There’s a very thin line between accomplishing many things and being a workaholic. And you need to balance that. Here’s 6 tips on how to get everything done!
1) Manage Your Mood
Most productivity systems act like we’re robots – they forget the enormous power of feelings. If you start the day calm it’s easy to get the right things done and focus. Research shows how you start the day has an enormous effect on productivity and you procrastinate more when you’re in a bad mood. Studies demonstrate happiness increases productivity and makes you more successful.
2) Don’t Check Email In The Morning
To some people this is utter heresy. Many can’t imagine not waking up and immediately checking email or social media feeds. Why is checking email in the morning a cardinal sin? You’re setting yourself up to react. An email comes in and suddenly you’re giving your best hours to someone else’s goals, not yours. You’re not planning your day and prioritizing, you’re letting your objectives be hijacked by whoever randomly decides to enter your inbox.
3) Before You Try To Do It Faster, Ask Whether It Should Be Done At All
Everyone asks, “Why is it so impossible to get everything done?” But the answer is stunningly easy: You’re doing too many things. Want to be more productive? Don’t ask how to make something more efficient until after you’ve asked “Do I need to do this at all?”
4) Focus Is Nothing More Than Eliminating Distractions
Ed Hallowell, former professor at Harvard Medical School and bestselling author of Driven to Distraction, says we have “culturally generated ADD.” Has modern life permanently damaged our attention spans? No. What you do have is more tantalizing, easily accessible, shiny things available to you 24/7 than any human being has ever had. The answer is to lock yourself somewhere to make all the flashing, buzzing distractions go away.
5) Have A Personal System
Your routines can be formal and scientific or personal and idiosyncratic — but either way, productive people have a routine. Great systems work because they make things automatic, and don’t tax your very limited supply of willpower. What do we see when we systematically study the great geniuses of all time? Almost all had personal routines that worked for them.
How do you start to develop your own personal system? Apply some “80/20″ thinking:
• What handful of activities are responsible for the disproportionate number of your successes?
• What handful of activities absolutely crater your productivity?
• Rearrange your schedule to do more of #1 and to eliminate #2 as much as possible.
6) Define Your Goals The Night Before
Wake up knowing what is important before the day’s pseudo-emergencies come barging into your life and your inbox screams new commands. Research says you’re more likely to follow through if you’re specific and if you write your goals down. Studies show this has a secondary benefit: writing down what you need to do tomorrow relieves anxiety and helps you enjoy your evening.