How to be more productive
Nowadays, we like to call ourselves busy. Hey man, I’m so busy right now. Yeah, I have so much to do. And yet, we don’t stop to think are the things we do any good. Are the things moving us forward. Are we productive at all. This summer, after I recovered from a burnout I decided to put all my focus into one thing, grow myself and find my true potential. I found a mentor for me online, Dan Lok. He teaches some of the most life changing things you can learn and one of them is productivity. Here I’m going to talk about the things I have put into use.
Time, knowledge and energy are our most valuable commodities (Dan Lok,2009,195). And time is the most valuable of them all. Time is all you have (Dan Lok,2009,195). And time is not reusable. So how do you use your time the most efficient way possible? At least not answering your phone all the time.
Do not answer any unscheduled incoming calls
There are numerous reasons for this, so let’s dwell into them. Most of the calls aren’t that important (Dan Lok,2009,204). It might be your mother, or your spouse. It might also be the guy wanting you to upgrade your WLAN. The point is, you’re wasting your time answering unimportant calls also. Are you difficult to work with if you do this? No, just different. And it’s more productive for both parties (Dan Lok,2009,204). You know to expect the call and you have prepared for it. The call won’t take so long and both parties get to work on other things faster. And the call doesn’t interrupt your other work. Even though you might think one phone call won’t matter in grand scheme of things, it does. I have resorted to take calls only if they are scheduled. If someone calls me unscheduled, I don’t answer. I get back to them if I can, if they have left me a voicemail.
Avoid all interruptions
One of the biggest interruptions in our daily lives is our cell phone. We like to message one another all the time, check our social media, watch that funny cat video. Stop that. Just stop. I have turned all of my notifications of in my phone. Only thing that makes noise in my phone besides media is my wake-up alarm. What about your environment? Have you taught people around you how to do business with you? You make the rules, not them. Rule number one for me is, when I have my headphones on, you are not allowed to disturb me. I will announce it to whole Proacademy next Wednesday while giving a speech about how to stop procrastinating. Second rule for me is, that I will meet people without a scheduled appointment. So, be the leader of your own world. Set rules for others, how to treat you.
There are only two kinds of activities in a business: profit producing activities and non-profit producing activities. Either it makes you money, or it doesn’t. Non-profit activities include talking to your friends, surfing the internet, checking emails, organizing your office, and bookkeeping, etc. – activities that don’t push cash in your pocket. Profits are made by creating and launching new products, marketing them, raising capital, acquiring customers, finding ways to do joint venture deals, creating systems and hiring good people to run your businesses. (Dan Lok,2009,206)
How often we do these non-profit tasks and let them make us busy. We feel obligated to do them, because everyone else is doing them also. Guess what, when you do the things 90 % people do, you get the same results. They are stressed, so you become stressed also. It’s simple. And lot of the times, we don’t remember what we did yesterday. You know why? It’s because we didn’t do shit, or it was some of these mundane non-profit activities that keeps us from being productive. In the other hand, creating new products, hiring new people to do the things for you, raising capital are things we talk about to other people. They are the things we remember, and for a reason. They actually matter. So, look at your calendar and see what of your tasks makes you money and what doesn’t, and prioritize the ones that makes you money.
Block out your time
Bill Gates has his time blocked out in six-minute increments (Dan Lok,2009,205). It makes you focus more. If you jump from task to another all the time, you lose focus and you become unproductive. Also, it’s far easier to chit-chat to a friend, check the email or social media, if you jump from task to another all the time, just based on how you feel.
One reason I was struggling to be productive was that I was involved in too many businesses. Most business owners who struggle are busy with the day-to-day responsibilities of the business (Dan Lok,2009,208). Last spring, I had way too many things on my plate. My plate was full of projects which’ deadlines deadlines were long gone, new projects coming up all the time. On top of that, my responsibilities were mounting up. There were meetings to attend to, research to be done, finances to be sorted out, etc. I collapsed and recovered. After recovery what I did has changed my life. I decided to put all my focus into one thing, growing myself to my fullest potential. It have helped tremendously. I get more things done. I have clarity over what I do, it is easier to set goals and achieve them.
Productivity is not just about getting things done. It is about getting things done in the least amount of effort possible. For that you need to be able to think. One thing successful business leaders would do, if given one hour a day more to live, is to think. Thinking is asking yourself profound and deep questions (Dan Lok,2018,How To Think And Grow Rich,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mP-FpEA_sM, watched 31.8.2018 8.19). One of these questions could be: how can I make more sales without adding any new customers, using less time, without adding any new expense and making no proposals at all. Make sure your questions are specific enough. Asking how can I make more money is too vague and the answer will be more vague also.
For you to be able to think, you have to reserve time for it. Block out at least an hour or two of your week to just think. Pick a place, you’re comfortable in, preferably a quiet one. For myself, I like to go to Proacademys stage, looking down the rapids, listening to some calm music. Music also blocks out any excess noise coming from my surroundings.
There are many more things you can do to be more productive. In the end, the only one that can make it happen is you. You have to make a decision to be more productive, value your time more, realize which tasks are moving you forward and which ones are holding you back. I recommend watching Dan Lok’s playlist on productivity on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEmTTOfet46OmSXIUKmbHe1acy6u-fIVX. It will change the way you look at things.