Smart and Unusual Techniques on How to Be More Productive

how to be more productive

Productivity is all about single-tasking, knowing when’s the right time to do stuff, focusing on your current activity, boosting your energy level, prioritizing and being able to start without procrastinating.

But there are also some practical tips you can use in order to get more done in less time.

All the tasks we do during the day can be completed in a better, smarter, faster and easier way. You just need to implement some new techniques.

All of the following methods are taken from people who have already benefited from them.

15 Techniques to Increase Your Productivity

Tips #1-4 by Ludvig Sunström from
These tricks are just a few of what he writes about in his free eBook “75 Practical Self-Development Tips”, which you can get once you subscribe to his blog.

1. Find your prime time.

The first thing you must do to become productive is to find your prime time.

This is the time of the day when you are the most productive; when your energy levels and your mental focus are at their peak.

For most people this time is in the morning. Especially so if you skip breakfast and/or consume stimulants.

2. Create a not to-do list.

Sometimes it’s easier to tell yourself what NOT to do, than what to do. Because there’s so much you know you should be doing, and you simply don’t have the time to do all of it at the same time. But, you CAN avoid doing the things you know you’re NOT supposed to be doing.

3. Don’t do more than 1-3 big things per day

Because if you do, you’ll not be able to reach a state of cumulative concentration.

You see, concentration and creativity are often built up over time. This means that you’ll be more efficient by spending your time focusing on a few things per day than you will be by doing many things. Because if you do many things it’s less likely that you ever get into a state of high concentration where you do really productive work.

4. Take 5-30 min power naps.

This can increase your total output in terms of mental focus and energy levels throughout the day.

Beware of power napping for longer than 30 minutes, because that will often make you even more tired than when you began the power nap.

Tips #5-7 by Dan from TropicalMBA. They are part of the post An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Being Productive.

5. When the winds of passion are blowing, put your sails up.

etsy is a place for creative indiividuals

If I want to build something, write something, make a movie, write a song– I do it right then and there.

6. Get good at letting little bad things happen.

7. Before you go to bed, write down the three big, proactive things you’d like to get done the next day.

Tips #8-12 by Leo Babauta from

8. Do the tough tasks first.

You know what those tasks are.

What have you been putting off that you know you need to do?

Sometimes when you put things off, they end up being things you don’t really need to do. But sometimes they are things you just gotta do. Those are your tough tasks.

Do them first thing in the day.

9. Simplify information streams, crank through blogs & email.

Think about all the information you receive (email, blogs, newsletters, mailing lists, magazines, newspapers and more) and edit brutally.

You will drastically reduce the time you spend reading.

For everything else that begins to come in after your editing process, ask yourself if you really need to be getting that information regularly. Most of the time the answer is no.

Now, after this process, you should be left with less to read. Here’s the next step: crank through it all, really only reading the really interesting ones.

Editing and cranking through the information you receive can free up a lot of time for more important things — like achieving your goals.

10. 30-10.

I set a timer for 30 minutes, and then work like mad until the timer goes off. Then I set the timer for 10 minutes, and do something that I really want to do (email and feeds for me, maybe Twitter or Digg for you).

Repeat as often as necessary.

The key is sticking to your timer — don’t stop while the 30 minutes is still going, and don’t go beyond your 10-minute break.

11. Make quick decisions on things in your inbox, do not put them off.

Letting stuff pile up is procrastinating on making decisions.

Process your inboxes (email, physical, voicemail, notebook) at least once a day, and more frequently if needed. When you process, do it from the top down, making a decision on each item, as in GTD: do it (if it takes 2 minutes or less), trash it, delegate it, file it, or put it on your to-do list or calendar to do later.

12. Collect.

5 Benefits of Automating Your Labeling Process

Carry a small notebook (or whatever capture tool works for you) and write down any tasks, ideas, projects, or other information that pop into your head.

Get it out of your head and onto paper, so you don’t forget it.

When you get back to your home or office, empty your notes into your to-do list.

Tips #13-15 by Robin Sharma. Find more here.

13. Use your commute time.

If you’re commuting 30 minutes each way every day – get this: at the end of a year, you’ve spent 6 weeks of 8 hour days in your car.

I encourage you to use that time to listen to fantastic books on audio + excellent podcasts and valuable learning programs.

Remember, the fastest way to double your income is to triple your rate of learning.

14. Get lost.

Don’t be so available to everyone.

I often spend hours at a time in the cafeteria of a university close to our headquarters. I turn off my devices and think, create, plan and write.

Zero interruptions. Pure focus. Massive results.

15. Workout 2X a day.

Exercise is one of the greatest productivity tools in the world.

So do 20 minutes first thing in the morning and then another workout around 6 or 7 pm to set you up for wow in the evening.

In the end, we all need to try different techniques and find out what works best for us.

So I hope you enjoyed the tips I collected and at least 1 or 2 grabbed your attention. Give them a try.

Can you add another one? What do you do that helps you be more productive?

Image source

Get The Lifestyle Designer's Digest

Sharing my adventures in lifestyle design, building an online business, and growing this blog. Join me for weekly updates.

Previous ArticleNext Article

How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money

How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money - Interview with R.J. Weiss from

This is an interview-style post with R.J. Weiss from The Ways to Wealth.

Hey R.J. What’s your background and what do you do?

I blog about all things personal finance at The Ways to Wealth.

Before I went full-time into blogging, I spent ten years in the financial services industry. Specifically, helping families buy the right type of life insurance.

During my time with a full-time job, I’ve always had different side hustles going on. From freelance writing, Amazon FBA, conversion rate optimization, to website design — there were many projects I pursued outside of work.

How did you start your career in finance?

I got started in finance straight out of college working for my the family insurance business. As I love the financial planning side of things, I choose to specialize in life insurance planning. This led me down the path to obtaining the CFP® Certification.

What made you start blogging?

The Ways to Wealth, which I started in 2016, has been my 5th blog.

The others mostly fizzled out most due to a lack of interest. But, in 2009 I started a personal finance blog called (no longer around) that had some success.

The idea was to write about what I was learning about studying to take the CFP®. The blog was, by all means, a success. I was able to gain valuable knowledge, pass the CFP® exam, earn some extra money and build up a good community.

I then took this knowledge and started a business blog, which allowed the insurance agency I was working for to generate leads.

I started The Ways to Wealth because my passion is personal finance–from investing to travel hacking, I love the challenge of optimizing my finances.

How was The Ways to Wealth born?

I didn’t have much of a plan for starting The Ways to Wealth when I purchased the domain name.

I was actually thinking it would be a niche site, which was inspired by Pat Flynn’s niche site duel. Then, I came across the income reports of Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and wisely changed direction to a more traditional blog.

This change came about 6-months after starting to blog.  I did a timeline of the site in one of my income reports.

What worked best when trying to grow the site?

I had a decent knowledge of SEO. So at first, I started growing the site with email outreach. One of the first posts I had about best investing books of all time, had about 15 links to it.

This was nice to start with but was quite slow to build up, as it can take a while to earn Google’s trust.

The big turning point came when I started to understand Pinterest. I spent a few frustrating weeks on the platform, then it finally started paying dividends.

I went from about 100 sessions a day to 1,000, which was huge for me at the time.

How did you get to 3 million monthly viewers on Pinterest?

the ways to wealth pinterest 3 million monthly views

I lay out my Pinterest strategy here. But at the core the idea is to:

1) Write high-quality content that Pinners want to click through, read, and share.

2) Pin to my own and high-quality group boards, with a keyword-rich description.

3) Continue to Pin my best pins across my own boards/group boards, ruthlessly eliminating Pins that don’t perform well.

One thing to keep in mind is impressions don’t mean much on Pinterest. What counts are clicks to your website. So, you want to design not for impressions but clicks.

What aspects of the online business are you outsourcing or automating and how?

The first thing I outsourced was Pinterest design. I’ll design about 30-40 pins a month, so this was big time saver for me.

Of course, it took some work to get going. At first, I hired 5 or so people on Fiverr. I found one decent designer but the work quality deteriorated over time.

I then went to Upwork and posted a job for a  graphic designer. I found a great team down in Argentina, who I’m very happy with.

I’m currently experimenting with working with a ghostwriter. A few of my latest posts have been transcribed from my recording, with the ghostwriter making sense of it all.

I can compile about 3 posts in 90 minutes, then take another 90 or so minutes to prepare them. Saving me around 3-4 hours per post this way.

What’s your main income stream and why do you think it works for you?

My main source of income for the blog is affiliate revenue. It works because the partners I do have are high-quality businesses, who deliver value and solve real problems. This makes it easy to naturally link to such a partner.

When did you start making more than $10K/month and what was the turning point?

My first month over $10K was in January of 2018. In December of 2017, income was around $3,000 and in July of 2017 around $500. So, it was definitely a jump.

What happened then in January?

First, personal finance is at its peak interest in January.

Second, I had multiple Pins go viral.

Third, in November I started driving traffic via Facebook to the site. So, in January I could take campaigns I’d been fine-tuning for a few weeks and scale them.

How do you balance work and family life?

I have a routine I stick to Monday through Friday.

When inside of my designated working hours, I work. When outside of these hours, I’m not.

This is a lot easier said than done. But the thing important for me is not to take work everywhere I go. This means I don’t have any apps on my phone that are work-related (email, analytics, etc..)

What are you 3 best finance tips for newbies?

  • Focus on your savings rate. How much you save is the most important decision you’ll make.
  • Small incremental improvements add up over time. My favorite example is increasing your savings rate 1% every quarter, means you’ll be saving 20% of your income in just 5 years.
  • Study happiness. Become a student on how to increase your level of happiness. The natural result is you’ll want less overtime, making the game of personal finance a lot easier to win.

What books, blogs or podcasts help you stay motivated along the way of growing an online business?

I read a fair amount to keep fresh ideas in my head.

My favorite podcast is The Tim Ferriss Show.

Two blogs I enjoy reading are:

Farnam Street
Barking up the Wrong Tree

And as far as books. I try to read one a week. A few books I would recommend to online entrepreneurs would be:

Deep Work by Cal Newport
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

Pin this post if you enjoyed the interview.

Check out my interview with R.J. from TheWaystoWealth to see how he entered the finance niche, started making money blogging, began bringing traffic from Pinterest and monetizing it with affiliate marketing, and is now making $10,000/month from his online business. #blogger #interview #blogtraffic #incomeideas #income