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4 Steps You Should Take to Become More Productive

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If you’d like to learn how to become more productive so you can accomplish more on a daily basis, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of Addicted2Success.com, Joel Brown.


Last night, a friend of mine (let’s call him Jameel) took me to his mentor. He was going to get some business advice and wanted someone to tag along for the ride. Having nothing to do for the rest of the day, I decided to go. After waiting for about an hour at his office, we finally got that chance to meet him: A simple looking guy (supposed to be a guru in his field) with a twitchy left eye.

Jameel and his mentor talked for about half an hour or so, and I sat there quietly nodding my head. To be honest, the entire discourse was quite engrossing and truly inspiring to say the least. But if there is one thing that clicked (and that I’d like to share it with you guys) is his reply to my friend’s doubts of failure.

“I am doing everything right,” asked the now vulnerable Jameel, “but there is this looming fear, this doubt that is eating me alive. What should I do about it?” “I am not the kind of person you should be asking this question,” was the reply. “I have never had the fear of failure so I don’t know what to say to you. All I have ever done in my life is done each day’s work to the best of my abilities. That’s it, and I would advise you to do the same.”

“Will you succeed?” He went on. “Will you fail? No one can guarantee that. That is something out of your jurisdiction. Even if you do everything right, there is still a chance that you might fail. And even if you do fail, then what? Will the Earth shatter? Or will the skies fall over? Businesses fail, that’s the fact of life and you should be strong enough to take that bet.

Either you do everything right, one step a time, one task a day and trust the journey and increase your chances of success. Or you keep on obsessing about the future, fretting about failure, instead of doing the actual work and increasing your chances of failure.

Your best bet is to do each task to the best of your abilities and leave the rest to God.”

The reason this mini-speech hit me is because that is exactly what I did to become a better person than I was a couple of years ago. And even if you’re not a proponent of fate or a believer in God, there’s a practical truth to what the mentor said. In fact, the great stoics also had a similar approach to life.

“Do right. Do your best. Treat others as you want to be treated.” – Lou Holtz

What did the ancient stoics say?

Stoics are proponents of Stoicism, a philosophical school of thought that believes human virtue lies in knowledge, and the wise are the ones that are at peace with providence (good or bad).

The great stoic Epictetus put forth his “dichotomy of control” illustrating that the world is divided into things that are in our control (thoughts, emotions, and actions) and things that are out of our control (possessions, looks, or privilege).

If you carefully differentiate the things that are in your control from the things that are not, you influence the things that are in your control to make your life the way you visualize it. You also stop worrying about things that are not under your control. You come to realize how pointless it is and that saves you a great deal of time and energy.

Putting the philosophy into practice

What’s the point to philosophy when there is little to no practicality when it comes to actual meaningful changes in your life? That is exactly why I am a strong proponent of Stoicism as it is the most practical of all philosophies.

Still, being stuck in a place for too long tends to make it difficult to get out and one needs a little more than philosophy to get one out of the mess. 

Here are a few practical steps that I took to make my life a little bit better:

1. Write down your goals

I know how big of a cliché this is, but there’s a reason why it is such a big cliché, it works. Take out a pen and a paper, and write down all of the things you want to achieve.

Think of something that you want to do or need to do. It can be anything from your homework to an art project or maybe as trivial as cleaning up your room. List out as many things as possible.

“Everybody has their own Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb.” – Seth Godin

2. Prioritize your goals

Divide them based on priorities. An assignment due this week should be at the top, an art project, a bit lower.

3. Break them down

Break down each goal into little ones that you know you can easily accomplish. Make sure to also spread them across a few weeks or months (depending upon the estimated time for the project).

For example, if your goal is to read a book. Don’t force yourself to read a hundred pages in one go because that’s plain stupid. Think about it this way, if you want to become a swimmer, would you simply dive into a sea or would you first start learning in a pool?

Start by reading 10 pages a day. After a week, turn it up to 12 or 15 a day and keep on increasing each week until you have reached your goal of reading 100 pages a day.

4. Become accountable

The ultimate goal is to live a better life and to do that we have to take one step at a time and for that we require consistency. How do you ensure consistency in productivity?

Here’s how I did it:

At the start of my freelancing career, I only took projects when I felt like it. Some months I’d earn more while on others I’d be asking for financial help. After months of going nowhere and almost sabotaging my career, I decided to do a simple thing that changed everything for the better.

I committed myself to writing 1000 words a day, except weekends, for the entire month. This was an easy goal because there were days when I wrote 2500-3000 words a day when one of my deadlines was tight.

The idea was to become consistent. To keep track of it, I decided to create a simple spreadsheet on google docs. The first couple of days were easy because I was feeling motivated. The third day was a bit difficult because I was losing motivation. The magic happened on the fourth day when I didn’t feel like doing the work but ended up doing it because of the sheer fact that I had to report it on my spreadsheet.

At the end of this little experiment, I had earned more than I had ever earned in a month. If there is anything that I would like you to take away from all this is to set yourself a goal every night and complete it every day without fearing the outcome.

Do you have any tactics on how to become more productive? Share them with us below!

Ahmed Sohaib is a freelance writer and an independent contributor at the Beverly Hills Magazine. With a passion for personal growth and social good, Ahmed spends most of his days reading books on Philosophy, Psychology, and Personal-growth. Feel free to reach out to the author on Facebook or his website.

Success Advice

5 Smart Goals to Make This Year Your Most Successful Ever

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Setting goals at the start of the year means you will know exactly what you need to do throughout the year to be successful. By setting goals, it forces you to build a plan about how you intend to achieve those goals. By having a plan in place, you will wake up every morning with a clear idea of what it is you need to do each day. Just by writing down your goals, there is a 42% greater chance you will achieve those goals than if they just stayed in your head. It may seem like a small thing but actually creating goals every year and then writing them down significantly improves your chances of success. (more…)

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7 Ways to Face Adversity Using the Power of Extreme Ownership

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Adversity is an inevitable part of our lives, and it is an important and defining factor of our personal story. The stories we build for ourselves in the face of adversity will either empower or discourage us emotionally, help us move forward or remain stuck in the past, allow us to grow or to decline. (more…)

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Why Your Confidence Needs to Match Your Competence

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Even if you produce amazing results at your job or in other areas of your life, others may still not see you as being competent if you lack the confidence to back it up. If you are good at your job, exuding confidence will ensure others also recognize your competence in your area of expertise. And research backs this up. (more…)

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Success Advice

5 Things You Can Learn From The 5am Club by Robin Sharma

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It has been said by Robin Sharma, “5 AM is the time of least distraction, highest human glory, and greatest peace.” This also happens to be the central idea or the core value he has discussed in his book, ‘The 5 Am Club.’ Speaking of early mornings, at what time do you wake up? Are you annoyed by the fact that you wake up on the edge of time and then rush to work in haste? 

The life lessons put forth by The 5 AM Club are exactly the learning and motivation you need to challenge your complacency. In your race against time, you may not have the time to read this fabulous book. So, we have summed up the key book’s takeaways for your convenience.

1. The vigor of waking up early

This is what the book’s most fundamental advice to everyone is. Waking up at 5 am every day can work wonders to avert failures and make success a natural habit. When we wake up at 5 am, we have more time on our hands than others. Besides, this is when we have minimum interruptions and maximum powerfulness of the mind. 

To add, the early morning peace is priceless! You can schedule your most important tasks of the day between 5am, and 8am. This book teaches us in the simplest way, how we can train our mind and strengthen it to deliver the highest productivity by waking up early. This energy that you have when you wake up in the morning and the few additional hours in your day are what serve as perfect ingredients for success.

“The secret to productivity is simplicity.” – Robin Sharma

2. The power of finding the right balance in life

The book talks about a precious lesson of finding the right balance within. We often talk about the need for mindfulness and achieving the right mindset to perceive things. But this book goes a few steps ahead of our usual approach to life. It highlights the vitality of mindset and introduces the concepts of heartset, healthset, and soulset.

These terms may seem new, but they are self-explanatory. The idea of heartset endorses the essentialness of emotional stability and well-being. Next, the perspective of healthset indicates the need to look after physical health. At last, soulset is an attribute of spirituality. As explained in this book, success prospects can be enhanced big time by achieving the right balance between these internal virtues.

3. The iconic 20/20/20 modus operandi

What is the first thing you will do if you start waking up at 5 am every day? Did you ever spare a thought about it? This book has the answer to this question, and you will be convinced that it is a great way to begin your day!. The author suggests that you should split the first hour of the day into three equal parts of 20 minutes each.

In the first 20 minutes of the day, you should prioritize your physical fitness and exercise. In the next 20 minutes, you should energize your soul and spirit via self-reflection and soulful meditation. This will prepare you for the rest of the day and will enable you to bolster your commitment and focus. In the last 20 minutes of the first hour, you should read and learn. But what are you going to read about in those 20 minutes? Read about successful people and their inspiring journeys to the pinnacle of success.

4. The significance of a proper sleep schedule

In this book, there is a mention of ‘a ferocious global sleep recession’, which is intriguing and enlightening. It hints at the state of sleep deprivation that this world is sinking into gradually. We often associate success and hard work with the notion of staying up all night and testing our endurance beyond limits. But that is not the right approach to accomplishing success, or rather, it is a flawed methodology.

Sometimes even if we do not have any critical work, we keep whiling our night time on social media or television. What are we gaining from it is the real question, and I am afraid the answer is nothing! We learn from this book that it is critical to look after your sleep cycle and start your day at 5 am afresh. Sleep and rest are indispensable for mental and physical well-being, or your productivity will decline.

“If you want to have the results only 5% have, you must be willing to do and think like only 5% do and think.” – Robin Sharma

5. The art of evolving

The book sheds light on the need to be spiritual and master self-reflection. However, do you realize the purpose that the routine of reflection each morning serves? The idea is to keep learning, keep reflecting on the mistakes and keep evolution an ongoing process. You should evolve every day and strive to be a better version of yourself every day. So, one of your primary goals after waking up should be to reflect on your actions and missed opportunities of the previous day.

To recapitulate, The 5 AM Club is a must-read book if you are a passionate reader. It has the prowess and charm to refurbish your perception of life altogether. Even if you cannot read the book for some reason, make sure you incorporate the above key takeaways into your life. By starting your day at 5 am, you can rediscover your lost soul and enthusiasm, and you would not have complaints to make about the lack of time. If you can own your mornings, you can go places on the ladder of success, for excuses are only for those who are not committed to their goals.

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