I just took a 4-day mini-vacation. It was wonderful. We were able to go to one of our families favorite spots on the planet, and I was amazed how simple it was to just relax. The first day consisted of a long nap, some great food, a no-brainer novel, some time on the beach, swimming in the ocean, great conversation, and I was in bed by 8:15pm. My body just shut down for a couple of days and I just rested. Just what I needed.
As I drove back into “reality” following this much-needed vacation, I found myself trying to figure out why I was so tired, why my body just needed to shut down, why I’ve felt this cloud over me for the past few weeks.
The answer is pretty simple: I’ve been too busy! Traveling, project deadlines, major family milestones (my youngest daughter just graduated from High School), not enough exercise, a hurried diet, just a little craziness!
Tim Ferriss shares in his book, “The 4-Hour Workweek” six tips to increase productivity. Eric Barker paraphrases these tips for us. I thought I would share these with you as I process and think about them over the coming days. I’ll share the first 3 today, then the next 3 tomorrow.
#1) Manage Your Mood
If you start the day calm, it’s easy to get the right things done and focus. When we wake up and the fray is already upon us – phone ringing, emails coming in, fire alarms going off – you spend the whole day reacting.
Research shows how you start the day has an enormous effect on productivity, and you procrastinate more when you’re in a bad mood.
#2) Don’t Check Email In The Morning
To some people this is utter heresy. Many can’t imagine not waking up and immediately checking email or social-media feeds.
When you check email in the morning, you’re setting yourself up to react. An email comes in and suddenly you’re giving your best hours to someone else’s goals, not yours. You’re letting your objectives be hijacked by whoever randomly decides to enter you inbox.
Research shows email:
– Stresses you out.
– Can turn you into a jerk.
– Can be more addictive than alcohol and tobacco.
– And checking email frequently is the equivalent of dropping your IQ 10 points.
Is this really how you want to start your day?
#3) Before You Try to Do It Faster, Ask Whether It Should Be Done At All
Everyone asks, “Why is it so impossible to get everything done?” But the answer is stunningly easy: YOU’RE DOING TOO MANY THINGS.
Want to be more productive? Don’t ask how to make something for efficient until after you’ve asked, “Do I need to do this at all?”
Ted Engstrom once said, “You will be measured not by what you say YES to, but by what you say NO to.”
Do you want to increase your productivity? Start with these 3 things. There will be 3 more tomorrow…