Nowadays people aren’t as productive as they should be. When they have things to get done in the day, they use excuses like: “I don’t have enough time in the day. There just isn’t enough time in my day”. These excuses are what are holding people back in life. I bet you can think of many excuses right now to why you didn’t get what you were supposed to do done.
Here is a universal fact about the world. We all have the same time as everyone else. We all we 24 hours in a day. No one has more time than you, and you don’t have more time than someone else. Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, and any other wealthy person that comes to your mind all has the same hours in the day as you. They are just using their time differently. The goal is to optimize your day and get the most out of your day.
In this article, you will uncover the ways to stop procrastination, stop being lazy, and optimize your day to maximize your results. There is 5 ways that I figured out how to optimize your day, and maximize your results. Before we get into the 5 ways to be more productive and get the most of your day. You need to understand this simple concept. This concept is Stephen Covey’s Time Management Matrix. He wrote the book The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People.
Get the book below if you want to learn the 7 habits of people who produce the best results in their life.
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Let me break this down for you. There is only one quadrant where you want to be.
Quadrant one is urgent and important and that is where crisis happens like if a fire happens, your computer crashes, you have something due by the end of the day. You don’t want to be in this quadrant. Quadrant three is urgent but not important and that is things like if you are at work and someone walks to your desk and starts talking to you. This is urgent but it’s most likely not important. Or like answering emails or texts. You don’t want to be in this quadrant either. Quadrant four is the not urgent and not important quadrant. This is the time waster quadrant and that is where most people are and that is the “busy work” quadrant. Where you do things just to keep yourself busy, so you feel like you are being productive. Things like scrolling through your social media is one of them. Or calling someone just to talk to them. You definitely don’t want to be in this quadrant. If you are then you must limit the time you spend in this quadrant.
You are probably wondering why I skipped over quadrant two and that is because this is the quadrant you should be in the most. It’s not urgent but it is important. Like working out to improve your health, reading to improve your brain, relationship building, planning. Another example of this is me writing this article. It’s not urgent but it is important that I get this article written. When things are urgent, you have to rush and you might feel pressure, so your results are mediocre. The goal is to do the things that are important but not urgent, because if you wait then these task eventually become urgent, and then you produce mediocre results. When you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail. That is something Ben Franklin would say.
So before you practice these 5 ways to be more productive, you are going to want to understand these four quadrants. Read the picture above.
The 5 Ways To Be More Productive:
1.Make A TO-DO List Or Plan Out Your Day
Just planning out your day will help you become more productive. Here’s why: When you don’t know what you should be doing every hour of the day then you slowly will fall into quadrant four. You start to do things that only waste your time. People want more freedom but I am telling you, the only way to freedom is structure. When you structure your whole day, play by play, you will have time to do things for your pleasure, like watching TV. Just because you plan out your day doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your day. You will enjoy your day more when you structure it out. This will help you make time for the things that matter most and it will help you be more productive.
To go above and beyond, write urgent or not urgent and important or not important next to the items on your To-Do list.
I prefer and I find it more effective if you write what you should be doing hour by hour. It will help you get more done but have more time in the day.
2. Do All Your Big Task Before 11am (Eat The Frog)
This simple concept here, yield so much results in my life. I recently published a book and this was the strategy that help me write and publish The Paradise Within. I am not here to promote my book, I am here to tell you that this simple concept help me publish this book.
Mark Twain said if you were told you have to eat a frog tomorrow, would you rather eat the frog in the morning or eat it later on in the day? I don’t know about you, but I would rather eat the frog in the morning. If you don’t eat the frog in the morning and get it out the way then you will be thinking about it all day. And the frog is another word for your biggest task. Do your biggest task in the morning before 11am.
Get your biggest tasks and projects out the way in the morning. This will yield you results and you will be able to enjoy your day more.
3. Follow The 80/20 Rule
20% of your actions, produce 80% of your results. 20% of your customers produce 80% of your profit. The other 80% is the customers that window shop and give you headaches. Only 20% of the things you do everyday matters. Only 20% of the things you do give you results and help you go forward. The other 80% is just busy work and time wasters.
In the business aspect, I see people who do so much, they put in 80% effort but that only produces 20% results. The one’s who management their time differently, allowing them to put in only 20% effort, they then produce 80% results. I don’t want to get you thinking about numbers too much and get you confused but let’s just say narrow down your 20%. What is your 20% that produces most of your results in all aspects of your life? Narrow it down and do the 20%. Quit wasting time doing the 80% when you can be doing the 20% to get your results. NARROW DOWN WHAT IS YOUR 20% TODAY.
4. Limit Your Distractions
This forth way is critical because a lot of people aren’t productive because they are distracted by damn near everything. From the phones, to the internet, to the TV, to the computer, to video games, to music, to even their friends. These distractions either makes them go into shallow work or no work at all. This term shallow work is from the book Deep Work By Cal Newport. This is when you produce mediocre results because you aren’t fully focused and giving your full attention to the task or project at hand. That is why people nowadays produce bad results or no results at all.
You can’t blame someone for something they don’t know. So here is why the results are mediocre. When you are doing something for work or for school and the TV is on and your phone is next to you. First of all your subconscious mind pays attention to the TV, so the TV doesn’t try and kill you. Your subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between a TV and a mountain lion. So some of your attention is on the TV and if you have music playing too then more of your attention goes to that. And if you are checking social media in between breaks and when you go back to work, you can’t focus fully because some of your attention has been left on your phone from checking social media. We call this “attention residue”
So get rid of your distractions and put your phone on airplane mode, so you can go into the thing that is opposite of shallow work and that is deep work. Amazing results come from people who can go into deep work.
Pick up the book Deep Work By Cal Newport, to help you stay focused for success in a distracted world.
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5. Understand The Difference Between Being Busy & Being Productive
This last way is more an understanding than a way. We all have this feeling of not doing enough in the day. So how do we satisfy this feeling? By being busy, just doing busy work. Like going to meetings, cleaning, organizing etc. Being busy is about working harder and being productive is about working smarter.
Just like at your job, it’s normally an 8 hour work day but you can say like 1 quarter of your day is you actually being productive. The another 3 quarters is just busy work. Things just to keep you busy with very little value to it. So you can reach your 8 hours That is why people might come home from work depressed. Because if you are spending most of your day doing low value work then you look at yourself and you ask yourself if you are low value human being? Of course you aren’t. But this low value work makes you start to think that you are low value.
So understand when you are being productive producing results and when you are just doing busy work to make you feel like you are being productive when in reality you aren’t.
Do these 5 ways today and you become more productive and get the most out of your day.