Working Smarter, Not Harder Part 2
We spoke about productivity and focus. Let’s look at ways to amplify that both at work and at home.
You only have a certain amount of decision-making ability throughout the day. It’s like your life bar in street fighter, once it’s gone, it’s gone and you become orders of magnitude less productive. This means, tasks that should have taken you 20 minutes can now stretch to an hour. Waste. The only way to reset this is sleep. Not just any sleep but meaningful, good quality sleep.
Here are my 3 ways to maximise your task output and minimise lag.
The 2-Minute Rule
My favourite rule. Simply, if a task takes you 2 minutes or less, you need to do it immediately. Forwarding emails, replying to meeting times, sending an attachment, you name it. If it takes you less than 2 minutes, do it and get it out of the way.
Completing tasks gives you a hit of dopamine, continuously removing the things that you need to do makes you feel better and you get more done. Now, this is not to be taken out of context, don’t start looking for 2-minute tasks, allocated time for a certain activity should never be disturbed (see below).
Allocated Time for Completing Tasks
Things happen, internal meetings, client calls, urgent emails. I get it, life's tough. Which is why I block out time in my diary and do only that activity for that time.
For example, if I need to create a PowerPoint document, I will block out a 2-hour slot in my diary from 11-1 pm for PPT creation. In that time, I do nothing else. No email, no phone, no coffee break. It’s very rare for something to be that urgent that it can’t wait 2 hours. This is your time, and your time is the most important because no one will give it back to you.
I usually have around 2-3 slots like this in my diary a day, anymore and you don’t leave time for flexibility, any less and you don’t have the right structure in place to crush the day. You may have noticed these examples are based around my work but don’t be fooled, this tip works in a lot of situations (looking at you Uni students).
Sleep is the Only Way to Crush the Day
In order to reset your ability to be productive, you need enough rest. REM writes to your long term memory, ‘deep sleep’ helps your body recover and regenerate. So why not help yourself get the best sleep?
I eat Peak Rest every night because it gives me the deepest sleep even when I have less than the optimal 8-hours. The ZMA helps me feel less sore from training, giving me the motivation to go again. The L-tryptophan helps me have a really efficient sleep, you know the ones where you go to sleep and wake up in the same position, the sleep that you get on holiday or Sunday morning when there are no kids sports or parties on Saturday. That holy grail. The combination of ingredients is how I can ensure a healthy, happy day. I don’t wait for a Berocca, by then it’s too late.
The best thing is these tips have an immediate impact starting day 1. Try it and let me know how you go!