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Skyrocket Your Productivity in 60s

Skyrocket Your Productivity in 60s

Your to do list is endless. It’s overwhelming. You don’t even know where to begin. In fact, half the time you’re so overwhelmed you don’t begin.

We often spend so much time in the midst of the rat race that we never stop and ask – “Am I heading in the right direction?”

My purpose in writing this article is twofold. First, I am going to share a question that can revolutionize your productivity and effectiveness. Second, I will explain how to implement it into your life.

The Question That Can Revolutionize Your Life

Here it is: “What is the highest value activity I can do right now?”

Before we jump into tackling how to implement this question let’s discuss it.

First, let’s define “high value.” High value activities are those things that will lead to an increase in your bottom line. If you are in sales, you want more sales. If you are a blogger, you want more subscribers. If you are a coach, you want more clients.

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Next, let’s define “activity.” Activities are the actions you must take which will lead to the increase in your bottom line. For example if you are in sales, this can mean reaching out to new prospects. If you’re a blogger, it can be developing content. If you are a coach, it can be creating a specific product.

The last portion of the question is incredibly important. Notice it says “right now.” We have to take into consideration 1) how much time we have and 2) our current energy level. The worst thing you can do is try to take on a task that requires immense focus and time but you only have 30 minutes and you’re dead tired.

So putting it all together – your job is to identify the single most important action you can take right at this moment.

Now, let’s discuss how to implement it.

How to Implement the Question in Your Daily Life 

1. Ask the question to start your workday.

As soon as you get to work and sit at your desk (or wherever you initially start the day), take a deep breath and then ask yourself: “What is the highest value activity I can do right now?”

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2. Think for 60 seconds.

As soon as you ask yourself the question, immediately start a timer. Allow yourself 60 seconds to think about the answer. Don’t write anything, talk to anyone, or do any other tasks.

Most often, the highest value task will immediately come to the forefront of your mind.

3. Write it down. 

After the 60 seconds are up, write the following on a post-it note, a planner, a piece of paper, anything you will be looking at over the course of the day:

“The single most important thing I can do right now is: ________”

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There are a few reasons it is important to write this down. There is an abundance of research that shows when we write things down we are more likely to do them. On top of this, by writing it down you have now provided a concrete message to your subconscious “This is important and I must get it done.” Lastly, you are exposing yourself to this message for a second and third time (the first time is when you thought about it, the second time is writing it, and the third time is reading it).

Combine all of these and it becomes incredibly powerful to write it out.

4. Immediately start on the task.

Without any other thought – immediately begin on the task. By taking action, you will establish momentum.

Since you have identified this as your highest value activity, it will be incredibly inspiring and motivating.

5. Complete the task and repeat steps 2 through 4. 

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Once you have completed the task (or finished as much as is possible) – go through the exact same process with your next activity.

You can do this as often as you like throughout the day. Ideally, you would do it after every activity.

Conclusion

Here is the reality – most of us rush through our day without taking any time to step back and ask what we should be doing. By simply taking 60 seconds out of your day, you can revolutionize your productivity and effectiveness.

Imagine how effective you could be if you were constantly working on the most important thing possible.

Featured photo credit:  Under the space rocket via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

How about a unique spin on things?

These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

1. Empty your mind.

It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

2. Keep certain days clear.

Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

3. Prioritize your work.

Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

4. Chop up your time.

Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

5. Have a thinking position.

Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

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Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

7. Don’t try to do too much.

OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

8. Have a daily action plan.

Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

9. Do your most dreaded project first.

Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

11. Have a place devoted to work.

If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

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Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

12. Find your golden hour.

You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

14. Never stop.

Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

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Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

15. Be in tune with your body.

Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

16. Try different methods.

Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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