WRITE IT ALL DOWN
This one is probably the most important and also widely disregarded productivity tips. We’ll give you an easy way to get into the groove of writing things down before the launch of Do Less.
Plan out your work and plan out your free time. If you only have one task to complete, break the task up into smaller immediate tasks. If you have multiple tasks to complete throughout the day, complete the immediate tasks first. Push back the non-urgent ones, they are non-urgent for a reason and you should not be attempting to barrel through your entire list. Most often this results in less quality and a higher chance of burnout.
Write down your priorities on Monday morning, and rearrange your agenda for the week to make sure it will allow you to address these priorities. If I don’t do this, I find myself reacting to what’s most urgent during the week, instead of focusing on what’s most important. – Fidji Simo, Director, Facebook
Do Your IMMEDIATE tasks first
It is most likely that the most dreaded task that you are faced with in your day are foundational ones. Tackling these tasks first when your willpower is at maximum levels will result in a more productive day, week or month. Remember willpower isn’t on will-call. Use knowledge of yourself and your habits to your advantage.
As powerful as my motivation was, my willpower wasn’t just sitting around waiting for my call, ready at any moment to enforce my will on anything I wanted. I was taken aback. I had always assumed that it would always be there. That I could simply access it whenever I wanted, to get whatever I wanted. I was wrong. Willpower is always on will-call is a lie. – Gary Keller – The One Thing
Multitask correctly or not at all
Do less, accomplish more. See our article on multitasking for a more thorough analysis.
“Great at multitasking” is a lie on every resume in America. Multitasking can really delay or sour the process of hitting your goals effectively. We cannot do two things at once properly. Researchers are now seeing multitasking failing on multiple levels. A study conducted by Stanford University concluded that heavy multitaskers performed poorly in every scenario they were placed in.
When they’re in situations where there are multiple sources of information coming from the external world or emerging out of memory, they’re not able to filter out what’s not relevant to their current goal,” said Wagner, an associate professor of psychology. “That failure to filter means they’re slowed down by that irrelevant information. – Stanford study on media multitasking
Set time to turn off distractions
Just like switching back and forth between tasks, every time we are distracted our brain has to re-focus. Make it a point to block off times where you put your phone on do not disturb, hold your calls, shut your office door and work. Only focus on the task at hand and nothing else. We live in a world today that’s in such a state of distraction that there are best-selling books (we recommend Deep Work by Cal Newport) written about getting our focus back and the people that can focus end up being the most successful.