The thought of great rewards and acknowledgement brings us motivation but motivation, alone, isn’t enough to get the job done.
If you’re like me then you find it very easy to feel a drive to work on a task or start a project because it’s new and exciting; you probably throw around some ideas, take notes, and do the research but then come to a halt once it comes time to do the hard stuff.
What you’re lacking is productivity.
Motivation can start the engine but it’s the productivity, through perseverance and hard work, which will lead you to your goals.
I can’t say, for certain, I know what’s stopping you but I do have a few tips to get things done …
Eat & rest well
Your day is going to slog if you skip breakfast and skimp on ample amount of sleep.
Believe me, as someone who used to always skip breakfast and burn the midnight oil (more like 4am oil), it can have a substantial impact on your ability to stay focused throughout the day.
Even if you’re the “coffee for breakfast-type” it’s still vital that you at least force down a portion of food to jump-start your metabolism which will give a nice boost to your energy during the crucial morning hours (when you’re likely to get the most done).
Likewise, you need the amount of sleep that fits your sleep-type; you can finish the work tomorrow on a good night’s sleep – don’t go into it hungry and tired.
Start early, start hard
On the note about being an early riser … make this a priority!
A common link between some of the most successful entrepreneurs reveals that those willing to rise at the crack of dawn are those that get things done.
The early morning is your time to shine. You’re less likely to become distracted simply based on the fact that the rest of the world is just starting to catch up. Your friends and family won’t hound you on social media, you’ll have less email to tackle, and you’ll find yourself pumped to tackle the big tasks.
Never mind the priority – make all of it count
A to-do list can certainly help the majority of individuals set clear goals and accomplish important tasks throughout the day but one drawback that’s likely to spring up is that you’ll see yourself only tackling the easier items on the list.
Instead, flip the concept of a to-do list on its head and simply have a few set tasks that provide your work with great rewards.
Instead of items such as “clear my inbox”, which most likely fails to add to your bottom-line (unless it’s sales related), you should aim for big-win tasks such as “test an email newsletter to promote a new product on my website while collecting feedback”.
Make it all count.
Disregard the emails (until the afternoon)
Jumping back to emails – leave them for actual downtime in your workday.
I can bet that most of your emails that come through are probably just alerts for newsletter subscriptions, a one-off update from an associate, or some coupon for a site you used years ago.
These are big distractions.
Even if it takes you just a few minutes to clear your inbox you are subconsciously switching gears and dulling your productivity. You need to remain in the zone if you want your creativity and motivation to flourish so stop checking those emails!
Don’t be the “multitask hero”
People pride themselves for staying late in the office or bouncing between dozens of projects, programs, and tasks.
Here’s the thing: humans are horrible at multi-tasking.
Yes, we have the ability to switch focus on a moment’s notice but our minds are best suited when we have a single goal in mind.
Don’t believe me?
Time yourself how long it takes to accomplished a set of tasks, using multi-tasking, next time you set out to work on your projects; then repeat these same tasks but one at a time.
I can guarantee that you’ll finish the tasks far more rapidly if they’re done one at a time because your fully committed, you have collected your thoughts, and you can develop ways to streamline the process.
Batch it up
A trick that I personally love, when it comes to boosting my productivity, is “batching”.
Let’s take an example of writing a new blog post for Monday through Friday. You could knock each of these down on the day they’re meant to publish but an intelligent way to approach these items is to batch the work, together, and knock them down in a single afternoon.
The reason this process works stems back to the idea that you’re not great at multitasking.
Working in succession will increase your drive, naturally, because you develop a mindset of “okay, I’ll stop after the next” and it’s at this point you jump to the next thus restarting the feeling that you’ll “do one more section before the break”.
See what other areas of your work you could batch and put it in action.
Rely on your business network
Smart entrepreneurs know when they’re at the end of their expertise and can’t possibly lose time dedicated to learning a new skill. For that reason you should seek help from your professional network because it’s likely, if you’ve built it correctly, that you’ll find someone experienced or skilled with what you need accomplished.
- If you earned $50 an hour and it took you 30 hours to master a new skill than you’ve essentially paid $1,500 (not to mention the potential loss because you weren’t focused on other areas).
- If you paid someone $50 an hour and it only took them 10 hours than you’re only down $500 (and you can continue to work on your business).
You see how this can be amazing for productivity?
Outsourcing can be your best friend if you’re strapped on time and at your wit’s end.
Take time for a challenge
Some items are worth taking a look because it’s always important to challenge your skills, ideals, and knowledge in order to become a better individual.
You should set aside time to learn something new, exercise a skill, test and optimize your work, or simply spark your creativity. You don’t have to spend all day doing so – instead, just enough time to get those creative juices flowing so you’re excited to jump back into work.
Go-to bed with a goal
Lastly, I’d recommend that you have a general goal in mind before you pass out for the night.
These goals aren’t entirely specific – they should reflect some kind of inner growth such as finishing work an hour early to spend time with friends & family, visiting the gym for at least 30 minutes on your lunch break, or something as simple as drawing a mind map for your ideas.
Again, it can be as general as you want but you’ll want it there because it will give you something to accomplish than just business as usual – remember to grow as an individual while working otherwise you’ll start to stagnate.
What methods and tips do you have to share to bring about a boost in productivity? Leave a comment below, share this post, and put it into action!