One of the most common questions people ask me is how I am able to do what I need to get done. I don’t keep this information secret and I personally want to help as many people as I possibly can. Here are the six incredibly simple productivity tips that I use daily that will produce immediate results:
1. Say No To Everything. You have a million things clamoring for your attention at any given moment. This includes your phone, your laptop, your boss, your social media feed, the voices inside your mind, the people in your life. Learn to say no to good things, so that you can say yes to the great things. What you need to do is find out exactly who you are and what your priorities are. Once you figure out this piece, you won’t feel guilty saying no but rather will experience a sense of liberation.
2. Never Multi-Task Again. I still can’t believe how many people disagree with me on this point. Multi-tasking is a myth. It will literally ruin your life. Studies show that multi-tasking makes us less effective, increases mistakes and stress, and costs the globally economy an estimated $450 billion annually. Focus on one task at one time and focus on accomplishing it well.
3. Use A Timer. Any time I start doing labor intensive work like creating a sermon, calling people, meeting with people, writing a new blog post, recording a new podcast episode or just doing basic work around the house, I always do this: I set up a timer with ninety minutes on the shot clock. In descending order. Ninety minutes are not too long that I will get tired of doing the same thing. Ninety minutes are also just enough time to really get most of the things done. I believe that most eight-hour work days could really be accomplished by someone in under two hours.
4. Use A Calendar. It doesn’t matter whether you use a calendar that syncs across all your devices or if you are like my wife, use a pretty paper calendar. The goal is to use it, not just have it. Every single one of my days is planned out the day before. I already know who I am meeting with, where I am going, what time I will be there and what my goals are. All it takes is a few minutes in the evening before the next day begins for you to create a blueprint for tomorrow. So when your day begins, you master it instead of you being mastered by it.
5. Cancel All Meetings. Figure out whether you actually need to have that face to face meeting. Maybe a simple phone call will get it done. There of course will be meetings that are mandatory. But why not spend your time here on earth which is but a vapor involved in the things that you are called to do. Don’t meet for the sake of meeting. There must be a clear purpose behind why you do what you do.
6. Stop Doing. Along the way, we have completely forgotten that we are human beings and not human doings. It is ok if there are free evenings where you don’t do much. Just being still and knowing that Jesus is still upholding the universe by the power of His word is a calming thought to quiet any anxiety. Because who are becoming, is more important than what we are doing.
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Question: What else would you add to this list? Jump into the conversation by commenting below.