Here we go again. Running out of energy, it’s time to stop working for the day. It was a long one, but you wonder, “what did I do today to move towards my goals”? You’re not too sure. Where did the day go? And then a familiar feeling of frustration arises again. You’re closing your laptop, taking the resolution to work more the next day. But is this really the solution?
Here are seven tactics to help you reach your goals faster:
1. Avoid time management apps
While they can be a good motivator to get you started, interrupting you when you’re in the flow could seriously damage your productivity. Being in the flow means reaching that state where you’re totally immersed in your activity, when you know exactly where you’re going, and you’re going there fast.
But you might need an hour of heavy mental preparation to get there… so letting an app stop you doesn’t make sense. You’ll also get more done if you work on a task for a long period of time, rather than working on many tasks for short bursts.
Why? Because that way you avoid the costs of task switching, which is the time and energy wasted to focus on a new task. Flow matters. Don’t cut yourself when you’re inspired.
2. Go out and network
Innovation and evolution thrive in large networks. So don’t isolate yourself. Find networking events and a mastermind group near you. If you can’t, create your own. Meet weekly or bi-monthly with accountability friends who will ask you about your progress. These will certainly motivate you to move your business forward. So get up, close your laptop and go network.
“Networking is marketing. Marketing yourself, marketing your uniqueness, marketing what you stand for.” – Christine Comaford-Lynch
3. Dedicate time to get into the right mindset
Meditation and visualization are part of the morning routine of many of the most successful people. These activities increase their clarity and decrease their stress. And they create a morning routine because we all have a limited amount of focus and willpower to use each day. Every decision we take towards useless things make us weaker.
So doing these activities in automatic mode every morning puts ourselves in the right state of mind, without using any of this willpower. You don’t think about what to do, or where, or for how long. You just apply your formula every day.
4. Make space to achieve your long term goals
The reality is, most of your daily tasks belong somehow to your short term goals. Posting something on your Facebook page, polishing your website design, learning about SEO…Fair enough, they need to be done.
But the problem arises when there is no space anymore for crucial activities. You know, these emotionally difficult, harder to measure tasks with a longer return on investment. Contacting influencers, guest blogging, setting up systems… these are no quick wins, but potential big ones down the line.
As Nassim Taleb put it: “I use courage and wisdom, not labor, to make money.” Even one hour per day will have a big effect over time. Schedule it, otherwise your daily tasks will happily take it over.
5. Limit information gathering
Sure, studying business and marketing blogs is essential to educate yourself. But truth be told, learning is easier than actually doing the work, and learning can quickly become a distraction. With all these attention-grabbing blog posts, it’s easy to think: “I’m not ready to implement yet, I still need to study a dozen more articles. And a few more.”
The solution? Find a few valuable blogs that resonate with you – like this one. Learn how to accomplish what you need to do now, and do it. Later, if you find yourself stuck, go back to the blogs you trust and find related articles to fix your situation.
It’s a waste of your time to learn how to A/B test your page when you have 5 visitors a day on your site. Do something to increase your traffic instead.
6. Don’t work so much and take care of yourself
But how can I get more done if I don’t work like a machine, you might say? Well, while it’s doable to work 15 hours a day because you need to ship something, I wouldn’t recommend to form a habit out of it.
You see, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. And the most important measure there is your level of energy. That’s what you need to take care about. Imagine yourself in bed for a week with a heavy fever because your body can’t take your lifestyle anymore. How efficient is that? Take care of your body. Without energy, nothing gets accomplished.
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn
7. Give as much as you can
No time to focus on others? Think again. Self-centered people, focused only on what benefits they can get from others (or “takers” as called in Adam Grant’s book “Give and Take”) lose respect and damage their reputations in the long run.
On the opposite there are “givers”, people driven by the desire to help others achieve more. They focus on the greater good and see potential in everyone they meet. Turns out, this attitude drives them slowly to the top positions in society.
A warning though, givers are only successful if they can avoid burnout or being abused by takers. So as everything in life, be moderate in your actions.
Feeling like you’re in the hamster wheel sucks. But simple changes to the way you work can have mind-blowing effects on your productivity. Imagine spending your day with a deep sense of clarity, knowing you have control over your tasks.