Here are 21 tips to get you to your best productivity.
- Check email in the afternoon so you protect the peak energy hours of your mornings for your best work.
- Stop waiting for perfect conditions to launch a great project. Immediate action fuels a positive feedback loop that drives even more action.
- Remember that big, brave goals release energy. So set them clearly and then revisit them every morning for 5 minutes.
- Mess creates stress (I learned this from tennis icon Andre Agassi who said he wouldn’t let anyone touch his tennis bag because if it got disorganized, he’d get distracted). So clean out the clutter in your office to get more done.
- Sell your TV. You’re just watching other people get successful versus doing the things that will get you to your dreams.
- Say goodbye to the energy vampires in your life (the negative souls who steal your enthusiasm).
- Run routines. When I studied the creative lives of massively productive people like Stephen King, John Grisham and Thomas Edison, I discovered they follow strict daily routines. (i.e., when they would get up, when they would start work, when they would exercise and when they would relax). Peak productivity’s not about luck. It’s about devotion.
- Get up at 5 am. Win the battle of the bed. Put mind over mattress. This habit alone will strengthen your willpower so it serves you more dutifully in the key areas of your life.
- Don’t do so many meetings. (I’ve trained the employees of our FORTUNE 500 clients on exactly how to do this – including having the few meetings they now do standing up – and it’s created breakthrough results for them).
- Don’t say yes to every request. Most of us have a deep need to be liked. That translates into us saying yes to everything – which is the end of your elite productivity.
- Outsource everything you can’t be BIW (Best in the World) at. Focus only on activities within what I call “Your Picasso Zone”.
- Stop multi-tasking. New research confirms that all the distractions invading our lives are rewiring the way our brains work (and drop our IQ by 5 points!). Be one of the rare-air few who develops the mental and physical discipline to have a mono-maniacal focus on one thing for many hours. (It’s all about practice).
- Get fit like Madonna. Getting to your absolute best physical condition will create explosive energy, renew your focus and multiply your creativity.
- Workout 2X a day. This is just one of the little-known productivity tactics that I’ll walk you through in my new online training program YOUR PRODUCTIVITY UNLEASHED (details at the end of this post) but here’s the key: exercise is one of the greatest productivity tools in the world. So do 20 minutes first thing in the morning and then another workout around 6 or 7 pm to set you up for wow in the evening.
- Drink more water. When you’re dehydrated, you’ll have far less energy. And get less done.
- Work in 90 minute blocks with 10 minute intervals to recover and refuel (another game-changing move I personally use to do my best work).
- Write a Stop Doing List. Every productive person obsessively sets To Do Lists. But those who play at world-class also record what they commit to stop doing. Steve Jobs said that what made Apple Apple was not so much what they chose to build but all the projects they chose to ignore.
- Use your commute time. If you’re commuting 30 minutes each way every day – get this: at the end of a year, you’ve spent 6 weeks of 8 hour days in your car. I encourage you to use that time to listen to fantastic books on audio + excellent podcasts and valuable learning programs. Remember, the fastest way to double your income is to triple your rate of learning.
- Be a contrarian. Why buy your groceries at the time the store is busiest? Why go to movies on the most popular nights? Why hit the gym when the gym’s completely full? Do things at off-peak hours and you’ll save so many of them.
- Get things right the first time. Most people are wildly distracted these days. And so they make mistakes. To unleash your productivity, become one of the special performers who have the mindset of doing what it takes to get it flawless first. This saves you days of having to fix problems.
- Get lost. Don’t be so available to everyone. I often spend hours at a time in the cafeteria of a university close to our headquarters. I turn off my devices and think, create, plan and write. Zero interruptions. Pure focus. Massive results.