I'm Minna and I am a Co-founder of the FOCO Academy and we mentor people like you to achieve true health and healthy relationships through nutrition, exercise, mindset and lifestyle changes.
A few years ago, I gave a lunch talk to a non-profit women’s group and the topic was called the 8 ways to infinite productivity. The methods that I talked about during that hour-long talk was really quite profound because of its simplicity and how easy it was to implement.
So here I’m re-iterating some of the high points of that talk and to give you the highlights of what I’ve talked about.
The 5 things that I’m going to mention here, if you are not already doing it, once you start implementing these 5 things you will notice a significant improvement in your productivity.
And while they may sound counter intuitive, they work extremely well. So here’s the 5 ways.
Most Americans nowadays are sleep deprived. And some are even proud of being sleep deprived.
At one point in the dot com world that I was in, it almost sounded like a competition on who can survive the least amount of sleep! One guy says I only slept 4 hours last night, and the other guy would say ‘I only slept for 2 hours!’ – and we can do that for short periods of time, but if we keep depriving our sleep time we start seeing some really adverse effects, not only in our bodies but in our brains as well. Sleep deprivation causes brain fog, slows down your thought processes and even though you may not notice it yourself, when you are sleep deprived, you are essentially dumber than you normally are. You react a little slower, you think a little slower, and you often get things wrong. I often joked about why there are bugs in the software and that’s because the software engineers are not getting enough sleep!
So the key to getting a good night’s sleep is
So that’s all I’m going to talk about Sleep. Let’s move on.
If you think asking you to sleep more is taking time away from you, well it is. We are basically reallocating your time so that your mind and body will perform well. The whole point of productivity is to get things done and done well, but in less time.
So if you think getting more sleep is counter intuitive, wait until you hear my point #2.
If you must stretch it out then make it every 90 minutes, but no more than 90. When you are at work, sitting in your chair, staring at your computer, your back, shoulders and ass suffers; and your eyes are working hard. You can only focus for so long before you start distracting yourself, doing something unproductive like reading other people’s Tweets. So every hour, step away from your desk, get some water, take a bathroom break, look at something far away to exercise your eyes, take a good stretch before going back to your work station. Even if you are at home watching TV, make sure you move around every hour also. I know some people that can be stuck to their couch for a long long time and it shows on their ass.
Taking a break every hour is important because it releases you from the focused, stretched state that you are at. It’s like a rubber band.
When you are working hard, focused, you are stretching. And once in a while you need to release the tension because what happens when you keep stretching the rubber band? It snaps. And you don’t want that to happen to you.
OK let’s move on.
I know I know you are already protesting. You need to know what’s happening around the whole world. And you need to hear it again and again. Earthquake in South America? Mother killing her own kids? Look we are compassionate people and we feel for those who are suffering from disasters and misfortune. We are naturally drawn to bad news, but just think for a moment. Do you really need to hear the same piece of news over and over again? In the morning when you’re having breakfast? You read it in the newspaper. Hear it on the radio while you’re driving to work. Talk about it at the water cooler at work. Then hear it all again while you’re driving home and watching that same piece of news again while you’re eating dinner.
Look, if you really need to know the world news, I get it. But watch it once.
Get the newsfeed on RSS or flipboard or something that you only need to read it or watch it once. You know it. You can’t stop the earthquake, or the volcano or the poor kids that were shot by their mother. So don’t mull over it. Get the news once, and be done with it. And one more piece of advice, if you love negative news, don’t watch it at night before you go to bed. It will put you into a negative state of mind and it will have an impact on how well you sleep.
The time you save by not reading the same piece of news 7 times a day, you can use that time to actually do something useful, go help those victims, or spend some quality time with your family.
So. Sleep, take breaks every hour and drop the news.
When a race-car driver is on the track, whether they are practicing or competing, the only thing that they are focusing on is their driving. They feel every bump on the track, know every curve, and hear every little sound coming from their engine. That’s focus. You won’t see them driving while texting, or eating a hamburger. There are absolutely no distractions while they are driving on the track.
That’s the amount of focus that I want you to have during your track time.
Here’s how I do it. Every day, set up 3 sessions of 60 minutes Track Time on your calendar Block it off so no one can schedule something during those times. If you are at work and it gets noisy, book a conference room.
Find a place that is absolutely quiet. This is your Track Time; your Do Not Disturb time.
During that 60 minutes, go to your conference room, set your timer for an hour, put on some music if you want, set your phone to do not disturb and don’t touch it. Shut down your email. Then start working. Go through your list of things to do on that day. Remember, don’t check your phone and don’t check your new emails. Turn off those annoying notifications on your phone and your laptop. Just get to work. Whatever it is that you do. Whether it is to write a book, a proposal, a computer program, whatever it is. Start going through your to do list and if you follow these instructions properly. That is, to be absolutely alone, no distractions, no one to disturb you. You will do something amazing. You will actually find yourself getting everything done on your to do list. You may actually have nothing to do for a few minutes because everything is done! How amazing is that!
So set yourself some Track Time and do your most important work during those times.
Babies say it all the time. Yet we, especially women, find it really difficult to say ‘No’ to anything.
A Co-worker asks for your help? Sure
A parent teacher committee wants you to help? Of course!
A Stranger asks your help? You’d probably still say ok.
Humans like to be liked. That’s a fact. We all like people to like us. So we say ‘Yes’ a lot. But here’s the problem.
When you say ‘yes’ to helping your co-worker, you are essentially saying ‘No’ to getting your own work done.
When you say ‘yes’ to working extra hours, you are saying ‘No’ to your partner and your kids. Your time is limited. We all have 24 hours a day.
That’s it. It doesn’t matter how busy you are you only get the 24 hours. The key is how you allocate your hours. When you say ‘yes’ to everybody asking for your time, what you are really doing is you are saying ‘no’ to spending more time with your loved ones, you are saying ‘no’ to playing with your kids, you are saying ‘no’ to taking time to yourself, exercising or meditation or doing something that is beneficial to you.
So you have to really decide for yourself is it really worth your while to say ‘Yes’ to every request?
Well that’s my 5 unexpected ways to find more time, Work less to get more done. I hope you like it and I’d love to hear from you what you’ve learned from it, how you can change for yourself to be more productive. So drop me a few lines below in the comments area and let me know if you have any questions as well.
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Until next time, love what you live, and live what you love.
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