As the CMO of a tech startup and a speaker who spends a lot of hours on the road, I know a thing or two about managing time. In fact, productivity and specific habits have been a lifesaver in a world where no two days are ever the same.
That’s where processes come in. Simple ways to train my brain to stay laser-focused on the task at hand, hack my limited time, and keep myself in the high-performance productivity zone.
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These 3 scientifically-backed hacks will help you find focus, build momentum, and get more done today.
1) Calm your crazy
Ever wake up, reach for your phone, and find an hour has been whittled away? That lost hour translates into frenetic energy that sets the tone for your day.
You can’t work on your business if it’s working on you. And you can’t change your sales and marketing results until you have space to think about them in the right way.
Getting out of overwhelm is not optional. It’s the most important part of your role as the owner or leader of the business. You know that good intentions aren’t enough. You need a process, a set of tools, and even better, someone to hold you accountable.
In the E-Myth Revisited, Michael Gerber expresses why it’s so important to delineate between working in and on your business. It’s the ability to separate and appreciate a very clear distinction. The difference between slaving away within your business and allowing the business to work for you.
Hard to wrap your head around? Think about it this way. Rather than working 80 hours attempting to soak every last drop out of a week, instead put systems and processes in place that easily allow creativity, productivity, and growth to flow into your life and business.
So how do you do this? According to science, you need to laugh, smile, and feel grateful throughout your day. Add this to your routine by slowing down and taking the time to laugh at a colleagues bad joke, smile at that gal who’s name escapes you but you always see in the hall, and feel gratitude towards the guy in the cubicle next to you that offered to grab you a cup of coffee.
2) Tame your distractions
As our hyper-connected world shrinks our most valuable resource, stealing back time is a commodity most can use. The number one thief of time is distraction.
If you’ve found yourself distracted by meetings, notifications, and phone calls, it’s important to put the brakes on that vicious cycle. Don’t allow time to slowly melt away and put off today what you believe can be done tomorrow.
Get out of your chair, and get some sunlight! According to a study by Info Science, the simple act of walking outside can improve focus and help you regain clarity around the task at hand.
“Compared to the afternoon, people who had DL (Daylight) were significantly more alert at the beginning of the evening, and subjects who were exposed to AL (Artificial light) were significantly sleepier at the end of the evening.”
3) Expand your mind
You get out of the shower, run to your first appointment, and show up to a meeting feeling anywhere but in that moment. Before you know it, you’ve bulldozed your way through the day with little to show for it.
To find balance, you must set your own pace. Stop the rush, rush, rush and instead begin your day by taking control. The best way to do this is by hacking your own morning. Incorporate learning into your daily routine to expand your mind and get an education before your day has even begun. Tools like Audible, Blinkist, and Udemy make it easy to listen while you prep. And the best part about it? Learning actually rewires your brain, allowing you to better process and focus on the work at hand.
“As we learn something new, cells that send and receive information about the task become more and more efficient. It takes less effort for them to signal the next cell about what’s going on. In a sense, the neurons become wired together.”
Whether you’re looking to improve your business game, or find time to write your next novel, these tips will get you on your way.
Incorporate one or all three to inspire focus, bring sanity to your week, and as David Allen, the author of Getting Things Done says, avoid trying to fool your mind. “Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them. If you don’t pay appropriate attention to what has your attention, it will take more of your attention than it deserves.”