The art of getting shit done.
But how do you get shit done in a timely, efficient and quality manner?
How do you not let all those teensy, tiny little bitty insignificant details not get in your way and stress you out?
I'm glad you asked…
A dirty office space is a goddamn tragedy. A dirty office space just screams “Don't get anything done! There's too much to do and you don't even know where to start! Just forget about it until later.”
A dirty office space is like a dirty kitchen. When it's time to cook dinner but the kitchen is too damn dirty, that's when you get on the horn to the local pizza place and order an extra-large pepperoni for delivery. Now you're out $20 and you're fatter.
I'll say this as delicately as I can: TV is for idiots.
TV is extra triple special for idiots when you watch during the day rather than take care of business. If you must watch TV, and this is a big if, only watch at night after a certain time and after the day's ass-kicking has been done.
3) Sleep Well
Getting your sleep is a must. You need to be rested and energized for the day. A sleep routine is essential. That means going to sleep on or about the same time every night and waking up at the same time every day.
I am a big believer in “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise“.
Waking up early is essential. Wake up at 11am and the whole damn day is over, you may as well wait until tomorrow to take care of business. Of course, you're gonna wake up late tomorrow and keep putting things off. It's a nasty cycle.
But how do you get to sleep at night?
I'm glad you asked. Since I've been back in the States I have (had, actually) fallen into some nasty habits of sleeping in later and later. 8am, 9am, 10:30 am at my absolute worst.
I find this behavior completely and totally unacceptable so I did what any normal person would do when they are trying to wake up early every day: I set up a tent in the backyard and slept outside for 8 nights in a row.
Why would I do such a thing?
Well, if you have ever been camping in the woods you will be privy to one little piece of information: It's completely impossible to sleep in late when you're sleeping in a tent. When the sun comes up, so do you. Even if you were up drinkin' 'til 4am you'll be up at 7am with the sun.
So when I was sleeping in the tent in the backyard I would wake up at 7 every single morning, right with the sun, howlin' like a Wolf. Even on the day I thought I was sleeping in late, it turned out to be 7:15am. In fact, this is how I started waking up early without an alarm clock.
Here is a little trick to getting to sleep early enough so that you can wake up early.
To get to sleep at an early time this is what you do (and it involves drugs):
- Buy some nighttime sleepy pills (no heavy duty stuff like Ambien, over the counter nighttime sleep pills or drowsy allergy meds are fine)
- Take the pills one hour to one and a half hours before you want to go to sleep. If you want to go to sleep at 9pm, you would take your pills at 7:30-8:00pm. This will give you an hour or so to wind down the evening.
- Don't go to bed until you are extremely drowsy. Try and stay up until you are ready to pass out. At this point go to your bed and fall asleep. Don't go to bed an hour before bedtime just to chill out. Your bed is for sleeping (mostly), so go to bed when you are ready to sleep. By 9pm you should be pretty damn tired and ready to pass out.
- Go directly to bed and go to sleep. Don't bring your laptop to bed, don't bring a book to bed, don't turn on the TV. Just get in bed and fall asleep. Wake up 8 or so hours later. If you go to bed at 9pm, you should be able to wake up by 7am without an alarm. Be sure to open up the windows and let the sunlight in to wake you up more and energize you for the day. Remember, going to bed early and falling right to sleep only works when you get in bed already tired and you don't let anything distract you (TV, computer etc..).
Take a power nap in the afternoon?
I have to say, after napping on and off for years, I do not believe in the power nap. Each time I wake up from an afternoon nap I am not energized, rather, I am groggy and tired.
Get an accountability partner and get down to business. Having an accountability partner fires you up and gets you pumped up for accomplishment.
5) Join a Mastermind Group
A mastermind group is a group of people who are in the same business or who have the same goal and who get together to party and kick-ass. Or to discuss business. Much like having an accountability partner, a mastermind group will hold you accountable, give you business ideas, and get you fired up for some ass-kicking.
Think of it like the Mafia, those guys all have their own business methods, but they get together to compare stories, give tips and advice, eat some pasta, and get rid of snitches.
How do you find a mastermind group?
Try googling your field + mastermind. Search through forums dedicated to your field. Find others whom you think would be a good fit and give them an invite.
There are about a million reasons to quit internet porn, more productive time is just one of them.
Now, it's possible I could be a little biased because I developed the method and wrote the book, but I think 30 Days of Discipline is a beast of a method for getting shit done.
Speaking of getting shit done…
8) Read Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity By David Allen
This is a book I am in the middle of reading right now. Ok, you got me. I have only just started it but so far it seems intriguing.
The Pomodoro technique uses a timer to break down periods of work into 25-minute intervals called ‘Pomodoros'.
There are five basic steps to implementing the technique:
- decide on the task to be done
- set the pomodoro (timer) to 25 minutes
- work on the task until the timer rings; record with an x
- take a short break (5 minutes)
- every four “pomodoros” take a longer break (15–20 minutes)
Why would you take a break every 25 minutes?
Well, I have found that when you are highly busy with something and have to take a break, you are always very anxious to get back to work. When your break is finished you are refreshed and ready to kick some ass into overdrive.
10) Fast Through the Morning and Early Afternoon
Fasting means not eating. One of the benefits of not eating is that your mind is clear, blood is not rushing to your stomach to aid digestion. There's a phenomenon in offices worldwide called the ‘After Lunch Slump'.
It is when all the workers have ingested their lunch and now have zero energy and don't want to do anything but sleep. Here's a wild thought to combat the after lunch slump: Don't eat lunch. Keep your mind sharp and focused. To make up for the lost calories, eat more later in the day.
11) Use Smart Drugs
There is a movie called Limitless. It's about a lazy writer who starts taking drugs that help him access 100% of his brain rather than the 10% or so humans supposedly only use.
When he is on this drug he is invincible, he can think of anything, he can woo any woman, he makes millions of dollars in record time and he writes his book in an afternoon.
Well, the movie drug doesn't exist but there are real life smart drugs that act as memory enhancers, neuro enhancers, cognitive enhancers, and intelligence enhancers.
These drugs are called Nootropics and they help you focus on your task at hand with almost single minded determination. The #1 Nootropic that I am a big fan of is called Modafinil. It enhances wakefulness, attention capacity and vigilance.
Come on, drugs that make you smart don't exist!
You know, that's exactly what I would have said a couple of months ago. I would have said “I'm not going to mess with all that stupid baloney. It's a waste of my time“. It turns out that they actually do exist and they do work.
If you find that hard to believe, think about this: Drugs exists that make your body muscular and strong; why is it impossible that drugs which make you smarter might exist?
12) Use To-Do Lists
Big, big fan of to-do lists. I use them every day. They can be written on anything, a notebook, notecards, the back of envelopes, or you can use notepad on your computer.
Just get those tasks written down and cross them off upon completion. The simple act of writing your tasks down seems to clear out space in your mind. Once it is written down, it does not have to be remembered.
13) Outsource the Baloney
If you don't want to do it, don't have the time to do it, or can't do it – let someone else do it! Stop worrying about it and give it to someone else to handle.
Get a friend or family member or coworker to do it, hire a stranger from the internet, get a VA from a 3rd world hole to do it. Life is too short to be dealing with baloney everyday.
BONUS! 10 Free Productivity Programs
Check out these free and kick-ass productivity programs. Maybe you'll find one you like.
- Evernote – Remember Everything.
- WorkFlowy – Organize Your Brain.
- Remember the Milk – The best way to manage your tasks. Never forget the milk (or anything else) ever again.
- Xmind – The world's coolest brainstorming and mind mapping software and the best way to share ideas.
- Wunderlist – Organize your life – your free and easy-to-use task manager.
- Toodledo – Be more productive with an incredibly powerful to-do list.
- Asana – Asana is the shared task list for your team. The place to plan, organize & stay in sync.
- Interactive Calender – A powerful and great-looking desktop calendar and planner capable of bringing some order to your business and personal life.
Time Tracking Software