We live in the age of hyper-connection – where we are always overscheduled, over connected, and over distracted. Phone calls, emails, messengers, never-ending tasks, travel, and the constant demands of a more social than ever before lifestyle. The cost of operating in today’s age of distractions? Sub-optimal productivity. Which brings us to the question – if all of us are wearing multiple hats, how is it that the epic achievers get more done in a day than most others accomplish in a week or maybe even more? Because they adopt a completely different mindset and approach to productivity.
Here, we share three tried and tested ways to achieve superhuman productivity, gathered through conversations with our clients who are entrepreneurs, life coaches, top executives and others who have cracked the formula for success.
#1 The 90/90/1 rule: Research reveals that the human brain can focus on intense activity for a maximum of 90 minutes at a stretch – so dedicate the first 90 minutes of your day to that one important task, which done right, will deliver the maximum value to your business or will set everything straight and tie the loose ends together. Follow this for 90 days and see your productivity soar. Alternatively, you may even choose to focus on your frog for the first 90 minutes – that one most annoying task that you hate doing. Remember Mark Twain said: Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day. So if you get that frog out of your way early in the day, you know you’ve accomplished at least one important goal. No checking email/socializing at the coffee corner when you get to office – it’s show time from the moment you enter, till the first 90 minutes are through.
#2 Plan your schedule the night before: Yes, you’ve heard this umpteen times before but it is still one of the most underrated and under-practised productivity tips around. Mornings can get unproductively busy if you don’t have a plan and the smallest of challenges/distractions/emergencies can derail your schedule. One of the biggest reasons we modern folks fail to achieve our optimal productivity levels is because, thanks to technology, we have forgotten to plan. Technology distracts us, pulls us away from the task at hand, but, used correctly, especially the night before, the same technology and tools can help us plan our day perfectly. For instance, tools like StayFocusd can help you limit time spent procrastinating online by blocking some or all websites you frequent. Here are four proven ways successful people use to plan their days for superhuman productivity.
#3 Delegate as much as you can: Delegating your non-core tasks does two things immediately – it frees your mind space to focus on HVAs i.e. the high value activities and it transfers ownership – making your virtual personal assistant (to whom you delegate) accountable for the outcomes. There’s a big difference between working hard and working smart – delegation helps you choose the latter to achieve exceptional productivity without sacrificing work life balance. Here’s a list of sample tasks that you can start delegating to your virtual personal assistant.
It’s time to stop dreaming of an ideal future – get up, sort your act, and make it happen. Yes, it’ll take time, effort, and dedication, but in the end, the rewards will outweigh the efforts by a great measure.