In order to create the life of our dreams, we need to be productive and build healthy habits.
I mean, how will you create the possibility to work from anywhere around the world or to get done everything you set your mind to? It would help if you were disciplined and productive.
How do you define productivity?
Most people feel it means getting as many things as possible done in a shorter amount of time.
But that definition seems wrong because it puts too much emphasis on quantity and not quality.
The best type of productivity is getting the right things done, not just about getting more things done.
Let’s say that you have two employees.
One gets 20 things done, and the second gets five things done. Which one was the most productive? To get 20 things done in a day can mean that the quality of the things he’s done may be of more inferior quality than the five things done by the employee who worked only on the big projects, pushing them even further.
Any fool can be busy. You don’t need an education or experience to be busy and therefore have a lot of things on your plate or get a lot of things done.
To be productive, you need to get the right things done. You need to achieve your most important work.
The best definition of productivity is to ensure you get the most out of your day or your organization’s day.
And how can you get the most of your day? Let’s see.
Define your why
You can read all you want about productivity strategies, but it will be hard for you to keep going if you do not define your why.
You have to understand why you do what you do.
Who are you? Who do you want to become? What do you have to do in order to get there?
Set up the right priorities.
Being busy doesn’t mean you are productive, and sometimes you can fall into the trap of filling your day with things that won’t fulfill you, only to create the idea of being busy.
One mistake you can make is not prioritizing the most impactful tasks in fulfilling your dreams and wasting your energy on the easiest tasks in the morning when you have the most energy.
Suppose you use your energy to do the easiest tasks in the morning and throughout your day. In that case, you’re just setting yourself up for failure because you will not have the required energy later in the day to work on the most difficult and energy-consuming tasks.
You have to learn what to prioritize by identifying the most important task to your success and relentlessly focusing on that one task. Everything else is a distraction.
If your to-do list looks like this:
Then you will have to change it into a priority to-do list which will look like this:
So why do the most important tasks help you build the most of your goals? In order to explain this, let’s go over the Pareto Principle.
Pareto Principle | 80/20 Rule
You might’ve heard of this in the past.
The Pareto principle is a rule popularized by Richard Koch in his book The 80/20 Principle, which states that most of what you want will come from the minority of what you do.
How can you use the Pareto principle to be more productive?
Instead of doing all these random tasks to feel busy, you break the most important task into more pieces so that the 20% of the thing you’re doing will bring you 80% of the results, income.
Let’s say that you have 25 things on your list to achieve your ultimate dream.
By applying the 80/20 rule, you break it down to 5 things to do, which are the five most important things that you need to get done so that you will be more successful, and from here, you can break it down even more to the one most important thing you can do.
You can break down a task until you get to the most important things you can do. And this can be applied to every goal that you want to achieve.
The snowball effect
Imagine a snowball. As it rolls, the ball will pick up more snow, gain more mass and surface area, and pick up even more snow and momentum as it rolls along.
The snowball effect is breaking up a long-term goal into something actionable.
What you do today will influence what and where you will be tomorrow, in a week, in a month, in a year, five years.
We’ve all been in that moment in our lives when instead of doing something at the right time, we would just procrastinate until the last day prior to the exam or project. Then everything just falls apart because we didn’t put in the necessary work to get everything done before the deadline.
We procrastinate because there are so many things to get done, and it all feels like a chore.
But instead of looking at the whole mountain and become intimidated by it, just take it step by step.
In order to get to the mountain and climb it, there are some before steps to complete.
Break your task into multiple steps and work on it 1% every day until it cumulates to 100%.
Prioritize the most important goal and narrow it down to that one thing that is going to move the needle.
|Long-term priority||Mid-term priority||Short-term priority|
|Write a book about productivity and habits, help and inspire as many people as possible to reach their goals.||Create a blog about habits and productivity.||Read one book at a time and enroll in courses that will teach us many things about your subject.|
All big things come from small beginnings.
To define your long-term goals, we will use something called SMART goals.
SMART is an acronym that can be used to help evaluate and add structure to your goals.
- Specific – What do you want to accomplish?
- Measurable – How much or how many?
- Achievable – How realistic is this goal?
- Relevant – Why does this goal matter to you?
- Time – When will you accomplish this goal?
The purpose of a smart goal is to define what your goals are and how realistic they are, and when exactly do you want to make them happen.
How can you plan for your life goals and your business goals?
If you don’t know where you want to go, then you need to decide on a route. After you dig down and see what your long-term goals are, only then can you decide in which direction you can go.
The first step is to start with a dream then build it into reality with a plan. To do this, you will use the Pareto Principle, which we talked about earlier, to narrow down the most important things.
Let’s say that in the next five years, you want $1m.
In order to get to $1m, you want to build a business that will bring you $10k income per month, which you will invest so that in 5 years, you will have your first $1m.
But based on your one-year goal, what do you need to achieve to make that one-year goal possible? Let’s say that you will be selling products or teaching people through online courses.
Now let’s break it down into monthly goals. What do you need to do this month to help you achieve the one-year goal? Then you will break it down into weekly and daily goals.
To achieve your dream goals, the snowball effect will come into place too. What you do in a day will affect what you do in a month, which will affect what you do in 1 year/5 year. The snowball will be getting bigger and bigger, and you will overcome all these challenges.
Manage your time properly.
We all get lost in busy work through huge to-do lists, which do not help us get many important things done.
In order to solve we’re going to use Paul Graham’s Maker Schedule.
Categorize your time in two buckets: Maker (do or create) and Manager (oversee and direct)
The Maker requires huge chunks of time: generate leads, develop ideas, creating, etc.
The Manager is more administrative: oversee others and meetings, etc.
So be a maker in the morning and a manager in the afternoon.
You want to make sure that the most important tasks are done in the morning when you are at your best and have the most energy required for creation. And in the afternoon, just manage the things that do not need as much energy.
The most important thing is not to wait for everything to happen. Just do what has to be done.
To achieve your dreams stop making excuses and do not procrastinate your way into failure. Learn to take full responsibility for your excuses.
A dream without a plan is just a dream.
But a dream with a plan can change your entire life.