“Productivity is being able to do things that you weren’t able to do before.” – Franz Kafka
Without productivity, you can’t accomplish anything. Or your results will be very lower than your true potential.
Productivity is the quality of creating something. Productivity is measured by the positive outcome of the energy you devote in a project.
The higher it is the more you can achieve. When your productivity is sky-high you can distribute your work and finish it in the best way possible, thereby achieving more goals and getting bigger rewards for your work.
Unfortunately, your productivity is highly threatened by many enemies.
These enemies can be very destructive and if you let them affect your productivity you jeopardize your success. You risk of not getting your work done, losing deadlines or even worse surrendering without even trying.
We all have the same 24 hours every day. The way we use these 24 hours is up to every one of us.
If you find the right methods, the right productivity lifehacks, you can take advantage of these 24 hours to the utmost.
The scope of this article is to give you 9 really powerful productivity lifehacks that will help you become a repetitive winner.
You probably won’t be able to implement every technique because it depends on your every day schedule. I hope that you will find some tips among the list that suit your lifestyle. The more of these tips you follow, the better for your productivity.
1. Enter the 2 Hour Hermit Mode
What is the 2 hour hermit mode? Will you need to live alone in a remote cabin? Of course not, unless you would enjoy that experience.
What you have to do is simpler than that.
For 2 hours every day, focus on your work and try to do what you have to do completely undisturbed. Lock yourself in your room, in the bathroom or even in the garage. Stay somewhere where you can find COMPLETE quiet for 2 hours.
It doesn’t matter if your mom is calling you endlessly, if your girlfriend wants to meet you or if your house is on fire. You have to be completely alone and focused on your craft.
Find a place where no one will disturb you. Absolutely nobody. Even if the God wants to talk to you, he will have to wait until the 2 hours are over.
That’s how important it is to be completely undisturbed. If you are working on something important and then you answer a phone call you are done. Adios productivity.
You lose all your momentum. Your brain takes a big break and gives a signal to your body that you should rest more.Advertising
How to enter the hermit mode:
1. Simply close your phone or put it in airplane mode. Answer any calls or messages after the 2 hours.
2. Logout from all social media.
3. If you live with your parents or roommate tell them to be quiet for these 2 hours and lock yourself in your room.
4. If you can’t find a quiet place, consider going to your local library.
5. Have some water or snack next to you for when you are thirsty or hungry. Going to the bathroom is acceptable; you don’t want to smell like urine…or something worst than urine.
If your schedule is too demanding, it doesn’t necessarily need to be 2 hours. You can spend 60 minutes or even 30 minutes. If what you want to do is important, you will find some time.
Otherwise, it wasn’t so important. On the other side, if your schedule is too loose, you could definitely enter the hermit mode for more than 2 hours.
2. Close Your Phone until as Late as Possible
When you are working on something, whether this is just your homework or an important business plan, hearing your phone ringing can really destroy your concentration. By putting your phone in silence mode or even better closing it you have the oportunity to work uninterrupted.
Just like with the hermit mode, you reduce interruptions and you can be more focused on your craft.
3. Focus on One Task at a Time
Multi-tasking can reduce your productivity up to 40%, according to behavioral psychologist Susan Weinschenk.
According to Susan, people can’t do more than one task at a time. Actually, multi-tasking is just switching between different tasks.
It’s impossible to do them all together so your brain focuses to one of them and quickly changes that focus to another task.
If you think that this helps in getting more things done, you should know that it actually takes MORE time than if you did each task separately.
Your brain can focus on only one cognitive (mental) task. You can only be reading or you can only be watching the news, but you aren’t able to do both together.
What actually happens when you are trying to watch the news and read simultaneously is that your brain switches from the one task to the other. So you are not multitasking at all. You are just switching tasks and produce LESS.
If you want to keep your productivity levels high stop switching between tasks. Do one thing at a time and prioritize your work. Then do the most important tasks first.Advertising
4. Start Your Day Doing What You Hate
Okay, this doesn’t sound really great, I know. Just let me explain.
When we have to do something boring or an unpleasant task, we tend to procrastinate. As a result, we push that task later in the day and in the end we don’t do it at all.
We continue saying “I will do that later” or “I will finish tomorrow” and this later/tomorrow never really comes.
Just do it right after you wake up or within 1-2 hours after waking up. That way you are sure that you won’t procrastinate during the day. It also helps in increasing your self-confidence.
When you say that “I will do this,” and you really do it, you send a subconscious signal to your mind that you are a person who keeps their promises. Someone who is reliable. This results in feeling more confident with yourself.
5. Split your work with the 25-5 method.
This method can be a part of the Hermit Mode and boost your concentration to the maximum.
The idea is that you split your work into two parts. The first part is 25 minutes of uninterrupted work. The second part is a 5-7 minute break for water, snack or just for flexing your muscles and walking around.
Use a timer with an alarm clock that reminds you when your 25 minute work period or your 5 minute break is over.
This is very effective if you plan on entering the hermit mode for very long periods, like 4+ hours. Even for 2 hours it can be very effective, because your brain will get tired after a while.
On the one hand, knowing that you have to be fully concentrated until your alarm rings makes you become ultra-productive and you get more work done. On the other hand, you have 5 minutes to give your brain enough time to relax but without relaxing too much.
Don’t make the mistake of logging into social media or answering your phone during your breaks because it can turn your 5 minute break into a 50 minute one.
6. Listen to Audio books or Podcasts While You Are Eating.
Your meals are a perfect chance to supply your body with essential nutrients and become a little smarter simultaneously.
While most people spend their meals watching TV or just staring at their kitchen wall, you can differentiate yourself from the thought-castrated masses and use that time to educate yourself.
Of course, if you choose a book/podcast that you don’t like just because I told you to do so, it won’t work. Find something that you love to learn.
You have countless topics that you could choose from like:
- How to improve your self-confidence.
- How to lose fat effectively.
- How to meet beautiful women.
- How to build muscle.
- How to improve your memory.
- How to make money.
and much more.
You don’t have to start listening to audio books of Nietzsche or Freud from the beginning. Find something that you want to learn, something that would be enjoyable and could improve your life.Advertising
But you may be wondering: is listening to audio books going to make me smarter? Does it have the same effect like reading a real book? It seems that it depends on the subject of the book but generally it has the same effect. A study on college students in 1997 found that those who listened to a short story could write a summary as well as those who read it.
7. Use Dead Time to Read or Learn Something New
When it comes to productivity and accomplishing your goals you must learn new things constantly.
It’s impossible to achieve a goal if you are not improving yourself. If you are not taking a step closer to that goal every single day then it won’t work.
You might say that you don’t have enough time. But the fact is that many of us have a lot of time that is wasted.
What did you do the last time you took the bus?
What did you do when you were waiting for a visit to your doctor while you were sitting on his comfortable couch?
What did you do when you took your car and went to work?
Most likely, you were just waiting the time to pass, you were scrolling your Facebook timeline, constantly checking your e-mail, listened to music or just staring out of the window.
But you were wasting time that you could use to learn something. Start reading e-books on your phone or listen to an audiobook/podcast during such “dead time.”
If you are on the bus and you have 30 minutes ahead of you, don’t let them pass away. Read a book and become a little smarter. If you are driving, then listen to an audio.
You can’t imagine the difference in your mindset after a year if you started to listen to audiobooks every day for 30 minutes while you are driving to your work.
Start now, you can find audiobooks or e-books for dirt cheap online. And you can listen to podcasts that are completely free.
8. Use the 3 Color Layer Checklist Method
That’s something I recommend in my e-book Beat Procrastination in 10 Minutes.
Traditional checklists are boring. However, the 3-color layer checklist is more unique. It’s a great way to be more productive and get important tasks done all the time.
Why? Because you prioritize your tasks based on importance. All you need is a piece of paper and 3 colored pens. I prefer using red-black-blue.
Then you split your work:
Level 1-Red: Top priority-Emergency work that must be done today.Advertising
Level 2-Black: Medium priority
Level 3-Blue: Low Priority
When the day is over you must have done all tasks in the first 2 levels. But there is a rule: For every task on level-3 you must have two tasks on levels 1 & 2.
This ensures that you don’t put all the work in the low priority layer to avoid it.
For example, if you have two tasks on the blue layer, you must have two on black and two on red or 3 on red and 1 black. The ratio should be 2:1, Red & Black to Blue.
This system will allow you to become more focused by learning to identify and finish the important tasks first. You will always have the important work done and if you have time you can finish the low priority tasks as well.
9. Start Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting will allow you to burn more fat while eating less and saving time. Actually you won’t eat less food but you will eat fewer meals.
That’s because you will skip your breakfast. While common wisdom says that you should eat a large bowl of cereal to “activate your metabolism” this doesn’t provide any benefits. Eating makes your body spend energy to digest the food.This is known as the Thermic Effect. However, increased meal frequency doesn’t add any benefit as the thermic effect in 24 hours remains the same if you eat the same amount of calories, no matter if you consume these calories in 3 or in 6 meals.
The food industry has invested millions of dollars to convince us that breakfast is essential. Eat pancakes, muffins, milk, cake and cereals because your body will enter in starvation mode if you don’t. That’s what they told us and we believed it.
In fact, skipping breakfast not only helps you to burn more fat but it has other benefits like increased growth hormone and boosted mental alertness.
But what has this to do with productivity?
When you skip breakfast you eat only 2-3 meals per day. Lunch and dinner are fine, but you can have an extra smaller meal in between.
This saves you a lot of time from breakfast preparation and gives you the ability to enjoy huge meals without getting fat. Or eating a dessert (wink).
In reality, you take the breakfast calories and put them in your dinner or lunch.
Generally speaking, you shouldn’t only skip breakfast but you should also cut your meals quantity. There is no need in having 5-6 small meals per day “because this activates your metabolism.”
Whether your goal is building muscle, losing fat or maintaining your weight, it’s all a matter of how much calories you eat and if you get the right quantity of nutrients. You can achieve that only with 2-3 meals per day.
It will save you a ton of time from cooking, eating and even spending energy to digest the food.
What are your best methods to improve your productivity? I would love to hear to your ideas.
Published on April 16, 2019
How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life
When was the last time you did something for yourself?
Whether it was deciding to treat yourself with a little something or travel for some R&R, how often do you practice self-care?
Well, as good as above sounds, there’s a common misconception that many of us have about self-care: that it’s only about indulgence and enjoyment.
However, self-care goes far beyond indulgence. It’s actually about respecting your mind and body, understanding its limits, and being able to take care of every part of yourself, in a holistic way.
And, you really don’t have to go to extreme measures or do anything specific–like meditating or following a plant based diet–in order to practice self-care. You just have to make sure that what you’re doing is in your best interests.
So how can you make that happen?
Below are a few proven methods that will help you become a better version of you. Follow through with these regularly and you’ll be well on your way to living your very best life.
Listen to Yourself
The bulk of self-care is knowing yourself.
This means knowing your body’s limitations, and being in tune with your feelings, emotions and thoughts. So it’s important, then, to know who you are and what you want to do in life, in order to truly say that you know yourself.
What is your purpose?
Have you ever thought about this question?
Your purpose doesn’t have to remain the same throughout your life. What you found a purpose in at age 19 would likely be different at age 49.
In your current situation, think about the different roles that you have – as a working professional, a spouse, a partner, a parent, etc.
Do you feel like you are fulfilling your purpose through any of these roles?
All you have to do is ensure that what you’re chasing is meaningful to you; this will bring focus and motivation as you strive to achieve your goals.
If you have your purpose defined, then that’s awesome! You know what drives you and why.
But, if you don’t feel like you have a purpose nailed down, it’s good to start by asking why.
For example, why are you working in your particular job or industry? If the reason is vague or unclear, then your motivational energy will be the same. In which case, you may find yourself not having a direction for where you’re headed in life.
If you’d like to learn more about finding your purpose, then I recommend you check out this article:
Seek Out Continuous Education
Now, this may seem less common when you think of self-care, but lifelong learning is incredibly useful and an important component of taking care of yourself.
It’s Super Practical
Lifelong learning is extremely practical these days and does not require as much effort as it may have in the past. Long gone are the days when you could only find information on something by visiting a library. In this day of the internet, anything you can imagine is at your fingertips.
You don’t need to physically go to a learning institution to learn. You can watch Youtube videos to learn new skills, take online courses to earn a degree, and scroll through an endless amount of articles, books and journals from reputable news and informative sites.
When you’re constantly pushing yourself to learn and take up new things, your mental health also improves. Research shows that an active and engaged mind is responsible for diminishing age-related memory loss and improves overall cognitive abilities.
Your Confidence Will Skyrocket
You’ll also have improved self worth as it teaches you to step outside of your comfort zone, which will undoubtedly improve your confidence.
You’ll also connect better with others by expanding your knowledge base. Learning exposes you to a multitude of new ideas and perspectives that you may have otherwise never considered. This also increases your adaptability. Whether it’s at work or just wanting to adapt to society, your peers, and loved ones, life long learning prepares you to take on new challenges.
You’ll Be More Desired in the Job Market
Another obvious reason for continuous education, is that your employability will also increase.
With the ever changing economy, and huge influences from technology, social media, science etc., job descriptions today are moving targets. Assignments and roles change so quickly in response to changing business demands, it becomes a Herculean task to keep a job description database current.
In years past, stability was a characteristic of the world of work. Procedures, information, jobs, and organizations were established and provided continuity. Education was completed in the first 14 to 22 years of one’s life, followed by a long career occasionally punctuated by short-term job training.
Today, however, jobs, companies, and technology are disappearing and being created simultaneously. To remain current and maintain a competitive advantage in the human capital marketplace, an individual is challenged to continually learn.
People return to school at every age to enrich their skills and knowledge for their current positions. Some even prepare themselves for new jobs or career changes, moving them forward into new opportunities and technology.
We can be assured that we will be challenged to continue to learn new tasks and information throughout our lives. Successful careers belong to flexible, curious learners who are prepared for opportunities because they know themselves and where they make their best contribution. As Peter Drucker, the father of modern management stated,
“Knowledge is choice.”
Lifelong learning also increases social awareness and perspective. To genuinely understand and empathize with others, increase social awareness, and foster strong interpersonal relationships, it’s important to seek out new perspectives. Enhancing the skills that positively impact emotional intelligence can bring even greater happiness and success, both personally and at work; and, this is all part of self-care.
Improve Your Habits (Both at Work and at Home)
Now, the last piece of advice I want to introduce to your self-care regimen, is to improve your habits.
Habits define who you are, and are built up over time. You are what you eat is a great example of this. If you make it a habit to eat foods that nourish your body, rather than make your body feel bad, then you will be much healthier overall.
Good Habits Allow You to Reach Your Goals
Since habits dictate your days and nights, such as waking up every morning to get to work before a certain time, or brushing your teeth before bedtime every night, they play a major role in whether we do or do not reach our goals.
When you form habits that allow you to progress towards your goals, you’re automatically living a purposeful day, everyday.
Habits Make Your Time a Priority
How do you spend your free time? Do you opt to lounge on the couch watching Netflix passively, or do you engage in activities that support your purpose in life?
It’s natural to waste a lot of time during the day, but fostering good habits will make you set a pattern for how you spend your time and give you the choice of what you choose to spend your time on. By improving your habits, you’ll find that you can be a LOT more productive. When you create good habits, you become more efficient with your time and a lot less is wasted.
This in essence creates an overall positive influence on your life, allowing you to treat your mind and body well, which is why improving your habits are so important to self-care.
Your Well Being Comes First
We live in such a fast-paced society, where we are often so caught up in our work, families, maintaining our social lives, our studies and everything in between. It’s an understatement to say that life can get a little overwhelming at times.
If you’ve ever watched the safety video onboard a plane, you’ll know that they always ask for a parent or adult to put on the safety mask first, before tending to the child. This may sound selfish, but the fact is that if you truly want to ensure the child’s safety, then your safety needs to come first so that you can protect and care for the child without complications from your end.
The same goes for self-care. We need to ensure that our well being is priority, so that we can be the best for the people around us.
Listening to yourself, practicing lifelong learning and improving your habits are steps that you can take to ensure you’re constantly in the best state of mind, alongside the indulgence and rest that you reward yourself with.
Featured photo credit: Photo by Raychan on Unsplash via unsplash.com