1. Create a morning routine and stick to it
“Your first ritual that you do during the day is the highest leveraged ritual, by far, because it has the effect of setting your mind and setting the context, for the rest of your day.” — Eben Pagan
In Hal Elrod’s book “The Miracle Morning”, he credits his ability to bounce back from over $200,000 in debt to one small lifestyle change: Getting up early and cementing a morning routine into his day.
A morning routine prepares you emotionally, physically and mentally for the challenges of the day ahead. The truth is, most of us don’t just wake up feeling empowered and ready for the day. But when your morning routine becomes a habit, it creates a level of certainty that helps you be productive no matter what happens in your day. It’s the rudder of your ship that helps you get to your destination no matter how many waves and obstacles you have to navigate through.
Hal Elrod’s morning routine includes meditation, exercise, reading and affirmations. Eben Pagan adds drinking a pint of water and a superfood smoothie too. Tony Robbin’s includes 10 minutes of being grateful for what you already have, as well as 10 minutes visualising the life you want as if you already have it.
2. Tackle the hardest things first
“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” — Mark Twain
In Brian Tracy’s Book “Eat that Frog” he cuts to the core mindsets of superhuman productivity: decision, discipline, and determination. The key point he makes is that the first task you do in the day, whether it’s being distracted by emails or writing a big presentation, sets you up for the day.
The brain is most open to influence during the first hour of the day and the hour before you go to sleep. Use these times to your advantage, plan your most important tasks the night before and think about any problems that may try to throw you off track.
After your morning routine dive into your most important task with no distractions. A good way to ensure this get’s done is to put your phone on airplane mode until the first task of the day is done.
3. Use the 60-60-30 technique
“Complexity is the enemy of execution” — Tony Robbins
The 60-60-30 technique has been proven to be the most productive way to start your day as an entrepreneur. It involves two 60-minute work sessions followed by a 30-minute break, with a 10-minute gap between each session (i.e. 50 minutes, 10-minute break, 50 minutes, 10 minute +30 minute break).
So now you can see how this productivity system comes together, put your two most important tasks in these sessions every day. After that, use the Pomodoro time system.
What is the Pomodoro Time System? Well, it’s aim is providing entrepreneurs with the maximum focus and mental clarity whilst they complete tasks. It’s essentially 25-minutes of work, followed by a 15-minute break. You can use a timer or a Pomodoro App to time the sessions. You will be amazed at the results.
4. Schedule your distractions
“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” — Jim Rohn
In Tim Ferris’s book “The 4-Hour Work Week” he explains how he set up an autoresponder on his email account. The autoresponder tells the emailer that he only checks his email between 11-12PM and 4-5PM daily if he’s emailed outside these times.
The email explains that if it’s super important they can liaise with his colleague or phone him directly. This technique tells people that he is not on their schedule and his time should be respected. Eban Pagan, a productivity wizard, takes this a step further by purposely taking a long time to respond back to people to train them that he is on his own schedule and shouldn’t be distracted.
5. Use the two-minute rule
“If it takes less than two minutes, then do it now.” — David Allen
In David Allen’s book “Getting Things Done” he explains how this rule transformed his productivity. It works because it is easy to follow and trains your mind to stop procrastinating. It also helps stop overwhelm and mental clutter. So whenever there’s a task you see that would take 2-minutes to complete always do it.
Starting now. Seriously. People read so many articles and listen to so many podcasts that they rarely take action. I want this to be different. Imagine how different your life would look if you followed these steps? You would make more money and have more fun doing it. Initial procrastination is never as fun as deep meaningful work.
This article has been edited.