With an ever-expanding to-do list, you can quickly feel extreme overwhelm. Bad habits often impact productivity, and it’s time to get ahead of your to-do list. What’s the solution? Make like a ninja and attack these productivity sinkholes to work smarter—not harder.
Develop and hone these new habits to stay productive and on track:
Pay Attention to You
Set your boundaries for your day and routine. Consider putting your workout first so it gets done. Get up earlier and go to bed earlier if necessary. When taking care of you falls second to anything else, your focus, health and productivity will suffer. These are examples of priorities I set for myself.
1. Go to the gym first
2. Have a healthy breakfast
3. Bring lunch
4. Go over my Daily To Do List of top priorities that I create the night before
5. Check Emails for any responses I’m waiting on that I need to complete my tasks
6. First 90 minute Block of work
7. Break where I check emails and social media
11. Create tomorrow’s to-do list and prep snacks and food for next day
Check off your priorities before you move on. (Ninja skill: Control)
Excessive Advice from Others
Productivity gets slowed down by looking up every possible thing on the internet and then clicking multiple links. Productivity also is impacted when you consistently reach out to many people for validation that you’re on the right track.Everybody is an expert ready to help, but the problem with that is it causes excess noise and questions as to which way is right. If you’re going to take advice, seek out someone who’s already been down the road you’re traveling. Learn from someone who’s successful and can help point out roadblocks before you hit them. Trust that you have the answers. (Ninja skill: Wisdom)
Acting Like a Cat
Just as shiny objects instantly capture the attention of your kitty and keep her running in circles, when you react the same way to the beep of your new email or Facebook notification you’re more likely to get distracted than get anything done. Clear your “field” use the Chrome application “STAY FOCUSED“ which allows you to schedule social media time and block yourself from it when needed, schedule emails and phone calls into your day (after you have accomplished something on your to do list) and wear headphones (to keep out all other distractions, including interruptions by people) Fewer distractions equal higher productivity. It’s true. (Ninja skill: Speed)
Eating Bon Bon’s Instead of the Frog
Crossing off a lot of multiple easy items from your to-do list doesn’t add up to much. According to productivity expert Brian Tracy, if you want to be successful accomplishing tasks, you need to get up each morning and eat your biggest, ugliest frog first. The proverbial frog is your toughest task—the thing that gets you closer to your biggest work goal. The sense of accomplishment and mastery you feel by doing this on a regular basis will propel you forward and inspire confidence. It also ensures that if you’re suddenly confronted with an additional must do task hat day, your hardest and most relevant item was still able to get completed. (Ninja skill: Stamina)
A “More Is Better” Mindset
Thinking you need to be putting in 8, 10, 12 hours a day otherwise you’re lazy just isn’t so. If you believe you need to put in 12 hours, you will merely take longer to accomplish all that you need to get done. Try this: For one week, give yourself 4 hours of very focused time each day to get big tasks done. Use Block scheduling to guarantee success. Block out 3 sessions each day ranging from 45-90minutes for laser-focused work. Identify the goal of each session and only work on that task. This means no conversations, social media, emails or texting. Your brain is wired to get maximum performance for no more than 90 minutes at a time. Schedule 20-30 minute blocks in between for a walk outside or around the building, a nutrient dense snack, water breaks, emails and social media. Use a good timer or each session. You’ll be amazed at the outcome. (Ninja skill: Focus)
To many people believe they are the most productive people since they are professional multitaskers. The secret is that the human brain isn’t capable of paying attention to details on multiple projects at once. In fact, multitaskers get a little of a lot done but often at the expense of completing anything suitably.
You can ditch the all-black getup, but by using ninja skills to master productivity, you’ll become a force to be reckoned with in your industry.
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