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The Fear Is My Homeboy® Blog

5 Productivity Tools To Help You Stay Sane

July 24, 2017

If there is ONE super power to have … it’s productivity.

Real productivity.

Which I define as being “busy by design”.

I’ve become kind of obsessed with productivity hacks.

I love hearing how people maximize their efforts.

I love reading books and blogs that share ideas to help me hustle harder.

I love tools to help me earn more and waste less time. 

Because really … this life is short …and frankly, aren’t you sick and tired of not getting the stuff YOU want done?

Aren’t you sick and tired of waiting and wanting and hoping and wishing.

All of that is for the birds.

Anything you want is on the other side of hustle.

And preparation.

So, it’s time to take the wheel and started prioritizing your own life. 

Because if you don’t … other people and other things will start to prioritize it for you.

And that can get nasty.

So, if you want to …

  • Chase a goal
  • Fulfill a dream
  • Change your life
  • Earn more money
  • Have more freedom

You are going to have to go get it for you damn self.

Over the years I’ve implemented a hit list of rituals and daily practices that have changed the game for me.

These simple (but not easy) shifts have allowed me to do things I would have never dreamed.

Things like …

  • Start my own business full time
  • 3x my income
  • Write and create content consistently
  • Travel the world
  • Spend time with friends and family
  • Stay in shape
  • And still cook dinner, do the laundry and clean the house (I don’t outsource that stuff and when I’m home I’m #ALLIN)

It all starts with a plan.

It will take effort and consistency and hustle.

Oh, and Disclaimer:  It won’t be easy … but it will be OH SO WORTH IT!!

Here are the Top 5 things in my productivity toolbox that I could not live without – (in no particular order … they are ALL game changers:

3 D’s of Email – I don’t play around when it comes to email.  And my golden rule any time I check my email is Do, Delete or Delegate.  At the end of the day 95% of the time I have a zero inbox.  It’s that simple … every time I read an email I either do it, delete it or delegate it.  Period.   And oh, by the way … I only check email once (or maaaaybe twice) a day.  But more on that later.  I run my day … not my email. And once I stopped letting my email boss me around … I found so much more time in my day.   Which has helped me get the stuff I want done, rather than the other way around.

Volt Planner – I don’t know what I did before this little miracle came into my life!   It’s a goal focused planner that has totally helped me quadruple my productivity and my life … and oh by the way my revenues!!  It breaks the things you want to get done down into bite sized chunks so you can focus on getting things done one week at a time, one day at a time.  There are yearly goals, monthly goals and then weekly goals.

My two tips to make this super effective (both of which I consider non-negotiables in order to make this planner effective):

  • Every Sunday plan out your week in advance. I take an hour every Sunday to map out my week.  Then … every night before bed I take a look at the planner to get my head in the game for the following day and make any adjustments that need to happen.  This helps me make sure I look at the big picture … do I have enough whitespace?  Am I working out?  Am I leaving time to create and write?  Am I moving any new projects forward?  Have I left time to touch base with my clients, customers and network?
  • If you aren’t into planning your whole week out every Sunday … then plan out each day the night before.  Pick one that works for you … yet in order for this to be effective you have to put in the work and plan ahead.

Bottom line … if you are not prioritizing your life someone else will do it for you.  So, get in front of your schedule.  This is how you get healthy, wealthy and wise. Schedule in your workouts, your time to create, to follow up with clients, to read, to watch TED Talks, to create, to answer email, etc.

Make vs manage Days – I learned this concept from Tim Ferriss (who I love following) in his book The Four Hour Work Week.  He’s such a brilliant mind and he’s always testing out new things to enhance health, wellness, productivity and income levels. And he’s pretty brilliant at it … so when he speaks I listen.

So here’s how this goes down for me:

  • I set my Monday, Wednesday and Friday’s for managing my business.  This means I’ll take calls, answer emails, sit in meetings, follow up with prospects, do contracts, send proposals, etc.
  • Then on Tuesday and Thursdays I make.  This means I write, create, read, watch TED talks, start new projects, etc etc etc. On these days I take no calls, will not take meetings and only check email after 5pm.  This way I stay in my zone and don’t get disrupted.

Now some weeks this varies based on my travel schedule … but in a perfect world this is my flow.

I also understand that for some of you this may not be possible based on what you do for a living and your work environment … yet you can strike a balance and it’s important that you do.  I have clients who work in an office setting and they split their days up … half for managing … half for making.

So, if you are really focused, creative and productive in the morning … let that be your making part of the day … get proposals off your desk, finish that RFP, start the marketing plan, etc.  And then in the afternoon when you start to get tired anyway … grab a coffee and take meetings, calls, respond to email, etc.

Another PS:  Get your boss on board … I did this with a previous employer … I simply let my boss know that I’d be off email before Noon to work on larger projects, prospect, plan sales trips, etc and then on email in the afternoon to focus back on the tactics.

Essentialism Book – This book is my Secret Weapon!  If you haven’t read it … literally RUN and get this book. It will help you rethink how you structure your days and your life.  Both personally and professionally.  A total game changer!

Evernote, Trello and Hubspot – Lastly … these platforms and project management tools help me keep it all together.  These three are my favorite and I consider them integral parts of my business operations. They are literally the brain of my business and make life so much easier.  It’s important to find tools and platforms that keep you organized and in touch with your network.

I hope you are able to pull some ideas from this post that will work for you and your business.

By mixing up a recipe of these productivity tools you’ll be able to start working even smarter than you already are.

One of my favorite quotes:  “Easy choices, hard life.  Hard choices, easy life.” – Jerzy Gregorek

If you want anything … you have to make it a priority.

Health, wellness, friendships, relationship, joy, money, kids, time.

All of it is on the other side of hustle.

Made with Love.

 

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