If you’re still finding at the end of the day, week, or month you’re not getting as much done as you’d like, by the time you read this post, you’ll have a clear understanding why and how to fix it.
Too often you’ve been focused on the tasks you need to do to achieve your goals. The endless to do list. We’ve all tried them. Today let’s take a different approach to being more productive.
What you may have neglected are the behaviors that slow or distract you from accomplishing more.
The solution is there needs to be a not-to-do list.
It’s behaviors you know you shouldn’t be doing when you are trying to achieve your biggest goals for the day, week, month, or year.
If you’re serious about creating your ideal life, building a business, losing weight, making more money or more you’ve got to make some changes to your life.
Do you realize what your big time wasters are? You may not cause they’re like ninjas.
These time wasters creep up on you. You might not think they take up too much time. If you’re on Facebook in the morning for 20 minutes, at lunch, when you get home, after dinner, then before bed for 20 minutes each time.
That’s easily an hour of the day you’ve spent just on Facebook!
An hour may not seem like much time but if you’re complaining you never have enough time to do certain things, an hour is a long time.
The same can be said for watching television. If you’re accustomed to watching TV after work for 3-4 hours a night that’s 21-28 hours in a week!
Regardless of if it’s a documentary or a reality show, that’s hours that could have been spent improving yourself, building your online business, networking, or writing.
You Think You Know but You Have No Idea
You might think “I don’t spend too much time _______.” I bet you couldn’t answer specifically if I asked you these questions.
Do you really know how much time you spent reading and responding to emails?
Do you really know how much television you watch per week?
Do you know how much time you spend watching the news?
How much time you spend on Facebook, Twitter, or web surfing?
How many hours are spent in useless meetings?
How much you talk on the phone?
Typically you just “do them” as the day goes on but if you’re not conscious about how much time you’re spending, you’ll easily lose track of time.
Also are you aware what distracts you when you are trying to work? The Twitter popup? The email notification? That pile of papers on your desk? Cleaning your room when you know you should be writing? The urge to check out a website?
We’ve all been guilty of one of those things distractions when we should have been working. Again, these distraction adds up to valuable time wasted.
A Simple Task
To figure out what some bad habits you need to eliminate, I want you to take one goal you want to achieve. It can be writing a book, creating a digital product, write more guest posts, losing weight, writing an e-book, growing your blog community…anything.
Write it down on a piece of paper. Now make a list of what might get in your way making progress. What tasks or behaviors can you cut back on to free up more time? What do you do too much of and you know it wastes valuable time? Write every little thing down.
Don’t get upset at yourself by realizing you are doing so many time wasting things but let this make it clear to you what needs to improve.
My Two Main Enemies
When I got fed up with where my life wasn’t heading, and began a full on charge to take back control of my life, not only did I study what steps I needed to accomplish, more importantly I took a look at what I needed to eliminate as well.
What I found were the two big useless, meaningless, time sucking, distractions that I knew I had to greatly cut back…watching television and a single video game.
For myself the television had become a huge part of my life. A typical day, I would turn it on first thing in the morning until I went to work. When I came home, I turned it on until I went to bed. If I stayed home all day, it was on.
Even if I wasn’t paying attention, I liked to have it on as background noise.
Can you guess how productive I was? Not so much. I either gave my full attention to the television or a part of it at all times.
Where did it lead me? Unhappy, frustrated, stuck, and a life without direction (but I could name all the people on the Jersey Shore).
When I began to create take back control of my life, I knew I had to cut out my #1 distraction…my friend the television.
No more having the television on all day long. I rarely turn it on when I’m home.
I have shows, like Modern Family, on my DVR waiting to be watched. It’s been months! When I feel the urge to watch I realize that’s 30 minutes I could be doing something productive.
Sure I miss channel surfing and being entertained but I had to get my priorities straight.
As for the video game, I bought Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 the first day it came out last year. I’ll be honest, I suck at the game. I know a 10 year old kid could beat me but the multi-player is addicting.
Maybe I sucked cause I would spend only an hour a day playing. It’s still an hour of day that could be doing something productive.
Again, I knew what I had to do. I sold the video game instead of keeping it around to tempt me.
Those two things alone accounted for most of my free time at home.
How has it impacted my productivity? I don’t have numbers or percentages but it’s been life changing.
I know I wouldn’t be in the position I am in right now had I kept the television on or spent an hour a day playing video games. No way.
I would not have direction in my life. I would not be creating everyday. I would not be inspiring people like you.
Not only have I cut back on those two activities, which allows me more time to do what I want to be doing, but they also don’t distract me in the middle of doing something.
Getting S*** Done Also Means Eliminating Distractions
If I really need to focus, I don’t turn on the television. Also I will close down my email notifications and Tweetdeck. That way I don’t get distracted by the popups, notifications, or temptations to just peek at what’s going on.
If you want to get really extreme, try disabling the internet to your computer or laptop. That way you can’t do anything that requires the internet.
A short things that should be eliminated while working…
Personal phone calls
What else would you add?
There’s a time and a place for all these. If you know me I’m on Twitter often. I love Facebook. I will still watch television if something is worth watching.
I have just adjusted accordingly. Cutting back on my biggest time wasters. Eliminate them completely when I’m working on a project. Know when it’s time to relax and when it’s time to work.
We all have 24 hours in a day. The special ones maximize their time. That’s why they get more done. The others think they’re being productive but wonder why a year later they haven’t made much progress.
If you really want to get more s**** done, find your biggest time wasters and eliminate them.
Have you made a not-to-do list?
If so, share what you have on your not to do list
What’s one thing you know you do too much of and need to cut back?