I don't know about you, but I am addicted to productivity. It's the reason why I write down a Things To Do list everyday and why I created the Slay Your Day planner. Getting sh-t done is sexy.
We all write lists for the multiple things we want to accomplish every day—then we randomly say to ourselves, “You know what, I should workout.” But we don’t write it down because working out isn’t something we planned to do ahead of time. But, we decide, in real time, to work out. Before we know it, we’ve spent 30-90 minutes working out when we actually planned to use that time for another task. This is exactly why we’re not productive.
Stop Making Real-Time Decisions
The number one thing that’s killing your productivity is making real-time decisions. When it comes to getting things done, you have to make decisions ahead of time. When you make decisions ahead of time, you’re able to prep and position yourself to win. Real-time decisions are impulsive—we quickly react and don’t position ourselves to be productive.
C L I C K T O T W E E T
Not only are real time decisions impulsive, they take a lot energy out of you because you then have to prep in real time; which in turn forces you to rush. What most people don't realize is that decision making takes a lot of brain power. Anytime you make real time decisions, you're surging your brain power which is causing you to burn out due to you forcing your brain to rush. Rushing through something to get it done is the absolute worst. It is so draining. Make the hardest the decisions of your day ahead of time to avoid burnout and increase productivity.
Position Yourself to Win
A lot of people try to plan while they’re working. (Like, talking on the phone while writing in their planner.) And it's the ultimate setup for half ass planning. When I’m planning, I’m not working at all—I’m not answering emails and I’m not on the phone. My time is devoted to planning. 90% of the time, when I wake up early, it’s not to work—it’s to prepare for my day so I’m on autopilot. On a good day, it takes me 30 minutes to plan my day. By 5 AM, I know exactly what I’m going to make for lunch and dinner, as well as what I need to accomplish for the rest of the day.
The entire point of planning is to position yourself for success. So every detail of your day must be taken into consideration and prepped ahead of time to avoid real time decisions. If you are in fact going to work out first thing in the morning, put your keys on the kitchen table so they're easy to find, pull out your workout outfit the evening before and fill up your water bottle so you just have to grab and go. While it may only take you 15 minutes, trying to do that at the crack of dawn can be grueling and surge your brain power. Do it the night before, so your brain power can be used during the workout. (You'll need it!)
Time Block Your Day
Time blocking is huge. I can’t stress it enough. On Snapchat, I post photos of my Slay Your Day Planner to show you that I actually practice what I preach and use my planner. My planner has time blocks for me to plan my tasks for the day because something that I think will take 30 minutes to complete may really take an hour. But if I give myself time from 9 AM to 12 PM to complete two to three tasks, I’m being realistic and I can actually get things done.
What's really killing our productivity is putting too many tasks on our things to do list. What happens is we overestimate our planning of tasks and underestimate the process of them. Most things take longer to do than we think. To complete something is a full process that takes time. We need to respect that process. Because when you respect something, you will not rush it.
C L I C K T O T W E E T
I’d rather do two or three things in a day at 100% than seven things at 60%. There’s no point in attempting to do seven things at 60% when, at the end of the day, none of those tasks are completed. That’s basically saying that incomplete is good enough, but it’s not.
Focus On What Matters The Most
I believe in multitasking at a minimal level—meaning doing two things at a time, at the most. I can take a phone call and clean out the unnecessary emails in my inbox. But I also believe in being present, attentive, and laser focused. This month, I started planning my content a month in advance because the only thing I want to focus on, in real time, is relationships—with my audience, colleagues, brands, and family. Relationships are the most important things in our professional and personal lives. They deserve our undivided attention and presence.
You can multitask, but you cannot multifocus. So while you can totally do two things at once, one would need to be on autopilot while the other will inevitably need your focus. Avoid multitasking if you can.
What will also tremendously help your day is doing the hardest thing first. What I like to call David Your Goliath. Whatever the hardest task of the day is...you know, the thing that makes you want to cuss and you really don't want to do...get it done first. If you get the hardest thing you have to do done before noon, the rest of your day is a cake walk. The David Your Goliath rule is one of my biggest secrets to making sure I have a productive day.
What you need to remember:
- Avoid using your brainpower for real-time decisions. It prevents you from making real progress with the things that matter the most to you.
Focus on knocking it out the park with two or three tasks a day instead of overwhelming yourself with tons of incomplete tasks.
Plan your day ahead of time so you can prepare yourself to win in life.
David Your Goliath so the rest of your day is a cake walk.
So now that you have all this information, how can you apply immediately? With your Slay Your Day mini planner. Ready to slay your day and get things done? Get your free Slay Your Day Mini Planner by signing up below!