Whether you want to get to your goal faster, to have free time for something important or just to be more productive, there are several great ways to boost effectiveness. I have read pretty much about the topic and also done some testing with myself and at the time of writing this blog, I think these five are the best boosters suitable for me. Maybe also for you? So try them out and feel free to share your experiences or your personal suggestions for increasing effectiveness / productivity.
Get enough of sleep
This is by far the most important single factor. Being tired feels like shit, makes people more prone to accidents, reduces motivation and lessens cognitive skills. I am super aware that it can be really hard to get the usually required 7.5-8 hours of sleep, but it really is worth a try if you want to be the best you.
Do the hardest/shittiest task first thing in the morning.
Studies have shown that we have limited amount of willpower to be used daily. And EVERY decision drains it, meaning: if you use your willpower to solve petty problems first thing in the morning, it is not getting any easier during the afternoon or evening… Unless you get some rest. Pro tip: Arrange all the important meetings late afternoon, but make sure you get an hour of rest before that meeting to fill up your willpower.
Do NOT open e-mail/social media first thing in the morning.
Do the step two instead. This might sound stupid as “surely little Facebooking can do no harm while drinking morning coffee?” WRONG! You are using your best time to learn and study for utter crap. Stop it. Read something important or listen to an audiobook. If you’re not spending your mornings in a smart way, in a week you’ll have spent easily few hours just idling around reading pointless status updates.
Do a list of things that matter today…
This week. This month. This year. In five years. During your life. Start to build it backwards. I.e. think what really matters to you. What you want from your life. Then think how you can advance that in the next five years. And in the next following year. In a month. In a week. In this day. During the next hour. Focus on your list of things that matter. And start it now.
Turn off e-mail notifications and check mail only once in 2-3 hours – the longer interval the better for the quality of work.
E-mail is a great servant but a terrible master. If you let it pace your day, there is a big risk that you’ll just end up running around stressed and losing the focus on the things that really matter. Respect the list you made in step four.
As a bonus tip I would recommend trying out meditation. Tim Ferris says in his book “4 hour work week” that approx. 80% of the top leaders he has met do some sort of meditation or mindfulness practice. There are also huge amount of evidence and studies that show how meditation improves cognitive skills and helps to reduce anxiety. This can really make a difference to your well-being. But be prepared: regular meditation can cause big things to happen in your life. Luckily they usually are positive after the dust has settled down.
Ever better wishes,