Is it possible to be INSANELY productive every day?
It could seem overwhelmingly IMPOSSIBLE if you think about it for too long... but I’m here to tell you that it’s just the opposite!
In fact...how we survived as CAVEMEN have a lot to do with productivity!
Let's chat because...what does that have to do with productivity at all?
So God designed us to be able to fight for survival through the instinct of STRESS.
Back then, we only "stressed" about 4 main things: Food, Shelter, Danger & Procreation
Obviously, if you're reading this, the stress we generally REALLY have to stress about is "danger", right?
So, in the caveman days AND as well as today, the human brain is designed to react TO AND assess ANYTHING "out of the ordinary". We have to make a decision about anything that we come across that is not related to what we are focused on in the present.
Confused? Think about it this way...
If you are working on a project and you hear your baby scream in the next room, what is your reaction? You stop working and immediately get up and see what is wrong, right?
You took that action because your brain heard something it wasn't used to, assessed the situation and gave you that response. It had to make a decision, right?
OK, now think about this:
You are working on your computer and see a notification of a new email pop up in the corner. What do you do?
Well, your brain is trained to assess it again. You again STOP working, think about the possibilities of the email content, then decide what action to take. What do YOU pick most of the time? Chances are, your brain says:
"What if it's important? Is it for work? Maybe they need a response right now. I'll just look at this really quickly and get back to what I was doing in a second."
Even if you DON'T open the email, you're still probably asking yourself those questions in your head and thinking about it - therefore, becoming less productive on what you are working on in front of you.
Therefore, you can see how ANYTHING out of the ordinary can allow you to lose focus. Whether you believe me or not, each time you lose focus, you lose productivity. Your brain burns energy to make those decisions (using glucose) and you become more mentally fatigued the more decision your brain has to make.
My point? WE ARE STILL LIKE THE CAVEMEN. Always "scanning" for danger and making decisions about distractions whether we realize it or not.
If you look back even just 10 years ago, you probably didn’t have all these "distractions" bombarding you, right? Emails, notifications, texts, pop-ups...But nowadays, there’s so much information thrown at us that our brain is forced to handle each tiny snippet and make a decision to read it, ignore it or do it later. Therefore, each piece of information becomes a DISTRACTION.
And as you know, one of the top causes for distraction is our phones!
I remember when I was younger, when my parents were busy doing something important and the phone rang, they ignored the call and just let the answering machine pick up. (We didn't even have caller ID then...phones were attached to our walls and the receiver had a cord!)
But today, as soon as our mobile phone "beeps", we rush right to it even if we’re doing a million other things already that are more important.
Are you nodding your head?
We let every single notification distract us and take our attention away from what would have made us productive. So you need to REMOVE ALL POSSIBLE DISTRACTIONS before you start any important task that requires focus.
Turn off your phone, turn off the background music or TV (I know you say it helps you, but it really doesn't...), keep only one tab on if you are working online, put the dog outside...anything you need to do to keep from being distracted, DO IT!
PLAN FOR PRODUCTIVITY
You've heard me say this a MILLION times in my videos... PLAN YOUR DAY THE NIGHT BEFORE.
If you need help with this, grab my free productivity scheduling training at "www.FindYourFreeTime.com"!
The sad fact is that usually we don’t plan much ahead except for our medical or must-do appointments...we "wing" most of our day with just a "list". But, if we don’t plan ahead, our schedule could easily become dictated by the distractions we encounter, just like we talked about above.
For example, you get dressed and get ready to go to work. But you didn’t plan out your work day.
Here's what can happen:
You're super-busy at work and have 3 unfinished projects that you NEED to get done ASAP. So you sit down at your desk and because you haven't planned your day for productivity, you decide to open your email.
You have 7 messages waiting and decide to read them all before you start the projects you need to finish that day. In that inbox is an email from a client asking you to do them a favor that you hadn't planned on doing that day. The favor is not an emergency and is not actually necessary, but you are a "nice" person and want to help.
Well, since you didn’t plan ahead, you’re going to end up working on the stuff that you were asked to do instead of finishing up or starting on projects that you need to get done. Do you already know this story?
Even these major priorities could easily be pushed to the side when you don’t plan ahead and you get distracted. So, make sure you PLAN EVERY DAY.
Now, let's move to the next tips to see HOW to schedule your tasks!
FIND YOUR POWER HOUR
What's a "Power Hour?" A "power hour" is a timespan in your day where you have tons of energy, you're not hungry and you feel like you get a bunch done during that part of the day, no matter what you are working on.
If you haven’t noticed, there are a couple times of the day where you feel like, "Man I'm getting so much done! Wish I felt like this all day long!"
And there are hours when you feel like "I'm working so slowly and feel like I could fall asleep right now..." so you're less productive.
What you want to do is find that first stretch of time where you feel AMAZING...or as amazing as you usually feel each day. It's different for all of us, but for me, it’s between 8:30 to 9:30am, that’s my magic hour. Within that hour, I have so much energy and so much motivation to do things. But when the clock hits 3 in the afternoon, that’s when my energy starts to wean down and I feel like falling asleep.
So whatever your "power hour" is, schedule the BIGGEST tasks that need the MOST FOCUS at that time! You will have a much more productive day if you do that! Plan less important activities (TV, social media scrolling) for the hours you feel less productive.
MULTI-TASKING DOESN'T EXIST
We often think that multitasking is a way to be more productive. But it’s something that I, along with many other people, have discovered to be just the exact opposite. LESS productive.
Your brain can only TRULY concentrate on ONE thing at a time.
One way to see this in action is by doing this exercise:
Take out a piece of paper or just visualize this in your head. If I told you to write down these series of numbers across the top of your paper, you could do that pretty quickly right? Let’s say it was up to 26.
You'd write "1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10..." and so on.
Then, if after that task, I immediately asked you to write the alphabet out underneath it so that "1" corresponded with the 1st letter of the alphabet, etc...here's what you'd have on your paper:
Easy, right? You focused on one task at a time.
Now let's multitask...
Try to go through the exercises at the same time. For instance, write the number "1" and then the corresponding letter "A" next to that. Then, write the number "2", and then "B"...all the way through.
Is it still easy? Yes, I'd hope so...
BUT which way do you think was faster...writing the numbers and letters separately? Or "toggling" back and forth between numbers and letters?
You know the right answer...
Your brain has to stop and think just THAT much more when "toggling" between two different tasks. You interrupt the automatic "1,2,3" sequence to stop and think about which alphabet letter you left off with.
The bigger and more difficult the tasks, the harder this gets.
So that's why trying to type an important email and scrolling through social media at the same time does NOT allow for productivity!
Did you know your brain can only focus for about 45 to 52 minutes in a row and then it has to take a break?
Studies have shown that if you work between 45 to 52 minute increments with a break of about 15 minutes of physical activity, you are more likely to succeed at whatever you are working in a more productive manner.
Now, when I say break time, it doesn’t mean that you should get on Facebook and scroll through social media thinking that it will "rejuvenate your brain". That can be an option for taking a "break" but it’s not the best when it comes to productivity.
The best way to stay energized throughout your day is to do some physical activity during those breaks. It doesn’t mean you have to do jumping jacks, but you can just walk around your house or your office or go up and down the stairs a few times... You just have to MOVE.
This may even give you some health benefits!
So, schedule your work into those time chunks and stay movin'!
Guess what? You now know how to be insanely productive! Congratulations!
And if you think you’re still struggling with how to find time to get things done, again, go to FindYourFreeTime.com and learn how to get an extra 1-2 hours a day to do all the things that you want to do! The steps are SUPER easy and condensed so it will only require 20 minutes to learn how!
How to be insanely productive, wouldn’t that be awesome? And I say insanely because this is gonna be mind-blowing when you realize how your brain affects your productivity and what you can do about it. So I’m gonna assume that you’re smart because you’re here. I’m gonna assume that you’re a busy person and you’ve got a lot on your plate, but you have a lot of things that you want to accomplish, a lot of goals a lot of projects maybe that you want to get done and you’re here to learn how to do that more efficiently. So stay tuned. I’m gonna share my top 5 steps for being more insanely more productive. So if that’s you, you’re in the right place. Okay, I wanna get into it. The first thing you need to know about how to be more productive is WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND WHAT STRESS IS AND WHY WE HAVE IT. So stress comes from way back in the caveman days okay. So let’s think about life now. Okay, what stresses you out? Like, is it technology? Maybe there’s just so many emails coming in every day. Maybe you have lots of projects to do with your job, maybe more is expected of you. Even like ten years ago, we didn’t have all these stuff bombarding us. Right? We have just so much information coming at us and our brain right now is forced to handle, making decisions for so many different things during the day. Now, if we think back to the caveman days, what did they have to stress about or worry about? There was 4 things. Okay, four major things. And that was food, shelter, danger that’s lurking around and pro creation. Well we don’t really need help with that most people I know. And the food and shelter thing it’s not really in the forefront of our mind however we still do have that instinct. Right? Now the part of our brain when we were caveman or way long ago, that controlled and scanned for danger, and notice the danger and respond to dangerous threats that part of our brain is still very active and that’s where our stress is. That is something that we are still doing but not for the exact same reasons, we don’t think that every little noise at night is going to kill us but our brain still sends messages to us when it feels like there is something that we need to address. So think about when you’re sitting in a room full of people whether you know them or not andeverybody has a phone nowadays and you hear somebody’s text message go off and it sounds like yours. And you’re like, ͞oh my gosh! Like uhh, is that for me? What do I do? Do I have to respond to it? Wait I just gotta check this message!͟ Right? That’s what we do because our brains right now are trained to do that just within the last few years. But our brains haven’t really been able to adjust as fast as technology has grown. We can’t adapt as quickly and say you know what? You don’t need to stress about that. So you can see like how our brain really controls our stress, we stress about these little signals. Take for instance, when your telephone was attached to the wall. Okay I grew up, I always had a telephone attached to the wall and then cordless came out when I don’t know, in high school. So that was a long time ago but when my parents were busy they just didn’t answer the phone. Do we do that now? We’re like, well maybe we don’t answer it but we sure just go over and see if who’s calling and if we need to answer it we will. Like it’s just such a different time but in such a short time span. You know just a few years can make a whole lot of difference. So we are far from caveman times but our brains hasn’t yet adapted in that fashion. So, first and foremost, we do have to DEAL WITH DISTRACTIONS because of that very thing. So when our brain is scanning for anything that we may need to respond to in that same primitive area we had for danger signals, we have to make sure that we do everything we can to get away from those distractions. So for instance, think about your cellphone. When you’re trying to do a project if you’re sat in your cellphone right there, chances are you’re gonna touch it and you’re gonna check something whether if it’s email, facebook, I don’t care. If it’s next to you, you’re gonna check it. You’re gonna wanna get rid of your phone. Put it on airplane mode or shut it down and put it in a different room that way your temptation to just pick it up and just glance to see if anything’s happened or glance to see if you need to respond to something isn’t as big. And right now I don’t even
hardly sometimes hear my phone because I’m never carrying it around my house. I just don’t do it anymore I would not get anything done. I know that about myself so I have to stop myself. So the distractions, the other thing is music. Now people say oh I work better with music. Well, you’re not better and you’re not as productive with music. You may be motivated by music but the reason you’re not as productive is because your brain has to think about the music even if it’s subconsciously it has to evaluate it and say, oh is this a harmful song or a song about something bad? Is something bad gonna happen and I know it sounds silly to say this out loud but your brain is constantly scanning the environment. So shut everything down. Like everything! Alright, so that’s my thing about distractions but now you know why our brains are just wired. So you’re not crazy because you’re always distracted. You don’t have ADD necessarily although some of us do. But it’s because that part of our brain is in overtime. You know on overload all the time. Alright, so that’s tip number one. REMOVE ALL DISTRACTIONS. Tip number two, you’re gonna know this one because I say it every time I talk about productivity. And why do I say it over and over again, because it works. This is the key, you need to PLAN YOUR DAY THE NIGHT BEFORE. And I hate to keep harping on this but I tell you, people don’t plan. So let’s think about this. Let’s say you get all dressed and you get your makeup and your hair all done. What’s the first thing you go to do when you get to work if you have an outside office or your in-home office. What do you do? You open up your computer and you do what? You check email. Now not that that’s a bad thing. But if you don’t get your day planned, guess what your day is going to be dictated by? It’s gonna be dictated by those people that need something from you in that email. So you’re gonna open up that email, you’re gonna say oh such and such needs this, so and so needs that and you’re gonna start to work on those things. And by the time your lunchbreak comes, you’d be like, crap I didn’t get done the things that I needed to get done. Right? You’re letting somebody else dictate your schedule when you fail to plan. And if you’ve been to my Find Your Free Time training, you already know how to plan your day and you’ll know how to automate it on your phone. Now that doesn’t mean you’re carrying your phone with you all the time chances are you probably do in this day and age, but I teach you how to automate your day and your to-do list, and how to schedule it in an order where you’re more productive. So if you haven’t taken that training yet, it’s totally free I just revamped it, so go to FindYourFreeTime.com and you will have it there to access for life. Okay so planning your day is so much better than having somebody else or events that happen, dictate what you’re going to do. You have to focus on the things that you must do that day so that’s tip number two. Tip number three, I like this one because I hadn’t thought of it before. Probably like a year ago is when I learned it from my mentors. So she suggested, FINDING YOUR POWER HOUR. Now what’s a power hour? That is some time of your day, and you are probably already aware of this, but you haven’t connected the things together to make it make sense. So there’s probably a time of your day where you’re like, man I got so much done! In just a short period of time I like have all this energy going on and that’s usually for most people between the hours of like 8 and 10 in the morning. My magic hour’s between 8:30 and 9 I gotta start something because I have so much energy and so much motivation to do things early in the day. As soon as I get my kids fed and dressed for the day and they’re off half are going off to school, half are just doing their own thing, I start working and that’s also when I have my personal assistant come is that time because she’s gonna work on the distractions that come while I’m trying to get that one hour that good one hour in. So what do you do during that power hour? That’s when you schedule things that are, maybe require the most concentration definitely. But maybe the things that are gonna be most impactful in your day or maybe that one thing that you don’t wanna do that will kinda linger in the back of your head when you don’t get it done. So just do it right away during your power hour when you got your motivation, when
you got energy. And in that way when three o’clock rolls around if you do have the same 3 o’clock that I do because my 3 o’clock is this, oh my gosh I’m so hungry, I’m so tired all my kids are coming home from school. And I’m like oh the house is a mess whatever and I’m just feeling blah! That’s not the time to start doing something that you need to concentrate on. Okay so know your power hour and know when not to schedule things that need your concentration. So that’s tip number three. Tip number four is something that I used to do all the time and I thought it was good and maybe you’re like this too. I thought multitasking is going to get me further ahead. Oh I was so wrong! And when I stopped doing it, I got even more accomplished than when I tried to do two things at once. Okay so I’m gonna give you an example because I know there’s gonna be people out there saying oh I can multitask there’s no problem I do it all the time. That’s what I thought but here’s the thing and I’m gonna show you how it works. But I’m gonna tell you a little bit about it. Your brain, I kinda mentioned this before, it has to make decisions all day long. It makes decisions about what to wear, what to eat, decisions on whatever you’re working on, what you think about then make a decision and implement it. So it’s burning glucose like crazy trying to make these decisions. That’s how your brain is fed through glucose or sugar. It only can concentrate on one thing at a time but to try to picture about two things at the same time and make good choices about both. So here’s what you can do. So if you take out a piece of paper or you can just visualize this in your head. If I told you to write down these series of numbers across the top of your paper you could do that pretty quickly right? Say it’s was up to 26. And then if you wrote out the alphabet underneath that, 26 letters you know right in a row no problem! Takes you what four or five seconds each? Now if I asked you to write number 1, and then underneath it letter A and then go back up write number 2 back down write letter b whatever number corresponds with the you know consequential letter to do it that way, how much longer do you think it would take? Well they did this study the actual average was about 40 seconds. Because the further along they got in the alphabet, the furthermore or more brain fog they had because their brain was constantly constantly constantly switching back and forth toggle, toggle, toggle, back and forth, back and forth between the two tasks it couldn’t remember just like two seconds before that it had written you know letter J. And you had to stop and think like letter J okay what’s next? K. You know what I mean it took that extra second or so to get this every sequence going for every letters. So that’s just an example of how your mind works. It can’t do both and be good at both. So put that on your notes cause I know you’re taking notes cause I know you’re smart cause I know you’re. Alright, the last thing that I want to mention and I also teach this as well and a couple different things that I have out there. But when you’re scheduling things like say you have a big project that’s gonna take you maybe a few days. Now if you sit down and say okay today I’m gonna sit down and finish this project I don’t care if it takes me the whole day I’m gonna get this all done it’s good motivation but it’s not gonna be very productive. Here’s why. Studies have shown that if you work between forty-five to fifty-two minute increments with a break of about fifteen minutes you know 14 or 15 minutes of physical activity, you are way more likely to succeed at whatever you are working on in the long run. So your brain can only focus for about 45 to 52 minutes and then it has to take a break. And here’s what you need to do for the break though this is important. You’re gonna say okay I’m gonna shut this down or my project down up to 45 minutes, that will be my facebook time, scroll through facebook sit here and you know do that relax my brain. Well that’s great that you’re taking a break however the only way to stay energized throughout your day is to do some physical activity during that break. That doesn’t mean like you know doing jumping jacks you can do that that’s great but you can just walk around your house, walk around your office maybe go up to the next floor take the stairs whatever you have to do but just move. Because if you don’t move you know how you feel when you’ve been sitting and you’ve
been working all day on your desk maybe and you haven’t been up in a while and even though you haven’t even physically done much, you’re exhausted brain wise. That’s just your brain fatigue, mental fatigue and that’s a real thing that’s because do you remember we talked about that glucose that your brain burns in order to make good decisions. Well that happens all the time when you know you’re busy with your project and the only way to refuel them quickly and efficiently is to get your body moving that’s gonna help that brain produce more energy that’s gonna bring more blood flow so that it can give that more oxygen in that way you’re gonna be will think clearer, think sharper and have little more energy than when you sat down. And so if you do have something big like that and most of us want to be productive because we accomplish big goals, we need to break it down into big chunks. Does that make sense? And it comes in having a physical activity again it doesn’t have to be like running a marathon. Although if you do that’s awesome because I could never do that. Alright so let me recap quickly. So we talked about stress and caveman, we need to get rid of distractions right cause our brain’s always scanning. We also need to plan our day so if you have not done the Find Your Free Time course, please go to FindYourFreeTime.com I’m telling you that people have gone through the new one are loving it. So it’s a little bit more condensed, easier to follow it’s just a video training so go ahead and do that at FindYourFreeTime.com and you plan your day ahead I don’t care if you do the training or not, you have to plan your day ahead so that nobody else dictates your day. And then you have to find your power hour schedule your task that need a lot of concentration in that hour. And you also cannot multitask no multitasking allowed and you have to chunk your time with some physical activity and you’re going to be insanely productive because you will see such a big difference just implementing five things just five things can change your life. And that’s why I’m sharing my answers with you because I’ve found this to be so true especially having three businesses, four kids and a husband. Okay and I’m trying to sell our house there’s just a lot going on and I have a lot of changes but still I have time. I’m like before I came over here me and my little boy were singing songs I mean up till 5 minutes before I hopped on here because I have time to do that and I schedule ahead and I have plan for productivity. So if you like this video and you haven’t subscribed to us yet go ahead and do that now. We’re gonna do this every week. We’re gonna bring you great trainings where you’re gonna learn how to simplify and systematize your life therefore making you feel a lot less stress and find more joy and more freedom in your daily life and in your businesses as well. And then also if you could please please please either give me a thumbs up or a thumbs down whatever you are feeling for this video that helps me know how I’m doing. And if you could comment in the video below you could also tell me what kind of videos you would like to see. So don’t forget to go to FindYourFreeTime.com that’s our free program that’s going to help you systematize your schedule and your to-do list every single day and I’m gonna save you at least a single hour a day that’s how I do my business that’s how I do my life. I use this system and it is something that I love to share with you as well to make your life easier. So I will see you next time, stay tuned, right here at Erin Cook Official. God bless!