Would you like to be a more dynamic version of yourself? Most of us would! …But often times, everyday life presents us with surprises, mishaps, obstacles and snafus which hinders our productivity and keeps us from achieving a higher level of performance. The struggle is REAL!
In society today, we struggle with procrastination, distraction, attention deficit, lack of focus, mental health issues and more. So what is it that makes our mentors and people of influence so much more successful? What are the secrets that allow top performers and superstars to be so prolific by day and larger than life by night?
Turns out, there are distinctive reasons why some people flounder and others thrive. At the Lifehack Summit which was held back in July, 25 highly influential people were interviewed and asked what they did differently to be so incredibly effective throughout their days. These people are among the most productive in the world, and include bestselling authors, multi-millionaires, social influencers, media commentators, TED speakers, and serial entrepreneurs. They each shared their secrets for having better attitudes, workflow and freedom.
- Stop Managing Time. Manage your Energy and Attention instead. In the Industrial Age, productivity was measured in widgets per hour. This formula no longer makes sense for most jobs today. Distractions inundate our homes and offices on average of 20 times per hour. It’s no longer about how many tasks we can get completed quickly, it’s about managing our attention and energy so that we don’t get burned out.
- Prioritize Your To Do List. Define your #1 priority for your week, month and year. Clear away any unnecessary, inconsequential, or unimportant tasks which don’t support your true priorities.
- Develop your Focus Like it’s a Muscle. This effort will create new value, improve skills, allow you to perform cognitively demanding tasks in an environment free from distractions. High quality work produced = (time spent) x (intensity of focus). This equation is what grows a knowledge-based business 10X.
- Keep your Mindset Focused and Positive. This is the groundwork for the reality which we create for ourselves. Practice mindfulness by meditating and being self-aware. Anticipate and circumvent roadblocks, obstacles or negative thinking patterns. Take breaks to realign and recenter yourself. Ask yourself “What am I doing right now that’s not serving me?” This is an easy way to identify areas that are causing your growth to stagnate.
- Create a ‘Night Before’ Routine to Start Each Day. Set yourself up for success the following day by reviewing your schedule, setting your priorities, and adjusting for new realities.
- Group Similar Tasks Together to Optimize Work Flow. This makes it simpler for your brain to process information and solve problems, rather than constantly jumping between unrelated tasks. For ex, make phone calls between 1-3 PM instead of all throughout the day.
- Trick your Brain into Optimal Performance. Our brains are designed to protect us from doing things that may cause us pain, but this backfires against us when we’re trying to elevate to a higher level. While maintaining status quo is comfortable, to grow to the next level requires us to step WAY outside our comfort zones! Mel Robbins’ 5-Second Rule is a great technique to utilize here. The 5-second rule is this: The moment you have an instinct to act on a goal, count down 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and physically move before your brain has an opportunity to form an excuse. Don’t think, just move.
- Seek Out Discomfort Daily. If it doesn’t feel slightly outside of your comfort zone, then you aren’t pushing yourself hard enough. Lewis Howes says “The only way for us to grow is to constantly step into things we’ve never done.” Becoming better at dealing with failure helps you to become more confident and willing to take bolder leaps forward. Go do that really intense workout, or film your first podcast…no pain, no gain!
- Value and Defend Your Time. The most productive people actively find ways to defend blocks of time in their schedule where they can really get creative and dive into their work. Time is a very valuable commodity. Spend it wisely!
- Focus on the Future when it comes to Relationships. Taking the time to provide value and network with someone can often seem pointless in the short term. In the long run, it will catapult you forward. The relationships we cultivate and maintain are what differentiate us from the rest of the pack. Leading performance coach, J. Robbins goes so far as to say that “33% of the people in your peer group should be 5 steps ahead of you.”
Practicing these techniques will enable you to be more effective and efficient at work as well as in your personal life. You don’t have to make a radical career change (unless you want to) or sell all of your belongings and hit the road in order to find fulfillment. Determine what exactly isn’t working in your life right now. What excuses are you making up for yourself to maintain status quo? Learn to diagnose and eliminate problems, whether it be your environment, people in your life or too many distractions. Employ the strategies listed here and choose to thrive. Living the life of your dreams is entirely within your grasp!