In today’s fast-paced world, we are all bombarded with more information, distractions, and demands on our time than ever before, and it can be difficult to stay focused, organized, and effective. With the right strategies and tools, however, anyone can increase their productivity and accomplish more in less time.
In this episode of The LifeHack Show, we interviewed Graham Allcott, author of the global bestseller Productivity Ninja and founder of Think Productive, one of the world’s leading learning personal productivity and consulting firms.
In the interview, Graham discussed the key strategies for increasing personal productivity and becoming a “productivity ninja.”
Check out the full interview here:
Here I’ll summarize some of the key insights from the interview.
1. Don’t Rely on Willpower to Manage Your Attention
Willpower is a finite resource. Instead of relying on it to keep you focused, create a system to keep you organized.
Most people have two to three hours in the morning when they are most alert and capable of doing excellent work, but this varies depending on the individual. It is critical to defend these proactive attention hours by producing excellent work and pushing oneself to be productive.
On the other hand, there are hours in the day when energy and attention levels are lower, and during this time, Graham recommends having a list of simple and easy tasks to complete, called the Mindless list. This list includes tasks such as online research, email scheduling, and shopping things, and it helps in utilizing time when attention levels are low.
On the one hand, be really strict with those two to three hours of proactive attention and make sure you’re defending those really utilizing them well. On the other hand, when it’s those hours where you don’t have great energy great attention, give yourself the gift of a Mindless List where you can just be like “I’m fine to only be doing this and that’s okay. — Graham Allcott
2. Tactical Hiding
Quality thinking is an underrated and essential part of work. The best ideas often emerge from headspace rather than desk time, and we should unapologetically prioritize quality thinking time.
To allow for quality thinking, we must create space for it, which is what Tactical Hiding entails. It refers to the practice of removing yourself from your usual environment in order to work on important tasks without distractions.
Finding a quiet corner of the office, going to a coffee shop, or even booking a private meeting room could all be options. The goal is to create a physical and mental environment in which you can concentrate on your work without interruptions, notifications, or other distractions.
Tactical Hiding lets you focus more deeply and achieve a state of “flow,” in which you are completely immersed in your work and highly productive. It also allows you to prioritize your most important tasks rather than simply responding to the latest email or request that comes your way.
3. Be Weapon Savvy
The importance of selecting the right tools and technologies to support your productivity is referred to as being Weapon Savvy. There are numerous tools available to help you stay organized and focused, whether it’s a to-do list app, a calendar system, a note-taking tool, or a project management platform.
It’s crucial to select tools that suit your individual needs and preferences because not all tools are created equal.
Graham suggests that the best way to become Weapon Savvy is to try out different tools and see which ones work best for you. He also suggests that you review and update your tools and systems on a regular basis to ensure that they continue to meet your changing needs.
4. Be Agile
The ability to adapt quickly and effectively to changing circumstances, priorities, and demands is referred to as agility. In today’s rapidly changing world, it’s essential to be adaptable, responsive, and able to pivot as needed.
One of the most important aspects of being agile is to schedule regular time for reflection, review, and planning. This could include reviewing your to-do list and calendar on a daily or weekly basis, or conducting a more strategic review of your goals and priorities every quarter or year. You can identify areas where you need to be more flexible or change your approach by reviewing and assessing your progress on a regular basis.
“Ninja is a human being with good tools and good skills and some Zen and some mindfulness and agility, all these positive traits. But there’s no secret special powers. There’s no shortcuts. There’s no way of just creating magic. I feel like a ninja is a really special thing because it’s like there’s all this work that goes into making you look like you have a superpower and you don’t have a superpower but you’ve just done all that work, that’s how you got there.” — Graham Allcott
You can improve your focus, organization, and adaptability by implementing these productivity ninja strategies. Whether you’re a busy professional or an entrepreneur, these strategies can help you achieve more in less time, reduce stress and burnout.
Watch the full interview here.