10 Nov 6 Things The Most Productive People Do Every Day
… and the most HAPPY people in their own way too
via Eric Barker
In case you are just recently visiting Earth, well, things have changed slightly since 2019. (For the record, I checked and 2020 has a “no refund” policy.)
Yes, of course, I’m talking about working from home. In the span of roughly two weeks in March, the number of people in the US who had ever worked from home doubled.
From The New Corner Office:
Gallup polls found that, as of March 13–15, 2020, only 31 percent of U.S. workers had ever worked remotely; by March 30—April 2, 2020, this had doubled to 62 percent.
And Gallup found 59% of those people wanted to keep doing it post-pandemic. It definitely has benefits. Prior research has shown we’re 11-20% more productive on creative tasks while at home. Cool, huh?
But that same study also found that we’re up to 10% less productive at home while working on uncreative tasks. Most work? Decidedly uncreative. Uh-oh.
I don’t think I need to explain how working from home during a pandemic might reduce productivity even further. As many of us have realized, it can lead to some deeply cringe-y changes in behavior and a lack of showering that culminate in a dignity-free lifestyle. (I really hate when I put on 20 pounds for a role and realize I’m not a movie star.) Spend enough time not leaving the house and you’ll see more terrifying things than a private-mode browser window. And let’s not forget about the emotional challenges all this has created, like increases in depression and anxiety. We went from normal life to lockdown so fast we’re like divers with the bends.
All of this has made it very, very hard to get things done. We’re eight months in. To a degree we’ve adjusted and developed new routines but in many ways we’re kind of just on standby, acting like life is going to revert back to 2019 any day now. Umm, we’ll find a better solution to getting things done, err, uh, soon. (Ah, yes, “soon” that magical, chronological purgatory where so many improvements are indefinitely detained.)
Unfortunately, we may be living in the Epidemiological Land of Misfit Toys but we still need to get things done. And not soon. Now. Sorry to sound so serious and preachy, posting my thoughts to the digital door like some 21st century Martin Luther but if you want 2021 to be cool, fun and cuter than a puppy yawn then we need to find a better way to work.
Luckily, it’s easier than you think. This doesn’t have to be a productivity apocalypse. This can actually be an opportunity. Things are going to go back to almost-kinda-semi-normal eventually and when that happens, we can be ahead of the curve instead of behind it, if we’re smart.
So how do we do a productivity reboot? Well, here is my most pro of protips:
Congrats, you are no longer an employee. You are now the CEO of “You, Inc.”
We’ve all spent a lot of time in the past complaining that we don’t have enough freedom and control. Guess what? You got it. And we’re gonna handle it like a boss. We’re going to create a new system to address all the things that are now missing because we lack the structure of the office. And it’s going to be even better because it’s going to be customized for you.
For all those who aren’t working from home and feel like this doesn’t apply to them, well… you’re wrong. You may not really be CEO of a business but you are CEO of your life. Always have been and always will be. The lessons we’ll be learning here are valuable even if you don’t work from home, heck, even if you’re not working at all. Building a custom productivity system can benefit everyone because we all need to get stuff done. This is a life skill, and one that will be useful even after the End of the World has ended.
Ready to be a CEO? Let’s get to it…
1) Be Proactive, Not Reactive. Judge Results, Not Hours.
Most of the time at the office you’re reacting. Following. But working at home, you don’t get credit for just showing up and looking busy. You can’t coast and run down the clock. People only see what you’ve accomplished.
Merely “reacting” is not how the most productive people work. They know that, in the end, nobody pays you for your time, they pay you to get things done. Time is just a metric and a lousy one at that. But you’re not an employee anymore. You’re a CEO. You need to proactively make things happen. You have to look at tasks, not time and measure results, not hours.
Some people are gonna say, “Oh, but I’m getting things done! I’m responding to these emails!”
No, Straw Man, responding to email doesn’t count. Look, I get a lot of email too (much of it informing me that hot single moms are available to chat right now) but responding to it doesn’t create these blog posts.
Now that working from home has given you more flexibility, use it to focus on what is important. Do the things that move the needle. Most of us get 80% of results from 20% of the work we do. So focus on that 20%. What really creates progress vs treading water?
Do top performers work more or less? Actually, it’s a trick question: they do more…of less.
Once they had focused on a few priorities, they obsessed over those tasks to produce quality work. That extreme dedication to their priorities created extraordinary results. Top performers did less and more: less volume of activities, more concentrated effort.
And Straw Man replies, “But I do have busywork I need to finish! If I just focus on the big things I won’t get to the bottom of my to-do list!” And that is 100% true…
Except you never get to the bottom of your to-do list anyway, so make sure it’s the busywork that gets put off.
And this applies to life outside of your career as well. People talk about “spending more time with their family” but thinking in terms of hours is silly. It’s about what you do. I’ll take half the time in meaningful, precious moments vs. twice as much time staring at our phones together.
(To learn more about how you can lead a successful life, check out my bestselling book here.)
Okay, so in the productivity war you’re now focusing on nukes, not bullets. That’s awesome. But what does it take to make those decisions properly when you’re on your own?
2) “Know Thyself” Is More Important Than Ever
You have more freedom now than ever — so we need to get rid of that immediately. A lot of the context, systems, and habits that used to unconsciously contain and direct your behavior are now gone. So we need to replace them with new processes, ones better tailored to you.
When are you at your best? Just like all tasks aren’t created equal, all hours aren’t created equal either. And now that your time is more in your hands than ever, and you know you want to focus on important stuff, you need to give those critical tasks your best hours when you have the most energy and brainpower.
Studies show that 2.5 to 4 hours after waking is when most people’s brains are sharpest. But that’s only true in general. When are your “Magic Hours”? Are you a morning person? A night owl? Great, protect those hours and use them for what matters. You want to leverage knowledge about yourself to implement a new strategy.
And this isn’t just true for when you work, it’s true for how you work. More productive after a nap? Cool. That’s now an option. Give active consideration to what structures are missing now that the office is gone, what you need to do to replace them, and how they could be even better. Watch yourself work, take notes, find patterns and alter your schedule accordingly.
And knowing what works worst for you is critical too. You now have a multitude of ways to procrastinate that weren’t an option before. Gotta head those off and outsmart yourself. Being left alone with a big TV and nobody looking over your shoulder may be the equivalent of putting a chocoholic in a Hershey’s factory. No good shall come of this.
Even your personal life has structure and you have more control over it than you think and certainly more than you exercise. Consciously and deliberately decide what that structure will be or it will be decided for you. (I think you’ll like the results of the former better.)
(To learn how to stop being lazy and get more done, click here.)
You’re building that storehouse of personal insights and shortcuts. Great. But how do we best implement them?
… keep reading the full & original article HERE
#happiness #happy #happier #productive #productivity #success