Someone asked me the other day how I get so much shit done: work full-time, mother a 2-year-old, blog on the side, and read as much as I do. A few things come to mind. I don’t exercise. I don’t care much for my appearance (no make-up, hair in ponytail, uniform of leggings/t-shirt/cal cap). I don’t need too much sleep. And I try to outsource wherever I can (Instacart, cleaner, graphic designer for my blog).
But this article “Simple Steps to Get More Done” takes productivity to a higher level. It’s based on Charles Duhigg’s book “Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business.”
- Empower people to take control and learn how good it feels.
- Start by making a choice (any choice) that lets you exert control. His example is to open up your inbox and hit “reply,” “reply,” “reply,” and to fill up your screen with a bunch of replies. Then go into each one and make a choice. Getting over the hump is the first important step.
- Always ask yourself, “Why am I doing what I’m doing?” Have an inner dialogue with yourself to create pathways that are useful instead of reactionary.
- As much as possible, remove distractions (notifications, phone buzzing because of emails or texts).
- Imagine before you do something what you expect to see. For example, during your morning commute picture what’s going to happen during the day. If you have a meeting, anticipate how that meeting will go and think about your goal for it. Make this a habit.
- Internalize information by telling someone about it (like how I’m blogging about this now). After you read an interesting article or book, lock in the ideas by sharing. Send an email to someone explaining the concepts, or tell your kid/spouse about it. Interacting with the idea makes it real and usable.
I love it. My new mantra is “Why am I doing what I’m doing?” Is reading this email benefiting me and my goals? Is scrolling through my Facebook feed for longer than 20 minutes a good use of my time?