Decisions are harder then they have ever been. Especially in the arenas of productivity. So much information coming at us 24/7. We need to streamline. It’s a skill. And, you can be as good as the best productivity gurus with your own curated strategy. It’s ultimately about working better, not always harder.
I’ve gotten myself down to 1-2 productivity apps down from 5-6 of the evil little buggers. I won’t begin to tell you which one is the right fit for you, only you know that one. But, I have learned a healthy balance between a digital productivity tool and a analog one. Incredibly affective productivity I have found doesn’t come from coding and electronics. Or, even from a book I hand write in all daily. It’s how I taught my brain to make better choices.
We confuse a lot of the time what’s urgent with what’s important. It’s really hard to ignore the urgency when it’s right in your face or your back is against the wall with a deadline. These distractions take a energy sucking toll on our ability to process the correct thing first. In my head with LOTS or practice I’ve learned to categorize things. I started this training on paper and found it trained my brain after enough practice to do it on the fly. The best category you want to start with is the work that is not urgent, but the work where we focus and think.
Fact: On average, only about 30% of our time is spent in the most productive work.
That’s a shift that we need to take seriously. Start with what your current focus is and does it land where you want to be? Where you want to BE is the key. If it’s not where you want to be, then you need to seriously consider why you’re doing it. You’ll find like I do with this easy filter, you’re letting the wrong tasks lead you down a path you will not enjoy at the end of the day. You’ll look back with regret on the day with very little reward.
Block the work out, planing it beyond just the day your in. Is there some work that you can move into the week further down? What has to be done today? Can it be done Friday instead? Is there an opportunity to defer it somewhere else? Do you actually have to do it at all? Can it be delegated? Concentrate on those boulders you have in front of you that only you can lift. The gravel and tiny rocks need to be moved to later in the week ahead. This is called a productivity slide. You’ll find relief in sliding it down into other days in the week so you can focus on the most demanding and bigger rocks.
Take care of your body and mind more than you do right now. Keep yourself healthy with enough sleep, some activity that keeps your blood pumping, and study/curiosity time to stay sharp. Working brain power that is fed by healthy habits will consistently equal higher returns in productivity. Your brain takes up two percent of your body mass yet it consumes 20 percent of your body’s energy. I cognitively take a hit when I don’t get more than 6 hours of sleep. I’m just not as sharp. Tracking my productivity on paper, my most productive days are consistently matched up with getting 6+ hours of sleep the night before. It’s amazing what you can find out when you track analytically your habits and then use intuition to pivot.
To be more productive you have to be willing to change some of your habits. It’s not working longer and longer hours that get things done right. It’s doing the right things so you can work better than you do. Take care of the mind. It truly is a terrible thing to waste.