I have worked everywhere from offices to construction sites, and from telemarketing to bartending and when it comes work culture with the worst processes in place on being productive, The heavyweight champion of the most time is wasted is in office environments, hands down. This also entails freelancers and solopreneurs who manage (or don’t manage) their own time.
Now, in this article I’m not going to get into the dark details of why. But I will say that much of it has to do with a sense of appeal to tradition in the office environment, where all meetings are important simply because they’re meetings and the person who multitasks and does a million thinks at once is the most productive.
On top of these outdated ideas of productivity, we have ever advancing technology; Slack, Skype, Zoom, Google Meets, Gmail, and various other forms of communication technology that ping clang and make annoying sounds that immediately pull us away from more important tasks. (Product and process innovation, relationship building with customers and employees, making sure your team is functioning properly, people aren’t miserable etc.)
These items compounded creates a culture of distraction, busy work, and a false sense of “getting things done” when all you did all day was middle manage and put out small fires. And yes, I punch at this subject hard because I have seen a TON of this in office work, and all I can think of is how much time, and money is wasted from these activities.
If you want to read more extensively on this subject matter: VIEW THE DAVINCI METHOD PROGRESS PDF HERE
But I want to change all of that. Because I know, understand, and have seen what one can get done with better working processes and better focus.
Imagine if you had such solid systems in place that you could double your productivity in a few months. How much would that be worth to you? Imagine if you and your staff were so effective you could offer employees more time off for their efforts, and creating a work culture than only attracts top talent? What would be the value in that business?
Where would you be in you FINALLY began to become truly productive? Keep reading and I’m going to show you how.
If you are serious about your productivity and getting what you want our of your work and personal life. BOOK YOUR FREE PRODUCTIVITY DISCOVERY CALL HERE.
I am passionate about this subject of productivity because it goes hand in hand with betterment and becoming a better human being. Being more productive in a positive way only contributes to the creation of and design of your overall life.
Everything I am sharing with you I use personally, and it works for me. Feel free to experiment with these as they should act as baselines or starting points. If adopting these to a T works for you, great. If you develop a different method for yourself based off some of these tips, great. The point is to use this material to help get on track and begin going after what you want out of this life, developing a mission, a process to work within and sticking to it.
With your mission in mind, using these tips can help you begin to turn things around when it comes to a career change or starting your own business or side project. Implementing some of these productivity tips will enhance your working capacity and you will be able to get a lot more done in less time.
Implementing this theory and practice into my work has had one of the biggest positive effects on my work and productivity. Time blocking is simply taking chunks of time and dedicating them to one thing only. For example, you want to finish a book while you work full time. Time blocking your work and life can help you achieve things you would probably think would take double or triple the time. Here is how to do it.
- Take 1 dedicated hour per day where you will work on this book AND ONLY THE BOOK
- Select a time with minimal or no distractions (maybe early morning or later in the evening after dinner)
- Select a place you can work with minimal of no distractions (headphones can help dial you in)
- Once the time block is over, that’s it you’re done, wrap up and go do other things with your life
I got into this subject much deeper in my progress PDF, You can get it here: VIEW THE DAVINCI METHOD PROGRESS PDF HERE
Most people I have worked with are always busy. They are so busy they don’t know what to do with themselves. From this, they become overwhelmed with the amount of work they need to do.
Yet when you observe some of these people “work” it becomes apparent that they are always busy because they don’t work effectively and don’t get anything of value or significance done. This is true and applies to people on both personal and professional levels.
It is obvious they are more concerned with busy bullshit distraction work like answering emails, taking calls and overall tackling items that are of no immediate importance.
I understand, emails need to be answered, phone calls need to be made, business needs to come in. However, when you have another projector task that you know you need to do, and one that will only make things better, and you keep pushing it off, you are only doing yourself a disservice. So, how does one overcome this?
The solution is…
You corral your distractions, every one of them.
Much like a sheep herder, you literally guide and corral everything that may take you off of your main working task. You guide them to a time slot where you want them, and you deal with them there.
o It should go without saying but try to eliminate social media when working. They come with more harm than good
o Schedule times for the small busy work; busywork, small tasks, unimportant tasks etc.
o Schedule times when you are going to answer emails and make calls etc.
o Stick to those times rigidly as to not distract from your work
- From 10am-11am I will answer emails and phone calls. 4pm-5pm will be my next and last block of this
- 9-11am will be the time I work on my one important task.
- 1pm-2pm is dedicated to lunch and unplugging
Of course, things come up, and sometimes you will need to make a shift in your schedule. But setting this baseline will help build structure around your work so you are not pulled away by every little distraction.
NONE of this will be achievable if you cannot control your focus. And this can be a grand task. Today, the average attention span is around 7 seconds, which is less than that of a goldfish. It is a bit sad to think an animal that lives in a bowl on top of counters can focus longer than the animal that invented the air conditioner, the wheel, and smartphones. That should put things into perspective on how bad our focus has become.
It can be argued that the main reason for our loss of focus is because of some of our inventions, namely the smartphone. You can spend hours on these devices and never become bored. You can watch video after video, view photo after photo, or message and comment until your thumbs get sore.
But because of this powerful device and access to information and bullshit (Other Article Link), this has killed our ability to focus on one task deeply. The only way out of this is to get serious with yourself about your consumption and how much it is ruining your ability to create. Here are a few starting points to help you out:
- Take note of your phone time – This will give you a starting point on how much you are using your phone and how much time you are wasting. Let the HOURS of time you spend on your phone sink in, and really think about how that time, you can never get back. (At my high point, I was at about6 hours…terrible)
- Now, leave your phone in the other room. When you are trying to get something done, and you are addicted to your device, you will keep constantly checking it. Tapping and swiping aimlessly yet again.Leaving your phone in the other is a starting point to cutting the cord and gaining back your focus levels.
- Block apps on your mobile device and workstation– this has been a personal problem of mine; I can be doing research and the internet will inevitably drag me off to some other place I had no intention of going to. (It is very good at doing that). Download an app blocker to deal with this . Recommended: Self Control
These steps will help re-train your brain to focus on tasks longer. And the best place to start is right where you are. To get your baseline of focus, get a timer or stopwatch, pull up the project you should be working on, start the timer, and get to work. Then, once you feel your focus begin to wain, or you pull up another window or app unrelated to your work, check the time. In other words, check how long it took you to become distracted. (I made it 15:27 my first time). This is your general baseline of focus.
No that you have this, push beyond it. The next day, set a timer for 20 minutes, and work until you hear it go off, no more, no less. Then take a 5-minute break. From there, slowly build up your time. The ideal work block is around 90 – 120 minutes, that is what you should strive toward. And I Meineke guarantee once you begin to work this amount of time uninterrupted and undistracted, you will be astonished at how much you can get done.
If you are tired of being unfocused, distracted, and not getting the important tasks in your life and business done, reach out today and claim your free productivity call: BOOK YOUR FREE PRODUCTIVITY DISCOVERY CALL HERE.
When you have your body and mind working in harmony, this will help you profoundly in your life and attaining a sense of healthy equilibrium.Exercise wakes up your muscles and widens your capillaries so that blood can be carried throughout your body quicker, providing more oxygen and nutrients to muscles and cells. Which in turn helps your brain function, which in turn will allow for more energy and focus.
As a human animal our bodies were designed to move, not sit around all day. Consistent exercise is one of the best things we can do for ourselves and our bodies. With that said, here are a few tips to get started:
- Go for short walks throughout the day for 5-10minutes(if possible)
- Implement an exercise routine (shoot for 20minutes minimum)
- Mix cardio and weights (try not to just do one or the other, though one is better than none, using both weight or resistance training plus cardio will round out your health routine and will build stronger muscles and a stronger heart, in turn providing you more energy throughout the day.
- Pick something you enjoy doing. For me its boxing, but I would suggest trying different things until you find what you enjoy; cycling, running, Crossfit, weight training. There are a ton of different exercise classes and gyms that offer them. The only problem you really have is picking one.
Food is essentially fuel for the human animal. Though, with our foodie culture and mild obsession with food, it has become more of an experience and many people eat for the flavor or the richness of the meal rather than the energy it provides afterward.
I am not knocking a delicious well-cooked meal (or donuts),just putting into perspective the fact that all food really is to us is a way to fuel our bodies, simple as that. It is also a general rule that those rich foods you get at restaurants are usually packed with butter, sugar and salt, that’s what gives it such a phenomenal flavor, and also the crash an hour or so later.
I studied nutrition in college and I have a decent grasp on food, diet and how important it is when it comes to focus, getting stuff done, and more important, the overall quality of your life.
Here are a few tips to get started here.
- Try to eat smaller meals instead of large meals throughout the day. This will keep your blood sugar in check and you will be less likely to crash and get tired after a meal
- Figure out what works for you in terms of food.Some people swear by vegan or vegetarianism. Others are all in on a carnivore type diet, while others balance the two out. I am not going to get into the rabbit hole of this subject matter, but the main takeaway is DO WHAT FEELS RIGHT TO YOU. Maybe try out a few different diet styles before you settle on one in particular. After experimenting a bit, you will begin to see and feel the effects of food on your body after you eat them. Tip: As a rule, you should not feel lethargic and tired after eating, that is a sign that you ate too much or that the food you consumed was high in carbs and sugar causing your blood sugar levels to spike
- I don’t think I have to tell anyone the obvious (or maybe I do), deep fried foods, simple carbohydrates, sugary sweet foods, and foods too high in fat are on the whole not good for you. Sugary foods specifically like desserts will crash your energy levels shortly after eating them. Limit these foods to times when focus and optimal energy aren’t the priority. Maybe when you’re relaxing or not working, as the sugar let down afterward won’t let your work down along with it.
- Main Takeaway – eat what works best for you, your body, and your overall lifestyle and activity level, limit sugar, simple carbs, high fat, and try to eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, good fats like salmon, avocado, olive oil and clean meats such as grass fed chicken and beef.
One thing I cannot stand is some of these gurus who preach working 80 hours a week, not sleeping, and burning the midnight oil every night. They jam the notion in your head to grind, grind, grind you can rest when you are dead.
Though certain aspects of this may be true, and of course working is the ticket to achieve things you want and reach new heights in life, I have found that your best work comes when you are clear headed, well rested, and focused, which comes from tapping the breaks and letting your mind and body rest and refresh every now and again.
- If you are feeling burnt out, the worst thing todo is push through it, your work will suffer, and you will inevitably feel worse afterwards
- Small rest within the workday – lay down or sit quietly) if possible, after lunch/mid-day etc. for 20 minutes to recharge your brain
- Leisure time with friends / family/ social is good for you – can spark ideas, puts your mind at rest
- Meditate – allow your mind to empty out
- Take time off. I suggest 1 week per quarter or maybe more if you can manage it. Work and all that is great but exploring life and doing other things you enjoy is a piece of the puzzle as well.
These are just a few small tips about productivity as it related to every angle of your life. I also want to add to this, when starting out, a lot of this may be difficult to reach, you may get confused or overdo it or possibly get obsessive. As with everything, a healthy balance is required to make all this work well. If you need any further guidance on work, life, or any of this stuff, please feel free to reach out.
BOOK YOUR FREE PRODUCTIVITY DISCOVERY CALL HERE.
Until next time.