A Simple Guide to Getting Shit Done
This article is going to be brief. It’s going to focus on getting more writing done, but the principles can apply across various hobbies of professions.
It’s an article written by a serial procrastinator who’s had to train himself to be more effective and efficient. Hopefully it will help you do the same.
Law #1: Get Up Early
Working when everyone else is sleeping is the best way to get a better bang for your time. That is, your hours of work before everyone else wakes up, especially everyone else in your own home, is – in my experience – about 3x as effective as the hours after. (Read This: How to Wake Up Early)
This can work for the hours after they’re gone to bed as well, it just depends on when you work best. I woke up earlier today, got a bunch done, but am enjoying a glass of wine right now as well after everyone’s gone to bed.
In my own work, though, those early hours in the morning account for a 3 to 1 ratio. That is, if I work from 5am-7am, I get 4-6 hours of 9am-6pm work done.
Law #2: Have a Content Strategy
This is something new for me, but it’s already done wonders.
Have a singular focus for each week.
Here’s how mine works:
Monday: 3, 1,000 or more word articles for Average 2 Alpha.
Tuesday: Newsletters for the week, or up to two weeks ahead to allow for more free time.
Wednesday: Filming/podcast day
Thursday: Big Projects Day
Friday: 7 smaller articles for Facebook, A2A, and CHF
Saturday & Sunday: Big Projects Days
This is a wonderful thing to implement into your routine because you know exactly what you have to do, you do it, and you can prepare for it the night before. It doesn’t matter what you do for work, have some kind of strategy to your WEEK, not just to your days.
Law #3: Use Work Blocks
My goodness this is effective!
Block off time within your day for specific tasks. Our brains function optimally for about 90 minutes – or for a maximum of 90-minutes. Train your ability to focus by starting with 30-minute work blocks and progressing to 90-minute work blocks.
The key is to focus on a single thing and nothing else for the entire work block.
Law #4: Shut Off Your Phone!
Phones are attention-suckers. They take us away from the things that we want to create. They’re actually road blocks to productivity, they’re not the productivity machines that they’re marketed to be at all. (Try This: The ‘Put Your Phone Down’ Challenge)
Shut it off and work!
You are your work. This is what you’re here to do, and to do it at a high level you need SUPREME focus.
Law #5: Get Away From Other Humans
Team work is good. Solitude is optimal for production.
To actually produce, not to think or to come up with ideas or to hear opinions of your work mates, you need to be alone.
Mark Twain used to write from a shed when he and his family would go on vacation. The list of great writers and workers who wrote and worked in solitude is never-ending.
If you want to produce numerous great things, find some alone time.
Law #6: Have a Firm Ending to the Day
Don’t just work all of the time. We know that by shutting down a work day at the same time every day we give ourselves a deadline that acts to increase productivity.
We also know that we’re more creative when we’re not constantly worrying about work.
Use a finite and common time to end your work day every day. Waking up earlier will make this not only possible, but much easier.
Law #7: Force Yourself to Work/Write
Depending on motivation is what losers do. Winners rely on their habits. You have to force yourself to work, you have to force yourself to write.
Getting in the habit of waiting for motivation is what losers do. It’s a horrible way to live and to work because you rely on the whim of the muse.
You CONTROL the muse. You tell that bastard when to show its face.
Get in the habit of working when you set times to work, and your degree of motivation should be irrelevant. You’re a worker, regardless of whether you feel like it or not.
Law #8: Don’t Be Busy
Or, never rush.
We’re programmed and told that being busy is good. But being busy is useless. Being effective is everything. Be effective, but don’t rush.
Don’t feel the need to show that you’re doing something. Have a single thing you work on every day, and chip away at the boulder in front of you.
Work should be methodical, not romantic.
Law #9: Use stimulants.
Yup. I said it.
Drink coffee, take omega-3’s to help you focus, take alpha brain to do the same.
Don’t take drugs. But structure your diet in a way that will help you create optimal energy.
Law #10: Track Everything
Track your time. Track your time spent on your computer. Track what you do and what you don’t do. Track your breaks. And take breaks!
Don’t’ be busy for busy’s sake. Getting outside and running around or working on the yard is a must for productivity. But be real about how you spend your money and how you spend your time.
When you know where it’s going you’ll know exactly what you can fix.
Now get to work!
About The Author
Chad Howse: Chad’s mission is to get you in the arena, ‘marred by the dust and sweat and blood’, to help you set and achieve audacious goals in the face of fear, and not only build your ideal body, but the life you were meant to live.