11 Tips that made me an Insanely Productive Person

11 Tips that made me an Insanely Productive Person

I’ve always been interested in personal development. I’ve tried many things and I kept doing the ones that worked for me.

In this article I’m sharing “the wisdom” I’ve gathered during the years by reading a lot and by practicing each and every technique mentioned here below. I’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to.

Successful people know time is their biggest asset.

As Benjamin Franklin once said: “One today is worth two tomorrows. Lost time is never found again. Time is money. Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff that life is made of. You may delay, but time will not.

Unlike material things, you can’t lose time and get it back again. You can’t spend time and go earn more of it. You can’t buy it, rent it, or borrow it. Use it wisely and you’ll enjoy a myriad of benefits; squander it, and it’s gone forever.

Learning how to best manage my time has been critical to my success in growing ArchiSnapper.

Here are 11 ways I’ve discovered to become an insanely productive and successful person.

1. I’m running my own race

First of all, you need to know why you do what you do.

What’s your goal?

Do you want to run a small, but profitable, company?

Do you want to be the next Facebook? (good luck with that)

Do you want to become financially independent—e.g., by investing all your profits in real estate and having a stream of rental revenue coming in every month?

Do you want to sell your company and do something else?

Or do you want to grow your office to 10, 20, or 50-plus people?

Make sure you know what your goal is.

Only then you can develop the quiet confidence that Seneca called euthymia: “The belief that you’re on the right path and not led astray by the many tracks which cross yours of people who are hopelessly lost.”

I’ve talked about Stephen Covey and his book, the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, before. Habit 2 says to define your goals and start with a clear destination in mind. That way, you can make sure you’re taking steps in the right direction. Covey says we can use our imagination to develop a vision of what we want to become and use our conscience to decide what values will guide us.

You need to know your goals! How else will you know when you’ve had enough, when you’ve reached your goal, or when you’ve gotten off track?

Most of us find it super easy to work, work, work. We enjoy keeping ourselves busy. We work hard to achieve small victories—promotions, higher income, more recognition. But we don’t often stop to evaluate the meaning behind this busyness, behind these victories; we don’t ask ourselves if these things that we’re so focused on are the things that really matter.

Warren Buffett calls this the difference between the “outer scorecard” (everything we do to be successful in the eyes of society) and the “inner scorecard” (everything we do to achieve the goals that are truly important to us).

If you don’t set goals, you will feel lost. We all need goals to give us direction, focus and peace of mind.

And don’t forget: once we’ve reached the goal, we need to evaluate, adjust, and continue with a (new) end in mind!

Personally, my goal is to grow ArchiSnapper towards becoming a small yet profitable company, and to become financially independent.

My goal is NOT to grow ArchiSnapper to a multi-billion-dollar business.
My goal is NOT to grow the number of employees that work for ArchiSnapper.
My goal is NOT to sell ArchiSnapper.

My goal is to grow ArchiSnapper until it’s profitable enough I can become financially independent. That’s my race.

I aim to achieve this goal by building a fantastic and simple product, ensuring happy customers with awesome support—and even when I reach that goal I will still be working for ArchiSnapper because I love doing it.

So when I read about other scaling companies being successful and getting boatloads of funding and hiring 50 employees at a time, that won’t distract me or make me jealous. I’m running my own race towards my own realistic goals and I’m not distracted by other people’s ‘successes’.

What’s your goal?

2. I define 3 or 4 TO DO items every day

There are different opinions about to-do lists. Some say that endless lists stress us out even more, when we inevitably can’t keep up with their demands. Other say it helps clear our minds and forces us to focus on the tasks at hand: the act of writing down what we constantly chew on frees us up to perform and feel less stressed.

I am a big fan of to-do lists. But they won’t work if you overfill them, making a never-ending list of tasks that only becomes longer each day.

I’ve found success with the to-do-list system prescribed by Tim Ferris, author of The 4-Hour Work Week. His system is super simple: He draws up a simple, straightforward to-do list every morning. Just one little note card with only three to five big items.

We only have so many hours in the day, and we’re only going to get a finite number of things done. Forcing yourself to choose a short list means the things you accomplish will be the things you chose to do (the important things you don’t always like doing) rather than what happens to get done (typically the easy tasks you like doing, but which may not be the most important ones).

That’s why Tim Ferriss talks about big items, the things that are causing you the most stress. “They’re often things that have been punted from one day’s to-do list to the next, to the next, to the next, and so on,” Ferriss says.

When you pare away the busywork, what is left are the three-to-five big issues you really should be focusing on. Only five things! That way, you can make sure to finish them TODAY. No excuses.

And when you do… ooooooh.

I just love striking them out, one by one. It’s sooo satisfying. And then when you are done with all five, it’s time to tear up the card and throw it out!

Done! Gone. You can almost taste the victory.

And I notice that after my list is done, the rest of my day is very productive because I’ve reached what I call a “productivity momentum.”

Here’s my TO DO list for today:

3. “Eat the frog.”

When talking about to-do lists and priorities, we should not forget the infamous frog.

Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog (yummy yummy!), you can go through the day with the comfort of knowing that it’s probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.

The frog is obviously a metaphor for an important task which is hard for you to do. To get a jump-start on your productivity, force yourself to finish the most difficult task on your list first. Do this by putting your frog of the day as that first item on your 3-5-item to-do list.

I have tried that, but agree with Michael McDevitt, co-founder and CEO of Tandem Legal Group, when it comes to frog eating. He says:

The secret is in the scheduling. This made a big difference for me and my friends. I know Mr. Twain recommended eating that frog first thing in the morning, but we found that it was not always ideal to battle the Thing right after hopping out of bed. We are each creative at different times of day, physically energetic at different times of day, and sociable at different times of day. Knowing ourselves and knowing the top priority for each day, we would allot two hours in our daily calendar labeled ‘Frog-Eatin’ Time!’ Then we’d build the rest of the day around it.

This meant that the hardest single thing would get two hours of every day, completely blocked off to tackle it alone. Whether it was hard to hit the gym or hard to have difficult conversations with spouses or employees, there was no checking of email, there was no accepting calls, and if an employee was knocking at the door, they just had to wait.

There was, in other words, no way to stay busy other than by shoving that boulder off your to-do list. Since earning this new habit, business for myself has continued to soar and I’m proud to say that my three friends are thriving as well. Our frogs eat up two hours, not two months or two years. You have to eat the frog, or the frog will eat your whole life.

That’s exactly how I do it! Know yourself, know your energy during the day, and plan to eat the frog mindfully —dedicating your time only to that task —at your optimal moment. When you are done, strike out that item. So satisfying. So productive!

Time for more!

4. I try to say NO more often.

James Altucher does it all the time.

“Who the heck is James Altucher”, you ask?

Well, he wrote a book about saying NO. The book is called The Power of No: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance, and Happiness.

I’m sure you often feel like you have to say yes to everything. We just do. We think we need to please everyone, fulfill everyone’s requests. That means the only polite thing to do is to say yes. We are afraid that every time we say NO, we’re disappointing someone, making them angry, hurting their feelings, or appearing unkind or rude.

So we don’t dare say NO to invitations, requests, or obligations. We don’t dare say NO to the stuff that everyone else is doing. And that goes for our emotions as well: We don’t say NO to our anger, excitement, distraction, obsession, lust, etc.

Because before you know it, you feel like instead of living your life, your life is living you. You will feel pressured by impositions and obligations that you actually agreed to.

I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

And the worst thing: it’s your own fault. You just couldn’t say NO to meet-up requests that are not worth your time, to discount requests from clients, to all those business meetings.

It comes down to daring to speak one word: NO. Dare to set limits. Dare to be selfish (in a healthy way). Dare to say NO to what you don’t need so that there is time and space to say YES to the things you do need and want!

When you want to say NO instead of yes, it helps if you:

  • Can be direct, saying,“No, I can’t” or “No, I don’t want to.”
  • Don’t apologize or give all sorts of excuses.
  • Don’t lie. Lying will most likely lead to guilt—and remember, this is what you are trying to avoid feeling.
  • Remember that it is better to say no now than to be resentful later.
  • Be polite. Remember to say, “Thanks for asking!”
  • Practice saying no. Imagine a scenario and then practice saying no either by yourself or with a friend. This will get you feeling a lot more comfortable with refusing invitations and offers.

Apply these tips and learn to say NO and be surprised. You will be.

And you will have more time for yourself and for your family.

A specific example from my own professional life:

Sometimes an ArchiSnapper customer calls me and asks, “Hey Jerry, could you come over here so we can share our feedback about ArchiSnapper with you? Maybe you can give us some tips and tricks, too.

When that happens I often find myself thinking no, no, no, no—but then I blurt out, “Yes.”

It’s sooo difficult for me to say no that question. I love to talk in person to our customers and to hear their feedback, to learn how they use our product and how we can improve it.

But it just takes too much of my time to visit their office: one hour driving, one hour meeting, one hour driving back. Add some traffic jams, and I lose half a day.. I can’t afford to do that.

I have to devote my time to other tasks: marketing, follow-up developments and new releases, calling trials and customers to ask how it’s going with ArchiSnapper, etc.

So I should tell them, “Hey, that’s a great idea! I’d love to hear your thoughts about ArchiSnapper, but I propose we meet via conference call instead, and here’s why: …

It may sound easy, but it’s very difficult to do, since I feel like I’m rejecting them impolitely. But I have to do it. And the only way I can do it is by preparing the answer in my head on beforehand. Plus, this tactic (predefining my answer) helps me feel better prepared next time I get the question.

And guess what? When I tell them in a polite way why I can’t come to their office, they completely understand and they’re perfectly fine with a conference call. They even respect me more for telling it like it is.

Here’s a great resource about how to say stop saying yes when you want to say no.

If you’re running a small business, be aware of accepting projects that can actually cause a loss. When you’re (too) hungry to grow your business you might see lots of opportunities and underestimate the risks. So beware! The wrong projects can suck up your time, money and energy. You will end up feeling exhausted—and on top of that, you will have to find a way to recover the losses.

So make sure to thoroughly examine projects that can look tempting. Evaluate them before accepting, and say NO when you need to!

Some examples:

  1. Projects that are too big for you to handle
  2. Clients with unrealistic expectations
  3. Projects that aren’t in your area of expertise
  4. Projects that don’t align with your company’s mission or goals
  5. Projects for family or friends

5. I prioritize sleep. Don’t be a workaholic. It’s not cool.

In the craziness of our busy days, we often think we can maximize our time or be more productive by working late at night skipping sleep. But obviously, that idea couldn’t be more stupid.

Late night hours are just not productive. And keeping them can create a strange ambiance of obligation amongst the team: your colleagues might feel bad that they’re not staying late, too.

As Tim Ferris puts it:

Generally speaking, if you feel like you have to cut down on sleep to get done what you need to get done, it’s not that you don’t have the time, you don’t have clear enough priorities.

So don’t make yourself believe that replacing sleep time with work time will help you get more done or make you more successful.

According to Serena Wadwha, author of the book Stress in the Modern World, “Decreased alertness and excessive daytime sleepiness impairs your memory and your cognitive ability — your ability to think and process information.” In fact, missing out on just a half hour’s sleep a night can reduce your mental alertness and productivity by 32%.

So make sure you get enough sleep to get to that optimal level of productivity during the day!

Ok. So how much sleep do we need a night to be productive the next day? Eight hours, right?

That’s what everyone seems to think, but science says otherwise.

The results of a 2014 study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation show that the appropriate sleep duration depends on your age group. They recommend 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night for (young) adults and 7 to 8 hours of sleep for older adults.

Lauren Hale from the Sleep Foundation supports the recommended sleep duration yet reminds us of the fact that there is no “magic number” for how much sleep you need. Only you yourself can determine how many hours you need by monitoring your mental alertness and productivity during the day. Obviously, the quality of your sleep matters, too.

There are a couple of things you can do, though, to help you get that good night’s rest:

  • Keep a regular sleep/wake schedule seven days a week
  • Get regular exercise
  • Eat a well-balanced diet
  • Avoid alcohol and heavy meals before sleep
  • Don’t consume caffeine four to six hours before bedtime

Make sure to never cut down on your sleep.

Honestly, I’m a wreck if I sleep less than eight hours a night. I know it, my colleagues know it, my wife knows it. (My wife especially knows it.) So I’m not cutting down on those hours of sleep. It’s not worth it! When I sleep enough, I feel way more productive. I cope with stress differently. I’m happy. People around me are happy, too.

We only have so much energy for our work, for our relationships, for ourselves. We should handle that limit with awareness!

A young Paul Johnson, who would eventually become a great writer and biographer, once asked Winston Churchill, a man notorious for his insistence on eight hours a night plus a nap each day, even during the war: “Sir, to what do you attribute your success in life?” Immediately, Churchill replied, “Conservation of energy. Never stand up when you can sit down, and never sit down when you can lie down.” To that I would add: and when you can’t keep your eyes open, go to sleep. When you hit your limits, listen. Your body is telling you something. Rest. Then start again the next day fresh.

Let’s listen. Let’s be true to ourselves and our bodies.

Want to increase your productivity?

Maybe start now by being aware of the relationship between your hours of sleep and your level of alertness and productivity during the next five days. Keep record of it, and you will easily be able to determine the right amount of sleep your body needs…

… which will lead to happiness and productivity!

You will be grateful. Your colleagues will be grateful. Your wife or husband and kids will definitely be grateful. ;)

And you will get more done and be more successful!

I love what Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson say about workaholics in their book, Rework:

Our culture celebrates the idea of the workaholic. We hear about people burning the midnight oil. They pull all-nighters and sleep at the office. It’s considered a badge of honor to kill yourself over a project. No amount of work is too much work.

Not only is this workaholism unnecessary, it’s stupid. Working more doesn’t mean you care more or get more done. It just means you work more.

Workaholics wind up creating more problems than they solve. First off, working like that just isn’t sustainable over time. When the burnout crash comes—and it will—it’ll hit that much harder.

Workaholics miss the point, too. They try to fix problems by throwing sheer hours at them. They try to make up for intellectual laziness with brute force. This results in inelegant solutions.

They even create crises. They don’t look for ways to be more efficient because they actually like working overtime. They enjoy feeling like heroes. They create problems (often unwittingly) just so they can get off on working more.

Workaholics make the people who don’t stay late feel inadequate for “merely” working reasonable hours. That leads to guilt and poor morale all around. Plus, it leads to an ass-in-seat mentality—people stay late out of obligation, even if they aren’t really being productive.

If all you do is work, you’re unlikely to have sound judgments. Your values and decision-making wind up skewed. You stop being able to decide what’s worth extra effort and what’s not. And you wind up just plain tired. No one makes sharp decisions when tired.

In the end, workaholics don’t actually accomplish more than non-workaholics. They may claim to be perfectionists, but that just means they’re wasting time fixating on inconsequential details instead of moving on to the next task.

Workaholics aren’t heroes. They don’t save the day, they just use it up. The real hero is already home because she figured out a faster way to get things done.

Amen to that.

6. Don’t underestimate the power of habit.

First forget inspiration.
Habit is more dependable.
Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not.
Habit is persistence in practice.
— Octavia Butler

At the core of productivity lies a simple principle: the power of habit. Habits are processes operating in the background that power our lives. Good habits help us reach our goals; bad ones hinder us. Either way, habits powerfully influence our behavior—and our outcomes.

Many successful people know about habits and their power.

Warren Buffett, for example, credits many of his great investments to his incredible reading habit. He says he starts every morning by poring over several newspapers and estimates he spends as much as 80% of his day reading.

Stephen King makes sure he writes 1000 words a day, 365 days a year!

It’s these consistent habits that can lead to extraordinary achievements—while keeping the end in mind, of course. Know where you’re are heading, but make sure to create these regular habits that will become automatic over time, just like brushing your teeth before going to bed. Habits have the power to literally rewire our brains.

Once we develop a habit, our brains actually changes to make the behavior easier to complete. After about two months of practice, enacting a habit becomes easier than not doing so.

A study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology shows that on average it takes more than two months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact, depending on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances.

Habits are more powerful than goals.

Let’s illustrate this with an example: if you want to lose weight, the first logical step would be to set a goal, like “I want to lose 10 pounds in one month.” If you have a lot of willpower and discipline, you might reach that endpoint… but then what? Chances are high you will revert to your previous state soon after you reach your goal.

So instead of merely setting the goal, we should develop a powerful habit. For example, maybe you decide to skip the cookies you have for dessert after dinner each evening, and instead opt for a fresh piece of fruit.

For the first couple of days, you will have to consciously force yourself to grab a banana instead of an Oreo. But after 65 days (according to the study mentioned above), a habit will be formed. And once formed, habits operate automatically and you can benefit from them from life.

As Samuel Johnson said, “The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.

So you won’t fall back in your old behavior once you reach your goal. On the contrary, habits often help us overshoot our goals. Let’s say you want to read more and you establish a habit of reading 10 minutes every evening (no excuses for not doing that!). There’s a good chance that once you get started, you won’t stop after only 10 minutes. A common piece of advice for those seeking to build a habit is to start small (like 10 minutes of reading every day).

So if we want to reach a specific goal, invest time in shaping positive habits that will help you reach that goal.

Business reporter Charles Duhigg, who authored the book The Power of Habit, says that the key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this simple science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.

You should work towards healthy habits as they are the fundamental core to change and productivity!

7. Never touch paper twice.

When trapped in an unproductive mode, this is what often happens to me: I see emails coming in, I read them, and I think, “Oh boy, I’ll deal with this later.

What a time-waster!

Never touch things twice.

That’s it. Never put anything aside to work on it later. Doing so always turns out to be a waste of time. Don’t save an email or a phone call to deal with later. Once something gets your attention, go for it. Now. You should act on it, delegate it, or delete it. It will help you preserve your productivity momentum.

I’m a huge fan of this. I hate leaving things unfinished or saving halfway-done tasks for later. No, no, no. I start and I finish unless, of course, it’s a long-term project that requires multiple revisions.

I like David Allen, author of Getting Things Done (what a title, right?!), and his Two-Minute Rule.

He says: “It’s like a procrastination hack: if you can do something in less than two minutes, then do it now. So simple things like making a phone call you’ve been avoiding, or doing the dishes, or throwing in a load of laundry—if it takes less than two minutes, do it now. I think we can adapt that for habit and behavior change.

So tomorrow morning you get to the office. You make up your five-big-item list. If there is anything on there that you can do in two minutes… you know what to do. Get on it first. Get it over with!

Strike it out. Smile.

Then read your emails, and for every email that you can manage in less than 2 minutes, do it immediately. If not, put it in your TO DO list for later, or delete it. (That’s pretty satisfying, too.)

8. Reading is working.

Reading is working on your life, your career, you as a person.

Why?

Life-science journalist, Brandon Specktor, writes that reading has many scientifically proven (health) benefits:

  • reduces stress.
  • improves your memory.
  • improves your focus and concentration.
  • improves your analytical skills.
  • expands your vocabulary.
  • improves your communication skills.
  • improves your emotional intelligence.

These are all things that will boost your productivity levels, right?

Secondly, books are mentors and personal guides.

As W. Somerset Maugham once wrote, “To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.

I hear people often say, “You should learn from your mistakes.” But I prefer to learn from what others have discovered. That’s why I love bibliographies and the like—for example, the bibliography of Benjamin Franklin, The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger, and Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.

You can gather so much useful information and knowledge by learning from others—an amount of information that you are couldn’t build up during just one lifetime. We can learn from both the mistakes and successes of others—and skip a long, tiring, and potentially painful experience of trial and error..

If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” — Isaac Newton

The information is out there to help us understand the world and to help us grow. This is true for personal development as well as professional growth. This is great news: What we need is already out there! All we have to do is cultivate the discipline to read a lot and become a little wiser every day.

Reading offers you different perspectives, different cultures, different worlds, different languages. It’s a solitary act, but you learn how to sympathize. Books expand our vocabularies and help us become better communicators. Books are like treasures that expose the personal thoughts, ideas, and world views of others. They have the power to shake up your own worldview and make you go through some significant paradigm shifts.

When asked how to get smarter, Buffett once held up stacks of paper and said, “Read 500 pages like this every week. That’s how knowledge builds up, like compound interest.

I know that nowadays actively focusing on one activity for a long time is not always that easy. I was born in 1982. I grew up bombarding my brain with 2-minute video clips and watching TV series for 3 hours straight every day after school.

Finishing a 500-page book was a tough task in the beginning. But it’s a lot easier now. (Remember what we said about the power of habit?)

And it’s so worth it. A study conducted by The Conversation on binge-watching shows that when you watch more than two hours of TV each night, you will feel more depressed, stressed and have higher levels of anxiety.

Pick up a book instead of that remote.

You could read The Power of Habit and learn how to reshape your TV-watching habit by reading. Instead of shortening our ability to focus, reading helps us develop a bigger attention span.

I must say, with every book I read, I feel wiser. It’s like learning a new language. By reading, I’m giving myself new words, thoughts, and perspectives—life tools, if you will—to pick from when I need them. With every book, I grow as a person, a teacher, a writer, an entrepreneur, a husband, a friend…

And in this day and age, there really is no excuse. Reading has become so easy and practical. You can do it anywhere. You don’t even have to take a book with you— just download one on your phone or tablet.

Read. Learn. Grow. Become more efficient and productive.

As a bonus, here is a list of books that really changed my life:

[…]

9. Use tools—but do not overuse tools.

Remember, time is the currency of life. You can’t lose time and get it back again. You can’t spend time and go earn more of it.

You can’t buy more of time, you can’t spend it. It is what it is and we have to manage our lives around that notion.

[I know, I’m repeating this, but I want you to really understand the meaning of this]

If you’re spending your precious time on things like being stuck in traffic, or keeping track of expenses manually, spending time looking for notes of a meeting …

…then maybe it’s time to embrace today’s technology and the applications designed to help you manage these time-consuming processes in a more productive way.

Get some tools, which in this case means software applications! The right tools can boost your productivity, freeing up many hours.

I’m talking about simple day-to-day tools like Google Drive or Dropbox for cloud storage, Asana or Toggl for task- and time-tracking, FreshBooks for cloud accounting, Expensify for expense management and Trello for list management.

Just remember, any extremes should be avoided. Use tools, but don’t overuse tools! Look for a simple tool that does the trick. There’s no need to get too many features. Keep it simple. Analyze your business processes to discover where you’re losing time. Then look for ways of improving that particular step. Maybe an application is worth investing in.

Analyze and determine problem areas. Then look for the appropriate solution (maybe a training, a software program, a collaboration, etc.) to boost your time efficiency and productivity. Find the right tool for the job, and use it.

Credits go to Ryan Holiday for this one. I highly recommend checking out his books and articles. This is rich and profound wisdom.

10. Hiring quality people.

Often we don’t want to hire “more expensive” (translation: high-quality!) people, especially when we’ve just started a business and are working within a tight budget.

It’s one of the biggest mistakes I made when I started my own business. I hired a “low-cost” developer… which I was happy with, until bugs we’re popping up everywhere. And I felt the need to review all his code. And customers were complaining. And we had to start certain projects all over.

In the end, the extra money for a skilled and more experienced developer would have saved me LOTS of trouble, time and money!

Hire quality people! Really. An amateur will cost you WAY more over time.

I once read that in looking for people to hire, you should look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you. Think about it; it’s true. If you hire somebody without integrity, you really want them to be dumb and lazy. :)

Hire a manager of one, as the guys from Basecamp put it.

When you’re hiring, seek out people who are managers of one.
What’s that mean? A manager of one is someone who comes up with their own goals and executes them. They don’t need heavy direction. They don’t need daily check-ins. They do what a manager would do—set the tone, assign items, determine what needs to get done, etc.—but they do it by themselves and for themselves.

You want someone who’s capable of building something from scratch and seeing it through. When you find these people, it frees up the rest of your team to work more and manage less.

Productivity in your business is not only a consequence of your actions and efforts. It’s always a team effort. Pick your team well and find that path to become insanely productive as a team!

11. Exercise makes me more productive.

OK. So you followed our recommendations. You’ve reshaped your habits. Set your goals. Made up your to-do list. You are eating frogs every day. You are saying NO more often, reading a lot, and getting enough sleep… but you still feel like something is missing. You do not feel insanely productive just yet.

Well, there’s another important factor that could boost your productivity by 21% according to a recent study at Bristol University.

Yep, you got it from the title: physical exercise.

Sweat :)

This study shows that employees who worked out that same work day scored 21% higher for concentration at work, 22% higher for finishing their work on time, 25% higher for working without unscheduled breaks, and an amazing 41% higher for feeling motivated to work.

Read those significant figures above again! No wonder big companies are starting to invest more in gyms and workout facilities at work.

Want to experience that extra energy, motivation and productivity? Start working out or create an environment for your employees to work out!

Studies show that low-intensity training actually has a better effect on fatigue than high-intensity workouts. So stick to moderate effort sports such as cycling, swimming, yoga, dancing, and walking, as those seem to score high on productivity levels!

Not sure how to get started? Start small and form daily habits of five minutes of exercise and take it from there.


I truly hope these 11 tips have been valuable to you.

And don’t forget: Time is not a resource that you can squander and then borrow from the bank to make up for the loss. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Make sure to spend it on things you deeply care about.