The three rules of personal productivity for a successful 2018
What are the essential personal productivity rules to achieve success in this coming 2018?
When asked about his arguably insane workweek schedule, the man of 2017, Elon Musk said “If other people are putting in 40 hour workweeks and you’re putting in 100 hour workweeks, then even if you’re doing the same thing, you know that you will achieve in four months what it takes them a year to achieve.”
Obviously, as Elon and any other world-changing innovator will tell you, personal productivity requires hard work; plain and simple. But to really get ahead and achieve more in 2018 than even your wildest resolutions, you’ve got to work harder and, more importantly, smarter.
We’re all given the same hours a day and the free will to make them work for us or against us. Personal productivity is all about converting that finite amount of time to long-lasting benefits in the most efficient way possible.
If you plan on making 2018 an Elon-level year of accomplishments and resolutions fulfilled, here are a few tips and tools to help you work hard and smarter for your most productive year thus far.
Personal productivity for 2018. Rule #1: Destroy digital distraction
Considering we all accepted talking to the thin air in our homes to make things happen in 2017, it’s fair to say we’re getting increasingly connected to each other and literally everything around us. This will get even more intrinsic in 2018. Unfortunately, this has also lead to our attention spans being literally less than that of a goldfish. Overall, it’s great we can respond to every question or problem within seconds but we’re over communicating to the point where we don’t actually work anymore. We’ve lost the ability to fall into deep work; our most productive state. Make deep work a resolution in 2018.
What to use to break your social addiction:
Disconnect temporarily by deleting social media from easy-to-click places like your bookmarks and the main screen on your phone. I actually erase any social media apps until the weekend. Getting rid of the number of options your brain has to delegate attention to will help you to focus on tasks with more intention, producing quality work faster. If it’s websites that distract you like Facebook, try StayFocusd to block them for certain amounts of time.
Control email before it controls you:
Another great way to minimize your need to be communicating 24/7 so you can focus uninterrupted is to have an auto-email set to reply to emails throughout the day that tells clients, etc. that you will respond within 24 hours to their email. This takes the pressure off responding every 5 minutes and anyone contacting gets an informative response so they’re still in the loop.
Hibox: Eliminate email entirely with your team. Email is an outdated and siloed way of communicating. It’s holding teams back. Hibox is task management software with a company chat, file sharing, and videoconferencing built in. You don’t need to leave the platform for all the functionality you need to coordinate work with your team. The more centralized and actionable communication, the more productive your work will be.
SaneBox: Organizes your emails as they come into specific folders you can get to later. This is great for filtering out what is important from what can wait.
Personal productivity for 2018. Rule #2: Outsource what you shouldn’t be doing
It’s clear Elon Musk isn’t micromanaging every little task that needs to get done by the team beneath him. No matter if it’s just you or a whole team, in order to truly be productive, you have to use those finite hours wisely and not waste time on the things you shouldn’t be. If there are things you can outsource, get in the habit this year. You don’t even need to hire a human being. There are so many virtual tools available to help us free up the minutes and hours that are going to make a difference at the end of the day. Scaling your work is what separates you from infinite success.
Have you ever spent 15-20 minutes before a call (or late to one) trying to find your call in number or link? Set up Carly, an AI robot that calls you in a few minutes before your scheduled call, and never be late or waste your time again.
Again with the female assistant names. This one is a bit of a more personal option than scheduling service links like Calendly if you tend to deal with individuals on a more personal level. Amy is an AI bot that will have the “What time are you free for a call?” email conversation for you and automatically add whatever time your client and Amy decide on to your calendar.
Rule #3: Learn and improve from the data…on yourself
Data (should) drive most business decisions to more profitable and efficient solutions. Do the same for yourself. Too often we can’t really answer where all our time, money, and energy goes yet we feel overrun and unproductive. It’s time to get real honest about your habits if you want to really improve your personal productivity. Put just a little effort into tracking where you spend your time and energy so you can better your decisions and schedule for a productive 2018.
Try using RescueTime just once for a real wake up call as to where all your time goes online. It will give you data on your online habits down to which websites are consuming most of your day. Trust me, it’s an eye-opener. It’s helpful to see the honest truth so you know your weaknesses and can better avoid them. It’s also a great way to stay on top of how much time you spend on each type of work/task so you can better plan your daily and weekly schedule as well!
Have you ever started on a daily goal and lost track of it along the way? This happens to most of us below the one month mark, which is what is necessary to make a certain action a habit. Make sure to be building good habits during your busy schedule and motivating yourself to do so with Streaks. Streaks is an easy habit logging app (and even automatically records some like steps walked) that helps show you how you’re doing with keeping up with the little things that matter in the long run. Whether it be reading, fitness, meditating, etc., Streaks shows you exactly how you’ve been on those little long-term goals.
Again, personal productivity is a combination of working harder and smarter. No one can help you with the “working harder” part but I do hope that these few suggestions will help with the “working smarter” part and, in turn, will inspire you to reach Elon levels of personal productivity in 2018.