There is not enough time in the day. Sound familiar? It’s nothing but an excuse. This is what I used to think and if this is you, you need to stop. If there is time for television, there is time to be productive. If there is time to go party, there is time to be productive. If there is time for Call of Duty, there is time to be productive. I use these as examples because these are all things I would do that took away from my productivity.
The fact is that you’re not using your time wisely like I wasn’t. It wasn’t until I prioritized my productivity that everything changed, and I became highly productive. Everyone has the same 24 hours the difference between the successful and the non-successful is how you use those 24 hours. People like Oprah and Dr. Oz (extreme examples but the same productivity can be achieved by anyone) seem to be on an entirely higher level than the rest of the world when it comes to productivity. If you want to get on their level I’ll tell you that it won’t happen overnight, but I’ll give you a good starting point that will get you headed in that direction.
Key # 1: Eliminate Distractions
Too often we find ourselves unable to concentrate on the task at hand because of everything going on around us. You need to be ruthless with these distractions. Eliminate them any way you can.
- Shut off your phone, set it to “do not disturb”, and place it in another room so it’s not tempting you to pick it up and check it out of habit.
- When you’re working on your computer, disable the internet so that you don’t have the option to get sidetracked and find yourself scrolling through your social media feed not realizing how you even got there.
- I have four kids so, I understand how difficult it can be to do anything with little ones. This is where you need to allocate some time where you can be alone with your work and your thoughts if you’re working at home. How you work that is between you and your spouse. Maybe you can slip away for and hour or two to the library or someplace quiet. As for me, I wake up two hours before anyone in the house does.
So, do what you must to eliminate distractions.
Key # 2: Focus
You must be focus on the task at hand. In today’s world, people tend to brag about multi-tasking. I’m here to say that multi-tasking will do much more harm before it does any kind of good. You need to be focused on one thing my friend and that is the task you are working on. If you think you are good at multitasking, you are only fooling yourself. MIT Neuroscientist Earl Miller says, “people who think they are good at multitasking generally have a lower capacity for simultaneous thought.”
You must have the tunnel vision that Smoke had in the movie Biker Boyz who is played by the Laurence Fishburne. You must have those blinders that race horses have to keep them from going off track. You need that kind of focus so that nothing is pulling your attention from what is right in front of you. When you multitask, you become scatterbrained and what eventually ends up happening is nothing gets done and you are exhausted at the end of the day without having completed anything. The quality of your work is greatly reduced as well.
Key # 3: Take a Break
Grinding through work, hours on end without a break is bad. At a certain point, usually within an hour, your brain goes numb and is no longer putting out the creative thought needed for your work. Taking a short break alleviates that. A 5-10 minute break to get up, move around, stretch, get the blood flowing, hydrate, etc., is what’s needed to get the creative juices flowing again and keeping the brain from stagnation which will increase your productivity.
Get yourself on that Oprah track to productivity. The Dr. Oz track to productivity. Start with the 3 keys: eliminating distractions, focus, and taking a break. You will find that your productivity at work or at home will dramatically improve.