Ever wondered why some people can achieve more in a day than others do in a week? Although it may seem like it at times, these people aren’t superhuman! Instead, they’ve mastered a series of productivity practices that empower them to work smarter [not harder] and do more in less time. As productivity is a skill you can cultivate as well as a personality trait, you can do the same.
But with so many productivity practices to choose from, which should you implement first?
Keep reading to discover how to squeeze more from each hour, day, week, month, year… and ultimately your life.
1. Daily plan
If you do nothing else, choose this productivity practice to implement.
The famous self-help guru Jim Rohn said, “If you don’t run the day, the day will run you” – and he’s right. Each day, you have 1,440 to use any way you like. Without a plan, there’s a chance you’ll squander a lot of these minutes. It’s not that you mean too. Instead, you waste them by procrastinating, lost in decision fatigue, and because you’re not especially mindful about what you’re doing.
With a plan, you get to decide what you include in your day. You get to choose the focus and pick the priorities rather than going with the flow.
Tools such as the SELF Journal will help you get an edge with your daily planning. Its 6am – 9pm timeline will help you mastermind your day and plan in tasks, appointments, and to-dos in 30-minute chunks.
A daily plan isn’t about overwhelming you. Just because you CAN do more doesn’t mean you have to. Instead, this is about helping you to stretch your minutes further so you can join the crew of highly-effective.
2. Time budgets
If you don’t budget your money, it’s all too easy to overspend, squander, and hit the end of the month wondering where all your hard-earned cash went! The same is true for your time.
Parkinson’s Law states that tasks will take up whatever time window you allow. If you’ve ever wondered why a presentation took all day when a couple hours should have wrapped it up, that’s your answer!
Highly-effective people know they can’t give Parkinson’s Law a chance. It’s why they work with time budgets and stricter scheduling. You can do the same…
A to-do list may boost your effectiveness, but you can take it one step further when you allocate a time budget for each task [something the Weekly Action Pad will help you do.] With your time budget complete, you can now view each task as a piece of the jigsaw. Given the amount of time each task needs, when is the best time to complete it during the day [or week]?
Mastermind your time in this way and it will stretch a lot further than you currently think possible.
3. Morning routine
Truth is you don’t have as much control over your day as you think. A great plan can easily go out the window if something unexpected happens. That’s why highly-effective people make full use of their morning routine.
Your morning routine is the things you do before your day really starts. It’s the things you do BEFORE you check your emails, look on social media, or watch out the news! When you give yourself protected space to wake up and set the tone for the day, you stay in charge. You don’t allow someone else’s agenda to take precedent and you don’t allow your mood and motivation to be influenced by something you saw online.
A morning routine can help you clock up big wins before the day even begins. Best of all, you get to decide what your morning routine includes. This is a personal journey – something you can tweak and adjust as you figure out the perfect combination of tasks and activities.
Here are some examples of activities you could try:
- Exercise – take a walk, a class, or practice yoga
- Meditate – an app like Headspace is a good place to start
- Journal – with a tool such as the WordSmith Deck and a Scribe notebook
- Read [or listen to Audible] – SmartMarks will help you get the most out of your notes
- Think – use the Edison Deck to help you generate more ideas
What’s your perfect combination?
If you want to be a highly-effective person, chances are it’s because you have big ambitions and stretching goals. Often, this translates into an overwhelming to-do list that can easily pile on the stress and overwhelm.
It’s OK to go on work sprints from time to time. There will be seasons in your life when you’ll have to go all in on a task or a project. But if working too much becomes the norm, you’ll soon burnout.
Remember, you don’t have to do everything that’s on your list – other people can help. This is why delegation is a must for highly-effective people.
Look over your list now and get clear on the tasks you could delegate. Remember, this thinking applies to tasks in your home too, not just your work. For example:
- Home chores: Hire help for the cleaning, gardening, ironing etc [even pay your children!]
- Admin: Hand off tasks such email management, general organization, and administration to a virtual assistant
- Build a team: Could you free up time by hiring a new team member or training someone else?
Trying to do everything yourself isn’t productive. Instead, share out tasks so you’re always working on the highest leveraged activities. It’s a strategy that will take you further.
5. Work-life harmony
Boosting your effectiveness is about more than getting stuff done. It’s also about freeing up time so you can do more of the things you enjoy.
It’s smart to chase big goals to see what else you can do. But your best self doesn’t want to burn out, which is why work-life harmony has to be the ultimate goal.
Work-life harmony recognizes the necessity to find time for all the things that matter to you. If your hobbies are neglected, you’ll struggle to perform at your peak in work. Your productivity will dip too. If you feel guilty for not spending enough time with family and loved ones, it becomes harder to get your head down.
Highly-effective people know they need it all to feel truly happy and fulfilled. So make harmony your goal. It’s a powerful way to enjoy today while you think bigger and achieve more.
Are you ready to become a highly-effective person? If so, we’ve got the productivity tools to help. Discover them all HERE.