For many people, the quest to be more productive is just that: a quest. It is like a New Year’s Resolution that kicks off with enthusiasm and intent but quickly fizzles out as challenges emerge and
distractions arise. Before long, becoming more productive goes from the “must-do” list to the “nice-to-do list,” until it eventually fades from view entirely. That is, until the next cycle of motivation and inspiration.
And therein lies the most critical step in becoming more productive per Eric Dalius, the investment guru behind the CORE (“cash-out real estate”) program that was incorporated into the Learning Annex and championed nationwide by “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” author Robert Kiyosaki: commitment.
“People who have spent years struggling with productivity to some degree cannot expect to suddenly become ultra-productive overnight,” commented Eric Dalius. “It takes commitment to change the default setting from unproductive to productive. It is like striving to become healthy. Years and years of eating fast food and other junk will not be erased after a few days of eating nutritious food and getting some exercise. It’s a long-term commitment, not a short-term fix.”
Of course, while commitment is vital to becoming more productive, it is not the whole story. The other nine pieces of the puzzle according to Eric Dalius are:
- Ruthlessly strive to eliminate routine tasks that have a minimal or negligible impact on productivity. In this situation, less is definitely more.
- Escape the multitask delusion — because, simply put there is no such thing. Research has determined that multitasking is a fallacy, your brain quickly switches from task to task which shuts down a thought for one of the tasks. Eric Dalius states instead you must focus on what needs to be done and then move to something else once it is complete, or once a milestone is reached (e.g. 50 percent of the task).
- Try to get important tasks done before lunch when concentration and focus are typically at their peak. Most people are far less productive in the afternoon, even though they work just as hard if not harder. Obviously, the opposite is also true – if you are an afternoon person focus your efforts on complex projects during your peak hours.
- Do not underestimate the time-wasting attributes associated with email. Avoid systematically checking it throughout the day, and do not be in hyper response-ready mode, either. Use your email software’s auto response feature to let people know that you are away from your desk vs. ignoring them.
- Hold yourself accountable for not being productive, or better yet, get someone else to hold you accountable (and return the favor). Everyone needs help to remain focused and motivated, do not be embarrassed to seek assistance.
- Take shorter, more frequent breaks throughout the day to recharge and recalibrate. This may sound counterproductive; however, your brain needs time to unwind and relax in order to recharge. You must ensure you give yourself the opportunity to succeed by making sure your brain is recharging properly.
- Eat healthily and stay hydrated. If coffee is a must, then try to dial it down to avoid riding the caffeine roller coaster. The same goes for sugar. Drinking water is an excellent option for curbing sugar or coffee cravings.
- Use tools like online task management apps and schedules to organize your time. Eric Dalius shares that there are apps available such as ToDoist that are designed to help you be more productive, additionally, he adds that applications that block certain websites are also a great alternative for those who struggle with remaining focused.
Rounding out the list of 10 keys to being more productive is an item that many people overlook until it becomes a problem: they become overwhelmed. Commented Eric Dalius: “Productivity is a factor that should help people get more done in less time, so they improve the quality of their work, and also the amount of satisfaction and results they get from performing at a high level. Productivity is not an end. It is a means. Keeping this in mind is extremely important!”