3 Ways to Become Crazy Productive

3 min read

man holding smartphone looking at productivity wall decor
man holding smartphone looking at productivity wall decor

Are you overwhelmed by everything you feel you have to accomplish in your day?

Does it seem like no matter what or how much you get done, your to-do list just keeps growing (much like your inbox)?

In today’s “always on” and “go, go, go” culture, it can seem like no matter what you do, there’s always something else to check off your list, and when you don’t, you may feel like you failed.

When you have a lot on your plate, your instinct might be to just run faster.

Whoever taught you that was wrong, because that only leads to burnout.

Thankfully, there’s a better way.

Here are THREE simple and easy hacks that you can start using immediately to increase your productivity and gain back your peace of mind.

1) Focus on getting the important stuff done.

Your days may be filled with lots of tasks that could or should get done.

And by could, I mean that somebody could accomplish that task.

However, that somebody doesn’t always have to be you.

In fact, it probably shouldn’t be you.

It all comes down to this: Prioritize!

Not every task holds the same “weight”.

Every day, pick 3-5 most important things you have to get done, and don’t worry about the rest.

Important is not the same as urgent. A lot of things may feel urgent, but they’re not important.

Focus on what will matter the most in the long-run.

Individuals who are on the top of their game understand this.

President Eisenhower used to say, “If it's urgent, it probably isn't important.”

It may seem paradoxical (because it is), but when you focus on less, you actually achieve more.

When you’re not overwhelmed with 50 tasks, you will be able to clear the important 3 much faster and that will give you the energy, the motivation--and the time--to go after the next 3.

2) Declutter your mind in the morning.

Like most people, you probably wake up and, immediately, your brain starts racing. Maybe you can’t help but think about the argument you had with your friend the day before or worry about the meeting you have that day.

This is natural: while you were sleeping, your mind wasn’t--it was processing information.

How you manage these random and pestering thoughts will make all the difference in whether you run the day or the day runs you.

An easy way to prevent these mental distractions from getting in your way is to write them all out, unfiltered.

You don’t need to structure these thoughts, just write whatever is on your mind, however random, and run with it. Do this for about 3 pages soon after you wake up. (I do it every morning with coffee or when I am overwhelmed.)

This practice serves as a brain valve--a release of all the unnecessary thoughts, so that you can clearly focus on the important ones. Pushing these thoughts down or ignoring them can limit your ability to focus and remain balanced throughout the day.

3) Get clear on your goals.

Your goals are the benchmarks in the pursuit of your vision.

They’re also (or should be) the expressions of your inner purpose. As such, if they’re real and authentic to you, they will fuel your motivation to keep going when the going gets tough.

They can also have a powerful impact on your productivity because they instantly answer the question: “Will this task matter a month from now? 5 months from now? A year from now?”

Without clear goals, you won’t be able to tell which tasks will push the needle forward the most.

This ties back to prioritizing the important activities over all others.

So, what are your goals?

Once you’re clear on this, every day, ask yourself: does this task match my goals and will it help me achieve them? If the answer is no, scrap it or push it down the list. If the answer is yes, then make sure you get it done.

This isn’t to say that every task will be directly tied to your goals, but the important ones need to be. Otherwise, you’ll be a hamster in a wheel.

What’s most important to remember here is that it’s impossible to get everything done, and quite frankly, you’ll soon realize that you won’t want to anyway.

Being productive is simpler than it seems, so let's summarize:

One, spend less of your time doing more, especially if more of what you’re doing is not in alignment with your priorities and goals. Always focus on your most important tasks and what will matter the most in the long run.

Two, how you handle distractions can make or break your productivity. Decluttering your mind in the morning is a great way to eliminate one of your biggest distractions when working--your random, subconscious thoughts.

Lastly, being busy isn’t the same as being productive. It may give you a feeling of accomplishment, but not the accomplishment itself. What do you prefer? A busy life or a life of accomplishment?