8 Powerful Hacks to Boost Your Productivity and Become Exceptionally Successful
In recent times, we are surrounded by so many distractions that focusing on important tasks is always an uphill battle. At all times we are bombarded with notifications on electronic devices. Frequent checking of these notifications gives us phone addiction. Even if one dares to escape the vicious cycle of sharing and commenting on social media apps, dodging the screen never seems possible. Ever enchanting TV shows, thrilling video games, and nonstop broadcasting of trivial news don’t give us any reprieve.
In such an environment how can one focus on crucial tasks and stay motivated till their completion by steering clear of a multitude of distractions?
Here are some hacks to employ to maximize our potential in getting things done and make significant progress towards our aspirations.
Planning is basic. It is understood that “failing to plan is planning to fail”. There is no need to address the obvious. What usually happens with enthusiastic souls among us is that they plan to the minutest details. Their plans are jam-packed with so much stuff that 24 hours are not enough. They try to squash several hefty activities in small windows of time. Kicking off with a spurt of motivation at the outset, in a little while they feel exhausted. Ultimately, they fail to achieve the least. Wonder why they weren’t able to pull it off?
These two concepts shed some light on the issue at hand:
We start our days with a limited stock of willpower. Each time we have to make a decision, a portion of the stock is consumed. The more crossroads we face the sooner we will run out of stock.
The key here is to simplify your life by giving yourself minimum opportunities to waste your willpower in making trivial decisions. Our plans should reflect only the most valuable tasks. This way it will be easier for us to focus on a small number of activities. Successful completion of a smaller number of activities having a significant impact on your life will be much healthier. In the prior approach, you will waste your time and will power jumping from one trivial task to another. Instead, plan to do less, save your willpower, and get things done.
It is proven with a plethora of research that 80% of activities we do give us 20% returns and 20% of our activities have 80% value. So, jot down the tasks that give you the most value in return and strikethrough those which you do just because they have to be done.
Front load your plans with the most value-able 20% activities and treat yourself with 80% returns. Line up the rest of 80% of less value-able tasks and place them in the less productive time slots of your day.
Less is More
Less is more. Things don’t work out well when we try to fill the glass beyond its brim. Human beings are anatomically capable of limited focus only. Miscellany is a cause of confusion. Hence to achieve more, concentrate on less. It is not normal for a person to achieve greatness in the spectra of disciplines.
Hence, it is desirable to focus on what means to you the most. We are usually susceptible to get distracted while transitioning from one task to another. Doing a singular activity with single-mindedness will save us from frequently getting distracted by inconsequential nuisances.
Conservation of Momentum
The law states that a mass at rest tends to stay at rest and a mass in motions tends to continue to do so. Simply said, momentum is conserved.
What happens is that with great effort we initiate a difficult task and with great difficulty accomplish to finish it. In order to cherish the accomplishment, we embark on a detour from the triumph track. By the time we realize the extent of loss, it’s already too late. Getting back on track will again take the same amount of effort that was mustered while starting the first task. Following this strategy, you will gain and lose the same turf again and again. By the end, you will exhaust yourself in this cycle.
There is a better way. You guessed it? Conservation of momentum it is.
Initiating a new task takes a great deal of determination. Whereas, successful completion of a task infuses us with delight. This exhilarating feeling can be utilized to minimize the extent of effort required for starting a new task. That is to say, once your wheels start rolling, keep going. Conserve your momentum. Less willpower will be consumed and you will achieve more.
Starting out is the most important and difficult phase of any activity. Taking the initiative is the biggest obstacle that most of us face while undertaking any endeavor. However, usually it is the only one.
It is observed that the one who takes an early plunge and begins what needs to be done ends up leading the race. Therefore, it is advised that you should take the initiative sooner rather than later.
Without injections of gratification, it is tremendously difficult to accomplish grandeur. An effective strategy is to start small and progressively move toward greater ambitions.
In this way, a continuous stream of small successes will keep you on track and motivated for the long haul.
Time to Reflect
No plan is cast in stone. In today’s ever-changing and advancing world aspirations are in continuous flux. Yuval Noah in his book “21 Lessons for 21st Century” informed this generation about the most in-demand skill of the upcoming times. He believes that the “ability to learn a new skill” is to become the most valuable skill.
Keeping that in perspective, it is of the essence that we plan flexibly. We should subject our ambitions and strategies to realize those to periodic review.
In addition, from time to time we should evaluate the successes or failures of our strategies. Alterations to plans should be made at the earliest possible opportunity before it’s too late.
In conclusion, getting things done requires deliberate effort. Simplify your life by prioritizing and minimizing. Conserve the momentum gained from small successes over longer periods. Take the gaping leap — the first step. Reflect!