I’m in Trinidad and Tobago, finishing up an intense but fulfilling tour through Latin America. Yesterday I spoke to the leaders of the government of this resource and culture-rich nation. As well as to 350 schoolkids on Leading Without a Title (here’s a link to a newspaper review of the event with the kids). I realized how much I love teaching kids about leadership.
I wanted to share 17 of the tactics I’ve learned that I know will help you lean into your productive best in this age of dramatic distraction:
17 Tips To Double Your Productivity In Two Weeks
1. Turn off all technology for 60 minutes a day and focus on doing your most important work.
2. Work in 90 minute cycles (tons of science is now confirming that this is the optimal work to rest ratio).
3. Start your day with at least 30 minutes of exercise.
4. Don’t check your email first thing in the morning.
5. Turn all your electronic notifications off.
6. Take one day a week as a complete recovery day, to refuel and regenerate (that means no email, no phone calls and zero work). You need full recovery one day a week otherwise you’ll start depleting your capabilities.
7. The data says workers are interrupted every 11 minutes. Distractions destroy productivity. Learn to protect your time and say no to interruptions.
8. Schedule every day of your week every Sunday morning. A plan relieves you of the torment of choice (said novelist Saul Bellow). It restores focus and provides energy.
9. Work in blocks of time. Creative geniuses all had 2 things in common: when they worked they were fully engaged and when they worked, they worked with this deep concentration for long periods of time. Rare in this world of entrepreneurs who can’t sit still.
10. Drink a liter of water early every morning. We wake up dehydrated. The most precious asset of an entrepreneur isn’t time – it’s energy. Water restores it.
11. Don’t answer your phone every time it rings.
12. Invest in your professional development so you bring more value to the hours you work.
13. Avoid gossip and time vampires.
14. Touch paper just once.
15. Keep a “Stop Doing List”.
16. Get up at 5 am.
17. Have meetings standing up.
Stay Productive and Make Your Work Matter!