This is a guest post by Carey Gjokaj, one very productive lady, who’s hosting the 3-day Virtual Productivity Accelerator capturing the secrets of 25 superstars on better mindsets, workflow, and freedom. Guests include Lewis Howes, Kevin Harrington, Dan Martell, Mel Robbins, me and 20 other incredible talents. These speakers are among the most productive people in the world, and include bestselling authors, multi-millionaires, thought leaders, social influencers, media commentators, TED speakers, and serial entrepreneurs.
Grab your FREE ticket to the Lifehack Summit (July 10-12) at this link. Just click here to register with your name and email.
Do you want to be the most productive version of yourself?
But sometimes it can feel like there’s something blocking you from achieving a higher level of performance?
I can relate. The struggle with procrastination, distractions, and lack of focus is REAL. It can be tremendously overwhelming!
After 10 years of reading productivity books and testing strategies, my husband and I learned a thing or two about why we floundered when others around us thrived. And it turns out, there are some secrets out there that allow superstars like Oprah and Richard Branson to effortlessly operate like productivity ninjas.
Below are 5 things these top performers do differently to be incredibly effective in their day.
#1. It’s all about the mindset
We expected the most productive people in the world to have some secret techniques not apparent to the naked eye.
You know, the kind of secrets that make them appear impervious to life’s difficulties and endlessly productive…and make the rest of us jealous. It turns out these secrets are mindsets.
Caitlin Pyle, successful entrepreneur behind Proofread Anywhere, says, “Mindsets are the groundwork for the reality we create for ourselves.”
Top performers anticipate and circumvent mental roadblocks when they’re experiencing analysis paralysis or other productivity malaise. They use meditation, mindfulness, and even regular self-awareness to keep their mindsets focused and positive.
Natalie Sisson, who you know and love from this very blog, is closely in tune with her mindsets. In fact she recently took an extended sabbatical to realign herself with her work.
She suggests asking “What am I doing right now that’s not serving me?” as a simple way to identify areas that cause your growth to stagnate.
Learn more in these Lifehack Summit Interviews: Caitlin Pyle, Natalie Sisson
#2. Stop managing your time. Manage your energy instead!
It used to be that time was all we had to manage. In the Industrial Age, it was simple to tell how productive we were because productivity was measured in ‘widgets per hour.’ Today, this formula no longer makes sense for most jobs.
Distractions inundate our homes and offices, every 3 minutes and 5 seconds on average. Knowledge workers are expected to manage competing priorities, a full home life, and a demanding social environment.
It’s no longer about how many tasks we cross off our list in an hour. It’s about managing our attention and energy so that we don’t burn out!
Learn more in these Lifehack Summit Interviews: Chris Bailey, Cal Newport, Laura Vanderkam
#3. Prioritize ruthlessly – all day ‘er day
Productivity pros aren’t concerned with getting everything on their plate done. Instead, they’re concerned about what they’re saying “yes” to, and what they’re saying “no” to. Their to-do lists are cleared of any unnecessary, inconsequential, or unimportant tasks in service of their true priorities.
Instead of letting the tides of life take you where they will, it’s important to grab the reins and define your #1 priority for your week, month and year. It’s easy to blame our circumstances or resources for our lack of forward movement towards our goals, but this isn’t the attitude of a true productivity master.
After all, “You can use money to buy future time, but there’s no amount of money that can buy time you mis-spent in the past,” according to bestselling author Jay Papasan.
You may also want to read: The Ultimate Productivity Guide To Help You Achieve More Time, Money, And Freedom By Working Less
#4. Focus is the new I.Q.
“Deep Work” is defined by author Cal Newport as cognitively demanding tasks performed in a state of distraction-free focus. These efforts create new value, improve your skills, and are hard to replicate. In other words, they are not the “shallow” tasks we tend to do much of our day!
Focus is the new I.Q. in the digital age of distraction, and almost no individuals are actually focusing on developing…well, focus. For knowledge workers, Newport proposes that [High-quality work produced = (time spent) x (intensity of focus)].
In other words, it’s not just about putting in the hours. It’s about developing focus as a muscle.
Learn more in these Lifehack Summit Interviews: Cal Newport, Jairek Robbins
Another great read: 3 Startling Mistakes That Are Blocking Your Productivity (And How To Fix Them)
#5. Help out your brain by batching tasks
Grouping tasks of similar cognitive difficulty and skill is a simple way to make work feel easy. By clustering similar tasks in your day (for example, making phone calls only from 2-4pm instead of spread throughout the day) you’re able to stay in uninterrupted flow longer.
This makes it simpler for your brain to process information and solve problems, instead of constantly jumping between unrelated tasks.
Learn more in these Lifehack Summit Interviews: Dan Martell, Erik Fisher
BONUS! “Trick” your brain into optimal performance
Our brains are designed to protect us from doing things that could cause us pain. Thousands of years ago, this helped us stay alive instead of being eaten by tigers.
But this backfires when we’re trying to get to the next level of life in present day. Because while status quo is comfortable, to reach the next level requires us to step WAY outside our comfort zones!
The good news is that modern psychologists, therapists, and thought leaders suggest many ways to trick our evolutionary mechanisms to keep our brains from holding us back.
As Mel Robbins says, “You can out-trick your brain in furtherance of higher goals.” Her simple 5 Second Rule collapses a litany of psychological principles and by-passes our built-in processes that keep us in the mode of inaction, procrastination, and avoidance.
Learn more in these Lifehack Summit Interviews: Mel Robbins, Marisa Peer, Jessica Geist, Rick Hanson
Tell me which one of these insights is your favorite below!