By applying these 5 strategies, you can effectively increase your productivity so that you can free up your schedule to do other more enjoyable things or just get more work done.
1 - Work in Sprints
My number one rule to be productive is to work in sprints. When I was in school I felt that I worked well in 45 minute intervals. I would form a study for and we would sit down, set up our books, go to the washroom, have a coffee and set a timer for 45 minutes. Now, for the next 45 minutes we had an understanding that there would be no talking outside of work, no distractions, no facebook, no cell phone, even no looking around, we are 100% focus on the task at hand. Its only 45 minutes so everyone is focused 100%. After the 45 minute we take a 15 minute break. Taking a well placed break is important, it gives you a chance to re-charge, re-fresh and take your conscious mind of studying. Sometimes you
However, the critical thing here is, only take a break for your set time, for us it was 15 minutes. Then it would be right back at it, focused, no talking, hard work, face in the books. Now, before I start my 45/15 sprints I define what I am going to study, because sometimes I might go 50/15 or even 60/15 depending on the rule number 2. Rule number two is....
2 - Define Clear Objectives.
As a effective student, entrepreneur, engineer, fight training or doing any type of work, you need to set clear definitive objectives. The sun isn't that powerful if its rays are shining everywhere, but you get a magnifying glass and concentrate its rays, then it can get seriously hot. This is the same way with studying or working. Identify one thing you want to get done. For example,
1) Read 1 article 2) Summarize 1 article 3) Train 5 times a week, focusing on hands this week by doing an extra 10 rounds on the bag 4) Finish my report on asbestos removal for client abc.
You need to write this down in your agenda. I know what your thinking, ya ya ya I don't need to write it down because I have a mental agenda. No, write it down. Believe me, my friend Andrew Raposo (Fitness Millionaire and North American Muay Thai Champion) will tell you, as we were growing up, our coach made us write in a journal and it helps so much to see where you are weak, what you were working on. I highly recommend you do this.
This is so important because it gives you a sense of directly, so you are not wandering aimlessly. In addition to this, everytime you finish a task, you should strike it off, because when you look back at it you'll feel good like fuck ya!!! I did something. Beyond this, it prevents you from hopping from 1 task to another, which will waste the "fluff" time. Which is the time it tastes you to get into working mode, it may be getting out your books, getting caught up, thinking about where you left off..etc. Which leads me to my next point
3 - Do one task at a time.
Don't try to do a bunch of different things at the same time. Moving from one incomplete task to another is the same as if you had two hours to study, and you moved 10 times to different locations. Every time you move, you need to unpack, pack and set up. Switching between tasks may not be physical but its mental, you will waste your "in the zone" mood, where you are the most productive. There are of course exceptions to tasks that can't be done in 1 day or 2 or even months, but you can still break it down into smaller steps and focus on one task at a time.
4 - Don't Complicate Things
When you need to accomplish something, look at what are the actions that you NEED to do to complete it. Make sure you are not focusing on the "fluff" that doesn't move you towards your objective. One of the essential tools corporate entities uses is the Pareto's Principle, it states that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your actions or 80% of your sales will come from 20% of your products. Therefore the term "20" refers to the 20% of the actions that yields 80% of your results. Only focus on the 20, do not waste time by doing the 80. In the corporate world, companies will only focus on selling the 20 products, and will cut some particular products that are int he 80 group even if it means carrying an incomplete product line. When you write down your goals, look at what you need to do to complete it, and then apply the above rules. Ask yourself, do I really need to go to the library across town? Do I really need to call up my friends, eat food, then study with them. Or can I just eat something at home in 10 minutes, grab a coffee and get to work?
5 - Surround Yourself with the Right People
The last piece of piece of advice is to surround yourself with the right people.
"You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with" - Jim Rohn
It is so important that you surround yourself with the right people because you will inevitably become drawn to act/be like your surrounding. Its very important to be able to cut people off, and all be able to net work effectively so that you pick and choose the right people to keep close to you. Personally, I cut off people that waste time very quickly. I keep my circle extremely small and I refuse to put myself around losers. Even if people are in my family, or in my partners family. I don't care, if your a loser and have no drive in life, I will simply not put myself around you, I don't care if its your birthday, your mom died, I really don't care. However, if you are in my circle (My team knows this) I will go to war with you. Motivated, successful people have a certain energy towards life that is electrifying and it is contagious.
Michael Zhang is a key contributor at Driven Fighters. He is passionate about the fighters mentality and motivating other people. He has associated walking into the boxing gym as the day his life changed. His story shows that with hard work anything is possible. Having taken himself from being labeled by his high school teachers as a failure and almost dropping out to opening numerous businesses and graduating with his Master Degree in Engineering (University of Toronto). At just 18 years old, he was featured on CH News, and awarded the Young Entrepreneur Award. His passion and desire to help others made him a perfect example of what a driven fighter is. He has 20+ fights including a national amateur tournament belt.