Hi, thank you for reading this blog! One of my biggest passions is productivity and I also read a lot of productivity books. But not only that. I also apply what I read and what I learn, and that makes me a very productive person now, if I may say so of myself. So if you were to ask the people around me, who is the most productive person you know, it would be me. I get my schedule done every day, I take a step closer to my goal every day and I also experience peace of mind, because I don't work in the evenings or on weekends. Do you also want to get more done in a day and do you also want to experience more peace and become super productive? Then keep reading this blog, because I'm about to reveal my ten secrets that allow me to be so productive. I work three and a half days a week and I do a lot, but because I work so productively, I do the work that normally can be done in 40 hours. Well, if you want this too, I'm going to tell you my secrets now.
I get up every day at five o'clock, I love it, I'm a morning person, but even if you're not a morning person, you can get a lot out of this. Every day between five and seven I have a moment for myself and sometimes I use this as me-time, then I go read a book and then I take a course. I just chill and sometimes I just work on work projects or I think about things for work for later, so more as a strategy. Because I work from five to seven, I have an extra two hours on a day where I am not disturbed, where I am not distracted, because there is nobody online anyway. So you will not receive any messages and e-mails and things that distract you. I really like the energy of the morning, it's still super quiet, there's no one outside, so no distractions, and I feel that I don't have that many external stimuli yet, so I'm still completely fresh and fruity. I have a lot of perseverance because I haven't had to make so many choices yet and that always makes the morning so wonderful for me. Well, learning a new routine like getting up earlier, of course, that takes a while, but once you have that in your system and can enjoy it, you will appreciate it very much. If you find it difficult, set your alarm every 15 minutes or half an hour earlier, so that you find a moment that is nice for you to get up. First calculate how much sleep you really need and then determine what time you should go to bed, because it is of course not intended that you will get less sleep, but that you will get more out of your day because you are awake at a moment where you can create unwise will without being distracted. I really think it's Magic. And other times I also use these mornings to write in my diary, so that I can put everything in my head and all my feelings on paper before I start the day.
I don't check my will all day. My inbox is not open all day. I consciously turn it off and a few times a day I turn it on to see if there's anything I need to respond to, then turn it off again. In the past this was different, because then I always had my inbox open. I was distracted by every email and beep while I was doing a task. But apart from that, I was also distracted by the content of the email and I started taking action. They also say that the mail is the to-do list that everyone can put something on, because actually your priorities are not in the inbox. An email from someone is often a request that someone wants something from you, but that does not necessarily contribute to your goals. That's why I don't turn on my inbox in the morning anyway. So I start with my most important task one day first and then I open the inbox and see what people want from me. Of course, sometimes you also have to send a remedy to someone else, because you want something from someone else. So my tip is: don't turn on your will all day. Pick a few moments, maybe half an hour a day is enough for you, maybe in your job it's maybe three times a day. And if you work in a company with an unwise e-mail culture, you can also put in your signature that you check your e-mail at certain times and add these times. So that people know what to expect from you and that an answer can sometimes take a little longer.
On Sunday I make a plan for the whole week. I sit down with the planner on Sunday and that is sometimes really only fifteen minutes to look ahead for a while. What appointments do I have? Are there things I have to do for that? What goals do I really want to achieve? And what are the small steps I will take this week towards that goal? And this schedule in, in my planner. This gives me a lot of peace, direction and overview, because I know exactly what I have to do every day, in order to get closer to my goal.
I archive all my WhatsApp messages. I've never had an entire list of messages open or group conversations that I don't know whether to take action on or not. So what I do is when I get a whatsapp and I have responded to it and no more action is required for me. Then I archive that conversation, so you have not lost it. It's just not in your inbox and if there is still an action for me, I'll leave it open until I've taken action on it and then I archive it, for example that you still have to pass on a date for an appointment or something . What this does is bring a lot of peace of mind. It gives me so much peace. Because a very full Whatsapp made me very restless, just like a full E-mail inbox of all people who want something from you, but with Whatsapp, it was not people who want to join, but I didn't really know how many things actually had to do something. So for me it felt very overwhelming that I still had to do something with all those conversations. But since I've archived it, I've been very clear hey there's one more person I need to answer. And then I archive it. This tip has made a huge difference to me and to the people I've already told it to. They are therefore less on Whatsapp and they experience much more peace, because they have the feeling that there are far fewer loose ends and therefore do not have an insecure feeling that they still have to take action on something.
I work with batches and with theme days. Batching is doing similar tasks at the same time, so you grab one block just to answer emails or one block just to pay bills. But I took this even further. I work with theme days. Themed days are really important to me because I know exactly what to do on which day and they are all similar tasks. So, for example, Monday is my content day and on that day I only write content, so I write blogs, I write social media posts and on Wednesday, for example, is my administration day and I process everything that has to do with administration.
The advantage is that you batch and do similar tasks at the same time, so you don't have to switch between different tasks. You also don't multitask because you are just busy with one thing. And it also costs you less energy. Because switching between tasks, for example between creating something and executing something, takes energy. So the better you can batch this, the more productive you'll be. See if you can also create theme days with your work. For example, are there tasks you can do on certain days? Or do you have multiple companies and you can do company-one on day one, company-two on day two and so you can fill your week with extreme batching.
I have all notifications turned off. There is no notification coming to my phone. So no email, so no WhatsApp messages, no social media, push messages, nothing at all, so that is very soothing for me. I have that on my computer too, so there aren't really any popups or things that distract me or draw me to social media when I'm actually doing my important task. This gives extreme focus. This allows me to do more deep work and I am more focused and concentrated at work. So I just don't get distracted so easily. Take a look at your phone to turn off those settings and that you will no longer receive messages, also turn off those WhatsApp messages. You can always, whenever you need, go to Whatsapp to read the messages.
I record everything I come up with, so when I come up with an action, I put it in my planner or when I come up with an idea, I put it in my Trello board. Or if something else comes to mind, I'll record it. You should see your brain as a working memory and the working memory of the computer also fills up sometimes. The most important thing is to keep that disk empty and to keep the working memory as optimal as possible. So what I do is write down everything that is in my head, so that there is a lot of room for strategy, processes, creativity and this also gives me a lot of peace, because I have reliable systems such as my planner and Trello which I just use daily and check daily so that a task is never forgotten. So make sure you set up a good system where you write down everything that's in your head so that you don't have to remember, because we can only remember a limited number of things until that disk is full. Then you often get the feeling that you are flooding and that is of course not productive at all, because most people fall silent. So make sure you write down or record everything digitally in one system, wherever you trust.
In addition to the theme days, I also work with focus blocks. A focus block is a moment of two to three hours, where I work on one important task. For example, right from nine to eleven I do an important task, so on Monday, on my content day, I write my first blog. I'll be totally focused on that. I don't get distracted and as soon as that blog is finished and my focus block is over, I take a short break, walk around here for a while and then go on my next: focus block. Try to schedule at least one focus block per day so that you can work on your important goal, because we are very inclined to push our important goal forward, because there are other things "more urgent", there are always fires that need to be extinguished, but because of that you never get to your important goal. It keeps shifting and that is very frustrating, because that is something that is important to you. So get yourself a habit of working with focus blocks and, for example, Do the most important of the day from nine to 11. And you could possibly work with more focus blocks. And during a focus block you make sure that you are not distracted, that you inform your colleagues. headphones and put your phone away for a while.
I hardly procrastinate, I do what I plan, I just do what I have to do. I don't let the procrastination rule me. Of course there are things that I don't like. But what you may have noticed more often, if you postpone something, that this becomes a very dragging and energy-guzzling thing, you start to dread it more and more. It takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of thinking capacity, because all the time you think oh, I have to do something with that. It keeps moving on your schedule, so it has to be moved again and again. And that just takes a lot of time. Often, once you've done that task, you think: if this was all, you might have done it in half an hour or maybe an hour, but you see the task completed. So most of what we think is "oh, this was actually not that bad". Well, if you keep that in mind and that a task at its core is not that bad. It's only you who make it a whole story around it, who makes it hard, who makes it hard. Let go of those stories, just do what you need to do and take action. Do you have a goal? Just make sure you stick to your own schedule, without procrastinating.
I reflect in my journal every week. Every week I write in this book, my reflection. I've been doing this for years. So I have already written a very nice book with all my lessons about my work, but also about me as a person. So every Friday I take a moment to reflect and then I look back on how I experienced this week, did I do what I had to do? Have I come closer to my goals? Have I been procrastinating? And where? And why? So I dig deep into myself to become more aware and to be able to change it. For example, we often procrastinate, but we don't even realize it. We are so unconsciously postponing things that cost us energy and that is just a shame. But if you consciously reflect on your own process, on your own growth, you will see that you can take action faster on non-working behavior, so that you become a productive person again.
I hope you found my secret interesting and that you will also apply it to become the most productive person in your area. If you found this blog interesting or if you have any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch with us.