Do you want to learn how to fill your days better, and waste less time?
Some days we feel we are firing on all cylinders, other days we come home and realise our biggest achievement was turning on the computer.
Learning to be productive is all about planning, organising and being smart about your work. What's the point in throwing yourself at a dozen different things, only to halfway complete a few of them?
One of my favourite quotes is "You have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyonce” and while Beyonce has millions of dollars and helpers to get her to the top, she still works hard and smart. She has goals and a purpose.
Beyonce has the same 24 hours in a day as you (File )
In saying that, being productive isn't about working 24/7 - you need to give yourself and break, time to refresh your brain and body.
According to a piece on entrepreneur.com, we only have two to four hours of high-level energy per day. Studies that examine the habits of dozens of creative and entrepreneurs from Darwin to Tchaikovsky reveal that our "peak" energy maxes out at a consistent mark.
Aside from those peak hours, we still have the energy to complete managerial and administrative tasks, but we're incapable of high-level creative work.
To really up your productivity you need to organise your day and be bold enough to say no to distractions and time wasters.
Mostly you need to determine your goals and what you want. Once you have figured that out - whether its being a better parent, writing a book, winning an election or passing your exams or something else entirely, then you can start enacting it, and productively.
Here are a few points you can try to keep you on track and get more out of your day.
- A great way to achieve more in your day is by starting early. Be up by 6am and start the day with a clear mind. Get up, stretch, and get your thoughts straight.
- Routine is important. You probably have to be at work or school at a certain time but hopefully you have freedom to decide your projects while there.
- Use a diary to map out your key goals for the day. A planner with the hours blocked out is great.
- Chose one to three personal goals a day, the same for work-related (that could be study or business). Today, you need to achieve these goals and forget about anything not associated with them that you don't really need to do. The main thing is writing it down and then planning how to achieve it, give yourself a deadline through the day.
- Keep your workspace clean and tidy, it's one less thing to stress you out and distract you.
- Don't waste time on celebrity websites or stalking friends on Facebook, how is that helping you get things done?
- Try not to go to too many meetings. They are usually a waste of time and resources, and many entrepreneurs in the know agree with this. Use email, Google hangouts or even a phone call. Emails are best though. If it has to be a meeting keep it short and to the point.
Don't let yourself get too distracted by your phone
- Part of avoiding distractions is learning to say no. If you are asked to do something that won't yield much and just waste your time, then say no.
- Unchain yourself from your desk. Staring at a screen is bad for your eyes and body, get up, do some stretches go for a walk. Commit to some form of exercise at least 30 minutes a day.
Stuck in traffic? See it as a chance to get things done
- Use your commute time. We waste so much time in traffic. Rather than gloomily sitting there staring out the window, get your emails sent and out of the way. You can also use the time to better plan your life, list your goals and think of how you can achieve them. If you are behind the wheel listen to some inspiring podcasts or audio books to upskill and grow your knowledge.