Productivity advice for the weird

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Lots {of individuals} ask me {for a few} {type of} productivity advice. I {get some good} version {of the} email {each day}:

“{Just how many} hours {can you} work, Ramit? What tool {can you} use {to control} your {social media marketing}? {Can you} actually read 2,000 emails/day?”

All right, {you would like to|you need to|you wish to} {understand how} I actually stay productive? producFine, I’ll {demonstrate} exactly what {I really do}. No pandering, no hiding {the reality}. {It might seem} I’m over-the-top, or that my approach is weird or won’t {work with} you…but I don’t care if people think it’s “{an excessive amount of}.” I {value} making {a direct effect}.

The Next {Degree of} Productivity Advice: Introducing the 3 Tiers of Productivity

Listen to {just how} most people {discuss} productivity.

  • “{I simply} {have to} buckle down.”
  • “{I have to} find my ‘Why’… THEN everything will {belong to} place.”
  • “{I assume} I’m {not} motivated enough.”

Look, productivity isn’t about “motivation.” {If you believe|If you feel} {it really is}, you’ve already lost.

Productivity {is approximately} understanding {everything you} really want {to accomplish}, then building systems {to create} it {do the job}. {The target} isn’t Inbox Zero. (Who {provides} shit?) Your goal {would be to} enable {you to ultimately} perform at {your better}, {each day}, and {during the period of} weeks and months and years.

This is {the method that you|the way you} {create a} huge impact. Sure, {you may} slip up {several times}. Some days {you merely} won’t feel it – and that’s fine. Real productivity {offers you} freedom and flexibility because you’re consistent 95% {of that time period}.

Think of productivity {just like a|such as a} pyramid.

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At {underneath} – {the building blocks} – are your fundamentals. {Things such as} your environment, your sleep, and knowing what you’re {likely to} work on {each morning}. Everybody ignores these because they’re not sexy. But {in the event that you} don’t get these right, nothing else matters.

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In {the center} {can be your} psychology, {just like the} {capability to} set boundaries, handle setbacks, {and become} positive and resilient.

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At {the} top – {minimal} important part – {will be the} details. {The items} like “Which app {can you} use?” Everybody wastes their time {concentrating on} {these things}. ({Get yourself a} life.)

But {I understand} you productivity nutjobs {need to know|wish to know} all {the best} little life hacks, so I’ll {demonstrate} what {I take advantage of} and {just how} {I take advantage of} it. Let’s start at {the bottom} of the pyramid, {the building blocks}.

Tier 1: Fundamentals

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In our culture, it’s a virtue {to create} your success seem effortless. {However in} reality, real success takes real effort. Most will lie {for you} {about how exactly} easy it comes. I won’t.

This is {the key reason why} {the most crucial} {section of the|area of the|portion of the} productivity pyramid {may be the} fundamentals: sleep, a clean environment, and knowing {just what} you’re {likely to} do.

These aren’t “easy.” You can’t download an app {on your own} phone {to resolve} them. {However they} {will be the} secret to permanently {upping your} productivity.

Ready to ditch debt, {cut costs|spend less}, and build real wealth? Download my FREE {Back again to} Top

Fundamental #1: 8 hours of sleep. Every. Night.

As a culture, we see sleep as a weakness – {a thing that} {could be} powered through and caffeinated over. {The info} shows {this is simply not} true. {Actually}, a {insomnia} {is really as} harmful {to be} drunk.

And the celebrities who {let you know} they “hardly” sleep? Lies. (Just like they lie about rarely working out, when {the truth is} {they will have} nutritionists, trainers, and chefs.)

My fundamental “80% Win” {here’s} that I sleep 7.5 to 8 hours {nearly every} night.

It’s not sexy. But as I’m writing this at 9:34am, I slept 8 hours {yesterday evening} and I woke up knowing I {would} have a productive day.

Here’s {everything you} might not {find out about} sleeping 8 hours/night:

  • The truth about sleep makes us feel guilty. People hate hearing {the truth} of what celebrities eat, {as the} {facts are} not sexy. It’s {exactly the same} for sleep. Because if he can sleep 8 hours {but still} {get yourself a} ton done, what does that say about me?
  • Sleep-tracking devices {certainly are a} complete waste of money. Your sleep {will never be} improved {having an} app. {It’ll be} improved with you doing the {effort} of digging {in to the} psychological stories you tell yourself about sleep, then {establishing} a system {to operate a vehicle} the behavior of sleeping {promptly}, then honoring it. Apps and devices are irrelevant.
  • Lack of sleep {enables you to} physically weak. On days where I’ve slept less, {probably the most} immediate and quantifiable measure is {within my} workouts. My stamina is down and my lifts are horrible. Nothing as stark as seeing a ~25% {decrease in} your dumbbell weights {to understand} sleep {includes a} huge impact.

Interestingly, the hardest part {is frequently} our emotional resistance to reminding ourselves {to visit} sleep. We {think it is} “weird” {to create} a time {to visit} sleep (yet we don’t {think it is} weird {to create} an alarm to {awaken}). {Overcome} it.

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Fundamental #2: I hire {you to definitely} clean my apartment

I’m inspired by beauty. {I really like} clean lines and thoughtful decoration. And I keep my apartment so clean {that when} I went blind, {I’d} know {wherever} the wooden spoon, my tongue cleaner, and my Windex are.

My mantra: {A location} for everything, and everything in its place!

To help, I hire {you to definitely} clean my apartment. {I came across} them {by way of a} friend and {experienced} {the normal} questions to myself:

“Can’t {I simply} {do that} myself? Will people think I’m a {showcase}? My mom didn’t have {you to definitely} clean {the house} and she had 4 kids…”

But {i quickly} remembered that being productive {is approximately} enabling {you to ultimately} perform at {your better}, {each day}, and {during the period of} weeks and months and years. {I possibly could} afford it, {also it} helped me be productive – {therefore i} decided {it had been} the right {move to make}.

To go {even more}, my real sign of abundance was moving this cleaning from once a month…to {once weekly}.

Now {I understand} {that each} Monday morning, I’ll {start the day} with a perfectly clean apartment {therefore i} {will get} to work productively.

Want to {home based}, control your schedule, and {earn more income}? Download my FREE Ultimate Guide to {Working at home}.

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Fundamental #3: {I’ve} {a frequent} meal plan, and {adhere to} it

I hired a chef {to get ready} food {for me personally} {predicated on} my {workout goals}. So now, {each day} I know {just what} my meal plan is. It’s one decision {weekly} {rather than} 21 decisions {over the} week. More {on what} I set this food system up.

({So when} I {venture out} {to consume}, I order anything {I’d like}, guilt-free, {realizing that|understanding that} I eat on-plan 95% {of that time period}.)

By {just how}, {in the event that you} can’t afford {to employ} a chef ({that is} maybe my largest extravagance), the second-best option {would be to} meal-prep on Sundays, packing each meal into {its} container. Suddenly, you don’t {need to} {consider} food, {and you may|and you will|and you could} be thoughtful about your nutrition.

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Fundamental #4: I optimize my calendar  

Show me a man’s calendar and his spending, and I’ll {demonstrate} what he prioritizes.

I love the stability of knowing {just what} I’m {likely to} do {each day}. {For instance}, every Monday {may be the} same: An all-team call, {something} strategy call, etc. Every Tuesday {may be the} same. Same for Wednesday, my no-meeting strategy day and {your day} I catch {through to} reading {most of} my articles tagged “strategy” in Pinboard {and invite} myself {to really} feel things. (A 14-year-old is cognizant of her feelings {each day}, but I only have feelings on Wednesday.)

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I also {setup|create} my calendar to {benefit from} my creative energy. {I’ve} my best ideas {each morning}. {Because the} day {continues on}, I shift from individual writing to team calls.

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The theme? I reduce variables {therefore i} {could be} totally present and focused. I’m not wondering, “What am I doing today??” because my weeks always look {exactly the same}. I don’t wonder, “What am I {likely to} eat tonight?” because my meals are pre-cooked. Psychological switching costs are real and I’d rather save my energy for {other activities}.

All {of the} are totally un-sexy {& most} people will skip right over them ({I understand} {I did so} when I was younger). “Yeah, yeah, sleep {is essential},” {I’d} say. “But what apps {can you} use???” I was an idiot.

Get these big wins right, and the productivity apps {you utilize} are irrelevant.

QUESTIONS TO {CONSIDER}:

□ {Normally|Typically}, {can you} sleep 7-8 hours/night?

□ {Can you} {awaken} knowing {just what} you’re {likely to} do {each day}?

□ {Can be your} workspace clean and organized?

□ {Can be your} calendar arranged {to fit your} energy {during the day}?

□ {Have you any idea|Are you aware} {just what} you’re {likely to} eat tomorrow (and does it {offer you} energy)?

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Tier 2: Psychology

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Why do we feel guilty {time} management? Why do we use words like “information detox” {with regards to} our work? {And just why} are we so embarrassed {concerning the} things we {absolutely need} {to become} productive?

For example, when I host a webcast late {during the night}, I always {find yourself} {sleeping} at 1 or 2am, much later than usual ({because of} caffeine and adrenaline). I used {to possess} my normal meetings scheduled for 9am {the very next day}, and {I’d} be totally {from it} all day. {1 day}, it occurred {if you ask me} that maybe {I will} {rebel} my 9am meeting by {one hour} on the rare days when I hold a webinar {the night time} before.

You know {the next matter|the following point} I felt? EMBARRASSMENT.

I “shouldn’t” {have to} {rebel} the morning meeting. I’m a machine, right? Doesn’t everyone just {discuss} “powering through it”? Also, isn’t it self-indulgent {to provide} myself {one hour} extra {each morning}?

The answer, {needless to say}, is that I was working until 10:30pm {the night time} before…and this only happens {monthly}. It’s perfectly fine {to provide} myself {a while} to catch up.

This {is the reason why|is excatly why} I spend so {enough time} on the emotional and psychological side of productivity. {EASILY} didn’t tackle these deep issues – the feelings of guilt, embarrassment, and “should-itis” – {we’d} just jump {directly into} {the 3rd} section: tactics.

No productivity app or 7-second solution is ever {likely to} tackle the psychological and emotional barriers we feel. Only {that you can do|that can be done} that. And it’s hard.

It’s never too late {to start out} building healthy habits. Download my Ultimate Guide to Habits {to begin with} TODAY.

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Mind hack #1: Set clear boundaries

100% {of that time period} I hear someone saying they’re “overwhelmed,” when I dig in, I discover someone {having an} inability {to create} boundaries.

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The biggest skill in combatting overwhelm is {understanding how to} set boundaries

Some questions {to take into account}:

  • When was {the final} time you said “no” when someone asked {one to} help them?
  • When was {the final} time you decided what you {wish to accomplish} on a weekend {rather than} letting {another person} {choose for} you?
  • When was {the final} time you {rejected} money or {a chance} {since it} didn’t {participate in} your larger goals?

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Mind hack #2: Be unapologetic {using what} you need

Are you comfortable doing {items that} seem extremely weird to others {to become} productive?

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Now here’s {what goes on} when I {select} my meeting:

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Let’s drill down {even more}: {Note that} URL?

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It used {to check} {such as this}:

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But that meant when I clicked it, I’d {need to} select it, copy/paste, then open another browser window. {Do this} 10 times {each day}, 60+ times {weekly}, and it’s one minor irritation that slows you down.

So I set a rule {that whenever} a URL is {put into} my calendar, it {must} be added with {a difficult} return. Now, {I could} double click, Command-C, Command-T to open {a fresh} browser tab, Command-V, and I’m instantly {in my own} document {in under} 1 second.

Does this seem weird? OCD? Too picky? {Can you} be embarrassed {to inform} someone {this is exactly what} {you need}?

Maybe {it really is}. But it’s what I {have to be} productive. My calendar is {Filled up with} invites {which means this} minor annoyance snowballs {right into a} huge one quickly. You shouldn’t copy my calendar invite system. {Nevertheless, you} {ought to be} as honest {using what} causes {the tiny} frictions in {your entire day}.

Imagine {another} ways {you can} implement this principle of a “pixel-perfect” day:

  • You always put your cellphone in {exactly the same} pocket or {section of} your purse so you’re never fumbling around {for this}.
  • You always tuck your shoelaces into your shoes so they’re organized {and you may|and you will|and you could} avoid wrangling them {once you} pick your shoes up.
  • You set a rule to automatically re-order {wc paper} {once you} get below 2 rolls (or spinach or toothpaste or…).

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Mind hack #3: {Maintain positivity} and resilient

Even though life often seems empty and meaningless, {& most} of what we do {could have} absolutely zero {effect on} anything {with this} planet, I consider myself an optimist. {At the very least} that’s what I tell myself.

The most successful people {I understand} are optimistic. That doesn’t mean they’re bubbly or effusive – {a number of them|many of them} {look like} they’re one step {from} a mental institution.

They’re optimistic in themselves. {They will have} the confidence {to learn} {that when} something goes wrong, {they are able to} bounce back.

They have the confidence {to learn} if they {register with} {take action} they’ve never tried before, {they are able to} figure it out.

And {they will have} the confidence {to learn} that {the tiny} habits they’ve built over {a long time} {tend to be more} important than one binge, one {night time}, or {1 day} of blowing it off and {likely to} {the films}.

({If you need to|In order to} go deeper, open our Ultimate Guide to Habits in {a fresh} tab and save for later.)

A {large amount of} people look at {each one of these} systems and calendars and borderline-nutjob processes I’ve built and wonder how tightly wound {I have to} be. Hey, maybe they’re right.

But {the truth is}, {many of these} habits don’t take {enough time} at all, because I built them {a long time} ago. They {let me} be totally present and {centered on} whatever I’m doing. Counterintuitively, discipline gives me freedom.

Just {just like a|such as a} great investor knows {anybody} stock {won’t} make or break his portfolio, {I understand} {that certain} day – {a good} day where I {awaken} late, eat an insane {level of|quantity of} food, nap half {your day}, {watching} 15 shows on Netflix – {won’t} hurt much. {That truly} sounds pretty fun.

Because {I’ve} the confidence in myself and my systems {to learn} that I’ll bounce back tomorrow {and obtain} {back to} it.

How {to take care of} setbacks with a resilient mindset….

  • When something goes wrong – you {awaken} late, miss a deadline, {miss the} gym, or overeat – {can you} beat yourself up? Or {can you} {go on it} in stride, knowing you have the systems and support {to obtain} back {on the right track} tomorrow?
  • Do {you’ve got a} system {you utilize} {in the event that you} fall behind? ({For instance}, I build in “catch up time” on Wednesdays for anything I’ve fallen behind on.)
  • In his book How to Fail at {ALMOST ANYTHING} {but still} Win Big, Scott Adams tells the story {to getting} a rare disorder that threatened to permanently {eliminate} his {capability to} speak. {Within the} hospital, he could’ve gotten depressed. But he knew {how exactly to} keep himself optimistic. He repeated to himself {again and again}, “I, Scott Adams, will speak perfectly.” {CAN YOU} give yourself {this type of|this sort of} positive reinforcement?  

Want to finally {strat to get} paid what you’re worth? I {demonstrate} exactly how {in my own} Ultimate Guide to Getting a Raise and Boosting Your Salary

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Tier 3: Details

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This is where people spend 90% {of their own time}, when {the truth is}, if you’ve tackled {the initial} 2 pillars, {you need to} spend {significantly less than} 10% here. It’s like writing a college paper: {In the event that you} master the material and {develop a} detailed outline, {the kind of} pencil {you utilize} really doesn’t matter.

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Inbox Zero – who {provides} shit?

Tactical {guidelines} {I take advantage of}:

  • If {it is possible to} fix something with money, {correct it} with money. The $100 solution is {stronger than} {imaginable}, {particularly when} it {involves} hiring {you to definitely} {take action} that’s been nagging at you or that you dislike doing. {Things such as} hiring {you to definitely} {can be found in} and fix some basic thing, pack your clothes, {sit back} with you and {setup|create} email filters, styling, cleaning your closet.
  • Automate your repetitive tasks. {I’ve} things auto-delivered {whenever you can}. For example, {weekly}, I get coffee automatically ground and {delivered to} me. Same with toiletries, food, etc. It just {turns up} and I never worry if I’m {likely to} {go out} of anything.
  • Use systems {to assist you} be proactive about things {you intend to} do. {For instance}, {I understand} the birthdays {of most} {my children} members. {Rather than just} getting reminded {about any of it} {your day} of, I {be sure to|ensure that you} get reminded {14 days} before {therefore i} can {consider} gifts and send something {to reach} {on the} birthday.

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Apps {I take advantage of}:

You don’t need 10 million apps but I’ll {provide you with a|offer you a} couple {to avoid} the 10,000 emails I get {concerning this}.

  • TripIt – Puts {all your} travel information {in one|within a} place. This app automatically updates flight status and displays my confirmation number right when I open it.
  • Pinboard & Pocket – Whenever I see something {I wish to|I would like to} read I bank it for later {therefore i} can {concentrate on} my {present day}. Especially on Wednesdays when I read all my items tagged “Strategy.”
  • Sanebox – {Useful for} follow-ups {to be sure of} people {I wish to|I would like to} make fun of:

  • Reminders – {For each and every|For each} event on my calendar (Google) {I’ve} reminders ping me {five minutes} before on text and my calendar, and my assistant messages me in Slack. That’s 3 points of failure, and sometimes, {I want} all 3 {to save lots of} me from letting {a gathering} slip.
  • Google spreadsheet {to help keep} {tabs on|an eye on} contacts  Every year I {sit back} {and have} myself, “Who am I meeting and what’s {the standard of} those relationships?” I keep {a listing of} {each and every} person I meet all year. If I’ve met 5 people, that’s {bad} – {for me personally}. {Sufficient reason for} this {I could} {be sure you} send follow-ups, interesting articles, invitations, etc. I fight {to create} time for these new relationships. 

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To recap, {that is} totally different {compared to the} typical “{You will need} this app” approach. Yes, it’s {a lot more} challenging {initially} because you’re forced to interrogate {your personal} psychology. You face your emotional resistance {at once}, and you {manage} your environment.

But {as soon as you} {do that}, it {becomes easier}. Because you {no more} have to {depend on} willpower or motivation. I {setup|create} my systems once, {and} I’m finished. Compare this to {individuals who} spend YEARS wondering why they aren’t living {the life span} {they need}.

Do {you understand} your earning potential?

Take my earning potential quiz {and obtain} a custom report {predicated on} {your specific} strengths, {and find out} {how to begin} making {extra cash} – in {less than} {one hour}.

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