If you want to be successful, there’s one thing you need to do:
We all have the same amount of hours in a day, it’s what we do with those hours that matters most.
In a world filled with notifications and distractions – being productive can be quite challenging.
But let me be blunt for a second:
If you’re not productive, you won’t be successful.
It’s harsh but it’s true.
Luckily though, everyone has what it takes to be productive.
You just need to embrace systems and thinking that will help you in optimizing your time for what matters.
As someone who juggles multiple businesses, a blog, is currently writing their third book and is actively working with brands from all over the world – I can tell you first hand that being productive is an ongoing battle. Luckily, with practice, systems and a few adjustments in how you think – it’s easy to increase your levels of productivity.
You could spend hours and hours studying the best tricks and tips of the trade or you could just take some of best insights I’ve gathered over the years and apply them to your life.
In this article, I’m going to talk to you about some of the best tried and tested techniques for being productive. By the end of it, you should be armed and equipped with the insights, information and tools you need to take your productivity to the next level.
1) During certain hours put your phone on airplane mode
This is a simple approach but it’s one that can work wonders.
The biggest distraction for most people isn’t their own desire to access their phone, it’s the way these devices lure us back in.
Whether it’s a push notification, pulsing vibration or familiar ring – they’re all distractions.
Turning your phone on airplane mode for a few hours can help you focus on what matters most and remove these constant distractions.
2) Don’t allow social media to take over your life
What would you do if I gave you an extra 12 hours each week?
Maybe you would spend more time with the family?
Maybe you would finally launch that side business?
Well, on average – we’re spending 12 hours a week on social media. And while we spend a little over 6 hours a day online as a whole, social media is one of the biggest time sucks
Social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest are designed to have you hooked. They are intentionally created with the goal of getting you to spend more and more time on their sites so they can make money from ads. One minute you’re checking your Facebook page and 3 hours later you’re wondering why you’re looking at posts of you and your ex from Grade 12.
It’s a vicious cycle. But it doesn’t have to be…
Here are some things you can do to help:
- Use Social Media Blockers: There are a handful of tools out there that will lock you out from visiting social media sites. One of the most popular tools is called Cold Turkey.
- Schedule Your Social Media Content: Using a tool like Latergramme, Hootsuite or Buffer.com you can schedule your content well in advance. While you’re working on other things, your accounts are actively sharing posts and tweets.
- Stop Looking For Content To Share: Using the app GetCrate.co you no longer have to hunt for great links to share on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook – it recommends the content and lets you schedule the posts to be shared.
- Delete Some Of Your Accounts: Do you really need to be on every single social network? What channels are you only there because of FOMO and which channels are you actually gaining value from?
3) Hold yourself accountable to certain tasks with a friend
This isn’t easy.
That’s why I suggest you don’t do it alone.
Hold yourself accountable by finding someone you trust or work with to keep track of your goals and tasks.
One approach is simply sending them an email at the beginning of the week sharing some of the things you “must-do”. At the end of the week, follow up and let them know whether or not you actually did it or failed.
The fear of looking bad in the eyes of someone else is a strong reinforcement for getting the tasks done.
4) Use your calendar to manage personal and professional activities
Anyone with a smartphone has access to one of the best productivity apps in the world.
What is it?
It’s called a calendar.
To manage your time effectively, you need to start taking control of it. You need to understand where you’re spending your time and keeping track of those efforts using your calendar is a great step in the right direction.
Use your calendar to manage your time for both professional and personal activities. Whether it’s an event on a Friday night with friends or a conference call on Tuesday at 3 PM – lock it in your calendar.
I use my calendar for everything from date nights to conferences.
But your calendar shouldn’t be limited to just events. You should use your calendar to block off time for managing and implementing certain tasks. For example, instead of allowing email to disrupt your day every other minute – block off email time in the morning and afternoon.
It’s easy to talk about how much you embrace the hustle and hard work.
It’s hard to take those moments of inspiration and execute.
Being productive is something that will offer you benefits for the rest of your life.
And even if you’re not able to take your productivity from 0 to 100 after reading this post, at least you can take something from it to improve slightly.
If you start using the tactics, tools and strategies highlighted here, I promise you that in a few years, you’ll be more productive than most of your colleagues, peers and counterparts.
If you have any questions about these approaches or want to share a story about how you’ve increased your productivity, leave me a comment below.