Progress is the key to achieving what you desire. You need to move forward on a pathway to get what you want in life. But you need to also move in a manner that’s productive. Simply acting isn’t enough. Many people confuse action for productivity. If you read 1000 books on how to chop down a tree but you never bother to pick up an axe and begin chopping, you haven’t really accomplished much.
In fact, I’d argue that you’ve wasted time reading.
People ask me every once in a while how I stay productive an entire day. Typically, I’m awake around 4:30am or 5am. I’ll go to the gym, and begin working immediately afterward usually from 8am until around 9 or 10pm. While most people probably work 3-6 hours maximum and produce mediocre results at best, I consider my time to be fruitful. In a very, relatively, short amount of time, I can write books, create content, film courses, be a host or guest on a podcast, and write a blog article such as this one. I don’t believe a lot of time is necessarily required to achieve something or produce something. However, I do believe that the combination of four very distinct qualities will allow you to produce immense results. Now, what exactly are those 4 things? These 4 things, which should be utilized in order, are a Goal, Focus, Speed, and Momentum.
I’ll break each of these down in a moment, but I believe that most people lack all of these things or a combination of these things. Ultimately, this is what prevents them from truly utilizing their day effectively and getting the results they want. Now, I need you to understand that these concepts below aren’t as straightforward and basic as they may first appear. There are ways to maximize each of these four qualities effectively.
Start with a Goal
In order to make progress toward something, you must first designate what you’re moving toward. A goal is like an X on a map. It’s a target. In order to find a treasure using a map, you need to have an idea of where the treasure is located. Otherwise, you’ll wander aimlessly. Personally, I believe that most people fail here. And this is why their journey ends before it even begins. Now, when it comes to a map with an X, there is no issue in not knowing what the treasure is. And if you’re given a map, you might discover that the treasure isn’t even worthwhile. However, by setting a goal, you begin with an idea of what you desire. This is what we refer to as progress. In order to create a goal, there are a series of questions you must answer. These questions are: 1. What do I want?
2. Why do I want it? 3. How will I get there?
4. How quickly can I see the reward? By answering these 4 questions, you’ll create your own X. Take time to answer these questions. They seem simple but in order to truly know what you desire, you need to be very introspective and think deeply. The questions above will help with that. Once you’ve created a definitive goal using the above questions, you can move on to the next step.
How to Focus
Focus is an arrow about to hit a bullseye. You can see the target in front of you. That’s your goal. And the arrow is the activity. Now, you simply need to get to work and keep your eye on what’s desired.
Many people lack focus. And I believe that focus is lost for a few reasons. A major reason is that the goal you set isn’t compelling enough. Perhaps it’s too vague. Or perhaps it’s intimidating and is causing you to procrastinate. Perhaps you aren’t quite sure about how to get to your goal. Whatever the reason is, it needs to be fixed. I think it’s impossible to never lose focus ever. However, I believe that one must constantly be course-correcting. I once learned that an airplane is never truly on target toward a destination. Apparently, it’s always being pulled in different directions. But the captain makes sure to steer it and keep it on track. You should be doing the same. Whenever you engage in an activity, ask yourself the question: Does this help me accomplish my goal? If the answer is no, then course-correct. If it’s yes, you’re right on track. This is a habit that needs to be built over time. Now, I’ve mentioned this technique more in full but I think one way to focus on a current task or series of tasks is to use the Pomodoro Method. Using this method, you set an alarm for 45 minutes. Every 45 minutes, you take a 5-10 minute break. Then you repeat until your task is accomplished. I go deeper into this technique in my Time Management Mastery Course but I think this technique will help you boost productivity. Essentially, by breaking work sessions into 45-minute blocks, you’re manufacturing urgency to force you to work before the timer runs out. Also, because you have break periods in between, you’re giving yourself time to temporarily decompress.
Give these techniques a try.
Create and Maintain Momentum
I once had a friend ask how I can go through the day getting so much done. I don’t take naps throughout the day and I’m always moving. I try to stay mercurial. I revealed the secrets to my friend. And that dirty little secret is Momentum. This is a technique agreed upon by the highest level physicists. An object in motion stays in motion unless another force acts upon it. This is true with us as humans as well. If we’re moving, it’s difficult to slow us down. However, we often allow ourselves to be slowed down by everything else around us in the world. Social media…
Phone Calls… Video Games… Naps… Watching TV… These are all momentum killers that ultimately destroy your productivity and hurt your success. Once you have a little bit of momentum, you must do whatever you can to maintain it at all costs. This is simply a matter of removing these negative influences. My suggestion: when you’re working you should put your phone on Airplane Mode. Don’t allow anyone to deter you. And by constantly answering unnecessary phone calls, partaking in pointless conversations, and scrolling social media, you’re giving your attention and time to everyone else instead of using it on your own.
Now, besides maintaining momentum, the opposite end of the spectrum is creating momentum. You need that initial push to get things going. The best way to generate that initial push is to do something small yet meaningful when you wake up. It needs to be a task that’s simplistic yet feasible enough to do while you’re groggy or unmotivated. But it also needs to require some effort.
For example, a bad task would be to wake up and watch TV. It requires no effort to do and isn’t enough of a challenge to reward your brain. However, waking up and stretching for 10-15 minutes is a much better task. You’ll feel like you’ve done something useful and there’s enough resistance for your brain to reward you when you complete the task. Once you create that initial momentum in the morning, don’t let go.
Speed is King!
This is a major key when it comes to being productive. Over the years I realized something. I noticed that many people were super slow when it came to getting anything done. If given a task, most people would procrastinate and take as long as possible to get it done. However, while taking a business course last year, I was alerted to a variable to success to most lack. Immediately, when i heard it, everything became so much clearer. That variable is Speed. Most people lack Speed. Now, what exactly is speed in this context? Speed is the ability to go from idea conception to production. Essentially, how fast you are is determined by how quickly you get to work. Perhaps your goal is to write a book. Begin immediately! Begin outlining chapters and writing. Don’t put it off until tomorrow or next month. Or maybe you have a goal to lose 10 lbs by the end of the month. Start. Today. Find a workout routine and begin to lift. I noticed in my own life that even when all of the above qualities were held and utilized, speed made a major difference. Recently, a partner and I launched a coloring book. In my mind, upon hearing the idea, I planned on going from idea to design to production to hitting the market in 2 months. The goal was clear, my focus was on point, and the momentum was set. However, due to legal issues creating an LLC and some of the minute details, things slowed down. After reviewing the book excessively and taking a while to finalize an LLC name, we used up about 2 ½ weeks on that task alone. All of the speed had died and we were moving slowly. Interestingly enough, once the speed diminished everything else did as well. The momentum dried. The focus was lost. And the initial marketing plan fell apart. If there’s one thing that I think turns an idea into a tangible outcome, it’s speed. CONCLUSION
Keep these concepts in mind. Remember to set a goal, focus on the execution, build and maintain your momentum, and finally act with immense speed. By doing these things, you’re guaranteed to make exponential returns on your productivity. Also, be sure to let me know how well these strategies worked for you.
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