Being productive takes a serious amount of determination and thought. Everyone could benefit by having a more productive day/life so let me share with you exactly how I set up my day (and life) for success.
So who am I anyway? Why should you listen to me? Well, for starters, I run multiple businesses all from the comfort of my home and I also run them when I vacation, which is a task within itself.
However, my life didn’t start like this. I used to have a 9-5 job slaving away and trading my time for dollars which meant I could only do as much as there were hours in the day.
To get to the point, it’s not being productive when you try to cram everything you can think of into a single day all to feel like you’ve got nothing done at the end.
I was once there (trading time for dollars) so I know a thing about becoming a productive badass because if you fast forward to today — I run many businesses that make multiple six figures a month all while having more free time than ever before.
So let me share with you what has worked for me. 😉
Build an Impenetrable Bubble
The best way to become a highly productive person is to shut off all the distractions around you. This simple productivity tip is one that we all know, but we all take for granted as well.
Technology is both a blessing and a curse. If you’re like me then you write a lot and if you have the TV on, your cell phone buzzing away, and heavy metal playing in the background, I bet you will come across writer’s block.
The reason behind this is that our minds can multitask, but just as a computer multitasks multiple processes, it will take them all a lot longer to finish.
The truth is, your brain is not designed to do more than one thing at a time. Yes, it’s not impossible to make coffee in the morning and be on your phone at the same time, but those are not tasks that require much effort.
Try and have a conversation over the phone with someone and be fully engaged all while trying to be on the show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Chances are you will lose at one or both.
He who chases two rabbits catches neither.
The same is true when you try to combine multitasking and productivity. Multitasking is the killer of inspiration, productivity, and not to mention clear thinking, which is the most important.
Train yourself to not multitask and you will start to train your brain to think more strategically and efficiently. Once you get into the habit of doing one task at a time, you will feel more fulfilled in the work you do and you’ll get more done in the process.
You will also start to see real measurable improvements not only through your work but also on a biological level inside your brain. Science doesn’t lie. 😉
Find Your Flow
No, I don’t mean “Flo” from Geico. 😉 I mean the flow of finding the right time to get the most meaningful work done that matters most to you. If you’re human (which I hope you are) then you have all kinds of things that you have to deal with daily. Kids, work, traffic, eating, sleeping, your favorite TV shows, friends, and a million other things to take you away from being productive.
Here’s the truth as I’ve come to not only learn it but experience it in my own life. You have to be willing to set in stone the time your most important work needs. If you want to start writing a book than setting aside five to ten minutes a week isn’t going to work.
Don’t think you have the time to start something that matters? You’re wrong. If you flew out to my offices and sat down with me and my team, we would eat you alive with how much time we can find in your busy day.
If you don’t have a natural flow in your life with time to get meaningful work done, then cut out the things that aren’t adding value to your life. Yes, TV is a way to relax for most of us on this earth, but TV isn’t what’s going to make you productive. The average American watches 5 hours of TV per day which accumulates to over 1,800 hours a year.
In the book Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. Surely anyone can master the art of watching TV, but is that going to change your life? Most likely not. What will change your life is you cutting TV out of your time to focus on being productive, to work on stuff that is going to make a difference in five years.
If the 10,000 rule is a real thing (which I think the more practice, the better), then in five years you would rack up 9,125 hours if you spent five hours a day practicing.
Entrepreneurship is about taking risks and wouldn’t you rather risk learning something that might work out than wasting it on something meaningless like watching TV for five hours a day?
You do the math — spending five hours a day on something that could change your life, your family’s life, the world, or sitting on your A#* watching TV? You tell me what you think the outcome would be for the two paths. Which person’s shoes would you want to be in at the end of five years?
If it was me, I would choose the guy who is being productive at taking those hours each day and putting them towards a skill that will make a difference in his life. 🙂
Fear is Nothing!
There are always those thoughts in the back of your mind that say something like “you’re never going to make it”, “stop pretending and just give up already”, and the worst one “just listen to your friends and family because they’re right”.
Being productive in life is just like going against the status quo. Status quo is the current state of things. And in most people’s lives, we fear change above anything else.
Every New Year’s people set goals and try to be more productive; they say things like “I’m going to start going to the gym”, “I’m going to get out of debt and save money”, and my favorite “Be less stressed”.
All of these things sound promising, but taking the little time to utter them out to the universe isn’t going to make them come into your life. You must learn to not fear change because the fear in and of itself is nothing. You can become highly productive if all you do is tweak and change a few things around in your life.
If you keep trying the same old thing, you will keep getting the same shitty result. In a post I wrote on my blog, I talk about a concept that I use called Time Chunking which is going against everything we’re taught in school. However, the concept of Time Chunking is a prime example of how you can turn the fear of change into being highly productive.
Being highly productive is about doing things in a different way that will seem like work at first. However, after you start to put into motion the power of habit it will only seem like a simple practice. Over time your habit will become extremely hard to give up.
If you try to revert to your old ways of being unproductive, it will feel exactly how you felt when you tried to move forward with building the habit of being productive (isn’t that mind-blowing).
If you say you’ve just got too much on your plate to try and build into your schedule time to do what matters most, then put yourself in my shoes. I run multiple businesses now and yet as I said at the beginning of this post, I have more free time in a day than most people have in a week.
Life is a game and you have to be willing to change to live a good life. I once had not a minute to spare, was stressed out, underpaid, and hated Mondays!
Now I have a life where every day is the weekend for me and I get to help people build businesses they love and it’s all thanks to implementing this little thing called — productivity. Who would have thought, right?
Share with me what you’re having a hard time with in your life when it comes to productivity. What could you be doing to be more productive? What are some of the challenges you face? Share your tips and tricks on productivity. Leave your thoughts in the comment section below and I will personally respond. 🙂
Scott “productivity is the only way” Hurtado