We all want to be super productive. There's not a magic trick to assess that propose. How can you ‘seize the day’ in the best of ways? Here are 5 techniques and advices that will help you to accomplish your goals.
- "Work less, produce more and you will have a better life"
- Your health goes first
- Recognize the difference between important and urgent
- Use the X method to motivate your self
- The flowtime process
1. "Work less, produce more and you will have a better life"
Those are the words of Isa García, a Spaniard entrepreneur who believes that we all have to stop believing that productivity is directly related with the amount of hours you spend on your office or job. “To be ultra-productive, you need to draft a plan to be able to complete the same tasks in less hours. I can assure you, if you focus on your aims, you’ll be able to complete the same task in half of a time. One of the actions you need to do is to disconnect yourself from activities that are not helping you to complete your work. For example, social media. Sometimes social media is helpful, yeah, but the most of the times it’s just a distractor. You need to say ‘no’ to people who is not helping. You need to find a right balance between your four dimensions: spirit, emotions, intellect and body.
And here’s one of the techniques he likes to improve: Do something you don’t like for 150 days. That way you will become more disciplined. “Imagine how you will feel doing something of your liking after such an exercise”.
Also read: Learn how to manage a project (for dummies!)
2. Your health goes first
You need to take care of yourself before engaging in anything else. Getting enough sleep, having a healthy diet and moving your body are essential actions to be more productive.
If you neglect your health, you could not see consequences right away, but you’ll see them eventually, maybe in days, maybe in weeks or maybe in years.
Design a daily routine of exercises. Eat at the right hours. Drink enough water and don’t remain seated the whole day. Move time to time.
3. Recognize the difference between important and urgent
Stop believing that you have to complete all the tasks in one day. The truth is that there are tasks that are more important than others. So, first, divide your tasks into the urgent ones and the important ones. The urgent ones are the ones you got to do right away.
Second, don’t try to multitask. Multitasking rarely works. It only contributes to create a bottleneck that will end up reducing your productivity. Complete one task at a time and you’ll get it done in less time.
4. Use the X method to motivate yourself
If you need to reinforce a behaviour –that’s in other words, having discipline to do something you are not used to do- the X method is for you.
Put a big wall calendar somewhere close to your eyesight. Start putting an X every time you have the positive behaviour (which could mean not doing something you use to do wrong, like being late at work, o doing something beneficial you were not doing before, like juggling every morning).
If you start to see a chain of X’s, you’ll start feeling motivated to keep the chain going. Like a game. You will be so proud of seeing so many consecutive X’s you will do your best to keep the pattern going.
5. The flowtime process
It’s like the Pomodoro technique, but with a little difference: it has a more flexible structure.
- Pick a task.
- Start working, but first record your start time.
- Stop when you need a break, and record your stop time. You can note if you were interrupted.
- Set a timer and take a break.
- Repeat the process
“Instead of strictly alternating between, say, 20 minutes of work and 10 minutes of rest, the Flowtime technique allows you to work for as long as your brain wants. In the morning, you might be able to pull off 90 minutes of work before your first rest, whereas in the afternoon you might need to switch between 10 minutes of work and 10 minutes of rest”, says Joel Lee from Make of Use Magazine.
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