Are you searching for ways to make your day to be super productive?
Here are a couple of things I’ve tried lately that increased my productivity by 100X!
I don’t know about you but I have a problem with sticking to one method for a lengthy period of time.
It means I look for fresh ideas all the time. It isn’t a bad thing though.
Variety is the spice of life and all.
So let’s get to it.
Oh, make sure you read through. I’m saving my absolute favourite for last.
Learn How to Concentrate First and Practise It Every Day
…. using the concept of awareness and mind.
Have you heard of ex-monk turned to motivational speaker and entrepreneur, Dandapani? I love the concept of his “awareness” and “mind”.
According to him, we’re SO good at distraction because we’ve been practising to be good at distraction all the time.
You might be thinking:
Who would do that? That’s ridiculous to say we’ve been practising distraction.
I thought the same.
If you want to learn how to play the piano, you’d devote a certain amount of time each day. Say, 30 minutes a day.
Do that for a year.
You may not become a world-renowned pianist after a year.
But you’ll be pretty darn good at playing the piano compared to someone who didn’t practise at all.
This perfectly illustrates Dandapani’s point.
Every day we’re distracted about a couple of hours at best. We’ve been doing that for so long that we became really good at distraction.
All because we never learned how to concentrate.
So, We Need to Learn How to Concentrate First
…. and then, practise it every day.
His concept of “awareness and mind” goes like this.
Let’s assume awareness is a ball of bright light.
What’s your favourite colour? Mine is blue. So mine is a ball of bright blue light. Pick yours.
Our mind is a place where we keep all kinds of emotions such as sadness, happiness, love, laughter and so on.
These emotions are prompted by our memories of life events and stored in each place of our mind.
Just like a house that consists of a kitchen, living room, laundry room and etc.
When our awareness, the ball of light, goes to one room (one area of our mind), it lights up accompanying emotion.
Our awareness only stays in one place at a time just as you can’t be in two rooms at the same time.
Move Your Awareness in Your Mind
Close your eyes.
Oh, you can’t read this then. ha.
Well, read through the next three questions. Close your eyes. Answer each question from your memory and notice how you feel.
Do you remember your last holiday? Where was it? What did you do? How did you feel? Was it cold? Warm?
What’s your favourite movie? When you think about it, what does it make you feel? Scared? Happy? Sad?
Have you ever missed your credit card payment? When the company rang you for payment, how did you feel?
Now open your eyes.
Did you notice the different feelings each question invokes?
Your holiday took you to a happy feeling. The conversation with the bank to an anxious feeling.
As you’ve noticed, we can shift our awareness from one place to another within our mind.
Remember moving a ball of bright blue light around within your mind?
The little exercise you did above demonstrates that you can control the light. Your awareness.
It means you have the power not to let other people or things take your awareness away and move it somewhere else without your permission!
We can guard our awareness and take it back to where we want it to be each time it drifts.
Knowing that we can control its movement 100% puts us in the driving seat.
Understanding the concept of awareness and mind is very important.
Because then we know how to practice concentration.
We want to be a master of concentration, not a master of distraction.
Now that you’re well equipped with how to control your awareness and mind, I have two ways of improving productivity to share with you.
Don’t worry. It isn’t going to be too long.
After all, you don’t want your awareness to stay here far too long.
But I promise the next two productivity hacks will increase your productivity by 100X!
The 90/90/1 Rule
The 90/90/1 rule is an awesome productivity booster by a leadership guru Robin Sharma.
He’s been around for a long time but I “discovered” him and his 90/90/1 rule lately.
The rule goes like this.
For the next 90 days, spend the first 90 minutes of your work day doing the one most important thing.
Here’s an example.
Let’s say you always wanted to write your own book.
You can spend time learning about how to write well or studying other writers or collecting all the tips about writing.
But what gets you close to your ultimate goal is writing your own piece!
So for the next 90 days, start your day writing for 90 minutes!
Your one thing is what matters to YOU most, no one else.
Most of us find our morning the most productive time.
I was a night owl for a long time.
But since I became an early riser, I get tons more done.
We’re all different though.
What’s important is …
Find the Most Productive Time in Your Day
Then for the next 90 days, spend the first 90 minutes of your most productive time doing one most critical thing.
If you feel like your awareness is drifting at any point during the 90 minutes, take it back.
Remember you’re always in charge of your awareness.
You dictate where your awareness should go. Anytime it goes off, take it back.
And take it back. Again and again.
This is how we practise our concentration every day. The more we practice the better we get.
Eventually, concentration becomes our second nature, therefore, increasing our productivity.
6 Hours a Day
One last thing I’m sure will help you with your productivity is Ed Mylett’s “having many days in a day”.
Right now, this is my favourite one.
Let me explain.
Oh before I continue, you might want to check out Ed Mylett’s Max Out Your Life with hundreds of 5* reviews.
Back to the topic:
During typical working hours, we get things done in such a way that we finish our tasks in 8 hours.
Say, you have 100+ invoices to issue and you only have 4 hours to finish it.
That’s 25+ invoices per hour, which is easy peasy.
But we have 8 hours to complete the task.
So we approach our task with zero intensity. Stretch a 4-hour worthy task over 8 hours with lots of coffee break, toilet break, gossiping break, social media updates “break” and so on.
We approach most things this way.
Follow the society’s norm within the 24-hour timeframe.
Ed Mylett is Not a Sheep Though
In his 20s, he chose to dictate his own time by creating his own rule of time.
Instead of 24 hours a day, he has 3 days in a day.
His first day starts at 6 am and finish at 12 noon. His 2nd day from 12 noon to 6 pm. The 3rd day from 6 pm to 12 midnight.
I found his idea of dictating the time fascinating.
Wow, who would’ve thought you could manipulate and bend your own time?
Of course, you don’t need to have 3 days in a day like Ed Mylett.
Most of us are an employee unlike him.
So bending our time as he does is impossible during working hours. Although you can apply the same principle to your work.
But that’ll leave you with a different kind of dilemma.
What are you going to do for the remaining 4 hours after finishing all your tasks in 4 hours? ha!
But you can use the same principle to your side-hustle.
Measure Your Performance Every Hour
But bending the time to your liking doesn’t achieve a thing itself.
While you bend your time, measuring your performance every hour is critical.
Again, I’ve got to thank Mr Mylett for this brilliant idea.
I mean I never thought I’d review my work after each hour. Sure, I did at the end of the day. But not hourly!
Now, every hour, I check my work and make sure I make progress.
I analyse what I could’ve done less or more and make sure my next performance improves.
Get a chrome extension called Marinara: Pomodoro Assistant for this.
It’s free. And very handy.
Set for one hour. Move your awareness into one part of your mind and let it stay there until you complete your task.
No compromise here.
Once the time is up, take a break.
You might want to start off with 25 minutes or 30 minutes then take a 5-minute break. Increase your time as you get the hang of it.
I alternate between 45 minutes and an hour depending on the task.
How are You Pacing Your Day, Sprint or Marathon?
I love Ed Mylett’s analogy between sprint and marathon.
If we know our goal is near, we’d sprint to touch down!
For a long time, I worked on the premise that I was running a marathon, not a sprint.
This advice is everywhere which makes a huge difference in our approach to work. We take on our task at a slow pace because we think the finish line is so far away.
I’ve changed my mindset now and always approach my work with a sense of urgency.
As if my finish line is just around the corner.
Ed Mylett calls it “shrinking the finish line”.
This mental shift is important in increasing your productivity and getting things done.
Watch the below YouTube video.
I’ve learned all this from Ed Mylett. He is super motivating.
I promise it’ll be an eye-opener for your productive life.
I’ve been watching and/or listening to this every morning for a few days.
It supercharges you!
Feels like you can take over the world! ha.
Here are a few recommended books for you.
You’ll find plenty of ideas and inspiration on productivity to help you maximise your time.
- The One Thing by Gary Keller
- Deep Work by Cal Newport
- The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins
- Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy
When you fine-tune your day to achieve maximum productivity, you become a happier person as you go to bed each day satisfied with the day well spent.
And you know what?
You get to have a sound sleep too!
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