Recently, I reviewed data on the completed to-dos for 186 previous days to reflect on my monthly performance. I ultimately wanted to find out what has the most impact on my daily productivity.
After reviewing the data, I was surprised by the findings — there were clear, distinct Top-3 factors that determine day-to-day output.
3. Separate maker and manager time
#3 reason for degraded productivity is the inability to handle time and different activities properly.
When you're an entrepreneur, there is a lot of manager time - meetings, Slack/Email communication, reviews, plannings, etc.
But there is also always a big pile of maker-type activities that need to be done, such as research, implementing systems and policies, documentation, writing, coding. This time takes a lot of focus and requires an entirely different mindset.
You can be a manager at any point. But it isn't easy to switch from manager back to maker.
That's why the best solution is to plan your maker activities earlier in the day.
It may sound impossible at first, in the end, there are so many things happening in the company every hour - how can you ignore all that?
But it's essential to protect your maker time - both for you and your business (and your mental health.)
Just make sure to speak with your colleagues and set expectations on your manager availability.
2. Remove distractions. All of them
Inability to focus is the #2 productivity impairment.
Your maker time can't get enough protection.
To get the highest output, you need to make sure you are the most focused person on Earth while doing the task at hand.
Daily, I get 200-300 notifications. That's why my phone doesn't exit Do Not Disturb mode.
Moreover, even when I need to use my phone, notifications texts are hidden. I noticed that even the slightest gaze at one of the notifications could disrupt my stream of thought and move it in a completely different direction. That's not something you want to be productive.
Identify your distractions and work towards fixing them.
For better performance, process all the updates and notifications in batches during manager timeslots.
1. Plan. Your. Day
The #1 productivity factor takes only 10-15 minutes to do. And yet, it is the most crucial one.
70% of my today's success is determined yesterday.
When there is a lot of tasks to do, I often find myself jumping from one thing to the next, not knowing where to start. Planning helps to avoid the paralysis of choice.
Every evening, I review and adjust the agenda for the upcoming day. It helps to enter the next day with an actionable plan and a clear sense of priority.
When everything seems important, nothing gets done. However, when you decide your priorities beforehand, you execute what's needed without hesitation.
What really helps is to have action items divided by part of the day (morning, afternoon, evening). The goal is to get the workload just right - not too much and not too little. That's where the practice helps.
- Separate your maker and manager time to get the maximum capacity for different types of tasks
- Remove distractions to get to the peak concentration levels
- Prepare for the upcoming day the evening before to bring clarity on your action plan and priorities