Tuesday, 10 March 2015

5 Quick Ways To Instantly Become More Productive

In 24 hours, you take roughly 8,000 steps, you inhale over 2600 gallons of air and your heart beats around 100,00 times.

Still, people often complain that 24 hours isn't enough time to get through their to do list.

The funny thing is, when you talk to these people, you quickly find out that they're always running out of time because they don't make the most of it.

Like your average Facebook Fanatic who checks Facebook 14 times a day, you only have yourself to blame.

If that sounds like you, these 5 quick tips should help you make the most of your day:

1. Prioritize - Do What You Want First

A great way to be more productive is to do what you want to first, and save what you need to do for later. Problem is, most people try to do it the other way around. Which makes sense, but never works out quite as well. 

Imagine you've got a hot date with the girl of your dreams, but you've also got an assignment that's due in first thing tomorrow. If you try to do the assignment first, and it ends up taking longer than you expected, you'll probably end up cancelling your date. 

But if you go on your date first, no matter what time you get home, you'll find a way to get that assignment done. Even if it means you have to staple your eyes open and risk getting a caffeine shock from drinking too much red bull. 

2. Disconnect - Your Phone Is The Enemy

Contrary to belief, your phone is not glued to your hand. Nor will the world explode if you turn it off. You don't always need be 'on', and if you're really trying to get some work done, you need to disconnect. 

No phone, no internet, no distractions. Just you and your work. You'll be amazed at how productive you can be when you're not constantly interrupted by emails, texts, calls, tweets and the like.

Of course, being able to multitask is important. But if you try to do absolutely everything at once, you won't get anything done at all. Think dominoes, you need to knock things down one by one.

3. Break Tasks Down - The Smaller The Better

Have you ever tried eating a 150oz steak in one go? It's hard to swallow. The same goes for your work load. Breaking up tasks into smaller chunks makes you work better because you focus more.

Think about how different you feel at the beginning, and at the end of a marathon, when the goal's in sight. You get a sudden burst of energy because you know there's not far to go.

Apply the same logic to your work.Writing 10,000 words in one night makes you feel like you've got a mountain to climb. But 500 words a day, that's more like a walk in the park.

4. Stop Being Idle - Time Is Money

When you're idle, you're just waiting for initiative to punch you in the face. There's a lot you can do with idle time like the morning journey to work, while you're cooking, or even just walking around.

Nowadays, I do a lot of my reading on the metro. 30 minutes everyday might not seem like much. But multiply that by 5 times a week, for 4 months and you've got 10 hours.

Enough time to read two short books if you're a fast reader like me.

5. Make Time - Decide What's Important

What exactly did you do today? When you think hard about it, your day often looks like this:

1. What I needed to do
2. What I ended up doing
3. What I wanted to do
4. What I could have done

Too often you focus a lot on number 1, take a break and waste too much time on number 2 (procrastinating), never have enough time for number 3, and then spend time wondering about number 4.

A productive persons day looks like this:

1. What I wanted to do
2. What I needed to do
3. What I could have done
4. What I ended up doing

The biggest difference between productive and unproductive people, is that productive people know exactly what they want out of a day and are willing to make time to make it happen.

Sometimes that might mean losing a few hours of sleep, or not watching the latest episode of your favorite TV show, but it's all in a days work.

When you're trying to be more productive, half the battle is approaching things in the right way. Like how you don't try and outrun a cheetah until he's struggling to move after stuffing down your hand cooked gazelle.

Remember, you need to Prioritize, DisconnectBreak Tasks Down, Stop Being Idle and Make Time. A little change, can make a big difference.

"Lost time is never found again" - Benjamin Franklin

Your Turn

Before you forget, why don't you try one of these 5 tips today and see the difference?

Can you think of any other useful tips on how to be more productive? 

Together we can try and put more sense into the world and stop people from wasting their days.

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