In our August newsletter, you will find some tips on how to hack your workday, how to tell the difference in being busy and being productive, and information on the upcoming back to school tax holiday.
Start your day earlier— Studies suggest that morning people tend to be more proactive than evening people. This is at least partly because waking up earlier means more energetic, productive morning work hours. Studies also indicate that keeping the same sleeping pattern every day helps keep a person proactive, no matter what time of day their schedule may accommodate.
Eat a live frog—Mark Twain famously recommended (tongue in cheek) that people should eat a live frog first thing in the day. It reminds us that starting out with the biggest, most daunting task of the day can help everything following it feel a lot easier. To set yourself up for your biggest task, you can write down your big items before going to bed and review them when you wake up.
Decide less—Our brains make around 35,000 decisions per day. Decisions wear your brain out as the day progresses. Every little thing we must decide slowly chips away at our willpower, leaving us struggling to make certain decisions by day’s end. Eliminate decisions where you can, particularly in the morning. Distill your routine down to only the essential tasks that you could do half asleep. Set up patterns and routines for the entire start of your day.
Balance work and rest— Just as CPU processors need to keep cool to maintain peak efficiency, humans need to decompress for a short period of time to maintain high productivity levels. Whatever your schedule allows, make sure you do not neglect your body’s need to get away for a moment. Go to the bathroom, get a drink of water, take a walk outside, or do something fun. You’ll find your ability to focus and work increases the more you implement this routine. What a great way to hack your workday!
Avoid multi-tasking—We all want to complete multiple projects, but multi-tasking divides your attention, detracts from work quality, and prolongs time spent on each project. Operating in this state leaves one vulnerable to any distraction. A click-bait article, a friend messaging you, or a constant barrage of emails all serve as distractions slowly eating away at your mental capacities.
This Difference in Busy and Productive
Busy people want to look like they have a mission. Productive people have a mission for their lives.
Busy people have many priorities. Productive people have few priorities.
Busy people say yes quickly. Productive people say yes slowly.
Busy people focus on action. Productive people focus on clarity before action.
Busy people talk about how busy they are. Productive people let their results do the talking.
Busy people talk about how little time they have. Productive people make time for what is important.
Busy people multitask. Productive people focus.
Busy people respond quickly to emails. Productive people take their time.
Busy people want other people to be busy. Productive people want others to be effective.
Busy people talk about how they will change. Productive people are making those changes.
Busy people overestimate what they can get done. Productive people set realistic expectations.
Busy people are always distracted. Productive people create a system.