3 Steps to Double Your Productivity
How to Sustain High Levels of Energy and Motivation for Ongoing Success
Technology continues to enable us to get more done in less time with smartphones, GPS, online calendars and apps that help us with everything from organizing your next board meeting to learning how to speak five languages to how best to brush your teeth. I laugh with my son when I tell him that we had no cell phones or internet access when I was his age and my first leap into high-tech was a huge car phone that was attached to the middle console of my BMW sedan. I really thought I was a hotshot back then while working as an Account Manager for Oracle. Well, I remember Larry Ellison, CEO and Founder of Oracle, telling us that one day people would be walking around with palm-sized computers in their hands that can check and send email and watch live streaming videos.
All of this is wonderful and I am grateful every day for the advancements of mankind. But the constant dinging of my phone, thousands of emails piling up in my inbox, and social media demands to stay in front of prospective clients and customers has turned this life of high-tech into an overwhelming mess of increased stress and lack of sleep. This has a negative impact on our productivity and sense of fulfillment and Harvard research has concluded that increased stress, diminished well-being and loss of productivity cost organizations $3.5 billion each year.
It doesn’t have to be that way and it is more critical than ever that we all get a handle on our day and manage the tech overload instead of it managing us. It is time to rein in the distractions and get back on top of being highly productive and effective on meaningful tasks that will provide us with the most success long-term.
Be crystal clear on what is most important to accomplish your highest priority goals and achieve success. You must identify those priorities and set uninterrupted block-times on your daily schedule to focus on these tasks! To achieve Accelerated High Performance, we suggest that you set 50 – 60 minute block times and turn off your phone, shut down email and social media, and close your office door. The only way to be truly productive is to focus on that important project and nothing else.
Many believe that multitasking is a special skill that will help them accomplish more. There are even job descriptions that state things like, “must be able to multitask.” Well, it has been proven that the multitasking of tasks that require brain power simply does not work and will diminish your level of productivity, your energy, and your brain function, according to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, April 2011.
Every time you switch your brain from one task to another, like stopping to read a text message, you not only lose a few precious moments of time but you also lose momentum in the work you were performing. If these continue to happen the entire time you are trying to work on a critical assignment, you end up exhausted, confused and frustrated because you were inefficient.
Having high energy and clear thinking is the key to motivation and productivity. Constant distractions and interruptions will deplete your energy and have you reaching for yet another cup of coffee believing that is the solution. I like to suggest that you stick to that uninterrupted block of time and at the end of the 50 – 60 minutes, whether you think you need it or not, get up, move your body, do some deep breathing, and get a large glass of water instead of a cup of coffee. This is the time to re-energize your brain and body. If you keep doing this throughout the day, you will feel more energized and end the day feeling fabulous, not only because you maintained vibrancy and clear thinking, but also because you accomplished more tasks in a higher quality manner than you ever expected.
Wellness is the foundation to having high energy, which leads to greater levels of motivation and productivity. You must start taking care of yourself to be more successful. Many people believe that they don’t have time to sleep well, eat well, and exercise, but their diminishing health and wellbeing is actually diminishing their productivity.
You must be well rested in order to have energy and clarity and the ability to handle daily challenges. Actually, it has been shown that if you do not get enough sleep, it is equivalent to being drunk the next day. We know that masters of their trade have been found to sleep 8 hours and 36 minutes nightly on average, so rest is key for skill and productivity.
You also must be well hydrated because every cell of your brain and body is at least 70% water. Eating real food grown naturally, the way Mother Nature intended, is key to maximizing your productivity and motivation as everything you put into your mouth affects your brain and body chemistry. You can’t function as a high performer if you are exhausted, dehydrated, without adequate blood flow or oxygen. This happens when you neglect to move your body, breath fresh air, or you are eating chemical laden processed foods that deplete your vitality and your health.
Yes, we all still have to check email and text messages, etc. These are still important tasks, but do not, however, start your day on email. Research done by the High Performance Institute has shown that people who start their day checking email lose 30% of their productivity. Why? Because email is just an inbox of what other people demand of your time, most of which has nothing to do with your top priority goals and tasks.
The solution is to set block times to crunch through emails and answer phone calls after you’ve spent some high-energy time on your most important tasks. I said the multitasking of tasks that require brainpower is a no-no, but I do love to answer calls while walking outside or doing something energizing or mundane that requires very little brainpower or concentration. I actually purposefully save my phone calls for a set time when I know I can do another simple task. Now this is a highly effective way to get the most out of your day since you can actually re-energize while completing important calls. The only risk is that the person on the other end of the phone may misinterpret your deep breathing!
Now that you know how to manage your day, learn to use technology in a way that helps you be more productive. Tap into the online calendars, digital to-do lists, and organize emails in a way that separates top priority ones with junk mail.
Summary of Keys to High Energy, Productivity and Success:
- Be clear on your highest priority goals for the day
- Use block time
- Eliminate distraction
- Execute on those priorities without interruptions
- Re-energize between block times
- Avoid multitasking of tasks requiring brain power
- Master wellness
- Be well rested
- Be well hydrated with fresh water
- Eat real food grown naturally
- Move your body and breath fresh air
- Manage technology in a way that helps instead of hinders
- Do not start your day on email
- Utilize digital to-do lists and calendars
By doing these suggestions, you will find that you are more fully engaged in each and every task with a more positive motivated mindset which is satisfying, energizing and ultimately truly fulfilling in every way.
Janet McKee, High Performance™ Success Coach, Wellness Expert, Motivational Speaker, Best-Selling Author and CEO of SanaView, is on a mission to help you lead a more successful life, both professionally and personally. As one of only 200 elite Certified High Performance Coaches™ in the world and an inducted member of the National Association of Experts, Writers and Speakers, she is the creator of the acclaimed Accelerated High Performance Program, which offers a variety of methods to ensure that you reach success in every area of your business and your life.
Teaching proven methods to achieve greater levels of energy, motivation, joy and confidence are the keys to her success in helping others. Learn more about the upcoming Accelerated High Performance retreats or contact Ms. McKee directly at (724) 417-6695 or firstname.lastname@example.org.