This week is a busier week for me; and while I've learned that "busy" isn't the badge of honor that I once believed it be (I find "freedom" to be a more effective metric), sometimes you just gotta lot of shit to get done in a relatively short period of time and so I want to share some practical tips for maximizing your productivity so that you can ultimately maximize your freedom.
There's a concept called NET Time that I learned from Tony Robbins. It means No Extra Time Time. Basically, what activities can be combined without sacrificing quality? Multi-tasking is a hoax, but there are things that can be combined to become one seamless activity. For instance, listening to books/podcasts while cooking, prepping, and driving is a great one.
And to completely counteract the first tip, my second one is to maintain single-minded focus on each individual task until it is completed. Distractions are the enemy of flow, and being in flow is when you get the best work done the fastest. Every time you shift your focus from the task at hand you're not only losing the time you're not spending on the task, you're also losing the time and quality of work it takes to get back into the flow state once it's broken. Set yourself up so you can dive completely into the task at hand and then shift to the next thing when you're done.
Thirdly, plan to plan. Know what the major tasks are for the day and week and know what time you are blocking out to complete them. Make sure you also plan a time to plan so you can stay ahead of your workload.
Fourthly, create peace points throughout the day and weekend. You can only work as hard as you rest. Create intentional breaks throughout the day to give yourself a chance to breath and reset before moving into the next task. And going along with the principle of NET Time, your meals are a great opportunity to disconnect and be completely present with yourself and the food you're choosing to nourish yourself with.
And going along with peace points, go to bed on time and get your sleep. A well-rested body-mind can get more done in 4 hours than a tired body-mind can get done in 8.
Fifthly, focus on high-leverage activities. What are the things you can do that require the least time and provide the most wide-reaching value. Hint: I'd say meditation is one of these activities. So much time is wasted on things that really don't move the needle. Pay attention.
Lastly, as soon as you can, delegate the tasks that someone else can do (and likely do it better than you with more fulfillment) so you can focus on the high-leverage activities that only you can do. One person's dread is another's greatest joy. And nothing great has ever been achieved alone. We all have our own unique genius that's begging to be expressed.
As you work with these different tips/tools, you'll come to find your own way of doing things and you'll find what times are best for you to do different types of work. Personally, I like to do a lot of my creative work in the morning when I'm fresh.
The biggest thing is that you stay consistent. As I've said in a previous working, you're better off spending 30 seconds on a task to maintain your momentum than to not do it all. Keep showing up.
I hope this helps.