Last week, we went into why you need to be selfish with your sleep, that you need to exercise, why you need to make life fun and that to truly be productive you have to eliminate as many distractions as possible. So if you missed the last edition or just wish to recap you can simply click here.
5. TV…. Yeah maybe not
Yes we own a TV, I never actually watch it though. If there’s something I desperately want to watch I’ll download it through iTunes or the likes and save it for my evening hour of couch potatoeness. I don’t have to sell this one to you either, instead I’ll let the stats do the talking:
As you can see in Image one, South African’s as a whole spend over 54 million, that’s 54 000 000, hours a day watching television. Convert that into years and you get over 6000 and that’s in a single day!
Image two paints an even more grim image when the you realise that number breaks down into South African’s spending 36 hours a week in front of their LCD, an average of 4 hours a day!
Before I get hung, drawn and quarted I know that a lot of you enjoy your time in front of the box and to quote my dearly departed grandmother, “If we were all the same, life would be boring.” That said I highly suggest that you review your daily viewing time.. It may well shock you to find out how square your eyes are getting.
6. Bucket your work
This is something I’ve only recently started doing, however its proved to be one of the most effective tools I’ve come across in recent years to help me boost my productivity.
I used to keep lists. Long, dull lists.
09:00 - Write article on Acetylcholine and it’s effect on concentration.
10:00 – Have a breakfast and call Granny, (the one who’s not dead).
11:00 – Procrastinate about procrastinating then follow up with marketing.
12:00 – Arrange meetings with potential clients
Did I mention lists were dull?
Anyway I often used to find myself writing lists about writing lists, my productivity went down the cra…shoot and well.. I pretty soon found myself getting fairly depressed.
So I did a bit of research and stumbled upon a system called Bucketing which basically involves assigning specific tasks to specific days.
Mondays and Thursdays: Use Hootsuite to schedule the weeks social media
Tuesdays: Write articles that can be used as paid FB advertising and take photos.
Wednesdays: Catch up with latest trends and make sure everything is running smoothly
Friday: Get art work ready for the new week and compile the weeks analytics.
To start off with I struggled with sticking to the idea of only doing specific tasks on set days, however I kept at it and actually found myself doing less yet accomplishing more. See often work weeks would have me going all out at the start only to burn out by Thursday, by which point I could be found sitting at my laptop with a lick of drool hanging from my lower lip and a blank expression on my face.
Is this the be all and end all of productivity strategies? Well no but it works for me and I highly recommend you give it a go.
7. Start with the hard stuff
I’m a morning person, I love waking up hitting gym or the forest trails for a run. I enjoy my first cup of coffee, (black, as it helps reignite your digestion), as well as a cold shower.
Dan on the other hand, my best mate, isn’t a morning person. Getting Dan out of bed, (we’re housemates but you can read into that anyway you wish), on the other hand is a chore more associated with removing Excalibur from the stone, he wakes up lethargic and grumpy and I often find myself second guessing the true extent of our friendship.
Now you might think Dan would follow a similar morning routine? Well truth be told, he doesn't.
I have a particular dislike for preparing meals but I find that getting them done in the morning when I’m most awake works best for me, at this point Dan is probably still trying to wake up so he has a cold shower. Once the shrieks subside he is, however, awake and more or less ready for the day. I get to work on foot, weather permitting, by 07:00 and have cup of ginger tea. Then I start with what I don’t like, if it’s a Monday I’ll start prepping social media posts. As the day roles on I ease off on the intensity of everything and start doing things I enjoy, I do writing of some sort or another and I start working on new strategies for bringing in new clientele. By mid afternoon I have a short nap, especially if I feel I haven’t met my sleep quota from the previous night. As the evening rolls in I make my way down to the gym where I'll put my body through all manner of strange activities. By 8, I'm home, fed and ready to partake in a few choice evening activities of my choosing. So reading a book, doing some mobility work or simply catching up on a series I've downloaded.
The take away? Just eat the frog and get the hard stuff done first!
8. Eat Simply
So to end off, I thought I’d quickly mention food. People generally complicate their daily intake by constantly looking for new recipes and ways to spice, (sorry couldn’t resist), up their meals. This like everything else requires time and quite a lot of it especially if you’re the type who likes eating something new on a daily basis. A far more effective way of eating while keeping a certain amount of variation in your diet is to eat the same type of food on a daily basis but mix up the ingredients. I’m a big proponent of a higher fat diet so for breakfast I’ll have some type of green smoothie, then at lunch time I’ll have a salad dressed with olive oil. Supper I have around 7 o’clock after I’ve done some exercise. This is my biggest meal of the day and is normally when I have my carbs for the day. So I’ll have a large chicken breast, a large sweet potato with butter, a helping of lentils and a serving of raw spinach.
So that's it.. I don't believe that what I write to be authoritarian in any respect, I do reckon the above points make for a great starting block in your journey to better oragnising your life though.
Got any or ideas of your own, comment below!