How to be more productive

Posted by: Jeremy Jones

March 17, 2016

Three strategies to be more productive in your day.

Have you struggled with having a to-do list that carries over day after day and never gets done?  Or do you just have things on your mind all the time you know you should get done, but you can never find the time to get to it?

Here are three strategies to get your week off to a running start

La mirada de deseo
Alexis Martín via Compfight

Today I’ll be giving you 3 things that will help you be more productive and efficient in your day.  One of the things I’ve been fascinated with the last few years is how wealthy people can produce so much income and they have the same amount of hours in a day as let’s say a burger flipper at Burger King.

The burger flipper makes $30,000 per year, and the business man earns $30,000 per month.  Does the wealthy business man as hard in one month as the burger flipper does in one year?  No, of course not, he just has leverage of time and his efforts are worth more value in the marketplace.

Let’s look at a few ways you can make the most of your day and achieve your goals.

1. check email only 2-3 times a day

One of the biggest time wasters is constantly checking your email and responding all through the day.  I’m reading a book from a young wealthy best selling author and entrepreneur Brendon Burchard who actually teaches people how be more effective and he says the email box is a convenient way to organize other people’s agendas.  When you think about it, that’s really true.

You have your own agenda to be productive, and if you live in your email inbox, refreshing and replying to every incoming email you are putting your priorities second to whatever comes up.  First thing, and I know because I’ve adjusted this myself recently, is to only check email in the morning and afternoon, and sometimes later in the evening.  Give it a try, I’m sure you’ll survive without being a slave to your email.  Let it serve you, don’t be a servant to it.

2. create a to-do list before your day starts

I think it was Abraham Lincoln who said, “If I had 4 hours to chop down a tree I’d spend 3 hours sharpening my axe and 1 hour cutting the tree”…not an exact quote, I could google it, but I’m going to wing this quote, because I’m sure you’re familiar with this timeless wisdom.

It will serve you well to sharpen your schedule and plan for the day before attacking it.  If you need to make 5 calls to prospective clients in a day, set aside 30 minutes and write down their names of who exactly you will be calling.

Then when the 30 minutes comes, you look at your plan, and start calling.  The day can get away from you if you take 30 minutes for your calls, then take 20 minutes to search for names, numbers and think about who you should call…by the time you call one person, your calling time is up and the day quietly slips away from you…do this a few days in a row and you’ll be wondering what you did all week.  You make it happen.

3. have a list of daily priorities: this you must do today, no matter what

One of the best advice I’ve received on goal setting is to “Eat the elephant one bite at a time”.  Big goals can seem like a big elephant at times can’t they?  Now, rather than that just being a cute saying, here are some practical tips on how to do this that I have learned.

Take a big goal, something that can be accomplished in 3-6 months.  Break that goal down into projects, broken down into different parts.  To know you’ve done this correctly, you should be able to look at the projects and say to yourself, if I complete project A, B and C then “yes” I will have my goal.

Next, take Project A and break that down into weekly tasks.  Each task should take you about 30 minutes to an hour to complete.  If it takes longer, then turn that into a part of your project, and break that down into smaller tasks.

This is where the big goal becomes a reality…..once you have the project broken into tasks schedule each task for a time/day you will do it, and write it down in a planner.

The key is to write it down, they be accountable to yourself and be sure to accomplish each day what you have wrote down in your calendar.  If you want to double check this one ask yourself, if I accomplish all the tasks this week will the project be complete?

If yes, you know all the steps it takes to get your goal.  Now all you need is the daily discipline to do it.  How do you get the discipline to follow through?  A very disciplined person is someone that just decides every day that the tasks they will do are worth it for their big WHY….why they want the “goal”.

When the goal is bigger than the obstacles that could potentially get you off track, they won’t.  That’s the difference between being interested in a goal or committed.

“Beware of your inbox, it’s nothing but a convenient organizing system for other people’s agendas. Your goal is to always keep the main thing the main thing in your life, whatever it may be. Focus today.” – Brendon Burchard

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Jeremy C. Jones, a proud military veteran, is also a family man and entrepreneur who lives in Paradise Valley, Arizona. His accomplishments include being a four-time #1 Best-Selling Author on Amazon, hosting the popular podcast “Ideas That Make an Impact,” establishing The Book District, and founding and serving as CEO at Jones Media Publishing.

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