Every one of us makes hundreds, if not thousands of small to big decisions on a daily basis. The way to have a higher quality of life is to make higher quality decisions everyday.
This could be deciding who we spend our time with, what we spend our time doing, or how we approach the projects we’re working on.
Any one of us can lead a more productive life by using proven formulas that have been designed to help us be more productive everyday. Today, we’re going to share with you how to increase productivity using our 7 science-backed productivity formulas.
We hope it helps you.
1. The ONE thing
The “ONE Thing” was popularized by bestselling author, Gary Keller, who built the #1 real estate company in the world using this productivity framework.
Most of us focus our efforts on completing small tasks that don’t help us get to our end goal, and the “ONE Thing” helps us focus on a single activity/task/decision that makes all the difference.
To understand how this works, you should look at your list of tasks to complete or the goals you have for today, this month, this year, and ask yourself: “what’s the ‘ONE Thing’ that you can do such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”
For example, if you want to:
- Grow your business: you could hire a salesperson instead of trying to do everything on your own.
- Lose weight: eat a healthy snack and skip lunch.
You can apply the “ONE Thing” into your daily tasks using this free tool.
2. 5×50 productivity formula
Brendon Burchard, who’s recognized as one of the world’s top high-performance coaches, designed a framework called the Productivity Formula. His theory is by carving out 50 minutes to do five of his recommended activities, we’ll lead happier and more productive lives.
- 50 minutes of more sleep: most of us are not getting the ideal amount of sleep time we need to function properly.
- 50 minutes morning power blocks: our mornings are the most important part of the day, since willpower is a limited commodity for all of us. Spending our morning to focus on our most creative or hardest tasks allows us to do our best work.
- 50 minute block times: as the saying goes: “what’s not on the schedule, doesn’t get done.” If there’s a major project that you need to complete or a skill you want to learn, we need to block out time in our schedule to do them.
- 50 minute renewals: carving out time for ourselves to self-reflect, recover, and renew our thoughts and bodies is one of the best investments we can make. This is why we love to recommend renewal activities like meditation and daily journaling to our team.
- 50 minute breaks: our bodies were not built to sit on a chair for long periods of time staring at a computer screen. Many studies have shown that our level of productivity significantly drops once we’ve hit 50 hours a week.
This is why we recommend you apply the…
3. The Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique was named after the Pomodoro timer used during cooking. The creator of the technique, Francesco Cirillo, recommends that we break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks.
Here’s how it works:
- Choose a task to be accomplished.
- Set the Pomodoro to 25 minutes (the Pomodoro is the timer)
- Work on the task until the Pomodoro rings, then put a check on your sheet of paper
- Take a short break (five minutes is OK)
- After four Pomodoros, take a longer break (15 to 30 minutes)
The work period you set before you take a break is something you should experiment for yourself. For some people, it could be the recommended 25 minutes, or it could be 45 minutes for others.
You can use the Pomodoro Technique on your phone, desktop, or tablet:
- Marinara Timer (Web)
- Tomighty (Win/Mac/Linux)
- Pomodorable (OS X)
- Simple Pomodoro (Android)
- Focus Timer (iOS)
4. The ‘not to-do list’
Most of us use to-do lists to get things done. While to-do lists can be effective, it’s often just as important to know what you shouldn’t do.
Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter and Square, is a big advocate of creating a Not To-Do List.
Credit to Lifehacker
Now reflect on the bad habits that are distracting you from focusing and getting your best work done.
- checking email too often
- going on Facebook and Instagram
- having many tabs open
- working too long
5. Schedule ‘blank’ times
According to Professor Jonathan Schooler from UC Santa Barbara, “Daydreaming and boredom seem to be a source for incubation and creative discovery in the brain.” Sometimes productivity doesn’t come from just getting more things done in less time. There’s always more than one path to answering how to increase productivity, and giving ourselves the time to simply think can help us identify what these alternative solutions are.
CEO of Linkedin, Jeff Weiner, goes as far as intentionally blocking off time in his busy schedule to simply sit and think. He says that these free times are helpful for:
- Uninterrupted focus
- Thoroughly developing and questioning assumptions
- Synthesizing all of the data, information, and knowledge that’s incessantly coming your way
- Connecting dots
- Iterating through multiple scenarios
“Whatever you do, just make sure you make that time for yourself – every day and in a systematic way – and don’t leave unscheduled moments to chance. The buffer is the best ninvestment you can make in yourself and the single most important productivity tool I use.” – Jeff Weiner, CEO Of Linkedin
6. 80/20 your life
The 80/20 Rule (also known as: Pareto’s Law) is another way of framing the “ONE Thing.”
The logic here is that few things truly matter, and that 80% of the results we desire come from only 20% of the inputs.
Here are a few time wasters that a lot of us spend time on:
- Answering and checking emails in the morning
- Trying to satisfy low-end customers that suck up your precious time
- Trying to learn everything yourself, instead of hiring a coach, mentor, or teacher who has already achieved what you want
- Pleasing people that don’t have your best interest at heart
To apply this in your own life, make a list of goals or tasks you have — professionally and personally.
Then find the 20 percent of things that are driving the 80 percent of results for you. This could be the 20 percent of people driving the 80 percent of your happiness, 20% of customers driving 80 percent of your sales, 20 percent of routines driving 80 percent of your health.
Lastly, let’s focus on how to increase productivity through helping you win back more time.
7. 3 lists of freedom
According to author and entrepreneur Chris Ducker, who runs a virtual assistant company, the way to find more time in our lives is to delegate the tasks that we can’t do, shouldn’t do, or hate to do.
Most of us can wrap our heads around outsourcing tasks we can’t do, but too often we spend more time than required on tasks that we hate doing or shouldn’t be doing. These are often repetitive tasks that we’re not excited about, like data entry, bookkeeping, emailing, etc.
This is why automation and smart delegation can be one of the best things you can do as a company or as an individual to save more time.
This is why Ducker has designed what he calls the “3 Lists to Freedom.”
First, grab a pen and a notebook. Then create 3 columns in your notebook with the categories:
- What you HATE doing
- What you CAN’T do
- What you SHOULDN’T be doing
Take some time with this, and fill these out throughout the week as you keep track of the unproductive tasks you are doing.
Here’s an example of what this looks like:
Once you’ve gathered your 3 lists to freedom, you can either delegate to someone else, hire someone to complete these tasks for you, outsource it on a community like Fiverr, Upwork, or Freelancer, or ignore it all together.
As you’ve seen from the theme of this blog post, only a few things truly drive the end result you want for your business, career, and personal life. The key is to choose the most impactful activities, and either delegate the rest or ask yourself how important this activity is in the first place to get what you want.
None of this is as easy as it looks, it just requires practice. The key is to use these productivity frameworks as a handbook for making the small to big decisions in your daily life.
I hope you keep these frameworks handy so you can continuously reflect on how to increase productivity for yourself on a day to day basis. If it helped you in any way, I hope you can share this with someone that could benefit from applying these frameworks in their life.