With the pace that technology is advancing, you would think that our daily productivity would improve. Alas, at least for me, that has NOT been the case. While my gadgets are getting more powerful and more ‘cool’, I seem to be taking more and more time to get even some simple tasks done. While some tasks may have taken me an hour to do when I was ‘younger’, now it is taking me twice as long. Some might blame it on ‘age’. Being old is often a good excuse, and any women over 40 can use this excuse, as am I. But I am troubled by my own output rate, and I am determined to find out why. I don’t really believe that Age has anything to do with it, since I am able to defy the ‘age myth’ on health: I am much more healthy and active then when I was 20 years old. That is 25 years ago. Nowadays, I am healthy, my heart rate is down, lung capacity up, allergies gone, and I have no trouble sleeping nowadays. So I set up to learn from ‘Productivity’ experts, the likes of Darren Hardy, Brendon Burchard, amongst others. And I put their teachings into test myself. After a long, hard, 2 year journey, I came up with a list of 8 things that I find is the most important elements to Infinite Productivity. But before I explain what these 8 things are, let me ask you this: Why do you want to be Productive?
WHAT does Productivity mean to YOU? How would ‘being productive’ change your life?
The definition of ‘Productivity’, according to Dictionary.com (yes I googled it), is The Quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services. The rate at which goods and services having exchange value are brought forth or produced, Or, according to Merriam-Webster, Productivity is simply the rate at which goods are produced or work is completed. Noticed they defined the word as ‘Completed’ – Starting everything and finishing nothing is definitely not productive. I once heard someone told me that ‘Done Trumps Perfection’ – Too often we tend to chase Perfection, even though we know it does not exist. It is much more effective, and ‘productive’, to get things done, and then later on make improvements on it as we gain the skills, knowledge and feedback on how to make it better, whatever ‘IT’ may be.
WHY do you want to be productive?
Granted, not everybody wants to be productive, at least not in the workplace. Stereotypical union workers (I am just using this as an example, don’t get offended) are often seen to be unproductive, and the reason behind is often because they are being paid by the hour, and they are not being ‘Rewarded’ by their productivity. They are simply rewarded for giving up their life (hours) at work. Of course this is just a generalization. There are many people who gets paid by the hour but are extremely dedicated at work. And that brings me to my next question.
WHERE do you want to be productive?
At work? At home? In School? At Church? In your Community? You can pick and choose where you want to be productive, and where you want to be more laid back. And you have to figure out why. For me, I choose to be ‘extremely productive’ at cleaning my house, because I hate the task and I want to get it over with as fast as I can. And I simply cannot finish this post without asking you:
The people around you will affect your productivity (I will explain in the 8 elements). Pay attention to the 5 people that you hang out with the most in your work life, personal life, community, etc. These people have the most influence on you, your productivity, and your life.
Now let’s move on to the ‘HOW’s. Here’s my Framework to Infinite Productivity:
S-H-A-R-P-M-E-N: (yeah right). It’s just a way to remember things easier.
Yes. I am telling you to sleep. And you must sleep WELL. If you’re not getting enough sleep, or if you are not sleeping well, it affects your productivity tremendously. Most experts recommend 7 to 9 hours of sleep, daily. I know some ‘busy people’ swears by sleeping less than 4 hours per day. In the experts’ opinion, this is: 1. Not sustainable, and 2: it has a long-term, damaging effect on their health. So please sleep. There are multiple gadgets on the market that can help you track your sleep. I wear a fit bit myself, but I typically don’t need to log my sleep pattern because I do sleep well , regularly, without much trouble. If you have sporadic sleep patterns, fluctuating sleep hours, or if you tend to get up several times per night, I do recommend that you track your sleep. Here’s what I recommend that you do to make sure you sleep well:
1 Sleep at regular hours every night. Don’t oversleep on weekends. Keep the same hours even on weekends and holidays. You can ‘stay’ in bed longer if you like.
2 Stay away from cell phones, tablets, laptops, TV’s, and other electronic devices. Put them outside your bedroom if possible.
I ask you to do this for 2 reasons: (1) electro-magnetic waves are known to stimulate your brain, therefore keeping you awake, (2) keeping these gadgets out of your reach will keep you less tempted to reach out for them if you do wake up in the middle of the night.
3 Stay off Caffeine. Everyone’s bodies are different, but if you are sensitive to caffeine, do stay off for at least a few hours before you go to bed. If you must drink something, stay with herbal teas or warm water. I enjoy chamomile tea after dinner. It helps with my digestion and also calms my nerves.
4 Schedule your Sleep Time. That’s right. Put it in your calendar. Block it out. And set alarm to ‘go to bed’. Most people set an alarm to get up in the morning, most do not set an alarm to hit the bed at night. Do both. They are just as important.
5 If you’re into homeopathy methods, try a swiff of lavender on your pillow.
The benefits of adequate sleep have been documented by many experts. If you want to be productive, you want ‘Brain Clarity’ – and having good, adequate sleep will help with that. Also, your sleep time is when your body regenerates and does cellular repairs. It is vitally important that you sleep enough to let your body do the work. Why are most people lacking sleep? Here’s a few reasons that I have observed. In a work environment, especially where it is a competitive work environment, people often wants to work ‘long hours’ to be perceived as being ‘Productive’. They appear to be more ‘dedicated’ to the job, and appear to get more things done. Stress, poor diet, bad health, and medication may also affect your sleep.
However, my ‘manager brain’ thinks this logic does not make sense. If I am productive, it would only take me 8 hours to do my job. If he/she is taking 16 hours, that means they are not using their time properly. This may also mean that he/she is spending time during work and working on something non-work related, which makes the ‘Not Dedicated’ to work.
Here’s the best example I can give you: Dr. Oz, most known as the award-winning TV Host of the Dr Oz Show, but also
• Author of several books and magazine
• Founder of the non-Profit organization HealthCorp
• Perform over 200 heart surgeries every year
During one of his interviews, Dr oz was asked what his #1 best health advice is.
His answer: get 7-9 hours of sleep. If someone as busy as Dr.Oz can schedule in 7-9 hours of sleep, what’s your excuse? Want to find out the next element to Infinite Productivity? Subscribe to my blog. Like this post? Please Share with your Friends!