Yesterday, you were in the zone. Everything flowed, and you were able to get a significant amount of work completed. But today, you can’t seem to get focused. You’ve been staring at your computer screen for hours now, with little to no progress. What changed?
Your level of productivity.
To many, productivity seems like something that comes and goes, and you have little ability to control it.
But that’s not true. You can find the right balance of productivity — if you turn it into a science.
This is the topic of the WealthFit course Turbo Productivity: How To Stop Wasting Time, Become Laser Focused, and Get More Done in a Day, taught by Lyman Montgomery,
In this article, we’ll share a few of Montgomery’s productivity tips so that you can not only control your level of productivity, but increase it significantly.
Let’s start by exploring our current state of productivity.
America’s Productivity Problem — And Solution
As Montgomery explains in the course, a 2017 Gallup Poll revealed:
- over half of Americans — 51% — are disengaged at work
- $450-550 billion dollars were lost in 2017 because of disengaged employees
Why are half of Americans disengaged at work?
Society tells us that success requires long, back breaking work hours — first one into the office, last one out.
That’s the problem, because that’s not how productivity works.
One of the tenants of TURBO Productivity is working smarter — not harder.
You don’t need to work for the sake of working. Productivity is about getting things done in the most efficient of ways by creating and maintaining focus. This is the solution.
Productivity and focus are important to each other. If productivity is a car, then focus is the engine.
So how do you stay focused? It starts by defining your why.
Step 1: Define Your Why
Staying focused has never been harder: we live in a technological-driven society, with notifications constantly asking for our attention.
The key to staying focused is understanding your motivation, or your why. If you know your why, productivity will come easier. If you don't know your why, that makes it hard to simply get out of bed each morning.
Take a minute to think about why you’re doing what you’re doing.
- Why are you going to work?
- Why do you have that specific job?
- What are your goals?
- What is your purpose?
If you understand that you’re trying to achieve a specific goal, you’ll understand that another day of work is one more step towards that goal. If you don’t know your why, you’ll watch the clock tick throughout the day, waiting for it to be over, struggling to find any motivation.
So what is your why?
Take a minute to write down your purpose. For example, if you're starting to feel stagnant at a job, lose motivation, and don't feel productive, try to find the reason why you took the job in the first place.
Feel free to write out these answers as mission statements and put them somewhere that you’ll often see. During times of struggle, it's these reminders that can spark motivation.
Step 2: Productivity Audit
How productive are you?
The next step is to do a productivity audit to find out just how productive you really are. After all, you don’t want to mistake busy work for being productive.
Some questions to ponder are:
- What does being productive mean to you?
- When was a time you were highly productive? What led to this?
- Do you feel more productive in the morning, afternoon, or in the evening?
- When was a time you were not productive? What led to this?
Once you have answers to these questions, keep them in a checklist so you can then identify your productivity patterns.
Step 3: Avoid These Distractions
Now that you’ve determined your why and conducted a productivity audit, the next step is to avoid distractions.
Distractions not only hurt productivity; they delay projects. Do you often wonder why people work on vacation or during their off time? This is often because of being distracted.
So what are things that take your attention away from the task at hand? Let’s look at a few.
Psychological distractions exist in your mind, such as:
- Thinking about failure
- Focusing on other insecurities
- Lack of confidence
People can be another source of distraction. This can include:
- Person to person conversations
- Phone calls
Starting a project with the wrong process in mind can also be a distraction, because it wastes time, and it has to be redone.
Products can be significant distractions. This includes:
How To Get Rid of Distractions
So how do you get rid of these distractions?
The first step is to identify the distraction. Which of the previous distractions speak to you the most?
Next, make a proactive plan to avoid them. This can include:
- Turn off notifications
- Set availability hours
- Finding ways to instill confidence in yourself (such as more education)
- Put an office sign that says do not disturb
Step 4: Build Upon Your Failures
Just because you’ve failed in the past at increasing your productivity doesn't mean it’s impossible.
Neuroplasticity is our brain's ability to create new pathways through frequent brain activity. This means that the brain is able to adapt and mold to new information if practiced time and time again. You can build upon your failures — if you choose.
When it comes to moving things forward, accept and analyze your shortcomings. But instead of being held back by failure, correct those errors.
Step 5: Never Stop Improving
So far, you have:
- Defined your why
- Conducted a productivity audit
- Found ways to avoid distractions
- Understood the importance of building on your failures
The next step is to never stop improving this productivity process.
As you grow in your productivity, continue to take notes and see if you can improve your focus more and more.
In the course, Montgomery breaks down how you can then turn your current productivity levels into TURBO productivity utilizing the acronym:
Time stamping is noting all of your appointments, your meetings, and dating your notes. This makes it easy to recall later.
Understand The Purpose
What’s the purpose of the task at hand? Knowing the purpose can provide you with motivation and a clear strategy to get that task completed.
Ask yourself what resources are needed for this project.
This consists of:
- Time: how much time will this require?
- Talent: are you the right person to complete this task? Or would it be better to outsource it?
- Money: How much money is needed?
You want to work on things that are similar so that your brain doesn't have to switch, which can cause confusion. Or worse, multitasking.
Do you have 3 tasks that are similar? If so, bundle these tasks into a bundle similar intoto a project.
If you don’t track your results, how will you see your progress? Ensure that you are tracking in an organized way.
Using these productivity tips, you can find the right balance of productivity, both personally and professionally .
If you want to learn more tips about productivity: watch Turbo Productive: How To Stop Wasting Time, Become Laser Focused, and Get More Done in a Day.
In the course, you’ll learn step-by-step:
- How to measure your current productivity so you know exactly where you need to make improvements.
- How to “timestamp” everything you do — so you can free up multiple hours a day for more important things.
- How to fight the top 9 objections & distractions that kill productivity so you can immediately double your output.
… and much more!
Cash Lambert is WealthFit's Managing Editor. He is the author of Waves of Healing: How Surfing Changes the Lives of Children with Autism.