For the most part we all have the same number of hours in the day. Some of us simply use those hours more efficiently. Some, like myself, have additional responsibilities such as family, a consulting practice and other ventures that keep me ridiculously busy. However, even with the additional load I manage to get more done than most people I know.
Here are the 10 reasons I’m more productive than you and what you can do to make some serious changes to your day…
1I STAY UP LATE AND GET UP EARLY
Unfortunately there’s only 24 hours in a day and you don’t get any more hours to get your shit done. As much as it sucks I try to pull some late nights and early mornings to keep current on all the tasks I need to accomplish. The satisfaction of getting things done definitely exceeds the pain of getting up early when I want to stay tucked into a warm bed.
If staying up late is easier for you (as it is with most of us) try getting up around 5am a few days a week as a test. I guarantee you won’t regret the extra few hours of productivity you gain from the early morning hustle!
2I DON’T TAKE TIME FOR GRANTED
Ever since we had kids I stopped taking time for granted and recognized how valuable each hour actually is. We live busy lives and every minute of time is now very obviously precious. I used to waste hours and hours of time each day dealing with low value tasks. Now that my perception of time has changed I use my time as effectively as possible each day.
You’ll only really start being super efficient when you truly appreciate the value of time. Give some real thought to how you spend your time each day. I think you’ll be surprised by how much you really have and how much of this time is wasted.
3I DON’T WASTE TIME ON THE INTERNET
Surfing Reddit and browsing videos on YouTube are some of my biggest vices. As with all non-productive habits they should be reduced as much as possible. I’ve learned over the last few years that although the internet is a great tool that I couldn’t live without, it can also be a huge time suck.
I definitely spend time enjoying everything the net has to offer, but as with all great things they should be enjoyed in moderation.
4I PLAN MY CASUAL RELAX TIME
Some of you may have read the items above and concluded that I must not have any fun at all. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. The only difference between me an most other people is that I plan my down time. My week tends to be structured as follows:
Monday to Thursday – These days are pretty much the same:
- Drive the kids to school
- Get to work and bang out a productive 8 hour day
- Hit the gym at lunch
- Lunch and snacks take less than 30 minutes
- Listen to audio books and make (handsfree) calls in the car
- Get home and spend time with the family
- Do some cardio and another 2 or 3 hours of work. Usually writing and dealing with email
- Off to bed
Believe it or not, by keeping this schedule 4 days a week allows me to take it a little easier Friday to Sunday. I still get some work done and manage to squeeze in a few workouts, but for the most part I’m enjoying the family and having some well deserved down time.
5I’VE LEARNED FROM OTHERS
It can me easy to get motivated, but much more difficult to stay motivated. That’s where great role models come in. When I find myself getting unmotivated or in time of low energy I’ll browse some inspirational words from real time hustlers. Browse Instagram accounts such as the Rock, or read some time management quote from Brian Tracy and don’t tell me you’re not ready to kick your butt into high gear.
6I SET GOALS
This is not new to most of you, but like many other people I also set goals. The big different between how I set goals and how I see others set goals is in the time frame of the particular goals. I tend to set shorter term goals in order to facilitate the long term goals I have already set in advance.
By focusing on weekly or monthly achievement I’m better able to push myself actively to complete tasks that will bring me close to my eventual long term objective and goals.
7I GET IN THE ZONE (FLOW)
This one can be difficult for many people. Getting “in the zone” has also been referred to as being in “flow”. Essentially you can get into a stay of mind where you are 100% focused on the task at hand. Whenever possible it’s important to be in this hyper aware and concentrated state. For example, as I’m writing this right now I’m in a state of flow. I’ve been writing for over 15 minutes or so with no distraction and the words are coming easily. It will take some practice and patience to master this technique, but it can be invaluable to those needing to get tasks done quickly and efficiently.
8I PLAN MY DAY IN AN ENERGY EFFICIENT MANNER (HARDEST TASKS FIRST)
This one would really be #1 if this list was ordered in most important to least. I organize my daily tasks (other than meeting and appointments I can’t control) by most “difficult and necessary” to “easier and less important”.
This allows me to get my larger more difficult tasks out of the way early and helps me build momentum throughout the day. I’m a big believer in the power of momentum in everything in life, whether it’s diet habits, fitness or career. The more momentum you can build the more you can continue to push through powerfully each day.
When I eventually get to the end of the day I really only have some easier tasks to tackle. Build your days like this and you’ll get more done than most…I promise!
9I ONLY CHECK EMAIL A FEW TIMES A DAY
There’s nothing more ineffective than checking email throughout the day. I know we all love that feeling of receiving a new email, but we have to check our emotions and resist the urge to check. Turn off the instant notifications on your phone and plan to check and respond to email only a few times a day.
10I CAN MULTI-TASK (DON’T BELIEVE THE EXPERTS)
I know, I know, you’ve heard from the experts that you can’t effectively multi-task. However there are occasions where it can work great. For instance, I’ll often run on the treadmill and watch a documentary or Ted Talk on YouTube. I can get in a 30 minute run and a great documentary or presentation at the same time. That’s like a 2 for 1 deal!
I hope the 10 time management concepts outline above have peaked your interest and hopefully pushed you to be more aware of the tremendous potential you have to accomplish your goals each day.
If you have any of your own time management ideas or tips I would love to hear them in the comment section below.
Stay strong and keep up the hustle!