do the work every day that brings you closer to your goal and that gives you satisfaction at the end of the day.
To become truly productive, the first question is, therefore: What is really important to you?
You need a goal!
What will have a major impact on your life or at least bring you closer to your goals? To find out, you first have to work out a GOAL for yourself, that you should work towards in small steps. By rewarding yourself for each step, you make it easier to reach the goal.
So first answer the following questions:
- What is your purpose?
- What is really important to you?
- How do you create the greatest impact?
You make planning based on the answers above!
Done? Then it’s time to get really productive.
# 1 Stop with all those silly activities!
Are you aware of how much time you spend on silly activities such as:
- cleaning up your mailbox;
- continuously checking your mobile for WhatsApp messages;
- scrolling through your social media news overview;
- use social media and mailbox reactively instead of proactively;
- And so on…
Stop it, see your mailbox and social media as the “need box” or “agenda” of other people. That is simply how it works. After all, you will not “reduce your work” by checking your mailbox.
My advice is to simply schedule fixed moments for checking your mailbox, viewing social media and calling people / answering the phone. That way you at least get to work on what is really valuable.
# 2 What is your one thing?
Every day I get up at 4:45 am and after my workout and meditation/journaling it is time for my one-thing. The one thing is the number 1 activity that brings me closer to my goal. The one thing that gives me the most satisfaction and that has the most impact. Sometimes it’s something that I dont really feel like tackling because it’s difficult and out of my comfort zone but that gives me even more reason to do it!
What is that one thing with you?
What is that one thing that, if you stopped doing everything but that one thing, you would still end your day satisfied? That can, of course, vary from time to time. Sometimes that one thing takes you a week or three days and then you will have a new one thing. But each one will get you closer to your end goal.
Always do your one-thing right at the start of your day. It is the most important thing and therefore you should never postpone it. Block 75 minutes each morning to start on your one-thing and then get started with your top-3 activities.
# 3 What are your top 3 activities?
Do you know of yourself what your three most important activities are every day? You know, if you complete that work and do nothing further, then you have a great day and finish it with satisfaction. And no, social media and your mailbox are never part of those activities. Think carefully and make clear to yourself what the three activities are that will take you further.
My top 3 activities for today:
- Write an article
- Record video
- Make a podcast
If I get these three activities done today, then I will feel satisfied! These activities have everything to do with my goal for the coming months. My goal is to create and share consistent value on a weekly basis to help people become the best version of themselves and achieve their maximum potential and performance in all areas of their lives.
My question to you is: What are your top 3 activities today and for the coming weeks/months
# 4 Work in blocks of 50 minutes
All right, if you know what your most important three activities are, it is important that you work these activities out in planning. Grab your agenda, plan blocks of 50 minutes with pauses of 5 to 10 minutes in between.
Done? Now it is up to you to see how long you need to spend on each task. Maybe one activity needs three blocks and another only one. Organize these activities, because we all know that not planning and setting deadlines means that you will always spend more time on them.
Go to work fully concentrated for every 50-minute block. Switch off your mobile phone and ensure that you work in an environment without distractions. Give maximum effort for these 50 minutes and see how far you get.
# 5 Take 5 minutes time out after 50 minutes of work
Fifty minutes passed? Then it’s time to stop for five minutes. Stop! Checking your mobile phone is not a form of time out. I am a fan of breathing exercises, where I close my eyes, spring on my toes and breathe in and out 20 times. Then I drink two large glasses of water, possibly go to the toilet and get ready for the next round.
You could also do stretching, 20 push-ups, 20 jumping jacks. Be creative! And therefore not reactive!
Breathing exercises, 20 push-ups and 20 jumping jacks in your break is creative. Checking social media = reactive!
# 6 Afternoon reached? Time for a walk or meditation
After several blocks of 50 minutes, it is time for your ‘big break’. In my big break, I always eat my first meal consisting of lots of vegetables/salad and protein, followed by meditation or a walk outside. I choose this because I know that after my meal I need the relaxation to continue full force again.
It is very tempting to combine work and food. Don’t do it, unplug, eat mindfully and then relax in a way that really works for you (for example meditation or walking outside), so that you can recharge and get back to work afterwards.
# 7 Worked well? > Reflect
Have you come to the end of your day? Did you succeed in doing your one-thing and your top-3 activities? * Pat on your shoulder * You had a great day! Now it is important to reflect on your day.
What went well?
What things didn’t go as planned?
What distracted you?
What got you “in your zone”?
Reflecting is so incredibly important because based on your reflection you will find out what you can do differently / better next time. And so you work on your productivity every day resulting in getting more valuable work done.
So everything revolves around awareness and planning
Do you want to become really productive? Then become aware of the things that are really important and the activities that are needed for that. Then make a schedule so that you immediately start proactively and perform valuable work.
Therefore make a plan for both your:
Only then will you become truly productive!