If I am anything, it is productive. Anyone who knows me knows I get things done. I won’t claim to be the most productive person out there, but I do know that any success I have is due to my ability to stay productive and optimize every moment of the day. Follow these 6 productivity hacks and I guarantee your productivity will increase right away! In turn, your employer/employees, family, friends etc. will all benefit greatly as well. You can thank me later. ( :
6 Productivity Hacks:
1. Schedule Everything
You might read this and think, “DUH!”. But really, you need to schedule everything. I meet with people all the time who ask me how I get so much done in so little time, and my simplest response is “I schedule everything”. That’s usually when they realize they aren’t doing it.
If something is important to you, put it on your agenda. Even if you think you will “get it done anyways’. For example, if you looked at my daily agenda, you would see “Bible Study” from 7 to 8AM, “Social Media Management” from 8 to 10AM and “Gym” from 6 to 8PM. Every day. Although these are things that have become a habit over time, they are still booked like any other appointment, so I don’t have the opportunity to deviate from my schedule and miss them.
2. Create a “Time Budget”
Yes, a time budget. Like how you spend and save your money (which I hope you are doing – if not, I am sure I will write a separate blog later about that).
Have you ever gotten to the end of the week, looked at everything you still have left to do and thought, “where’d the time go?” News flash: it didn’t “go” anywhere. You just didn’t budget your time well enough to get everything done. We all have 168 hours. How you choose to spend that time determines your level of productivity and ultimately, your success.
For example: (this is from my Time Budget)
- 10 Hours – Gym (5-6 days a week for up to 2 hours)
- 5 Hours – Bible Study (5-7 days a week for 45 minutes to an hour)
- 56 Hours – Sleep (At least 7 hours per night)
- 4 Hours – Mentoring (Friends or Family)
- 4 Hours – Consulting (Professional Paid Consulting)
- 8 Hours – Eating (Believe it or not, this takes up time! I eat about 35 meals a week at an average of 15 minutes per meal)
- 5 Hours – Meditation/Reading
- 10 Hours – Church (Serving and Attending)
- 12 Hours – Social Media Management (Average 2 hours per day for 5-6 days)
- 30 Hours – Superfit Foods Work (Meetings, Emails, Events, etc.)
154 Hours Total
This leaves me 14 hours left in the week to do anything I choose to do.
3. Have a running “To-Do” List.
This is another one of those “DUH” moments for you, I’d imagine. But are you doing it – with everything? I didn’t think so. If I commit to something, it goes on my list. If I think of something in the shower, I get out and put it on my list. This allows me to be extremely accountable to my friends, family and staff, because if I am asked for a favor or reminded to send an email, it gets done. Instead of counting on my short-term memory (which is horrible) to remind me, I write it down and reference it later.
Related Post: 6 Steps to a Better Day
An additional tip to add to your To-Do list: Create a High Priority and Low Priority List, then as you add things to that list, always write down a “guestimation” of how long that task will take, so you can better plan a more accurate time of when it will get done.
For example: (from my current To-Do List)
- (LP) Create Amber’s diet (30 minutes)
- (LP) Get clothes together to give away (30 minutes)
- (LP) Write Productivity Hacks Blog (90 minutes)
- (HP) UNF Homework (60)
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4. Create a “To-Don’t” List.
Whaaat? That’s right, a To- Don’t List. This isn’t something you will do every day, like the To-Do list. But it can be just as effective, if not more effective at times.
Here’s how: Once a month, take an inventory of EVERYTHING you do with your time. Everything you do for work, at home, with your friends, by yourself… everything. Once you have all of that written down, identify the things that don’t contribute to your overall mission in life or current goals, and eliminate them. For the things that do contribute, but can be delegated to a staff member or someone in the household, delegate them. (a big piece on this will be in my book Taming the Lion)
Going out 4 nights a week – eliminate (or decrease) it
The dishes – delegate to the kids (if you have kids and if they are old enough, of course.)
Low priority emails – delegate to your assistant or one of your high performing employees
Mowing the lawn – delegate this to an affordable lawn care company
Going out for lunch – delegate it, eliminate it or decrease it (in the next point, I will go over an even better solution.
5. Meal Prep
I swear this isn’t a shameless plug! A major key to my productivity is because I am not eating out and/or missing meals all the time. Most people don’t realize that “fast food” really isn’t that fast. By the time you decide where you want to go, get in the car, drive there, wait in the drive thru line, and get back to the office and eat – it’s been 2 hours. When I am hungry, I go to the fridge, grab a meal, heat it up for 90 seconds, and spend 10 minutes eating (usually while I am answering emails).
The latter could be even worse. Missing meals, or not eating at all throughout the day because you are so “busy”, could be extremely detrimental to your productivity as well as your health. I won’t break down the complete science of nutrition here, but basically if you have a lack of carbohydrates (sugars that store in the muscles and brain) then cognitively you will not be functioning at full capacity.
I don’t know about you, but I want my work to be the best.
Spending 3 hours in the kitchen at home preparing your meals could save you over 10 hours a week from going out. And if you absolutely can’t stand spending that much time in the kitchen (like me), you can always order from a local meal prep company, like www.superfitfoods.co. (:
6. Get Sleep!
This is one of those things that really bothers me. Most “entrepreneurs” brag about getting 4 or 5 hours a sleep a night because of how busy they are or how much work they’re doing. Getting good sleep is so important to me that it is literally in my agenda. (I wasn’t kidding about scheduling everything!) Unless it is an absolute emergency, nothing gets in the way of me getting an average of 7 hours of sleep per night.
Getting an optimal amount of sleep will boost your mood, energy, performance, reaction time, memory and ultimately – your productivity. In addition, it helps you age better and live longer. Who wouldn’t want to look better and live longer?
For more information on the impact of sleep, download my Corrective Exercise & Recovery eBook!
“Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty! Wealth is a crown for the wise; the effort of fools yields only foolishness” – Proverbs 14:23-24