We live in a cluttered and hyper-distracting world. Despite all the technology intended to make us more productive, people are increasingly becoming less productive. David Brock, author of Your Brain at Work, says the average office worker is distracted every three minutes, and to get back to full concentration it can take roughly 23 minutes. Think about that for a second. That means the average office worker only operates at peak productivity levels for roughly 48 to 60 minutes per 8-hour work day!
[Tweet “Masters don’t multitask…”]
Imagine how much more could be achieved if you functioned at peak productivity levels for just a third of the day… it’s incredible how much time we waste while ‘working’. Being aware of this is half the battle; the other half is developing routines and habits that break the cycle of inefficiency.
I’ve always looked for ways to increase my productivity because it’s paramount to growth as an entrepreneur. If you’re not operating on a high level of productivity, the reality is you just won’t be that successful. So I’ve included my 8 daily habits that help me perform in the office at a highly productive level, and relatively distraction-free…
Change your work locations throughout the day: Whether you go from the office to a coffee shop, a change of scenery is great for productivity. If you’re in front of a computer all day, there are no rules that say you can’t move the computer to a new location.
My work day starts in front of a computer in my office, moves to boardroom conversations, then usually to the couch in my office with my laptop; and oftentimes ends in my backyard, laptop on table, answering emails. The key is that I’m never stagnant – always switching things up so to avoid boredom and resentment of my work environment.
Wake up, drink a glass of water, do 150 push ups: Waking up early doesn’t come naturally for me. But it’s necessary for my success…
The last thing I want to do at 5am is pound back 3 cups of water and start doing 150 push ups (10 sets of 15 push ups). Some mornings, when I’m really tired, it even makes me feel nauseous for a brief moment. I know this isn’t the greatest sales pitch, but you know what? It’s the key to firing up my central nervous system and metabolism, which immediately improves concentration. It literally takes about 7-8 minutes, and now if I don’t do that routine, it takes my brain hours to wake up and function sharply.
Next to eating a healthy breakfast, morning exercise is the most important thing you can do to increase energy levels and concentration, resulting in heightened productivity.
Win your mornings: The success of your day is determined by 9am. If you haven’t achieved or put a good dent into the most important goal of your day by 9am, you’ve lost. After 9am, customers call, meetings happen, curve balls are thrown your way. For entrepreneurs, rarely does an entire day go according to plan. But the morning, the early part of it at least, is largely within your control. Get shit done before 9am and be nimble for the rest of the day.
Silence your cell phone: If you’re at the office, put your personal cell phone on silent. Smartphones make us dumb and there is nothing more distracting in our lives than these addicting devices. Whether it’s a text, a call from a friend, Twitter alerts, whatever, my smartphone distracts me from my mission as an entrepreneur.
Don’t multitask: Multitasking is something soccer moms are good at, not entrepreneurs, and nor should they be. You need to be eagle-like focused on one thing at a time as an entrepreneur. Give every task your undivided attention and watch your productivity and creativity skyrocket. Masters don’t multitask.
[Tweet “Multitasking is something soccer moms are good at, not #entrepreneurs”]
Customize your work-space: Spend the money making your work environment just right. Your office should energize and support your health so to perform at the highest level. I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on my office over the years and it has been worth every penny. One item I purchased that stands out above all in helping me stay energized while working is the Varidesk. It allows me to work while sitting in a comfy desk chair, or elevate it and sit in my architect chair, or work while standing up. This is huge. My back pain has completely disappeared, allowing me to focus for longer periods. If there is one product I recommend for any desk jockey, it’s the Varidesk.
No coffee for first two hours of work: I love my coffee, but I crash for a short period of time after the caffeine wears off. I now time that crash during lunch break by avoiding coffee for the first two hours of the day.
Read inspiring book before work: Entrepreneurs should be avid readers. And it’s good to have more than one book on the go. Take 10 to 15 minutes in the morning to read a book about an inspirational story or person.
You need to prepare for battle every morning to get things done on a high level, and reading about accomplished people who had to work their asses off has a way of making you do likewise. Some of my recommendations for inspirational morning reads are Unbroken, Fearless, 7 Men, Gates of Fire, Andrew Carnegie, and Unstoppable.
Think about some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world: Musk, Branson, Gates, Tim Ferris, Tony Robbins, Carlos Slim, Zuckerberg… they all work on multiple projects with multi-billion dollar potential. Their ability to continually operate at the highest level of entrepreneurship, no matter what industry they are taking on, is a direct result of their ability to function at a highly productive level longer than their competition. That’s the only difference. If you significantly improve your productivity, your success will increase in tandem. Improving productivity happens by changing your daily habits and overall personal health. I hope you’ll incorporate my daily productivity tips into your routine. They’ve completely transformed my life as an entrepreneur.
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