Productivity – how do you get more done during the day so you can do more, create more and be more?
That’s what we’re going to cover in this comprehensive guide to becoming more productive.
How to Be More Productive
You can do so much more than you think you can.
But you have to shift your relationship with time. That’s why productivity is as much of a mindset shift as it is techniques, tools, and frameworks.
There are 24 hours in the day. You have just as much time as Bill Gates, Elon Musk or Beyonce – so it’s not about “how much time you have” – it’s about what you do with it.
What is Productivity? (Definition)
Before we getting going – let’s jump into what exactly productivity is. A lot of people talk about “working smarter, not harder.” Productivity is not just working harder every day to get more done. It’s about working on the right things in the right way to do the high-leverage activities efficiently.
You can work as hard as you want, but if you’re focused on the wrong things, you’ll be spinning your wheels for days. That’s what we’ll focus on in the rest of this guide.
The Productivity Mindset Shift
There’s two critical mindset shifts you have to make to actually become productive. If you don’t fix your mindset game, then all . the productivity, tools and things I mention below won’t do anything at all.
The two things to remember:
- Stop doing stuff that doesn’t matters.
- Start doing the stuff that you say you want to do.
The Holy Trinity: 3 Productivity Techniques to Master
Focus on the stuff that matters by following the Pareto Power Law. 20% of the things you do create the majority of the results. Do them.
Once you see 80/20 in one area of life, you’ll start to see it in every other area of life – even ones that don’t seem to have anything to do with productivity. Fail to understand 80/20 at your own peril.
If you want to become more productive, stop giving yourself unlimited time. Parkinson’s law is all about work expanding to the time allotted to an activity. Give yourself less time. Do more.
The Pomodoro technique might be the best way to chunk tasks up during the day while still making sure you get everything done. Pomodoro – named after the spanish word for “tomato” after a simple 25 minute tomato timer.
Personal Productivity Challenges
Workstation Popcorn is a method I created that combines the Pomodoro technique with constant movement throughout the day. People all over the world now use the technique and I even shot a video in Denmark with the team at Soho Nomads about this.
If you’re on a plane crossing the Atlantic (or really any body of water), try this one out. Turn off the wifi, open up a word doc and get to work. Use the “dead time” and instead of watching a movie, falling asleep or wasting it like everyone else – get some work done.
Blog Posts on Productivity
If you want to be more focused – use these apps. They’re what I’m currently using to get as much, important work done in the day as I can.
No matter what I do, I always come back to this one 1 productivity hack. It doesn’t matter how much I do – this always seems
One of the missing elements of most productivity articles is simply: courage. Have the courage to do what you know you need to do. Even if it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard.
What I’m currently using to get the most don every day.
Music is programming. Enhance your productivity with the right music, sounds and background noise to get more done
How to get started with time blocking – the method that revolutionized how I protect my energy and time throughout the week.
The best productivity tip is a kick in the ass. This story about the man who invented the first programmable computer is one that will change your perspective on what you can (and should) be doing.
Two Game Changing Productivity Frameworks
I was introduced to the Lights concept recently and I love it. It’s a simple framework for you to outline your ideal day and then aim to hit 70% of it on a regular basis.
The idea is that if you hit 70% of your “ideal day” on a regular basis, you’re setting enough goals that are hard enough to be difficult, but easy enough to stay consistent without getting discouraged.
Get the Lights template here (free)
Work Cycles is a variation on the pomodoro technique with a focus on planning and estimating your work volume throughout the day. It varies slightly, but once you get a hold on the rhythms, it can be super powerful.
Additional Tips For Productivity Mastery
Get a Hold of Your Time
How much time does that really take you? Use a timer. Set a stop watch. If you took yourself seriously and just did the work instead of complaining all the time, you might already be done.
Then you also might be proud of your work and be motivated to do something more. Pretty soon, your efforts are snowballing and you don’t even recognize yourself anymore.
Stressed? Workout. Tired? Workout? Too many things going on in your head? Workout.
Not only do you get endorphins, but you can work out more things in the gym than you can almost anywhere else. I wrote about this in my #1 productivity hack, but if you’re feeling stuck – go workout. Just do it. You’re going to have more energy, more focus and feel better.
Set Yourself Up For Success
Don’t blindly rush into stuff if you know you give up easily. Take 30 minutes on Sunday and look ahead into your week. What’s coming up? What can you realistically get done. What does success look like? What can you do better?
Don’t beat yourself up, but don’t make it okay to just sit and wallow in your own ineptitude. Decide what you want to do and then go do it.
Own your Calendar, Don’t Let Your Calendar Own You
Most people hate their calendar because they think of it like something they *have* to do. They’re doing it wrong.
What you should do instead is set up your calendar so that if you did all the things in it, you would be happy with your results. This is similar in vein to the “lights” concept above, but the idea is that you intentionally set the rhythms of the person you want to become with your schedule – then you do them (and become that person).
How To Not Hate Your Schedule
Shifting my mindset on scheduling in this way was incredibly helpful. I started planning out my days with Woven Calendar and took back my day-to-day life and week.
Other Awesome Productivity Guides
Don’t get caught in a loop of always searching for the next productivity hack. The best way to move forward it to act. That said, here are some other helpful guides on productivity if you need it.