Productivity is a defining factor for us humans. From thousands of years ago, man has tried to find the most productive, cost-efficient method to go about his work. That is true for any kind of work, from improving agricultural methods to employing cheaper IT technicians in foreign countries. We’re always striving to make better choices and get the most ROI (return on investment) from our time spent working.
So how do you make sure that you’re at your best, day in, day out?
Start you day by disconnecting from the world. As soon as you wake up, get into the lotus position, close your eyes and don’t think about anything. The lotus position means having your feet beneath you and your spine fully upward. It’s actuall a pretty tricky position, don’t try to do it as it is described on “hardcore meditation” sites. Just have your feet crossed beneath you and stand with your back straight. Then relax, breathe normally, and try to not think about anything.
I suggest you do this in the morning because it’s easier to free your mind in the morning.
So do this for 5-10 minutes and you’ll have a healthier body, better mood and increased productivity. If you don’t agree, check out this list of reasons to meditate.
For those of you who can, also do this before sleeping. You’ll sleep like a baby. It’s a known remedy for insomnia.
Right Mental Atitude
You should start each day with 15-30 minutes of enjoyable music, goal visualization, dancing or anything which gets you in a good feeling place. Even sex! Although I wouldn’t advise it that strong, because having morning sex each day will, in the long run, decrease your productivity. You can use sex as a cheat trick once in a while. This should be done with a partener,
I personally like to watch music videos or watch some motivating clip like this one:
Drink water, eat food
Yeah, I know. I’m a genius. I’m not saying you should eat and drink to be more productive. I’m saying you should do that in the morning!
Always drink one glass of water right after you wake up and eat within 30-60 minutes. Your body dehydrates when you’re sleeping. Drinking right after you wake up will help your body’s immune system, help digestion and it will start your appetite for the coming morning meal.
Sleep Between 22:00 PM – 04:00 AM
Have a tight sleeping schedule. Sleep deprivation is a serious matter with massive consequences for your productivity. Let me give you a paragraph from a study involving sleep:
“Among other findings was that the secretion of leptin, a hormone that regulates appetite, decreased significantly during the period of sleep deprivation. Decreases in leptin levels are associated with increased appetite and possibly weight gain, and Guilleminault said further studies should focus on a possible link between sleep deprivation and obesity.”
Of course, this is a massive topic and each person has a personal sleep cycle and circadian rhythm, but as a rule of thumb you should go to sleep at around 22:00 pm and make sure you sleep at least until 04:00 am.
Our ancestors went to bed when the sun set and got out off bed when the sun was rising. It makes perfect sense and it’s basic common sense that that’s the way our bodies are programmed to work. If you want to find out more about REM sleep and other useful sleeping tips, check out this article.
I know I’ve talked about getting into the right mental atitude as soon as you wake up. This is somewhat similar to that. If you’re a reader of VictorStuff, you probably know I’m not about conventional stuff. I don’t suggest long to-do lists and lenghty goal-setting sessions.
Instead, what I like to do is have a morning ritual with 3 simple steps:
- Think and appreciate what I have
- Think about what I’d like to have
- Think about how I can get what I’d like to have
I call these three “The Morning Ritual” because I do it in the morning. It gets me into the right mental state and motivated to achieve what I want. The order of these steps is crucial. You have to start with what you’re appreciative about in your life. It won’t work if you do it any other way.
Then you need to dream about the future, about what you’d like to receive today, tomorrow, or in the next month, year, etc. Set your own timeframe and just dream. If that’s hard for you, go online and research the actual things you want to have. Watch videos, check out pictures, schedule test-drives, anything that will get you to see that particular thing more.
The final step is actually thinking about what you need to do, how much money you need to have, how much more free time you must have in order to get the object of your desire!
The 20/80 Rule
80% of the output is produced by 20% of the input. Timothy Ferriss spoke on this in his book, The 4 Hour Workweek. You need to ignore certain people and you need to make sure you ignore a lot of tasks. Sometimes you may find yourself thinking that you’re busy, when in fact you’re just sorting e-mails in your inbox or writing extensive to-do lists or chatting with business parteners. Stop it. Be short and to the point.
Stop wasting time with all the stuff that you do that actually don’t make for solid results. Only spend your time doing the things that matter and equate to something.
Always ask yourself these questions :
- Is this really important?
- What will I gain if I do this?
- Is it really worth it?
You will be more productive when doing the things that count and you’ll have more free time.
Less is more.
Pressure from deadlines
I know this will sound a bit odd, but it’s true. You have to postpone some tasks that you know you’re good at until very close to their deadlines. I used to do this in school. When I had a paper or a project to do, I’d leave it until the last day. I only did this with subjects I was very comfortable with, like romanian grammar or poetry or computer science.
I was forcing myself to focus only on the essential things within that project. By doing this I was more productive and I had more free time for other stuff. Usually a task grows in importance and complexity the more you think about doing it. When you actually start doing it, you realize that it’s not such a big deal. So you’ve wasted time making it bigger than it actually was.
This works great for habitual work, like exams at school, reports for your boss, business plans etc.
Again less is more.
Do you know about some other tricks for increased productivity?