There are a few things we can actually control in our life; sadly, time isn’t one of them. But we can control how productively we use it. Certainly we need to: Most of us have been in situations where we wished there were “more hours in the day” to get things done.
However, a recent Stanford study throws water on that notion, suggesting that simply devoting more time to getting things done isn’t as helpful as it would seem.
The study revealed that productivity falls off dramatically after a 50-hour work week, and that those working 70 hours accomplish little more with those additional 20 hours. So, the issue isn’t about having more time to get things done, it’s about using the time you already have more wisely.
Consider these five productivity hacks to optimise your daily hustle.
1Start your morning right
How you start your morning sets the tone for the entire day.
Waking up earlier and getting into full activity mode can help you get more done the entire day. You should also start your day on a positive note. While most people tend to focus on what they’ve not been able to accomplish the previous day, resetting your priorities and attacking the new day’s goals is key to making the best use of your time.
Keep the phone and emails aside and start with some mind-stimulating exercises such as lifting weights and doing yoga. The workouts will get your blood flowing and pump you up for work, while yoga will help you clear your mind.
2Employ the Ivy Lee productivity method
This an old productivity strategy recommends that you close each day by writing down a list of six important things you want to do the next day. Each task is listed according to its level of importance. The most important one comes first, the least important, last.
Your aim is not to clear your tasks as soon as possible but to focus only on completing the first task. Move on to the next task only once you’ve completed the first one. Do this until everything is done.
James Clear, productivity expert and author, explains in a blog post how in 1918 Ivy Lee, a productivity consultant, counseled Charles Schwab, then the president of Bethlehem Steel, to adopt this plan for his employees. Schwab did just that, saw productivity soar and presented the consultant with a $25,000 check – a princely sum back in those days.
3Try polyphasic sleep
According to research reported in the New York Times Magazine, sleep deprivation costs businesses in America more than $63 billion annually. While it’s in our nature to sleep only at nights – which for most people is insufficient – taking short naps or siestas during the day may be just what you need to keep your productivity high.
Polyphasic sleep is a sleep hack that aims to boost productivity by disrupting the normal straight seven-hour sleep (monophasic sleep). With polyphasic sleep, you sleep only 30 minutes every six hours. This approach gives you roughly five hours’ extra sleep in a day, while your body still gets the rewards of a normal six-to-seven-hour sleep.
4Always wear a cheerful outlook
Our productivity seems to be connected to our mood. That statement seems obvious, but now there’s proof: A University of Warwick study found that happy employees work harder. The study established that by working alongside cheerful people, employees studied were 12 percent more productive.
If you yourself aim to see increased productivity at your business, stick with employees who are cheerful and happy and stay away from those who tend to share negative stuff. You can also contribute to the productivity levels of others by staying happy yourself – which is great for everybody.
Hey, all you java fans, multiple studies show that drinking coffee can boost our productivity levels. Jeff Bickley, founder of Gayo Kopi, an exclusive coffee brand, validates this in a chat.
“Coffee can play a powerful role in boosting our productivity,” he says. “Throughout the day, a compound known as adenosine is produced, as neurons in the brain are fired. We end up feeling tired and worn down as a result of its continuous production.
Coffee helps combat this by impersonating the A1 receptor, which helps block adenosine.”
So bring on that mocha latte.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio – More Than An SUV
The All-New Alfa Romeo Stelvio draws inspiration from the legendary mountain pass linking Italy to Switzerland, with 48 hairpins in quick succession.
The All-New Alfa Romeo Stelvio draws inspiration from the legendary mountain pass linking Italy to Switzerland, with 48 hairpins in quick succession. The Stelvio pass is widely seen as one of the most beautiful and engaging roads on the planet.
What You Put In Is What You Get Out – Create Your Own Success
The secret to curating a successful life starts with what you put in.
You are what you eat, the saying goes. Your physical and even mental health are highly dependent on what you eat (or consume) daily. There are four fundamental factors of a system: Input, boundaries, purpose and output. All systems are mostly defined by the combination of these four factors.
A professional athlete will be very diligent about what they consume in order to achieve the best possible outcome, and sprinters will have different guides and regimes to marathon runners. Essentially, high performing athletes curate their input, or design their own lives, to produce a favourable output.
The same is true of the high-performance entrepreneur — they too should be curating their input, not just in terms of what they consume through their mouths but more importantly, what they consume with their ears and eyes.
A few years ago, I began to recognise that even though I might wake up in a good space in the morning, by 10am I would be feeling negative regardless of my daily practices. I had already established the discipline of recording and recognising my successes daily, as well as repeating daily affirmations and visualisations, yet within a few hours of starting my day, I found myself in a negative space.
I couldn’t figure out what was causing this; but after some analysis I realised that my daily routine included listening to talk radio on the way to work, catching up with the news on Twitter before my first meeting, and reading the morning paper which was neatly laid out on my desk. It quickly became clear that my negativity could be attributed to my over-consumption of bad news.
Each communication platform — from Twitter to the radio — has the power to depress anyone who consumes its news, but the combination of all three was toxic to me. It affected my mood, concentration and, invariably, my output. In a single decision, I eliminated these three platforms from my daily ‘diet’ and instead curated a different morning experience to see whether it would change the output. Instead of the radio, I decided to listen to either music or an audiobook; instead of Twitter, I decided to call a friend; and I didn’t renew my newspaper subscription.
The results were instantaneous. This experiment set me on a mission to see what else I could deliberately curate and design, so I began to strategically design my life to inform the successful and positive output that I desired. I subscribed to online newsletters that were informative and thought-provoking, such as Brain Food by Shane Parish; I cajoled my management team to begin listening to audiobooks at the same time that I was doing so to ensure that we included positive discussions in our bi-monthly meetings; and I ensured that there were always three litres of water in my immediate surrounds to encourage a healthier lifestyle.
Create your own success
In case you haven’t experienced the lightbulb moment yet, the simple explanation is this: All systems have inputs and outputs, and the quality of the input results in the quality of the output.
If you see yourself as the curator of your input and as the architect of your environment, you can start to create the inputs, set the boundaries and define purposes to result in the output that commands entrepreneurial success.
If something really affects the quality of your life — whether it’s your attitude, your mood or the clarity of your thought processes — it’s time to relook the design and start to curate an environment that is conducive to your success.
And, if you’re concerned about missing out on what’s happening, always remember that, if a news report or update has a direct impact on your life, the chances are high that you will hear it through your friends and family.
Follow These 8 Steps To Stay Focused And Reach Your Goals
Decrease the amount of noise in your head.
Accomplishing a goal can be hard work. But even if a project is something you are passionate about and want to complete, distractions such as social media, doubts and other tasks can make it nearly impossible to concentrate on it. Don’t fret. We’re here to help.
Check out these eight steps to help you prioritise and clear your mind.
1. Stop multitasking
Instead of trying to do a million things at once, take a step back and tackle one task at a time. And while your inclination might be to start your day with busy work – like checking emails – and then move onto to the harder things, you should try to get your brain moving by challenging yourself with with a bigger, more creative endeavor first thing.
Related: Goal Setting Guide
2. Block out your days
A good way to hold yourself accountable when it comes to quieting the noise all around you is to specifically block out time in your day – maybe it’s 30 minutes or an hour – to spend on a given project.
Colour code your calendar or set a timer to make sure you are accomplishing the goal at hand.
3. Get your blood pumping
You can’t focus if your are stuck inside and staring at a screen all day long. Turn off your computer and phone, and go for a walk for 20 minutes. The fresh air and the movement will clear your head. Also make sure that you are drinking enough water and getting enough rest.
4. Help your technology help you
A platform like RescueTime, a software that runs while you work and shows you how you are spending your day, could help you understand why something is taking longer to complete than it should. Options like Cold Turkey, Freedom and Self Control block out the internet entirely to keep you off your Twitter feed when you should be meeting deadlines.
Get a recommendation for a yoga or meditation class, or even make it an office outing so everyone get some time to quiet their minds. Or look online for a plethora of apps and platforms whose stock and trade is mindfulness, like Meditation Made Simple, Calm and Headspace.
For slightly more of a monetary investment, you could look into wearable tech like Thync, a device that produces electrical pulses to help your brain decrease stress.
6. Change up what’s in your headphones
While background noise might help block out a loud office or construction outside your window, you need to be careful that what you are listening to isn’t distracting you more.
Music with lyrics can sap your focus from the task in front of you, so consider trying classical or electronic music instead. Or use a playlist that is familiar to you, so you aren’t tempted to turn all your attention to the new sound.
7. Streamline your communication
If you find that all of your focus gets trained on getting your inbox down to zero, think about how you can get yourself out from under a relentless deluge of email. Ask yourself and your colleagues to think about whether this conversation would be most effective through email, on the phone or in person.
Taking five minutes to walk over to someone else’s workspace will save you the time and energy invested into a redundant email chain and clarify how you want to attack a problem more quickly.
8. Find an environment with the right kind of noise
To be the most effective, you need to strike a delicate balance between too much noise and total silence. According to David Burkus, an associate professor of leadership and innovation at Oral Roberts University, “some level of office banter in the background might actually benefit our ability to do creative tasks, provided we don’t get drawn into the conversation,” Burkus wrote in the Harvard Business Review.
“Instead of total silence, the ideal work environment for creative work has a little bit of background noise. That’s why you might focus really well in a noisy coffee shop, but barely be able to concentrate in a noisy office.”
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
- Customer Control For Entrepreneurs
- 5 Things SME’s Need To Be Thinking About In 2018
- Planning Ahead For The Cloud: 5 Tips For Start-Ups
- 9 Quotes Every Entrepreneur Should Live By
- The One Leadership Trait That Will Ensure You Succeed At Anything You Do
- Uzenzele Holdings Co-founders Nadia And Zahra Rawjee’s Top Advice On Building A Service-based Business
- 3 Core Strategies For Building Successful Franchise Organisations
Start-up Industry Specific2 months ago
How Do I Start A Transport Or Logistics Business?
Entrepreneur Profiles2 months ago
10 SA Entrepreneurs Who Built Their Businesses From Nothing
Business Plan Advice2 months ago
Writing a Business Plan May Not Be Your Idea Of Fun, But It Forces You To Build These 4 Crucial Habits
Company Posts2 weeks ago
Enhance Your Entrepreneurial Flair With An Online Postgraduate Diploma From The University Of Pretoria