The Linchpin in Creating Your Most Productive Day
There are two big titans we fight when it comes to being more productive:
Distraction and Fear.
Fear is a big subject that I won't cover in depth here, but it is a given for most. We know different types of fear can screech us to a dead stop at any point of our day.
Fear of: Success, Failure, lack of knowledge, lack of experience, lack of money, conflict, bad circumstances, etc, etc.
Most of us don't pretend those roadblocks don't exist, we just procrastinate on the tasks or decisions that feel like 'heavy moments' in our day. So I'm not here to give you a pep talk on how to overcome your fears.
I'll let @RyanHoliday do that work, as he did so well with his book "The Obstacle is the Way"
So let's move to the next issue, which is what I want to focus on as your linchpin:
I would consider distraction to be one of the uniquely distinctive issues for the 20th century that people in the past did not deal with on our scale.
The amount of work we lose in a typical day from distraction is anywhere from 3.5 to 5 hours depending on whose research you look at. I tend to think it's closer to 5-6 hours. That puts you in your primely focused work state for AT MOST 2-3 hours a day.
We work 2 hours at day!!
So it becomes critical that we spend that time on items that we KNOW will produce effective outcomes for our business.
The good news is that distraction can be overcome with one surgical chess move in your day. I'm a big advocate of time-blocking, calendering your day, scheduling everything - whatever you want to call it.
^^^^^^ My calendar^^^^^^
But lots of people will fight me tooth and nail when I tell them they should do it too. Jake, they say "That's good for you, but there is too much distraction or flexibility needed in my job to do that everyday!"
So instead of fighting that battle over and over, here is the shortcut.
Take your MOST PRODUCTIVE hour(s) of the day and do the MOST IMPORTANT tasks.
You've probably seen the arguments over getting up early vs staying up late. I think most people have a natural rhythm that works well for them. Choose which time of day works well for your body, and roll with that. Personally, my most 'brainy' times of day are 6:30-8:30 am and 9:30-11:30 am.
If you don't know what those tasks are, then I suggest you check out the free Productivity Journal on my website. It was created for that very purpose!
Now use the hours that you have pegged as ultra-productive for yourself, and commit to knock out the 2-3 most important tasks for that day.
The secret to accomplishing more than you ever have is taking this approach every day.
As you get comfortable with this cadence you will find yourself wanting to expand that time period. Or add 5-6 tasks into this newly found superpower in your day.
Don't give in.
There is power in the format of 2-3 periods of 30-45 minutes of Deep Work.
If you want to expand the amount you can accomplish in your day, pick another hour or two in your day. The second most productive hours in your experience.
It gets addictive when things start happening for you 🙂
If you've used an approach like this, I'd love to hear more about it. Tell me about your most productive hours and how you nail your most important tasks!