Productivity is probably this generation’s biggest dilemma. The rising numbers of freelancers and entrepreneurs indicate that more and more people are choosing to work outside the regular 9-5. But outside any supervision or deadlines, they often end up wasting a major chunk of their time distracted with technology, calls, relationships, etc.
After some initial damage, they sense the need to be more productive if they ever want to achieve their goals. According to a study, only 50-60% of a regular workday is productive. There are numerous blogs, articles, courses, and books that claim to help you achieve the “perfect schedule.” But the reality is, there is no one-size-fits-all method when it comes to productivity. What works for one person could be a total disaster for someone else.
To give you an example, let’s compare some of the most successful leaders of our generation. Elon Musk wakes up early and spends his first 30 minutes answering “critical emails” while drinking his coffee. Zuckerberg doesn’t wake up early but maintains a morning routine where he works out or goes for a run, eats breakfast, and gets dressed before heading to the office. Richard Branson wakes up at 5 am, gets in some cardio before breakfast with the family.
As you can notice, there is no set path to productivity. It’s what works for you the best that matters. Some of the techniques with a proven track record in upping productivity are listed below. It will take some effort and consistency to figure out the right combination and stick to a schedule until it becomes a habit.
Start your day early
There is a reason why this gets featured in most of the productivity articles, courses, and recommendations by successful entrepreneurs. Starting early gives you a head start. You can use the additional 1-2 hours to accomplish tasks like your work out or mindfulness exercises along with one task that you think is important. It could be checking emails or responding to connections. Whatever it is, it will bring a sense of accomplishment and set the tone for the rest of the day.
Create a morning routine and stick to it
There is no hack to productivity. It is a matter of habit and intuition. And building a new habit takes willpower and consistency. It requires some initial motivation before the result presents itself. Some say it 21 days to build a habit while others vouch for the 90-day rule. Whatever it takes you, you should be motivated enough to put in the work.
Use Time-blocking Method
Time blocking is probably the most widely used productivity method. It requires you to break your day in 40 mins to 1-hour time slots dedicated to specific tasks. A time block method will have slots for following up with connections and scheduling calls and meetings. By blocking tasks into slots, you can achieve great productivity with the time block method.
Avoid unnecessary decision making
You must have seen the likes of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg wearing the same type of ordinary clothes every day. It is not a coincidence but a planned strategy to avoid decision burnout throughout the day. You can choose what decisions are best avoided so you can focus on getting things done.
Avoid working late
If you are serious about productivity then don’t make the mistake of working late into the night. Take your mind off work in the evenings. If you have a hobby, this would be a good time to indulge in it. Why is it so important you ask? To be productive the next day.