If you're like most people, you wish there were more hours in a day.
Unfortunately, time is one of those things that you can't control.
But what you can control is how productive you are in each day, which allows you to use your time wisely.
When you're protective with how you use your time you will become more productive than most people around how.
Less productive people don't take control of what happens to them in a day by planning the outcome.
They wake up and check social media first thing, scrolling and scrolling until it's time to head out to work.
It was reported in 2016, "that the average Facebook or Instagram user spent 50 minutes per day scrolling and communicating."
With only 24 hours in a day, that means the average user spends 1/16 of their day on Facebook if you add in 8 hours of sleep.
They watch hours of TV throughout the week, thinking of all the things they 'wish' to do but never do them.
Productive people are the exact opposite.
They seize the day by setting up to-do lists, waking up early, exercising, meditating, personal development, etc.
There are many other ways to get the most out of every second in your day.
Most of the people I work are working full-time jobs but in the process of starting a side hustle business.
With only 24 hours in a day, you must be able to get more productive if you want to work and launch a business.
If you're deciding now to get more productive, then these simple-to-implement productivity hacks will get you on track.
1-Schedule Tasks The Night Before
Do you feel like you lack control over your day with so many things to do, only not to get anything done?
If so, you're not alone.
"63% of respondents in a recent CareerBuilder survey said they believe working 9-to-5 is an outdated concept...
and 24% check emails while spending time with family and friends."
Modern technology has give us more flexibility, but also given us more distractions and added more stress to our day.
One reason why is because we've grown accustom to plan less; we feel we can do everything on the fly.
Respond to emails, take meetings, multi-task while dropping the kids off, and many other things.
Many of the tools we use ot cause us the most distractions can also be used to add more control in our day.
Everything changed for me when I made one change before I go to bed every night.
That is writing down my most pressing tasks that I need to complete for the next day.
Simply writing down what you must get done the night before is a way to kick-off your next next day strong and with clarity.
This includes writing down all of your tasks and meetings, then identifying which ones are the most pressing.
Feeling skeptical or not sure how to get started?
Here is how I do this every single night:
1-Daily Plan Bar
Start by implementing the Daily Plan Bar method to writing and scheduling your daily tasks.
This is a free, non-technical strategy to writing down your tasks.
We will talk more about time-blocking in a little bit, but the daily bar helps you block off time for your tasks throughout the day.
2-Start Writing Down Your Tasks
Here you want to start writing down everything you need to do for the next day.
Meetings (your business or day job), tasks working in or on your business, follow-ups etc.
Doesn't matter get them all on paper.
3-Prioritize the Most Pressing Tasks
Using the list you created, you will want to prioritize the 3 or 4 of the most pressing tasks.
These are usually road-blocking tasks of other downstream tasks.
Meeting a deadline for your client, or following up on invoices.
Getting paid is pretty important!
4-Time Block Your Tasks
Of the most pressing tasks that you've identified, now you will want to block time off to complete those tasks.
This means you want to have a definite start and finish tie to complete these tasks.
It's important to stick to this schedule without any distractions and not let it stretch out the whole day.
For me, I'm a stickler for crossing things off my list.
Start taking this approach because it will help you feel accomplished and keep you motivated.
5-Set Your Remaining Tasks Up
Now that you've identified your most pressing tasks, you want to set your other obligations around them.
If you work a full-time job, these are meetings you have to attend throughout the day.
Family activities, your side hustle tasks, everything goes on your daily plan.
Adopting this strategy may seem very restrictive at first, but overtime you will see more control into your day.
If you're not already doing this, but getting up early compliments scheduling your tasks the night before more effective
In the next section we will talk about the benefits of getting up early as a benefit to get more work done in a day.
2-Get Up Early
Are you looking to increase success in your life but not a morning person?
to start a business, get more promotions, increase your revenue then you'll want to change that pretty quickly.
When you wake up at this time it adds more benefits to your day:
- Minimizes distractions (like kids or work) before the sun comes up
- No one is emailing or texting you
- there is less to see on social media
- allows you to be more focused
It's up to you once you get up to purposely avoid these distractions.
Getting up early allows you to stretch your day and get ore working done early.
I've adopted this strategy and I get 2 hours of work done before I head out the door for the morning.
What are some things you can do waking up early?
- write a blog post
- create social media content to share for your business
- research business competitors
- find potential customers
There are endless amounts of productive things you can do getting up early before you leave your house.
Knowing that yo need to get up early is the easy part but actually getting in the routine of getting up is the hard part.
What are some hacks for you to implement to get up early?
- sleep in your workout gear to wake up and go straight to the gym
- put your alarm close (or phone) across the room where you sleep
- wipe your face with a cold cloth
- take a 2 minute cold shower
- get an accountability partner to join you
- Go easy on the alcohol the night before
I've personally tried all of these hacks until now I don't need them anymore. And you will not after a while either.
Don't overthink this, just do whatever works for you and start getting up early.
It may take a couple of days or even a week to get use to but you must stick with it.
The super successful people we all know Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg all are early risers.
They all can't be wrong, right?
Are you a person that needs a guide or a blueprint to follow?
There's a phenomenal book I read, called 'The Miracle Morning' by Hal Elrod.
He takes a deeper dive into the benefits and strategies of waking up early to get more done and create success in your life.
Check it out, to learn more about getting up early
3-Time Block Your Tasks
As a business owner or side hustler, your time is money.
Implementing strategies to become more proactive with how your time is spent creates more opportunities for success.
Do you ever feel like you need more time?
In reality, it's not that you need more time it's that you need to spend your time strategically.
We can get money back, along with many other things.
But time is one of our most precious assets that we can never get back.
You must take your time seriously and protect it, structure it, and be more proactive with it to create more productivity.
What does time-blocking your work really mean?
This is different from just writing down an endless list of tasks you need to do in a day.
Time-blocking restricts you to a time in which you must start and work on or complete your tasks.
How do you get stared time-blocking your tasks?
- Place tasks on your to do list or Daily Bar Agenda
- Add a start and end time to either work on or complete
- Be sure to track your progress
- Mark each tasks complete or not throughout the day
The time-blocking strategy comes with many benefits versus the traditional to-do list.
- Helps you see where you're being unrealistic about your time
- Keeps you focused on what you really need to do
- Allows you to schedule work where it makes the most sense
- Gives you more feedback on how much free time you 'truly' have
- Gives you more discipline and order to your tasks
Time-blocking is a tremendous upgrade from your traditional to-do list.
"Research found that 41% of to-do list items are never completed."
What tools are available to start time-blocking my work?
There are many options out there to start time-blocking your work.
One is your smart phone. Most if not all mobile phones come equipped with a stop watch.
You can set it and time your work that way.
The other is an app that I use called the Pomodor Timer. Comes with options but a great tool to keep you focused on your work.
Knowing where you're going and when you need to get there provides more clarity in your work. This is all true with time-blocking.
4-Stick to Your Routine
Do you feel like you're lost and not sure what to do from one day to the next?
Or do you find yourself doing multiple tasks on different days but not sure what you're getting out of them?
These are symptoms that you need to either change are establish a daily routine.
We are creatures of habit, and so are our brains.
With all the various ways that we can get distracted throughout the day, sticking to a daily routine is critical for success.
How do you get your daily routine in check?
Take some time to think through which tasks are beneficial for you to do on particular days.
If you're running an online business you may use Mondays to write a blog post.
Tuesdays may be days you use to make connections.
Wednesday could be days you do follow ups or talking with your customers.
There really isn't a right or wrong answer as long as you find a routine that works for you.
"How to increase productivity" is one of the most common Google searches and question I get a lot.
As much as you want more time, you're likely wasting more of it on worthless activities.
- Browsing the internet
- Scrolling social media
- Answering text messages
- Playing games on your mobile phone
- Saying 'yes' to every request you get
These are all common distractions that we all fall victim to on a daily basis.
We all only get 24 hours in a day, and those that are the most effective with reducing distractions gets the most productivity.
"When it comes to productivity, our human capacity for focus is what drives our level of production."
In order to increase your productivity, you need to implement strategies to minimize the distractions that prevent you from staying focused.
According to a survey done in 2015, here are the top distractions you're faced with:
- Talking on the cell phone and texting - 50%
- Gossiping - 42%
- Surfing the internet - 39%
- Scrolling social media - 38%
- Meetings - 23%
- On email - 23%
Avoiding distractions seems very simple yet it's the top thing that prevents you from being the most productive.
Technology has given us the ability to do multiple things at once, at any tie and anywhere.
But the downside to that it continues to add to the growing number of distractions that we face on a daily basis.
What's the best way for you to eliminate your distractions?
1-Get More Disciplined
Getting more disciplined is pretty obvious, but one that many of us over look.
The level of discipline will determine the number of distractions you successfully avoid every day.
2-Stick to Routines
Approach each day with a plan or a daily routine and that will eliminate your ability to freestyle throughout your day.
It's important that you become more proactive in your day as oppose to reactive.
When you have ambiguous downtime is when you are likely to start surfing the internet, scrolling social media, or playing games on your phone.
There are many tools or apps that can turn into a huge distraction for you.
However, there are many other tools that's extremely helpful with eliminating distractions.
Below are a few plugins or apps to eliminate distractions throughout your day
- RescueTime - shows you which sites or apps you waste the most time on
- Anti-Social - blocks sites for a little as 15 minutes up to 8 hours
- LeechBlock - blocks all sites you desire
- StayFocused - limits the amount of tie you spend on sites
4-Silence or Turn Off Your Phone
Turning off your phone is one of the top methods to eliminating distractions.
We take our phones everywhere we go and it commands the majority of our attention.
It's with us when we're talking to people, eating at the dinner table, unfortunately even while driving.
The constant interruptions of notification alerts, text messages, emails and phone calls can be overwhelming.
Only if you allow it to be.
6-Celebrate the Small Wins
Do you feel stressed out and overwhelmed during your journey to accomplish your goals?
You may have the feeling that you're never going to accomplish the big goals that you have set out for yourself.
You're not alone as we all do.
Trying to accomplish goals are challenging, can be frustrating, and many times you will want to give up.
This is all normal and may never go away.
But there are ways to make the process easier without constantly wanting to give up.
It's important to break your goals up into smaller chunks of milestones and celebrating along the way.
Celebrating your small wins comes with some benefits to ensure you don't give up on your goals.
- keeps you motivated
- eager to achieve the next goal
- creates a fun atmosphere for your self to achieve goals
If you don't get in the habit of celebrating your small wins you risk giving up and diminishing the work that you've done.
Business business owner or side hustlers are always strapped for time.
You only get 24 hours in a day and you're juggling many things at once.
On top of that you've got your day job, family activities, trying to start or run a business.
It's easy to get overwhelmed, frustrated, and on the verge of giving up and not getting anything done at all.
So it's critical that you adopt strategies to use your time strategically and more productively.
Which means you must avoid distractions, get up early, and set up a daily plan.
Doing these things will help you get more work done in your day while still having 24 hours just like everyone else.
Start by getting up earlier like 4 or 4:30 AM.
Then start writing your to list down the night before.
Next identify your top pressing tasks that you must complete to ensure your day is a success.
Put yourself in the best position to avoid the distractions that holding you back today.
Trade scrolling on social media, watching extend amounts of TV, checking email first thing in the morning; with....
Exercising, writing a blog post, connect with potential customers, researching competitors.
These are all the winning strategies that ultra-successful people do today to be more productive and get more done each day.
Busy people need to continuously adopt strategies to be more productive and get more work done each day with the time you have.
What strategies do you use to get more work done and be more productive on a daily basis?