5 Next Level Productivity Techniques

next level productivity techniques

You may have developed some habits over the years that help you get things done and manage your time. You may also have followed some basic productivity techniques, rules and principles. Now, however, it’s time to take things to the next level.

It’s great that you’re waking up early and getting to work right away, using a to-do list, have a morning routine that helps you get things done in the early hours, know how to save time and don’t waste it in unproductive activities.

So, what’s next? There’s always a next level, right?

That’s also true for achieving more in life. You have all it takes to do even more productive work, to do it better and faster, to make the most of every minute of each day, and to be super effective.

Here are some tips to follow to improve your skills:

The Productivity Techniques That Will Help You Take Things to The Next Level

1. Improve your ability to focus.

Focus is crucial when it comes to working on something important. Distractions are everywhere and just saying we’ll do something about them isn’t enough.

You need to carefully identify each thing that’s preventing you from staying focused and take action to remove it.

Related: How to Stay Focused When There Are So Many Distractions

2. Take the 80/20 principle to the next level too.

Keeping in mind the 20% of what you do that gives you 80% of the results is the very first step to maximizing your efficiency. But you can benefit even more from this powerful principle.

Apply the 80/20 rule to any area of life you want to improve. Eliminate the 80% that only gives a small part of your progress. And do more of the rest that seems to be working pretty well.

3. Analyze how you spend your time.

A self-analysis can help you see what needs to be improved in your approach. You’ll also know what takes you more time than it should and can take action. It’s one of the most favorite productivity techniques successful people use.

Here are 12 questions to ask yourself every now and then that will help you choose the right strategy to follow to double your productivity.

4. Define the limit and the obvious way to improve it.

In this brilliant article Taylor Pearson talks about an interesting concept – thinking in limits.

“I’ve found that thinking in limits is frequently the best way to identify, and do, the obvious.

Once I’ve defined the problem as a system with limits, I have a desired outcome that I can, in Charlie Munger’s words, “think backwards” from to see what the limits are and re-allocate my energy to address the appropriate limit.”

The first examples he gives is connected to health, and more specifically, to our desire to get in shape.

He then describes a person who starts working out 6 times a week and still doesn’t see results after a month.

Here’s when we need to think about the current limit. In this case, the problem isn’t in not training enough, but the other two elements of getting fit and losing weight – a good night’s sleep and a proper diet.

“While we’re going to the gym six days a week, we’re going at 5am which means some days we only sleep five or six hours if we were up late the night before. We also treat ourselves to a scone from Starbucks after every workout.

An hour running on the treadmill will burn 400 calories. A scone from Starbucks has 400 calories which means we’re probably not going to lose any weight. The hormonal benefits of exercise are being counteracted by the lack of sleep. We’re spending more and more time exercising when the limit isn’t exercise at all.

If we fix our sleep and diet then we’ll get better results with the even less exercise. By cleaning up our diet and getting an extra couple hours of sleep every other night, even with no or a very modest amount of exercise, we start to see the pounds drop off.”

So, how can you apply that next level productivity technique to something you want to see progress with?

5. Find out the deeper reasons behind why you procrastinate.

Everyone procrastinates for 9 main reasons.

What we see in reality is things like:

  • not knowing where to start when having to work on a project;
  • not being motivated enough;
  • fearing we might fail;
  • not thinking we can complete the task properly;
  • seeing it as an obligation;
  • overthinking (imagining how things might go wrong, or else).

That’s what’s on the surface. But deeper in our subconscious mind are reasons like:

  • having unrealistic expectations;
  • not wanting to be judged;
  • a desire to impress others;
  • insecurity issues;
  • not knowing why we do what we do;
  • sabotaging our success;
  • not having the right mindset;
  • having regrets about the past.

So dig deeper and find the actual reason why you procrastinate. Then, be honest with yourself and find a reasonable solution.

Make sure you check out my book on how to kill procrastination if you can’t find the answer yourself. It’s a short, actionable and powerful read.

Which of these next level productivity techniques would give a try first? Why?

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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 TheWaystoWealth.com

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 GenYWealth.com (no longer around) that had some success.

The idea GenYwealth.com 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