Productivity, or the art of making more time, is one of the most important thing regarding achievement. It is what will determine whether you are going to succeed or not. After all, if you don’t find the time to work enough on a particular subject or area, how are you supposed to yield results?
Of course, I also think that quantity is inferior to quality. It’s not about working hours after hours if you’re not able to produce anything of quality. However, I do think that there is a fine line between the two, which is what we personnally all have to found: how much can I work until quality drops?
It’s up to you to find it out, no one can do it for you.
In this article, I want to talk about 3 Powerful Productivity Techniques that you can use on a daily basis to make time for life. It’s not magic, it requires some work, but I can guarantee you that the results will satisfy you.
One of the most common complaint I hear from people is : ”I don’t have the time.”, but is that really true? What does that even mean? I believe that ‘not having the time’ is just a matter of phrasing the sentence differently. Let’s talk about it in the first technique.
1 – Overcome Your Limiting Belief
This is not a technique directly applicable on your day, and yet, it will magically create more time in your life.
Are you aware of the concept of ”limiting beliefs”? This a term reffering to a belief or a belief system that prevent you from achieving something you want, which is why it’s called ”limiting” and not ”empowering”.
In this case, and as I said, the most common limiting belief that I hear from people is that they don’t have time. I want to challenge you on that thought, because here’s the thing: we all, from the poorest to the richest person in the world, have 24 hours in a day. This is the only thing that’s equal in the world. No one can go to the bank and buy more time in exchange of money or whatever.
Thus, the most important part is not ”how much time you have”, but ”how you use your time”.
Indeed, it’s all about how you use your time. In short, you’re the only one who gets to make time for life.
As I said earlier, ”I don’t have the time” is one possible interpretation. I, personnally, hear that in a different way. It also happens to me to have that limiting thought, but then I realize what it really means.
When I say ”I don’t have time”, what I really mean is that ”I don’t really want to do it”. It’s as simple as that.
Let’s take an exemple to make it easier.
What if, right at this moment, I call you and I tell you that you need to start working out RIGHT NOW.
What would you say? Probably something along the lines of ”I can’t, I’m busy. I don’t have the time”, right?
Now, what if I call you back, but this time I tell you something totally different: your parents/partner/kids had a car accident, you need to come to the hospital ASAP!
What would you say?
I think that we all know the answer, right? We would make the time for it. No matter what we were doing, we would stop it in reaction to that emergency. It shows that, according to the level of emergency you give to something, you will or will not find the time.
It works just the same with everything.
So, how can you apply this directly into your life? Simply by having the self-awareness, that each time you find yourself giving this excuse of not having time, that it’s an utter lie you tell yourself.
The truth is that you’re not really commited to achieving it.
Once you have that self-awareness, you have two options: you either abandon your goal because you realize that it’s not that important at this stage of your life, or you can find more reasons why it is so important for you to achieve that goal.
I did both multiple times. There is no right and wrong choice, it depends on you. Let’s say that you want to learn how to play the piano at the beginning of the year, and find yourself telling that ‘you don’t have the time’. Maybe that it’s just not that important to you, and it’s perfectly fine to put that goal aside.
As long as you stop chasing that illusion of lack of time, everything is alright.
2 – Track your days
The first practical thing that you could implement would be to track an entire week of yours in a journal. It means writing down everything you do, and when you do it. We’re still on a self-awareness-level, but it’s really important to know what your habits are to cut them out of your life.
When people say that they don’t have time, they’re not lying. They are telling the truth, or should I say, think they are telling the truth. If I were to thoroughly analyze their days, I can guarantee you that I would find blanks or time wasted.
You might not realize it. You might think that you’re just spending a few minutes on Facebook a day ; but what you think and what is true can be two totally different things. The whole purpose of the tracking journal is to enveil that truth, with it no secret can be left. Each habits of yours will be opened and you’ll instantly grasp your weaknesses.
5 minutes on Facebook here and there doesn’t seem like a lot, but you’ll be surprised to know how much time you actually spent on Facebook in one day.
Once you recognize your weaknesses, it’s just a matter of getting rid of it.
3 – Focus on the 3 most important tasks
This one is probably my favorite, as it will make you aware of what’s really important in your day, and what is not.
Remember, the purposer of each day is to move you closer to your goals. It means that each day, you must take action towards it. Hence, it eliminates a huge part of your to-do list.
Each day, I want you to write down on a journal what are the 3 most important, highest-leverage things that you can do. Those are the things that if you accomplish it, you’ll have a great day.
The reason why most people feel like failures at the end of a day, or why they feel like they aren’t moving forward in their lives, is because they’re not focusing on the most important thing.
For instance, my 3 most important tasks today are:
1 – Write at least 2 blog posts
2 – Study japanese
3 – Review all my notes on what I’ve learned recently
Once those things are achieved, my day will be over. I will pat myself in the back, as this day allowed me to move closer to my goals (you can take a look at my goals in my article here).
However, if I achieve these tasks by the afternoon, it doesn’t mean that I’m going to slack off for the rest of the day. The rest of the day will allow me to do everything else I want to do, or everything else that’s not a high priority in my life.
In short, it will be just a bonus. The more I can do, the better, but if I don’t, I won’t beat myself up as I achieved my daily goal which was to accomplish those 3 most important tasks.
A book that I recommend reading is called ”The Willpower Instinct”. In this book, the author found that the most amount of willpower you have is in the morning, which means that it’s precisely when you want to take massive action towards your goals.
The biggest mistake you could make would be to use all of your energy at work, and then spend the entire evening lying around on the couch watching TV. In that sitution, the wisest move you could make would be to actually wake up earlier – 5:00am for exemple – to dedicate a few hours to your most important tasks. Then, you can go to work, and then you can watch TV – although I don’t recommend it, as long as you did your 3 things, the rest is just a bonus.
Those are the 3 powerful productivity techniques that I used, and that I am still using on a daily basis to be more productive. I recommend you apply these techniques right away, otherwise it’s very likely that you won’t apply it at all and you’ll won’t move forward in your life.
One of the best advices I received was to apply a piece of knowledge as soon as possible, as knowledge, as great as it is, is just that: knowledge.
Unfortunately, knowledge will never lead to wisdom, so I encourage you to take massive action right away or at least tomorrow, even if it’s for applying one little thing. All the techniques I shared with you are all important, but if I had to pick one, I would say that you should implement the ”3 tasks technique” first as it will give you more momentum.