3 Tools to Help You Get More Done In Less Time Using Less Energy

3 Tools to Help You Get More Done In Less Time Using Less Energy

The ability to focus on a single thing for an extended period of time is becoming a lost skill. As it goes, grit goes, and production decreases.

As we, individually, give away our ability to focus on a single thing for an extended period of time, our ability to produce at a high level decreases dramatically. And that’s essentially what we want to do in life: product at a high level.

We want to accomplish something great and of value. Yet by noon we find ourselves lethargic, unable to make good decisions, unable to do what we set out to do as we watch our to do lists get perennially pushed to tomorrow.

Our productivity drops. Our goals become safer, easier. Our value and purpose as men begins to conform to what everyone else attempts. We join the sea of mediocrity that has become culture. (Read This: Fuck Mediocrity!)

You want more. You want to become something better than what the masses attempt. It hangs on your ability to focus and the energy you gain from having a singular focus.

3 ways to get more done with less energy and in less time.

1. Only Make Necessary Decisions

Our brains have a limited capacity to make decisions. There’s actually a limited number of decisions we can effectively make in a day before our decision-making well runs dry.

When it runs dry we lack focus and our ability to optimally produce declines.

The solution is simple: only make decisions you have to make, especially early in the morning.

Steve Jobs cut out the decision of what to wear by wearing the same thing every day. Maybe that’s why nuns seem to have so much energy. Another solution would be to choose what you wear the night before.

The better route is to have a morning routine that doesn’t change. Have the same breakfast. Wear the same clothes. Perform the same routine so you don’t have to choose different paths.

This applies to work as well. You shouldn’t have to choose whether to answer an email or a text or a call. Shut everything off. Have blocks when you can check your phone or email or social media accounts.

Get in the habit of having habits, good ones, habits that take your decision-making out of your hands and give it to routine.

2. Remove distractions.

If you don’t want to eat candy, don’t go into a candy store.

Remove all distractions from your work space, even if that work space is a hobby space or a place of practice. There should only be one focus at all times, be it your work, your family, the craft you’re trying to perfect.

If you’re writing, there should be no phone nor internet. (Try This: The ‘Put Your Phone Down’ Challenge)

The single thing that gets in the way of much of our ability to produce is our phones. We like them because they give us instant gratification, but they rip meaning from our lives. Meaning hangs on being of value, of doing something worthy and of worth. We can’t accomplish much if our focus is being pulled in more than one direction.

Determine what it is you want to be focusing on. Focus only on that and don’t allow anything else to get in the way of this single focus while you’ve blocked off time to focus on this one thing.

We’ll cover ‘blocking’ in a sec (see “c” of the 3 tools section).

3. Tools to Help You Focus

a. ONE FOCUS

OneFocus is an app that shuts off everything on your computer but the thing you want to be doing. If you want to be writing, it’ll shut off the internet and every other app for whatever time you tell it to so you can work on the single thing.

Here’s the thing with focusing on one task; you get better at it the more you do it.

Initially you’ll want to check your phone, you’ll have to fight off the urge to turn your internet on or check social media. But focus is like a muscle, the more you do it, the more you resist those things trying to pry you from your mission, the stronger you become, the easier this focusing thing gets.

b. STOPWATCH/TIMER

To be productive I haven’t found a better resource than ‘time blocking’. That is, setting aside time to focus on a single thing, and when that time is finished, you immediately stop focusing on that thing.

Using a timer is ideal. The extent at which we can effectively focus on a task is 90-minutes. Build up to 90, start with 30.

Train your mind to focus. Other studies have shown a

c. THE PERFECT DAY FORMULA

The Perfect Day Formula is one of the best tools I’ve come across for scheduling and planning not only your days, but your life, the things you should be focusing on and removing the things that shouldn’t attract your time.

I rely on the journals and the tools within the kit heavily. When you craft our a perfect routine, a perfect day, and the perfect habits, you gain an energy that can’t be described. Energy becomes habitual. Your body becomes programmed to do whatever is it you should be doing and you get a thrust of energy to complete the task at hand.

Check out the Perfect Day Formula.

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.

You can contact him at –
http://www.ChadHowseFitness.com/
https://www.Facebook.com/ChadHowseFitness
https://www.YouTube.com/ChadHowseFitness

10 WAYS TO GO FROM VICTIM TO VICTORY

10 WAYS TO GO FROM VICTIM TO VICTORY

“I just don’t have the time…”

“They can do it because they don’t have children.”

“I’d love to start my own business but I’m already working 50 hours per week.”

These, my friend, are all bullshit excuses that you give yourself for not taking action. In a world where social media and meetings take up most of our time, we’re busier than ever…but much less productive.

Doing more doesn’t always mean getting more done.

If you’re an entrepreneur who wants to start his own business, a wantrepreneur who likes the idea of working for yourself, an average joe who just wants to be healthier, or simply just become a better father (or mother), then allow me to prove to you that the only thing holding you back is  your mindset.

If you can incorporate even just a few of the tips I am about to share, you’ll finally be able to quit your job and work for yourself, achieve the body of your dreams, or just spend more quality time with your wife and kids.

Warning: these action steps are not easy and may come across a bit judgmental; however, if you can get your feelings out of the way, your head from out of your ass, and open your mind a bit, you’ll have all the tools necessary to become a greater, more productive version of yourself and finally live your life with purpose.

10 Ways to Go From Victim to Victory

1. Make Time, Not Excuses

If you’re complaining so much and don’t want to have a job, but, you have to feed your family or pay off your college loans, good news – your parents didn’t have this option – but all of you do. Go home, and instead of watching fucking Breaking Bad, work!” –Gary Vaynerchuk

Truth is, it’s not actually about time at all – we’ve all got the same 24 hours in a day. It’s about figuring out what is truly important to you.

Do yourself a favor – for one day, write down, every hour, what you’ve done in the last 60 minutes. If one of those hours was spent watching The Walking Dead but you “don’t have time to work out”, then I recommend that you reevaluate your priorities. (Read This: The Most Important Question You Can Ask)

If keeping up with the Kardashians is more important than your physical health, or spending time with your kids, or working on your business, then just admit it to yourself and move on. But stop creating obstacles that don’t exist by telling yourself that you don’t have time. You do. We all have time – it’s how we use it that separates the winners from the losers.

[Tweet ““We all have time – it’s how we use it that separates the winners from the losers.” -Alain Gonzalez”]

Action Step: Dedicate 3-4 hours every night (9pm-1am) to working on your business. Sacrifice an hour or two of sleep for however long it takes to get in a position where you no longer have to. If you work at night, do the opposite: get up earlier and dedicate a few hours each morning to doing the same. Make time, not excuses.

2. Disappear

We’ve all been there: You sit down at your desk ready to get shit done. Next thing you know, it’s 2am and you’ve spent the last 4 hours refreshing your email, retweeting motivation quotes, replying in the group text your buddies trapped you in, and scrolling Instagram wondering why no one is following you. (Follow me on Instagram: @musclemonsters)

You’ve done everything there is to do, except the most important: work!

You wake up the next morning and you’re not a single inch closer to reaching your goal. Oddly enough, you’re confused as to why your business is in the same place it was when you started 4 months ago.

You’re not moving the needle.

3-4 hours of dicking around on the internet – or staring into your phone with a stupid look on your face –  is not the same as 3-4 hours of undistracted, completely focused work. Problem is, because you were at your desk – as opposed to sitting on the couch – you mistake this time-wasting, mind-numbing activity for actual productivity.

But….results don’t lie. And your lack thereof is a clear indication that you’re not doing the work.

Action Step: When it’s time to work, it’s time to work. Before you sit down to work on your business, put your phone on airplane mode. This eliminates any interruptions from texts, phone calls, social media notifications, etc. Download a plugin like StayFocused that allows you to block certain sites for however long you’d like – forcing you to avoid going down the rabbit hole that is Facebook. Grab a cup-o-joe, lock your door, and disappear into your zone.

3. Do the RIGHT Work

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Replying to emails is part of your work, but spending time working on the one thing that will grow your business is far more necessary. So if you’re a writer, for example, then checking and replying to video comments should never come before working on your new book.

This is not to say that it isn’t important to respond to your followers or film videos for your YouTube channel – but those things should always come after your most important work is completed.

Ask yourself this: what can I do today that is going to bring me closer to where I want to be tomorrow? If your goal is to write a book, then replying to emails is probably not the best use of your time – writing is, so do that.

Action Step: Take 80-90% of the time you can dedicate to work, and allocate that to your one thing. If all you’ve got is 2 hours to spare, then 100 minutes of that time should be given to your most important task, period. Do this until you’ve reached a position where you can dedicate 4 hours, per day, to your one thing – this is where you’ll find the definition of true productivity.

4. Create a University on Wheels

According to the U.S. census bureau, the average travel time to work is about 25 minutes.  That’s almost an entire hour you spend in a car, on a train, or a bus, 5 days per week. That doesn’t even account for the time you spend driving to and from little league games, to the gym, or picking your kids up from school. 5 hours+ a week of yelling at the asshole in front of you who can’t drive, trying to break your previous record on Angry Birds, or Facebooking about how much you hate your job – a complete waste.

Instead, use that time to help get you further ahead. No matter what your goal is, there is always going to be something you should learn. What you listen to, read, or watch is going to be completely dependent on what your goal is, but the idea is the same: don’t waste 5 hours each week on bullshit that isn’t going to help you get where you want to go.

Action Step: Find a podcast or audio book to help expand your knowledge on a given topic and play that while you drive. This simple strategy will allow you to listen to one new book every single week – that’s more in one month than most people read in their entire adult life. Turn your car (or bus or train) into a university on wheels.

5. Keep Your Work Space Organized

The research is very clear that a messy work space will raise cortisol levels and decrease productivity.

Clutter bombards our minds and leaves us feeling anxious and overwhelmed. And worse than that, it draws our attention away from what should be our main focus – that one thing.

Action Step: Before you step away from your desk for the day, organize it. Make sure everything is neatly placed where it belongs and toss out whatever items you don’t want, need, or use. A clear work space allows for a clear mind – keep it organized.

6. Open Your Fucking Eyes

Most people have it backwards.

Here’s what I mean: They try to schedule their passion project, a gym session, or reflection time after or around their favorite TV shows or football games. Fuck that!

If your business is failing or your health is taking a nose dive or you just want to become a better father in general – fishing, poker nights, beer with your buddies, and watching Lost is not a priority!

Action Step: In order, make a list of all of the things that are important to you (i.e. your wife, your kids, your health, your legacy, reality TV, sports, partying, etc.). Next – and this may sound harsh – open your fucking eyes and never let the things lower on the list come before the items above it.

7. Cut These 4 Toxic People Out of Your Life

You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” ~Jim Rohn

Simply put: the fastest way to becoming a loser is to hang out with losers.

[Tweet “The fastest way to becoming a loser is to hang out with losers.”]

Perhaps they’re not losers in the traditional sense. Maybe they went to a prestigious college, got great jobs, earn a good living, and are pretty good parents. Still, they’re not exempt from being cut off.

You see, there are two types of people in this world: boosters and anchors.

Boosters will push you to work harder and bring out the best in you.

Anchors, on the other hand, do nothing but take from your happiness, your ambitions, and suffocate you in negativity.

Action Step: Watch the video below, identify the individuals in your life that fit the personalities I’ve outlined, and cut the cord. Fast.

8. Say “No” More

Co-workers will ask for your advice. Classmates will request your help with a project. Friends will need an extra hand when moving. The older we get, the more birthday parties we’re invited to. And so on.

I’ll be the first to admit…it’s hard to say no.

But if there is one thing I learned about being a Yes Man, it’s this:

When you say yes to something, it’s imperative to understand what you’re saying no to.” ~The One Thing by Gary Keller

Every time you say yes, you make a commitment. When you tell your buddy that you’ll help him paint his house, you’re actually telling your kids that you can’t help with their homework; or telling your spouse that you won’t be home for date night; or telling yourself that you won’t have time to write today. So before you say “yes” because you don’t want to disappoint someone, think about how many people you might disappoint if you do say “yes”, including yourself.

Action Step: If a co-worker needs help with a project, but it means 2 hours less of working on your business, then simply look and see where on your priorities list your business is in comparison to your co-workers personal issues. If your business comes first, then just say “no”.

9. Stop Multitasking

“Multitasking is merely the opportunity to screw up more than one thing at a time.” -Steve Uzzell

If you’re ever interviewing someone for a job, ask them what their strengths are. If their answer is “multitasking”, shake their hand and send them on their way.

Multitasking is bullshit.

Don’t believe me?

Try answering client emails while flipping back and forth to the word doc where you’re writing your book proposal.

Now tell me how much longer it took than if you’d just written the proposal first, and then answered the client emails. The reason is simple: when we try to do multiple things at once, we are constantly storing and restoring the state of a process. This is known as context switching. On top of that, we’re making more errors due to insufficient attention to the task at hand – a waste of time.

A study conducted at Stanford University found that multitasking is less productive than doing one thing at a time. They found that those who are regularly faced with a barrage of information cannot focus, recall information, or switch from one job to the next as well as those who focused on one thing.

Action Step: In order of importance, knock out one task at a time. With less context switching and more attention on the task at hand, you’ll be more effective and efficient with your time. Stop trying to do it all at once!

10. Man Up!

Boys do what they want to do, men do what they have to do.

Stop spending time bitching and complaining about how hard it is or how you’d rather be fishing. Do the work.

Not in the mood to make your 20 sales calls? Make 30.

Too tired to get to the gym? Jump in your car and go anyway.

Your kid wants to play catch while your favorite show is on? Shut the fucking TV off.

Action Step: Forget about how you feel, it’s irrelevant. Man up and get shit done.

About The Author

Alain Gonzalez is a former skinny guy turned jacked fitness pro whose transformation story has been featured in articles on websites all over the internet. He has dedicated his life to helping naturally skinny guys like himself to overcome their genetics and take their physiques to the next level.

Alain Gonzalez
Fitness Author
Strength Coach
Certified Personal Trainer
Founder, www.MuscleMonsters.com