Productivity is one of my “secret weapons”.
The more work you can get done in a day, the faster you build your business, and the faster you make money.
I’m not one of those “16-hour-per-day hustlers” either. I prefer to use systems and productivity hacks to take my businesses to a higher level.
This gives me time to enjoy life – not stuck behind my computer every waking hour.
Trust me, I could write a book on productivity if I wanted. But I created this e-book to give you some quick, and easy to implement wins.
Let’s get into it!
1. DO THE “ WO N D E R WO M A N ” POSE EACH MORNING
Your body language shapes your thoughts and actions, so it makes sense to pay attention to it. A strong, dominant posture tells your body that you are ready for anything. Amy Cuddy, who is a Harvard Business School professor, has done a lot of research into this.
Check out her video here if you need more proof that this process works. It can make you more confident, productive and motivated, and it only takes 2 minutes in the morning.
2. OPTIMIZE YOUR SLEEP
I pay a lot of attention to my sleep. If you get a bad night’s sleep, it costs you a lot of lost productivity. Here are a few of my best tips:
- No eating 3 hours before bed
- No screens or work an hour before bed
- Go to sleep at the same time each night
- Have a cool room for sleeping
My personal cocktail before bed is 1 L-Theanine and 2 Magnesium pills.
If you’re jet-lagged, throw in 300 mcg of melatonin to help you knock out.
3. ESTABLISH A POWERFUL MORNING ROUTINE
The first hour out of bed sets the tone for your day. You already have a morning routine, so you might as well make it a good one that sets you up for success.
Here’s what a great morning routine should include:
- Time outside to wake up and help your circadian rhythm stay in tune
- A lot of water. I drink at least 16 ounces first thing in the morning.
- Meditation using Calm.com
- Time for reviewing and planning your day
After your morning routine, launch straight into your cave time.
4. ALLOCATE DAILY CAVE TIME
This is a concept that comes from Cal Newport’s book Deep Work. The idea is that you do your best work when you are uninterrupted, prepared, focused, and “in the zone”.
From 8am-12pm I do my deep work. Nobody can contact me during this time. My phone is off and I don’t get any notifications.
The only way to produce quality work is to have chunks of time blocked off every day. My cave time is “non-negotiable”. This means that I don’t make any exceptions, I always get my cave time in.
During this time I focus on the most important work of my business.
5. SET YOUR 3 MITs THE NIGHT BEFORE
Every day you should have no more than 3 MITs (Most Important Tasks). These are the tasks that MUST get done, no matter what else happens. These are also the tasks that get done first in the morning.
These aren’t the only tasks that you do, but they are key drivers. It’s easy to get stuck in low-level tasks and putting out work-related fires. Leave that stuff for the afternoon. Your 3 MITs always get done during your cave time, and they are planned out the night before.
6. HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU REALLY SPEND ON REDDIT & FACEBOOK
Use the app RescueTime to see where you spend your time, then block sites that are wasting your time.
It’s easy to think that you only spend 10 minutes per day on social media, but data doesn’t lie.
Let the app run for a few weeks and see how you’re doing. One day of results is not significant.
One of the biggest gains I got in productivity was from deleting my personal Facebook page. You don’t have to go that extreme, but it helped me a lot.
7. MORNING EXERCISE
When you’ wake up each morning, your brain is in a jaded state. You’ve been sleeping for 8 hours, so you need to signal to your body that it’s time to go. Five minutes of physical exercise is all that you need.
I like to take my dog for a one-mile run each morning. If it’s bad weather or if I’m traveling, I’ll do some bodyweight exercises indoors. You’ll come back refreshed, full of energy, and ready to put the work in.
8. USE POMODOROS
The Pomodoro Technique states that you should set a timer for 25 minutes, work on a task until the timer goes off, then take a 5-minute break.
You do this 4 times, then you take a longer break. Rinse and repeat.
The Pomodoro Technique is one of the best time management tools you can incorporate into your processes.
I use this in combination with cave time. I do 50-minute pomodoros in my cave time, and 25-minute ones in the afternoon when I’m doing lighter tasks that don’t require as much concentration.
9. K A N B A N
Kanban is a method of taking complex information, and turning it into images to improve work flow. It was used by Toyota engineers, but more recently it’s used by tech / internet companies.
Here’s how I use Kanban to boost my productivity:
- I use a software program like Breeze.pm (my pick) or Trello
- Set up 6 lists including: To Do, 3 MIT, Doing, Done, Backlog, Delegated
- I only ever have one item in the “Doing” list, which means I’m focused 100% on that one item
- I can keep a visual checklist of the different tasks I need to get done Using Kanban means you can get a visual feel for what needs doing, and what is achievable. It also feels good to see a big list of tasks switch from your “To Do” list over to your “Done” list.
These software packages also let you get a feel for what’s overdue that you have delegated, or if you should start clearing out your backlog of tasks.
Productivity Is A Choice
We all get handed the same 24 hours at the start of each day. We all have the choice about where to spend our focus and energy.
You can increase the amount of “spare” time that you have by being ultra productive with your sleep, chores, work and errands.
That spare time can be invested into building a business.
This is why I am so obsessed with productivity. The faster I get the essential tasks done every day, the more time I can reinvest back into growing my business.
This means more wealth, more growth, and more satisfaction for me. Plus getting things done quickly means you’ve got more time for fun / personal time.