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.
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?