Whether you’re a businessperson, a student, a parent, or the President of Malawi, your time is valuable. That being said, we humans are addicted to procrastination.
It feels so good, but we always end up regretting it. We hang onto an uncompleted task and worry about it so much that we lose the willpower to actually get up and finish it. Let’s face it: procrastination makes an easy task seem so hard, and it needs to stop.
The following clever tips will help you combat procrastination and become the most productive person on the block.
1. Jumpstart your day with a workout
I say it all the time. Fitness is the best productivity tool you can ever invest in. Getting to your absolute best physical condition will create explosive energy, renew your focus and multiply your creativity. Find a routine that works best for you and work that routine into the ground every morning. By starting our day with a workout, we get the blood flowing and rid ourselves of the morning blues with the release of endorphins. Not only does a good workout release stress and increase energy, but you will feel super charged and ready to conquer the day.
2. Drink up!
Instead of rushing to grab a cup of coffee every time you feel sluggish or tired, drink some water. Our bodies need proper hydration to perform at our absolute best. It’s a natural tendency to look for an instant “pick me up.” These methods of energy are very short lived. The human body is made up of over 70 percent water. More times than not, when you are feeling sluggish or tired, you are dehydrated. Water is a fundamental aspect of high performance.
3. Wake up early every morning
Did you know that waking up at the same time every morning makes you less tired? Waking up early every morning not only gives you extra time to check things off your “to do” list, but also stabilizes your circadian rhythm (in other words, your body clock).
By waking up at 5:00 am every morning (even on the weekends), you’ll have enough energy to get more stuff done, because you won’t be struck with fatigue when you least expect it.
4. Beat the clock
Have you ever heard of the Pomodoro technique? It’s a process where you schedule short increments throughout the day to refuel yourself during a project. Set a timer for 25 minutes and do the task with full concentration. When those 25 minutes are up, give yourself a 5-minute break. Repeat until the project’s over. You can turn this into a race against the clock.
5. Focus on the core of your project
If you’re a busy person, you might have a hard time prioritizing your tasks. When a new task comes your way, ask yourself this question: “Will this have a direct impact on my goals?” If the answer is no, delegate the task to someone else.
6. Follow the 5-minute rule.
This is so ridiculously easy that it’s quite surprising that not enough people do this. If you come across a task that takes 5 minutes or less to complete, do it right away. Get it over with. It’ll take only a few minutes, and you won’t have to worry about it ever again. This rule usually applies to answering emails, washing dishes, and doing laundry.
7. Hate it most? Do it first
Has your mother ever told you to eat your broccoli first? If she has, then she’s probably the wisest woman ever. Hurdling over the most dreaded task first thing in the morning frees you from stress and leaves you to do things that aren’t as daunting.
8. Voice your commitments
It’s much harder to break a promise if you have someone holding you accountable. Find a friend and tell him what you’re planning to accomplish. Having someone observe your process is going to make you more inclined to complete the task faster.
Believe it or not, but relaxation is really the key to productivity. The body sleeps in 90-minute cycles, and it actually applies to your waking life as well. You need to take a break every 90 minutes.
If you ignore your body and down another cup of coffee, your performance will decrease. So whenever you find yourself tapping into your energy reserves, stop working and relax. Take a nap. Close your eyes and listen to music. Basically, just relax. It’s good for you.
To actually become the most productive person around, you must first decide to do so. Don’t beat yourself up over how unproductive you’ve been or relish over how productive someone else is. This will never get you to where you need to go. Making the decision is half the battle. Once you’ve made up your mind, you will begin to challenge yourself to see just how much you can accomplish any given day.
11. Get lost
Don’t be so available to everyone. I often spend hours at a time in the cafeteria of a university close to our headquarters. I turn off my devices and think, create, plan and write. Zero interruptions. Pure focus. Massive results.
12. Sell your TV
Finally, go and sell your TV! You’re just watching other people get successful versus doing the things that will get you to your dreams.
Do you have any more clever productivity tips up your sleeve? If so, share them with us!