If there’s one aspect of my life that has seen the biggest upgrade in 2018, it has been the fact that I stopped procrastinating and that I massively improved my productivity levels.
Therefore, I wanted to share these 10 personal lessons with you, which you’re gonna love if you’re interested in getting more things done (in less time), optimizing your time and achieving results faster than ever.
Lesson #1: Prioritize For Maximum Efficiency & Productivity
With so many to-do’s, obligations and responsibilities, we always fall behind on something. We never seem to get everything done, even though we try. But as long as we prioritize, this is all okay. By identifying our 1–5 most valuable tasks and focusing at least 60% of our time on those tasks, we’ll make massive progress and actually get important things done — as these most valuable tasks will lead to 80+% of our results.
Lesson #2: Tackle Your Most Valuable Tasks Early In The Day
Make it a habit to tackle your most valuable task(s) early in the day, as this is the antidote to procrastination. Besides, in the morning you have higher levels of willpower, creativity and energy — making it A LOT easier to complete the task(s) faster and of higher quality.
I’ve implemented this habit myself in my daily routine, and I no longer find myself procrastinating on my highest value tasks anymore. It has literally skyrocketed my productivity without spending any extra time.
Lesson #3: Take It One Step At A Time
When you have trouble starting a project/goal — and you find yourself procrastinating often — try to ‘chunk’ it down to bite-sized, highly specific tasks that you can tackle one by one. Create a list of all the tasks that you can think of right now, that are part of achieving your goal or completing your project. This way, it no longer becomes this huge, intimidating ‘mountain’ that you need to climb.
You no longer have to ask yourself where or how to start. You can start to tackle your tasks one at a time, cross them off your list and get momentum and motivation going — this will make you feel empowered and unstoppable.
Lesson #4: Get Clarity Through Goals
Only about 3% of adults have clear, written goals. These people accomplish 5–10x as much as people of equal or better education and ability but who, for whatever reason have never taken the time to write out exactly what they want. Therefore, set highly specific goals and add a deadline to them.
Lesson #5: Plan Every Day in Advance
It takes only about 10 to 12 minutes for you to plan out your day, but this small investment of time will save you up to 2 hours in wasted time and diffused effort throughout the day. Every Sunday, plan your goals & to-do’s in your weekly schedule — and preview your next working day the night before.
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Lesson #6: Work All The Time You Work
Every minute you spend not working when you are supposed to be working, means that you’ll have to catch up sooner or later — or you’ll fail to make quick progress. If you need to catch up (by working overtime for example) this’ll cost you time away from friends and family. Therefore, work all the time when you are supposed to be working. Focus, remove distractions and get the job done.
Lesson #7: Upgrade Your Key Skills
A major reason for procrastination is a feeling of inadequacy, a lack of confidence or an inability in a key area of a task. Feeling weak of deficient in a single area is enough to discourage you from starting the job at all. Therefore, resolve to continue to upgrade your key skills (the must-have skills for the job) by reading, following courses and attending seminars.
Lesson #8: Max Energy = Max Productivity
When you don’t take care of your health, your energy levels will fall dramatically, taking your productivity levels down as well. Invest in your health and upgrade your energy levels. The more energy you have, the harder, longer and better you can (and want to) work. Resolve to exercise at least 3x per week and eat healthy nutrition. Also, limit alcohol and caffeine intake to avoid energy crashes.
Lesson #9: Use The Power of Momentum
Even by taking only 5-minutes of action you’ll start to trigger the Momentum Principle. Momentum is extremely powerful when it comes to overcoming procrastination. Oftentimes, it’s hard to start working on a task, but it takes far less willpower to continue working whenever we’ve already started. This is called momentum. Resolve to work for just 15 minutes on a task when you feel procrastination creeping in — as the Momentum Principle will likely keep you going for much longer!
Lesson #10: Single Task Your Way To Success
By concentrating single-mindedly on your most important task, you can reduce the time required to complete it by 50% or more compared to multi-tasking on tasks. It has been researched that by working on more than 1 task at the same time, it can take up to 500% longer to complete all of the tasks. This is because of the mental ‘switching costs’ that decreases our focus and makes us work a lot slower (and makes us prone to more mistakes as well).
I hope these tips help!
To your personal growth,
Founder Personal Growth Lab