In this blog post we will discuss ways in which we can be more productive. To answer this question we must first ask what do we want to become productive in.
Productivity is always in context to work. What work we want to do first need to be determined.
What do we want to do Everyday?
We got only one life to live and we have to decide what we are going to do with it. To do that we will have to do certain things.
Think about what do we want in our lives, When we get old What would we consider a life well lived?
Write those things down and write down what we are going to sacrifice for it cause nothing in life is free. Everything we do in life, every opportunity we take, we lose other opportunities we could have taken.
In finance we called this opportunity cost. If you are investing in bonds you are losing out on the opportunity of investing in stocks and losing out on investing in real estate and all other investments we could have made.
When choosing a way of life, you are losing out on all the other ways of life that you could have lived.
When living a life, always consider your options before starting, cause as time passes we are set in our lives and it becomes somewhat difficult to change our ways. We should do so if we still have the chance. Cause you can't live a productive life if you don't like what you are doing.
If you ask me what my goals are, this would be the list:
Being an awesome entrepreneur, giving my company and my client the best work of my life. Getting the kind of work satisfaction that you get when you know that you have done the best work you have ever done before.
Having time for my family and friends.
Earning a lot of money.
Having time for my hobbies like video games.
Heaving good health physical as well as mental.
At this point in time, this is what I want in life. This could change in the future because of new knowledge or circumstances. But, for now I am pointing my life in this direction
Importance of time.
Time is the only commodity we all get the same. You and I have got the same 24 hrs a day as Beyonce, Tim Cook, Mark Zuckberg or any other human being in the world. Time is the most expensive commodity in the world cause No matter how much amount of money or power you have, you don't get 25 hrs a day.
“ If you love life don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of" — Bruce lee.
I give my time and the time of others highest priority. I spend my time like I spend my money doing a price/ value analysis. What is the value I am getting after investing x amount of it. Is the value sufficient enough for me to be investing time in it. If I think I will be regretting it later I don't invest my time in the activity. Now, value could be rest, entertainment, work satisfaction, time spend with family etc.
More people than not hear this advice and ignore it. Saving little bit of time is like saving and investing money, You save a little time here and a little time there and you have a lot of time to do the thing you really wanted to do but didn't have time for.
An important way to maximise time is dividing your day into fifteen minute slots and giving specific work some slots of that time.
Venture capitalist Vinod Khosla does this in his life.
There are two kinds of clutter
- The clutter of mind
- The clutter of physical stuff.
Files on the computer, notifications from twitter, Facebook, email subscriptions you don’t read. These all things competes for your attention,
apart from these, the clutter in your office at home, things that you buy and have no use of or the things which you brought at some point in time and are just lying around all contribute to clutter, and it creates the nagging feeling that some works need to be done and is not done yet, bills needs to paid etc.
Clutter reduces the ability of your mind to think clearly. It reduces the ability of the mind to focus and to process information according to neuroscientists at the Princeton university (https://unclutterer.com/2011/03/29/scientists-find-physical-clutter-negatively-affects-your-ability-to-focus-process-information)
Doing many things at once. Checking email, writing up a presentation, doing research. We all do multitasking to one point or the other, but why do we do it, cause
“Multitasking gives a great feeling of work being done"
but, actually little or nor work is done when you multitask according to research done by Zeng Wang [http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/multitask.htm]
According to research multi-taskers are really bad at work, doing multitasking not only
- takes up a lot of time for work to be done.
- Reduces the quality of work done.
Believe it or not, when we multitask, we don't really work on multiple projects simultaneously. We can only really work at one project at a time. We switch context when we start working on the other thing at hand so in reality we really are doing one job for a little amount of time and then switching over to the next job.
While this happens our brains has to have the relevant information about the work at hand and has to do rational thinking about it as well.
As we switch more and more contexts brain gets tired and slow and loses its flow. hence multitasking we make mistakes It takes a lot of time gets us real tired
All for nothing, Instead single work at a time saves a lot of time energy and results in great work done
this is what I do personally on my life
I do one and only one thing at a time.
If I am working I am not browsing Facebook, Imgur or reddit for leisure. If am riding my bike I am not thinking about work. If I am spending my time with family, I am not thinking about any other things.
Having discipline in life
One of things in life to live happily is to have discipline in life. Making your own rules and living by them.
”If a person can control himself, he can control the world." — Ancient Indian saying
Controlling oneself is one of the most difficult things in life. But, the rewards are so very great. You can have the best goals and the best plans in your life but without a disciplined approach its useless.
According to study by Wilhelm Hoffman
”People with high self control are happier than those without."
Ways to achieve self discipline.
According to research done at Stanford University. Will power works like a metamorphical muscle, the more with exercise it along with good nutrition and sleep it gets better with time.
So, if you want to have self discipline.
Eat healthy. Exercise or go for a walk. Research suggests that walk reduces stress levels, increases creativity and improves self discipline. If you fail sometime, forgive yourself and start again with renewed rigour.
Deciding on what to do tomorrow.
Having a clear plan as to what you are going to do today helps a lot. Usually take a lot of time thinking what they are going to do today and managing and replying emails and other stuff in the morning. Which is a really bad time to do this sort of thing.
Cause it takes up a major chunk of the morning time and by noon you haven't really done anything and there is a whole lot of work remaining. Invariable there is stress.
I used to waste my morning on emails and scheduling. But, I learned if I did these things in the evening before leaving the office. I have my work set of for tomorrow morning. You won't believe the kind of work that gets done by noon if you don't have to go through that scheduling and emails.
Delegating tasks, saying NO and minimising distractions
You should not really do everything your self. But delegating tasks reduces the things your brain has to think about.
That is a really very very nice things.
The less things you have to think about, the more deeply you will think about them.
a lot of psychological studies states that the brain is like a muscle gets tiered by making decisions. It has a limited capacity to make decisions and this capacity get recharged after sleeping. That capacity will invariable increase as you use the brain, but in the short term it is constant.
Use that capacity of brain on the goals of your life and delegate as much small stuff as you can. Try to minimise/avoid the distractions and rather than abstaining from them.
Many well known personalities wear same clothes daily, so as to avoid thinking what they have to wear today. Examples include:
- Steve Jobs Black turtleneck blue jeans
- Albert Einstein grey suit no socks and unkept hair.