I was pitching a media company who had asked me for tips on increasing productivity. I started out with my CV, which is really the only reason I can speak about productivity to them. I’m:
– Husband of one and same wife, married for 21 years;
– Father of seven kids, which demands military organisation;
– Serial entrepreneur, having started six businesses in separate industries;
– Author of six books and 3 music albums – I find time;
– Award winning photographer – and grade A track day motorbike rider. I make time for my hobbies.
So here are the top nine tips, based on my real life experiment, to grow and maintain productivity:
1. Start well. I rise early (5am), pray or meditate (mindfulness), walk for 30 minutes (endorphins are a great kick start) and have a big breakfast (neurochemistry starters).
2. Maintain a curfew. No email before 8am or after 9pm, Facebook and social media one hour a day. That’s it. Very little TV.
3. State is King. When I’m stuck, “work harder” is not clever. I go back to asking “Who do I need to be to solve this problem?” If I remain stuck, I model my mentors.
4. Take regular breaks. Every 40-60 minutes I get up, walk around, grab a snack or coffee and shift my attention. Go outside. Lay down on the floor.
5. Don’t keep a schedule in your head. I have a PA and a team run my calendar. I focus on the peak of the pyramid – vision drives values drives roles and goals. At the bottom of the pile there might be a to do list.
6. Outsource everything possible. You’ve heard of diarise, do it, dump it, delegate it. Well I start with delegate – teams are key to success. Odesk can take most of your daily grind.
7. Create dream space. I wrote about the importance of journaling in a recent blog. I have an ideas journal, 3 white boards and a table in my office covered in A2 pages. Get it out of your head on onto a hard surface.
8. Use energy management. I do a whole seminar on this, but manage your energy. Work when you have peak energy (for me that’s 5-9am), bust out of the 9-5 death trap.
9. Eat frogs first. Brian Tracy talks about tackling the hardest things first. Start your day with the tough jobs, eat the worst part of your meal first and the rest looks easy.
That’s it. Pick one or two to start with and see if they make a difference. Write in and let me know – add a comment below – tweet me.