THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF PRODUCTIVITY (so you can stop spinning the wheels and get back your time to cuddle with your kids on the sofa)

If you are like most people, you probably thought hard and strong about how 2017 is going to be a new year and a new you. I hear you… But then life happened…
  • You know what you need to do, you just can’t seem to do it.
  • Life is busy and you don’t have enough time.
  • You struggle with consistency and can’t seem to stick with it.
  • You’re tired of habits failing and don’t think you’ll succeed, so you don’t even try now.
  • You either have a tendency to get too excited and over-commit in the moment or you start a small habit, get bored, and slide back into your normal routine.
commands of productivity
So what do you do?
Shall we give up on setting up goals and resolutions all together? NO.
You just need to do it the right way.

Small systems are the name of the game. It’s easy to be overwhelmed with so many ideas and to get stuck on how to actually execute them, so creating a structured process and committing to taking one small step at a time to achieve your ultimate goal, is the way to make it all happen.
And so learning to separate the signal from the noise is a crucial skill in our current world. Developing systems and habits that allow you to focus on the things that matter can often be the difference between having a productive, healthy, or satisfying day vs. an ineffective, stressful, or discouraging day.

Here are the ten commands of a productivity for the hustling wonder-woman out there:
1.Become efficient
You have to leverage on the small pockets of time you have. If you have 15 minutes during your lunch, plan how you’re going to use it beforehand. You can listen to a motivational audiobook while you eat your lunch. Or you could answer emails while kids are napping. Better yet – order groceries online by using app while in the park with kids. Or, if you have a 9-5 job, you can get up 30 minutes earlier and work to plan out the most important tasks and plan small steps for your makeover.
2. Prioritize
Sounds easy, ha? The key here is to set up clear goals and understand what you’re after. As opposed to being efficient (above) this one is about effectiveness. It’s about choosing the tasks that bring the most impact, rather than just doing unimportant things in a quick way.
Ever heard of the 20/80 rule (also known as the Pareto principle)? Essentially it means that about 80% of your results (the goals that you’re after) come from 20% of your resources and efforts (time, money, learning curve). So be carful with what you spend your time on, striving to nail down the task that will get one step closer to where you want to be.
3. Kill your TV
Let’s face it. TV is a huge waste of time. Sure, it’s entertaining, but after you’ve watched what you intended to watch, you often end up sitting there zapping mindlessly for hours. Yes I sometimes binge watch reruns of shows that I love, but me smart about it. Don’t just glaze at the screen letting the entire evening pass by. One way to go about it is set aside “TV nights” – so for example you know that Tuesday and Fridays are the night you can relax on the sofa and stare at the screen.
4. Control social media
Have you ever gone on Facebbok just to “quickly check in” something, and then you find yourself, 3 hours latter, falling into a rabbit hall of wasting all your free time. You may start off reading a nice story, or even reading the news, but end up wasting hours watching kittens and puppies on YouTube. Be disciplined about how you use your time. Give yourself time to have fun, but don’t let it take over. This gets even worse if you use FB to network and grow your business as well – up until recently I could spend half a day scrolling and commenting.
A nice hack to use is the Pomodoro technique – basically a set timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 15-25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. Set your Facebook break for 15 min, and then move on.
5. Minimize E-Mail
We all waste way too much time checking and replying to e-mail. I’m guilty of this myself, but I still get stuff done, so it isn’t a huge problem for me. The best-seller author Tim Ferris recommends a rather extreme solution to check mails once a week. Though he bring some strong arguments, I think a more practical approach would be setting ‘email sessions’ twice a day – morning and afternoon. Nothing in between, nothing in the evening. If someone needs you, they will call you. You do not have to be available 24/7
6. Avoid the News
Oh this is something I learned after moving to Paris. The sudden distance allowed me narrow down my news-intake and boy what a change this has been! You may think that news is an essential part of your life, but it isn’t. I mean, sure it’s important to stay updated and you cannot shut yourself out from the world… But essentially the news is often negative and manipulated to promote an agenda. You will be surprised how liberating this is, both in terms of time management, but also in terms of your energy levels. Less is definitely more – less you glaze at the horrors of the world, more time and drive you will have to take action, create solutions and pursue your reinvention journey.
7. Create systems
There’s no need in reinventing the wheel every time you have to run an errand, handle house chores or do other routine tasks. Don’t want to be overwhelmed by the laundry piling up in your bathroom – set concrete laundry slots in a week – say Thursdays 10am till 12am. Grocery shopping? Create a template of your usual groceries list, update as you go along and decide to do your shopping online, say every Sunday night. Even better? Sunday every two weeks… and then let it out of your head entirely.
And once you have those "adminsitartive" systems in place... it's time to go back to your 80/20 priorities and create your roadmap.
8. Batch
Whenever possible, do tasks of a similar nature together. If you need to make five phone calls, do them all at once. If you need to e-mail people, get them all out of the way at the same time, once or twice a day. Batching tasks eliminates the amount of time it takes for your brain to get started. For example, this is the 5th (!) post I’m writing tonight (hey… when creativity flows… you don’t argue). I might not publish them all at the same time, but I have just saved myself tons of time of staring at blank screen.
9. Outsource
How long does it take you to clean the house? to mow the lawn? How long does it take you to do all the things you don’t really have to do? Nowadays you can hire out help at more than reasonable price – be it household chores or more complex projects. With the world moving constantly more online, some sites provide your with virtual assistants that can do small gigs for you at under $10. Look at all the things that take up time and think about how you can delegate them to someone else.
It doesn’t have to be huge business projects and hiring a freelancer for a full time gig, start with some small errands or little things. You will be surprised how much more productive you can become if you don’t have to do EVERYTHING yourself from scratch.
10. Learn to say NO
If your friends and family are constantly asking you to do stuff, and THEY ARE, learn to say no and tell them you need some time to work on your own stuff. It’s easy to get caught up in other people’s lives, but realize that if you do not take care of yourself, you cannot take care of anyone else. When you change, you will affect others, which in turn affects the whole world. There’s a reason why they always instruct you on planes to “put your won oxygen mask first”.

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