Work Smarter//

How To Be Ultra-Productive and Do More With Less

How to take more breaks, be more communicative and get more done.


Being productive is a skill, and like any skill it can be learned and mastered. We live in a world where our responsibilities increase, distractions arise 24/7 and our time just seems to keep on decreasing. Becoming a productive person is all about understanding the factors (whether external or internal) that affect how we perform a task and designing our lives around them so that we make the most out of our time available.

If you find that you don’t have enough time, lack motivation to start or simply feel that your output can be improved here are some tips that I’ve found very useful in becoming ultra-productive. These tips have allowed me to run two full-time profitable businesses (Flux and Inston), write blog posts, rap, and read dozens of books per year, all while attending classes at UCLA.

So without further ado, let’s jump right in.

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Fundamentals

Pareto Principle

If you read nothing else this year, at least make sure you read this paragraph carefully and internalize it.

The Pareto Principle (also known as the 80/20 rule) states that roughly 80% of our outcomes come from 20% of our efforts.

Working on just the right things can lead to far more effective results than trying to focus on everything.

With this in mind, a productive person identifies which tasks can lead to the most output and works on those first, while deferring the other tasks for later or delegating the other tasks to someone else.

Using a very simple decision matrix to discern what’s important from what isn’t, you should rank your tasks every day by how much closer they bring you towards your long term goals and solely work on them.

Learn how to communicate

Being assertive is a highly useful skill. Not having to repeat yourself saves you time and energy. It also creates a communication environment where fewer mistakes due to misunderstandings are made.


Internal productivity

Have a productive routine

Make being productive a habit. Learn how to focus and remained focused. Bundle activities together so you don’t waste time switching gears. The more you plan, the easier it will be stay on track.

Keep hydrated and well-fed

Being hungry or thirsty is a productivity killer. Proper nutrition will ensure optimal results. Professional athletes eat smart and you should too. Junk food will lead to junk performance. Snack smart and often.

Breathe deeply to help you focus, work out to boost your energy

Breathe deeply and exhale slowly. After a couple repetitions your mind will be clearer. Practice meditation. Find an energy-releasing activity where you can unwind and distract your mind. This could be lifting, biking, hiking or doing yoga.

Wake up before everyone else

Not only this will give you some quiet time to think better but it will also make you feel like you’re getting ahead of your competition and boost your internal energy.

External productivity

Design your workspace to be productive

If your desk contains video games or clutter, it is likely that you won’t be able to focus as much. Try to remove as many obstacles as you can between you and the task at hand. If you go on Facebook too much, try StayFocusd.

Eliminate toxic people and time-wasters out of your life

If someone is draining your energy or distracting you, they need to go. Learn to say NO more often and stop agreeing to doing everything with everyone. Also, if you have any bad habits such as justifying an 8-hour movie-watching binge as leisure time, those also need to go. Be very honest with yourself and evaluate if a person or an activity is truly being beneficial to you or not.


Performance, it’s go time

Start

You can’t finish if you don’t start. Stop wasting time and just get to it. If you need to sell, just go out and do it.

Make a decision (quick)

A lot of people have decision paralysis. They always seem to need “more time to think about it” or simply “need more information”. In most cases you already have a decision formed or already have enough information to make a decision, so just decide and move on. Lingering on a problem for too long ends up cluttering your thoughts.

Learn how to do daily activities the most efficient way (to free up your time)

It surprises me how we sometimes learn the wrong ways to do things since young and we never change them: tying our shoes, chopping onions, folding clothes, etc.

As it turns out, you’re probably doing most of these activities in an inefficient way. While relearning might take some time, in the end the time saved or higher output produced due to learning a better way is well worth it.

Use (software or hardware) tools to do your job quicker

Why work when there’s already a pre-made tool that can automate what you do?

You should always look out for tools that can free up your time and allow you to shift your focus towards even higher return tasks. If you can create an email campaign to email all your leads, why would you ever want to do this manually?

Conclusion

Being productive takes a lot of personal discipline but you can make your life a lot easier if you know which important tasks you should work on, you’re properly hydrated and nutritioned and your work setup is clutter-free and conducive to quality work. The beauty of productivity is that once you start getting the hang of it, your outcome grows exponentially and your time frees up a lot, allowing you to do even cooler things.

Originally published at medium.com

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Masson/Shutterstock
Work Smarter//

MIT Scientists Have Discovered 3 Habits of the Most Productive People

by Elizabeth Yuko, Ph.D.
Get more done concept on green blackboard with businessman hand holding paper plane
Community//

3 Life-Changing Habits of the Super-Productive People

by Nidhi Kush Shah
Community//

Mind Your Own Hustle

by Michelle TenHave

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.