When did being productive get so complicated?
Remember the good ol’ days when technology and productivity actually worked together, one helping the other? Nowadays, it feels like these two aspects of our day-to-day are at odds. With technology creating unlimited access to everything, distractions are on the rise and productivity is harder to master.
Well, not for everyone.
Luckily, the leaders of the pack are finding ways to navigate through the rise of distractions and still get stuff done. With these gurus openly sharing their wisdom with the rest of us, hopefully we can restore the delicate balance between technology and productivity. Here are 13 tips from the experts.
Prioritizing Your Priorities
Apply yourself to the things that generate positive ROI and you’ll never get lost under a pile of to-dos that keep you busy but render no value or tangible outcome. Being “scatterbrained” is a great excuse when you pass off mediocre work. Zero in on your strengths and assign yourself to singular tasks while passing off the rest into capable hands.
1. “Your time is $1000/hour, and you need to act accordingly.” – Jason Cohen, A Smart Bear
2. “Pick one thing and do that one thing – and only that one thing – better than anyone else ever could.” – Jason Goldberg, Fab.com
3. “Delegation is the most important fuel for productivity. Having more staff should double, triple, quadruple, etc. your time. Cultivate a sense of ownership in the company.” – Daniel Tan Kh, SomoThemes
How Technology Can Help
Unload your brain of the tedium to give yourself some space for creative and critical thinking. Clutter in your brain become the distractions that veer you off course. Here is where technology can help you stay focused.
4. “Get a reminder app for everything. Do not trust your own brain for your memory.” – Julien Smith, Breather
5. “Use RescueTime to block off all social media sites and email for 90-120 minutes first thing in the morning. Focus on your most important one or two to-dos. If processing email on Gmail later, use The Email Game to double speed.” – Tim Ferriss, The 4-hour Workweek
6. “Use Trello.com to map out all of the tasks of the company. This gives a macro view of what’s going on and allows you to delegate tasks that may better be completed by another person.” – Matt DeCelles, Serial Entrepreneur
The Truth of the Matter
Be honest with yourself. Productivity is of course the ideal but it isn’t the only thing that matters. Having a realist approach is the best way to stay motivated to keep going.
7. “Only plan for 4-5 hours of real work per day.” – David Heinemeier Hansson, 37Signals
8. “It’s normal to have days where you just can’t work and days where you’ll work 12 hours straight.” – Alain Paquin, Whatsnexx
Simplify the Chaos
The big picture can be overwhelming to most people so remember, it’s all in the small details. It doesn’t have to be overcomplicated to be great.
9. “Separate thinking and execution to execute faster and think better.” – Sol Tanguay, HEC Montreal
10.“Break the unreasonable down into reasonable chunks. A big goal is only achieved when every little thing that you do every day gets you closer to that goal.” – Maren Kate Donovan, Escaping the 9 to 5
11. “Build routines and habits so you’re not deciding, you’re just doing.” – Eric Barker, Barking Up the Wrong Tree
Master Your Schedule
Remember that you’re in charge. The choices you make with your time are completely up to you. Sometimes it feels like you’re racing against the clock but when you do it right, it’s you who’s holding the reins.
12. “Set a no matter what date. To be profitable. To quit. To make a change. Stick to it as if it’s life or death. Because likely is.” – Danielle Laporte, White Hot Truth
13. “Work in 30-45 minute bursts. Our minds can’t handle anything more. Even if you’re on fire, pull yourself away and reflect for at least a few minutes.” – Jonathan Fields, Author
As the experts tell us, it’s all about priorities, technology, honesty, simplicity and time management when it comes to mastering productivity. For more protips, check out 101 Productivity Tips & Lifehacks From The Pros. Then find out how you can Enhance Productivity and Stop Over-Thinking: 3 Quick Ways to Get Out of Your Own Way.