If you’re like most people, you likely find yourself frequently wishing there were more hours in the day to accomplish all the important things on your To-Do list. It seems like no matter what you do there’s always more and more in life that calls for your attention, while many of the truly important things get put on the back burner when we run out of time in the day.
Does any of this ring a bell?
If so, then I’d like to offer you a few of the most powerful ‘mind tricks’ I know that can help you dramatically increase your daily productivity and focus so you can get more done in less time.
Read the rest of this article only if you’d love to learn how to sharpen your focus, be more motivated, and blast through your daily tasks so you have more time available to do whatever else you enjoy in life.
Brain Hack #1: Shrink Your Mental Deadlines
If you think something is going to take you an hour, give yourself 40 minutes instead. By shrinking your mental deadlines, you’ll be able to work much faster and with greater focus.
You should also schedule time on your calendar every week for focused, quiet concentrated “Golden Hours” or “Power Time” where you only work on your most important activities for a designated amount of time. To do this effectively, it’s important to close your email, silence your phone, and unplug from social media during these timeframes. That is, unless your most productive task happens to include any one of those mediums.
Brain Hack #2: Create a “Stop Doing” List
A “Stop Doing” list is as important as a “To Do” list. We use a To Do list to help us gets things done, but how many counter-productive habits, rituals and routines are we allowing in our lives to continue robbing us of the results and lifestyle we truly desire?
By creating a “Stop Doing” list, and committing to it, we can systematically purge out negative habits and replace them with better, more productive ones.
An easy way to do this is to get out a piece of paper and make a list of any/all the habits, routines or people in your life that are actually making you less productive and taking you farther away from your intended goals or desired quality of life.
Now, this requires you to be totally honest, truthful and transparent with yourself about what’s in your life that could be holding you back or stealing happiness in some way. But when you’re willing to step back and look at your own life and situation objectively, it becomes much easier to see the reality of our situation and be able to make rational decisions about what needs to be done in light of the bigger picture. Thus progress can be made where it otherwise couldn’t.
Brain Hack #3: Review Your Productivity at the End of the Day
Try this: Every night before going to bed, take the time to write down the top 3-5 highest priority items that you resolve to complete the following day. These should be tasks that directly move you or your business closer to your goals.
Then at the end of each day, before you create your new list for the next day, take some time to review your list from the current day and ask yourself what went well and what you could’ve done better. Celebrate in your mind what you did accomplish, but also apply a little constructive criticism to yourself for anything you may have slacked on. Then just rollover your uncompleted tasks to the next day’s list.
The most difficult aspect of being ultra-productive is you driving your day instead of your day driving you. Start your day by looking through your tasks each morning and making a conscious decision to allocate your time and focus on the most important and highly leveraged tasks before anything else. Then review your progress at the end of the day and make adjustments where necessary.
Brain Hack #4: Avoid Multitasking
Don’t multitask. Multitasking is something we all do these days. The problem though is that our brains just aren’t cut out for it. When you multitask, you’re actually interfering with your brain’s ability to perform at it’s full-capacity.
Yeah sure, we can all walk and chew gum at the same time. We can can fold laundry while talking to a friend on the phone. Clowns can also ride a unicycle while juggling brightly colored balls.
These are all role tasks that don’t demand a lot of brain power. But in most cases where brainpower and creativity are critical, multitasking is really lesstasking. When you make shifts in your activity from one context to another, you risk dropping things from your short-term memory. You also disrupt the mental flow needed to perform at top-efficiency.
Do one thing at a time, minimize context shifts, maximize brain power!
Brain Hack #5: Use “Brainwave Entrainment” Audios To Increase Focus & Productivity
Brainwave entrainment is a 100+ year old science that uses special tones and sounds to influence a person’s brainwave patterns, which have been proven scientifically to help change one’s state of mind, such as how focused they are.
Let’s briefly explore how it works.
Your brainwave patterns show what’s going on inside your head. Different brainwave frequencies show that you’re in different states of mind. For example, they may show that you are sleeping, or relaxed, or intently focused.
Brainwave entrainment can be used to tap into the frequencies associated with heightened focus and increased productivity, and brings your brain waves into harmony with them. The result is more clarity, more creativity, enhanced focus, and increased personal output.
You simply put on your headphones and play a special MP3 audio based on what kind of mindset you want to entrain. You can even do this while you’re working, writing, reading, doing chores, etc