Productivity - Do Less Achieve More
Have you ever asked yourself or tried endless different “hacks” to produce those 1 in a million results to boost you to fortune and fame? Maybe you just want to grow your business by 10% year after year. If you are into personal development and learning I’m sure you have read many books and articles regarding how to be more productive each day. It’s something I strive to increase daily myself. I’ve performed many tasks and have had tons of jobs over my lifetime. Always trying to be more efficient and effective in whatever I’m doing. I’ve found the key is to work smarter all the time to produce excellent results in a better time-frame. I’m hoping to provide you with some tips and tools to implement in your own life which have worked for me over many years.
I have worked on my daily habits and routines for almost 10 years now. Improving on what can be better and excelling in already what I have mastered. I’m happy and confident to tell you that what I do on a daily basis gets me closer to the life I want to live. There are no secrets and mind-blowing techniques in here, rather effective knowledge to help you achieve what’s important in your life and still having time to spend with your family or partner each day. Being productive to allow you to have more balance and free time in your schedule. Let’s get right into it, enjoy!
Follow Pareto’s Principle
The first area I want to dive into is the 80/20 principle also known as Pareto’s Principle. I highly recommend you pick up a copy of the 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch. Here is part of chapter 1 which he describes spot on when applying the 80/20 Principle;
“The 80/20 Principle can and should be used by ever intelligent person in their daily life, by every organization, and by every social grouping and form of society. It can help individuals and groups achieve much more, with much less effort. The 80/20 Principle can raise personal effectiveness and happiness. It can multiply the profitability of corporations and the effectiveness of any organization.”
If you have never heard of the 80/20 Principle before it means – for many events 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. This means that you must find out where the main 20% of causes come from whether this is from a business standpoint or productivity or whatever. Maybe the first 2 hours in the day are directly related to 80% of the results you achieve each day. You want to focus your efforts with intensity for these 2 hours each day in order to get a maximum return.
By understanding Pareto’s Principle and following it to some degree you can best set yourself up to achieve more by doing less. There is a giant misconception out there regarding productivity and that is you must work 18-hour days to achieve greatness. If you focus on the right areas and on what is tremendously important then you don’t have to waste your entire day. Stick to a few tasks that will drive your success and lead you towards your goals.
This leads into our second factor to productivity. Focus on the right things to accomplish each day.
Set your Daily Big 3
Stop creating to-do lists of 20 + items daily. These are usually filled with many non-important tasks that are great at keeping you busy but not necessarily productive. Michael Hyatt nails this one right on the head and I have been following his steps for a long time now. Michael talks about focusing your time and attention each day to your “daily big 3 tasks”. These are 3 important tasks that are on your to-do list that truly matter in getting you closer to achieving your goals.
If you don’t have any goals set or struggle to get them on paper please read Your Best Year Ever by Michael Hyatt. In this book he goes into detail of how to set very clear, concise and concrete goals as well as getting deeper into creating your daily big 3.
I used to create somewhat long to-do lists daily myself. These helped me check off what I needed to do each day and move forward to the next task. I still do this today, but I always set and write down my most important tasks first (daily big 3). These are the 3 tasks I make sure I put time and effort into each day. This will ensure that I am getting closer to my goals and achieving important tasks every day. It feels great when you know you are on the right track and doing productive work.
Everyone is so busy being busy. Stop take a breath look around and figure out what really is important for you to do now, set your daily big 3 each day and start being more productive.
Create a Morning Ritual
Many productive and extraordinarily successful people out there these days have a strong morning ritual. This is a set routine of habits they perform to set each day up to be successful. Have you ever had those days where you seem like you really didn’t achieve much and yet have been running around like a madman…? On the other hand, I’m sure you’ve had days where at the end of it you really felt proud of what you’d accomplished.
A strong morning ritual can be the difference maker to getting that right traction to dominate the day ahead of you to be extremely productive. I’ve been following some sort of routine for my morning ritual for several years now. It sometimes changes depending on where I’m at and what I’m doing but I try and stay very consistent when I can for maximum productivity.
My morning ritual looks like
-Wake up 6:30a.m.
-Shot apple cider vinegar and pink Himalayan salt
-Read goals feel and visualize achieving them
-Fill out planner for day – set daily big 3
-Meditate – Headspace (10 minutes)
-Read life plan and feel greatness (10 minutes)
-Stretch and foam roll (5 minutes)
-Read (10-30 minutes depending on the day)
All in all, my morning ritual takes about an hour from start to finish. If I don’t have many plans that day and don’t have to be anywhere, I may read up to 45 minutes at the end of it. Mine is fairly in depth and is about getting my mind and body ready to be productive and create small wins early on in my day.
You can even start with something as simple as wake up at 7:00 a.m. Drink 500mL of water, meditate for 5 minutes and read 10 pages. This would be a fantastic start as it would start creating a strong habit into your life. You will be setting up a timeline to be held accountable and are doing something for yourself before the day takes control of you.
Following a morning ritual has elevated my productivity by leaps and bounds. The final tool I will provide you with is true for productivity as it is for life – Consistency
Consistent – Acting or done in the same way over time
If there is anything I could tell you right now to enhance your life, to be more productive, have more fun, travel more, spend time with family and friends or even go to the gym it would be that;
Consistency is the key!
Being consistent will ensure you get lasting results over the days, weeks, months and years to come. Who wants to be the person who sets amazing goals on January 1st to give up on March 10th… You must be consistent each and everyday. Without it you will have a tough time to create lasting productivity in your life. If you focus on doing a few important tasks each day and can continue doing this for 365 days you will be on a stretch to achieve true greatness.
Everything takes time and patience. Most of the time what we think something will take is a big understatement and unrealistic. We can achieve a lot in a few short years but that will be what it takes.
I have an app on my phone which I track my daily habits called Loop Habit Tracker. I use this to track my habits like; meditation, reading, guitar practice, exercise, and my morning ritual. Each day I perform the habit I tick it off in my phone. This helps to create a lasting chain in my phone to give me visual results and a great sense of accomplishment. It helps me to be consistent day after day. If I happen to miss a day of exercise or reading one day, I refer to the app and make sure it gets done the following day. Here is a tip worth writing down.
Never miss more then 1 day of your habit or task you are trying to achieve.
By committing to never miss more then 1 day you will ensure you are consistent for a long time and ensure long term growth in whatever it is you are trying to achieve.
I hope some of this knowledge has helped you in some way to increase your productivity. I continue to learn each day to find out what works and doesn’t work for me. Everyone is different so we all need to do some of our own trial and error ourselves. I’m confident if you start by following any one of the tips I’ve given you – Pareto’s Principle, set your daily big 3, create a morning ritual and be consistent you will see an increase in your productivity each and every day!
Continue to work hard and push it to create that lasting change you want in your life. Be productive and live a great fulfilled life.
All the best,