In this blog, you will learn the 3 hacks that have helped me increase my productivity 10X over the last few years.
I know that most of you struggle with being productive as it’s one of the most asked questions I get.
Hopefully, with these 3 hacks, you will experience a game-changing boost in your time management and productivity.
By the way, if you prefer watching over reading, then you can watch my YouTube video here on the same topic.
Let’s get into it.
1. Shifting From Perfectionist-Mindset To A Growth-Mindset
The first hack is the mindset change from a Perfectionist Mindset to a Growth Mindset.
What is a Perfectionist Mindset?
All of us, at some level, are perfectionists.
How many times it has happened to you that you’ve struggled to execute what you are supposed to do because you don’t look perfect to you, your background isn’t set the right way, there is a surrounding noise, or the environment doesn’t look good, and so on. You want everything to be perfect before you can execute.
That is a Perfectionist Mindset.
The biggest hindrance to your execution is your Perfectionist Mindset.
I want you to know today that the opposite of perfection is NOT imperfection, it’s Growth.
Once you get into this mindset, you will start realizing that all you have to do is execute.
Your first execution or even the tenth one is not going to be perfect. Instead, your tenth execution will be better than the first, and your hundredth one better than your tenth.
Anne Lamott in her book ‘Bird by Bird’ says that the idea is to write two shitty pages a day. That’s it.
She says that writing a book is extremely difficult since we all want to write the best book. We all want a best seller.
But what can make it easier? Writing two bad pages a day.
When we do this, one of two things can happen. Either we end up writing those two pages that are truly horrible so we throw them out.
Or we get into the flow. We begin to like the direction we are taking because we have already overcome the force of friction. Then those two pages can turn out to be amazing and can even lead to more ideas.
The exact same thing happens in anything you want to do.
Let’s say you want to do some video editing work. Just start off with 30 minutes of work. And once you get into the momentum, you will start doing amazing work.
The same goes for recording a video. Just start recording without overthinking. You can delete it if you don’t like it and re-record it later.
But if you will slowly start getting into the flow while recording, you will end up recording amazing videos.
The point is your efforts may not turn out to be perfect but they will be better than your first attempt.
That is a Growth Mindset.
So, the first hack you are going to use to take your productivity all the way to the top is to shift from a Perfectionist Mindset to a Growth Mindset.
2. 10 Pomodoros A Day
The second hack you are going to use to increase your productivity is doing what I call the “10 Pomodoros A Day” method.
Pomodoro is a time management technique that says that you should only work in 25-minute intervals, and after each interval, take a 5-10 minute break.
In those 25 minutes, the world does not exist. Your entire focus is on the task at hand.
25-minute interval is deep-rooted in human psychology.
We focus extremely well when we know that we are supposed to only work for a fixed 25-minute time slot.
And that break after every interval gives you an immediate reward and makes you take a breather before the next interval.
I use a browser extension on Chrome called ‘Be Focused’ where I set a 25-minute timer for each interval.
You can use any Chrome or Safari extension. You can even set a timer on your phone or an alarm clock, whichever is easier for you.
How to Do it
10 Pomodoros means 10 sessions of 25-minutes in a day which equals around 4 hours a day.
All you have to do is work for 4 focused hours a day. This will add up to 1000 hours in a year.
This time is more than enough to do anything you want to do in a year.
It’s good enough to start a business and scale it to 10k. It’s enough to start writing a book and finish it within a year. All your study obligations for a year of the university require on average 1000 hours.
What I like to do is I finish up with 6 Pomodoros before lunch and then 4 after.
Sometimes if you get into a flow, you might even want to increase the number of Pomodoros beyond 10 some day. Some days you might only end up doing only two to three Pomodoros in a day. That’s okay.
Write to me about how this hack has changed your productivity game.
3. Systems Thinking to Increase Productivity
The third and last hack to use to increase your productivity 10X is to shift from Goals Thinking to Systems Thinking.
What happens in a Goals Mindset is that you set a goal, and then in order to achieve it you try to work day-in and day-out to just get the things done.
However, most often what happens is that you get burned out and go into months of inactivity. Progress is stalled completely.
Shifting to Systems Thinking changes everything.
For me, this thinking was made famous by Scott Adams in his book ‘How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big’.
For example, you have a goal of getting six-packs. What do you do?
You go to the gym and you work out. You repeat it for a few days, even for a few months. But once you don’t start seeing immediate results, you burn yourself out.
You decide you are not gonna ever get six-packs and you stopped going to the gym altogether.
This holds true for any fitness goal – whether weight loss, muscle gain, or endurance building. When you don’t see the outcomes for some time, you quit your routine entirely.
What would Systems Thinking be in this case?
You make a schedule of going to the gym for 1 hour for 4 days a week. That’s it. There are no goals of achieving six-packs or anything.
You make this routine a part of your identity, not as a means to achieve a goal.
Your identity is that you are the person who wants to stay fit.
This way you won’t burn out or lose motivation because you are not reaching a goal.
And over time, you will not only achieve that six-pack goal but you will goals that are much further than you ever imagined possible.
Another example is in the case of work. Let’s say you want to create video content, websites, or anything within the realm of the internet.
You make a goal of making 30 videos or launching 5 products in a month. But this is a Goals Mindset and the wrong approach.
Instead, you take the Systems Thinking approach.
For example, on a Wednesday morning, you are going to script however many videos for 3 hours. You are going to do this every week.
This way, you may end up with 3 scripts a month or even 30 scripts. You have not set a goal, you have set up a system.
This can work for shooting videos, launching your product, whatever. Set up a time frame and make it part of your identity every day or every week.
To live a life of cumulative returns compounding over years, you need to have strong systems in place.
From Elon Musk to Warren Buffet, they have systems, they do what they do day in, day out, in a scheduled manner. They do not have micro-fixed goals but set systems.
In this article, you learned 3 hacks that will help you 10X your productivity in no time.
Over on my blog, Digital Nomad Academy, you can find several other articles and masterclasses that will teach you different aspects of building your own laptop lifestyle.
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