Wayne Sharer is a lifelong success and business coach focused who has helped countless individuals and business owners become more profitable, more successful and more productive over the past 35 plus years. Here’s how to be more productive, to do so 10 times or more effectively with simple steps you likely never considered.
Learning how to be more productive is one area of your life where you will make massive gains by improving your productivity skills. Achieving a one thousand percent increase is possible. When considering this, also consider that most other areas or things in your life only improve about 5 to 20% with the next model.
For example, when you get a new computer, you are lucky if it improves your ability to compute by maybe 10 to 20%. The next upgrade in your mobile phone rarely makes more than a 10% improvement, etc. Think about other things or areas of your life (other than productivity) and honestly assess how much improvement you really got by “upgrading.”
Our expectations for improvements in our lives tend to be rather low because of the above. However, when you discover how to be more productive, you find you really can be 100, 200, 500 or even 1,000% more productive. Here’s how to be massively more productive in your life…
- Understand first that productivity is uncommonly powerful. An example in business would be choosing to work on your marketing, and to improve your product. The most productive things you might do related to this would be getting to know your customers’ needs and desires. Then take what you discover to improve your product as well as create more focused marketing will make you more money than anything else you do.These activities not only increase your revenue now, but pay for a long time to follow in the future. This activity is far more valuable to you than sitting around doing accounting, or cleaning your shop yourself, or designing and creating your own webpages, or running errands, or reading emails, etc. Improving your marketing and product is easily 100 times more productive.
What to do if You Currently Work for a Business (don’t own a business, yet)
- Tell your boss you can make the company more money. Here’s how you do this. Go see your boss, and tell him or her you can see how the company can make much more revenue improving the product/service and that’s what you want to be doing. This likely will result in your getting a raise and moving up in your company faster than you ever imagined.
What to do to Make Your Spare Time Productive
- Relax and kick back. How can relaxing be more productive? Because it fuels your body by restoring your energy and brain patterns. You rejuvenate and become more focused. When you become more focused, your productivity soars.
- Commit 30 minutes to relaxing and rejuvenating. Just 30 minutes will bring you back to your peak state. This can be anything from a cat nap, to taking a walk, reading a novel, meditating, exercising, you will restore your energy and focus for another 90 to 120 minutes. Without this, you will fall way off focus, and reduce your productivity hundreds of times, even down to zero.Why don’t more do this? Because all of us get programmed that relaxing is lazy. And it can be if it is done only as an escape. When it is part of your work ethic, it is one of the most powerful means of learning how to be more productive in business and in life. It is the step enabling you to truly being on the path to having the life and income you seek. Productivity is seriously very powerful.
What to do Now to be 10 Times More Productive
- Do your high value activities in uninterrupted blocks of time. This alone will make you at least 10 times more productive because for every hour you spend doing this activity you get ten times more back than when you do low value activities. Just spend 20 per cent of your time doing your most valuable activities and you double your productivity. Amazing, isn’t it?
- Stop task switching or multitasking. You & and I, alike, switch tasks almost unconsciously. Research shows that interruptions, or switching tasks, costs you 20 minutes of time. This means it takes 20 minutes to pick up where you left off. Your brain does not do multiple tasks at the same time, regardless of how much you want to believe it does. When someone says they are a great multitasker, it may be so when compared to another doing the same. But the focused worker is far more productive than the so-called “multitasker.”Imagine if you get interrupted once every 20 minutes throughout a workday. This means you spend the whole day “picking up where you left off.” Your day accomplishes next to nothing, yet you got exhausted from the constant grind. How productive can that possibly be? Do see how getting more focused can change your productivity massively?
To learn more about this, consider reading Peter Drucker’s book, The Effective Executive. In this book he discusses the importance of spending focused, uninterrupted blocks of time on value building tasks. The payoffs come quickly so you really must do it.
What to do to Eliminate Distractions and Interruptions
- Schedule your interruptions. You say what? What are you talking about? Easy. Make it clear what time you will take phone calls, what time you do email, etc. Schedule 2 or 3 thirty minute blocks for calls. Set another block to answer emails. Use another for your meetings. Do it and stick to it. You literally train people to let you control your time.Set an expectation for your friends, clients, co-workers that you can’t be reached on demand. You program them to not interrupt you.
- Don’t respond to emails, text message, voice mails immediately. Responding immediately “trains” people to believe you will always be at their beckon call. Sure, some will get frustrated with you as you try to establish a new pattern. You must resist, and retrain those you know, and properly train all new contact in the future.
What to Do if You Must Multitask
- Plan your multitasking in advance. If you’re the kind of person whose job or position requires you to multitask, then schedule this time to a 30-minute block in your day. Do it once or twice a day. Whatever it takes to deal with these “emergencies” from others.
What’s an Easy Solution to Manage all These Needs and Interruptions?
- Stay hydrated
- Maintain a proper sugar level. No sugar binging. Eat proper meals
- Move around
- Keep your energy levels up.
- Use blocks of time. Work for 2, focused blocks of time. Each block should be 60 minutes in length. Break it up with a 5-minute break between sessions. This gives you powerful focus time of uninterrupted productivity on your high value activities. This is long enough to complete a lot, but not get bored, or overwhelmed.
- Follow with a 30-minute break. This gives your mind a break and allows you to do some refreshing, and rejuvenating. Your mind will reclaim its willpower and bring you back to your peak. Take some nutritional snacks. Not candy, soda or other junk that causes sugar spikes followed by a huge crash.
- Use a timer to hold yourself accountable. This will free your mind to not consider time, and stay focused on your task
- Do the 2, sixty minute blocks as your first activities of the day. Stop doing emails and phone calls first. Why? Because emails and phone calls wills misdirect you to activities you did not schedule. They instantly create interruptions to whatever you had planned. This will easily double your productivity.
- Make your 30 minutes clean of other activity. Don’t sort or relax. This means don’t be doing a little of the work you were doing. Stop and relax completely. Get a nutritious snack or meal without continuing work. Make a clean state of rejuvenation and your productivity will increase dramatically.
How to Be More Productive than Even this
Make a real commitment to starting your day with your high value activities. Truly implement the 2, sixty-minute slots followed by 30 minutes of relaxing. Typically, this would be working on your product and marketing. This will make you realize just how much more productive you will be.
Don’t do your email. Don’t take phone calls. Don’t let anyone walk into your workspace at will and interrupt you.
This is a solid start to changing your life and learning how to be more productive. Realize there exists many more principles and activities that will lead to you increasing your productivity by 1000%. I couldn’t possibly cover it all in a single article.
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This information is from a lifetime of experience and adapted from my mentor, Eben Pagan and his Wake Up Productive Program.
Another great resource on productivity: Getting Things Done, by David Allen