Time is the great equalizer. We all have the same 24 hours in the day, after all. How come some people can seem to get so much accomplished, while others remain stuck?
What separates top-performers is that they know how to leverage their time by focusing on the things that deliver the maximum results.
Entrepreneur Allen Brouwer, co-founder of BestSelf.Co, is someone who knows a thing or two about what it takes to level up. To date the company has helped over 250,000 high-achievers crush their inspiring goals.
Allen shared with me some of his best tips to maximize your daily output and become ultra productive.
1. Structure your day in 30-minute intervals
The quickest way to boost your productivity is to stop squandering time. Without a clear plan for your day, it will run away from you and you’ll hit the pillow wondering what you actually accomplished. This is where the principle of ‘no white space’ fits in.
Divide your day into 30-minute sections. Aim to fill every slot with something. Make sure you schedule in time for your hobbies, time at the gym, quality time with your loved ones and even down time when you switch off and chill! Schedule it all to ensure you create a balanced life.
This strategy has many benefits:
You won’t squander as much time
You’ll be able to pack a lot more in — without wearing yourself out
You’ll become more mindful of how long things actually take so you can organise your time more consciously in the future
You’ll feel more fulfilled and successful because you’ll end each day feeling accomplished
You’ll get smart with your scheduling — for example, block all your calls together or fit in an errand on your way back from a meeting, etc.
Rather than letting the day run you, a “no white space” policy ensures you run the day.
2. Keep a master to-do list
We all have a finite amount of bandwidth. So for maximum productivity, don’t waste it trying to retain information in your head. Instead create “external brains” where you free up headspace so you have more to give to your goals.
Your master to-do list is one of those external brains.
Keep a list of everything you need to accomplish in one place and keep it updated. Then every Sunday, refer to that list to figure out what you’ll tackle in the week ahead.
Each week, list out all the tasks you want to complete then prioritize them as 1s, 2s and 3s. With this weekly overview to hand, daily planning becomes quicker and more efficient because you know instantly what to schedule and prioritise.
We’ve used this planning system for the last two years with huge results.
3. Create a morning routine
Despite the best laid plans, there’s always the chance that a spanner will get thrown into the works and your day will unfold in an entirely different way.
In fact, the only part of the day that you have complete control over is the way you start and the way you end.
It’s why we advocate morning routines (as does every high-performer we know).
My morning routine is a non-negotiable. It helps me perform at my best and always consists of four things: Something physical, spiritual, emotional and mental. For example, I meditate, do CrossFit, read to sharpen my mind and practice gratitude to nurture my sense of appreciation.
With my morning routine complete I already feel accomplished because I’ve invested time in the things that help me perform at my best.
4. Get accountable
The path to your goals can be a lonely place. Especially if you’re trying to become a better person and are changing your habits, your actions, and your routines. It’s not unusual for goals to cause friction with the people you love.
That’s where accountability is key. But the most important thing is to be accountable to yourself. Then be accountable to people who want the best for you. My co-founder, Cathryn Lavery, and I started out as accountability buddies. We held each other to a higher standard and this motivated each of us to stretch our comfort zones and do the hard things that got results. Accountability to each other still underpins everything we do at BestSelf.Co. It’s also the reason we set up our community, the BestSelf Alliance.
Surrounding yourself with people who will hold you to that higher standard and call you out when you’re not sticking to your commitments can make the difference between a goal crushed and a dream left by the wayside.
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Big thanks to Allen Brouwer from BestSelf.co for sharing his tips!