(1.) Set only 2 to 3 Results-Oriented Tasks Per Day:
Spreading yourself too thin and not being able to accomplish your tasks is very discouraging. How long is your to do list on a daily basis? Mine used to be 10, 15, or even 20 bullets long. That isn’t uncommon.
We’re trained from a young age to treat our daily tasks as chores and given no option but to get them done. Pressure to complete an overflowing list of things is only exacerbated as we get older and go to school, college, get a job, and so on. One thing that changed my life and exponentially increased my productivity was when I began to ask myself this question on a daily basis: “What are the two most important thins I can do TODAY that will make me feel fulfilled?”
It sounds silly but if you are able to narrow that down it will not only lift a shit ton of weight off your shoulder, it will make your day infinitely easier and more focused. Stay on track to get only those two things done and block everything else out (for now).
(2.) Give Yourself Deadlines:
Once you’ve decided on a set of tasks, the next critical step is to allot yourself a very specific amount of time to complete each of them.
Instead of spending all day writing a blog, losing track and deciding to finish it later, or wasting half a day trying to send out 30 emails, give yourself a timeline. Try completing one blog in one hour, or creating a five sentence template email to send to everyone and just fill in the blanks in 2 hours.
If you have a deadline in mind, that time crunch will give you all the motivation you need to get the job done. Don’t underestimate yourself and don’t take for granted that less time spent on work means more time spent living.
(3.) Don’t Check Emails or Social Media While Working:
It’s amazing just how addicting social media and emails can be. One could really write a compelling report comparing social media to drug addiction and it would be very well received. During work, when trying to finish a project, or at home watching tv or eating dinner, how often do you find yourself scrolling through Facebook, Instagram and your email inbox?
It has become an involuntary reflex when we get bored or off task and we are all guilty of it. I have actually caught myself in the past closing my Facebook app and reopening right back up without realizing it.
The problem is that social media and email leads to two things; procrastination and stress. Procrastination because you are putting off what needs to be done, what is truly important. If you creating things to do that are not essential to achieving a goal, or if you are just passing time when you know your time could be better spent working on more critical tasks, then you are not being effective or efficient. Stress because you will often find work or business related messages that dampen your day and cause anxiety.
The truth is that nothing is so important that it can’t wait a while and if you
become that person that isn’t going to try fix everyone’s problems, they miraculously find a way to fix it themselves and they no longer bother you.
Funny how that works.
(4.) Do What Scares You First:
Our emotions are there for a reason and we have to learn to allow them to work for us rather than against us. This is done by forming habits.
Basic military training is meant to exist as an instrument of habit alteration. The natural inclination of every new recruit when being shot at would be to run for cover, but the military must train every one of them to face their enemy and shoot back.
Additionally, new recruits are put in positions where they are told to accomplish a task and sent off, but they are given no instruction regarding how the task should be accomplished. This programs them to be able to make quick decisions and act on them, to become quick on their feet and self-sustaining.
When we feel fear about something it is likely because that particular thing is exactly what we need to be doing. Don’t create meaningless tasks to avoid that which you are afraid of. Instead, conquer your fear.
It is the only way to make progress and avoid stagnation.
(5.) Eat Light Meals and Eat Well:
Eating large meals requires a large amount of oxygen in your bloodstream to be redirected to your digestive organs in order to break down that food, robbing your brain of the oxygen supply it requires for optimal performance.
When we eat a big meal we tend to feel slow, sluggish and sleepy afterwards, hindering performance and dampening motivation. If your goal is to be as productive as possible, it is a better idea to eat small meals and more frequently. So rather than eating three large meals a day, or like many people do only one or two, you should aim to eat 5 to 6 meals a day – one meal every 2 to 3 hours. This is also beneficial in promoting lean muscle mass and fat loss, as protein is not stored in the body and needs to be consumed regularly.
Eating unhealthy meals loaded with innumerable chemicals and preservatives causes a plethora of harmful effects on your health. It also deprives you of many of the vitamins and nutrients that naturally enhance brain function, increase energy and vitality, and reduce anxiety. There is a reason for the old adage “eat your vegetables”.
(6.) Take Dedicated Breaks:
Take the time to unwind. Much like physical fitness, working out your brain is a breakdown effect. The brain, just like all muscle, can only recuperate during periods of rest.
Rest allows you to come back and fight another day, even making you strong, better, and faster. In other words, getting the proper amount of rest will make you more productive.
A little bit of relaxation (30 to 60 minutes) at the end of your day provides the endurance and motivation to go hard at it the next day.