It doesn’t matter whether we are talking about life, business or the pursuit of happiness…if you want to get somewhere, you have to get stuff done. It’s that simple. Now I’m not advocating that you work harder to accomplish tasks…this is about being mindful and doing what you can to get things done that need to be done in a timely manner and then having lots and lots of time to play. Here are some tips that may help you do just that:
I used to work 70-80 hours a week. In fact, that’s about all I did. Now I work 3 days a week plus a couple of hours while my grandson naps 2 days a week. By work, I pretty much mean I fit my entire life in that time frame…work, chores, pay bills, etc…so I can play in the evenings and weekends. I wasn’t sure I could make this work for me but it has! The first year I made the change, I made $1,000 less than the year before but I didn’t miss that money and I had waaaay more fun all year long. I got to do things I was starting to wonder if I’d ever be able to enjoy. It was wonderful. I’m mid-way through my second year and on track to make almost twice as much as I did last year. Remarkable? Perhaps. But it is what it is and I did it by realizing that other things were more important to me and it was time to set some boundaries around what I did and stick my nose to the grindstone while I did it. I am much more productive now than I ever was during those 70-80 hour weeks. I know my time is limited and I work hard and focus while I’m working.
I used to get up mid-morning, take my time getting ready for the day and then begin working. Part of the reason it was so easy, at the time, to work such long days was because the day was half over before I began. I figured if I was going to have to work into the night anyway, I didn’t have any motivation to get things done quickly. I never thought I would say I am a morning person but I am. I’m up and at ’em bright and early and working sometimes before the sun comes up. I know I can have my 8 hours in on the full work days long before 3om and then I have the entire afternoon and evening to enjoy life! I am a firm believer that changing a habit requires something more important to fill the gap left by change…for me, it was the desire to play and enjoy the nice weather for the limited time we have it here and that has completely shifted my life year-round. Consider your routine and is it serving you well. Is there a time of day that you would be more productive? Have more energy to get things done. Work when your body, mind, and spirit tell you it’s time to work.
It’s easy to find myself doing piddly stuff that allows me to check something off my to do list but doesn’t really impact much of anything nor does it “feed” my soul. There are always tasks that provide more “power” when done, so to speak. These are sometimes referred to as high-level tasks. Identify your high-level tasks and do them first.
When my life was a total mess (see above), I was staying up until 2, 3, sometimes 4am and then sleeping half the morning away. I was sure I was a night owl and owned that title well. You may not like what I’m about to say (and I’ve said it before) but I’m calling BULLSHIT. No one is a night owl by nature…you may be a night owl by nurture but not by nature. Our natural state of being is to rise with the sunrise and go to bed with the sunset. Period. There are natural things our body needs to be well and sleep is one of them. The time our bodies produce the human growth hormone most is during sleep…deep sleep. Just to be clear, I’m not talking about ingesting this in another way or a synthetic version. I’m simply talking about taking advantage of what we naturally have available to us while we sleep. The human growth hormone turns back your internal clock, helps you build and maintain muscle, reduces fat, increases libido and metabolism, and increases energy levels. And studies show, if you aren’t asleep by 10 or 11pm, you miss out on the most important time for this to be produced naturally. Yes, 10 or 11pm, at the latest. All the benefits not only support productivity but they support a better and healthier life. Go to bed.
These are just a few things that have really made a difference for me. Of course I don’t want to tell you what to do…you get to decide what works best for you and it’s important that you do so. If you attempt to do something that isn’t a good fit, it will most likely backfire and you will feel worse than you did before you tried.
Is there anything on this list you’ve done and noticed a significant change in your life? Or anything else that’s been helpful in your productivity? Please share below.