When I look back now I have to laugh, even though back then it wasn’t so funny. Growing up I hated school. In grade school I skipped as much as I could, pretending to be sick so my parents would let me stay home. As a kid I tried everything I could to stay home so I could watch The Price is Right and not have to face the piles of homework I had waiting.
A lot of that had to do with me being bullied at the first grade school I went to and then again at the second. This caused me to think I could just forget about my homework and not have to worry about it. I was clearly wrong. Graduating from grade school and going into high school I thought things would be different, I wanted to do things differently so I could make an impact.
On the first day of high school, a “dress down day”, I forgot and wore my uniform. As you can imagine, I was bullied for that and instantly, that is what I was remembered for. This time though, I wasn’t going to let them bully me. I was going to run for student council and be known for something when I graduated.
Sadly those plans failed as I needed to get my wisdom teeth out around the time the school held the elections. This brought back the habit of letting school work get piled up again. My issues was I never did my homework and the more it piled up the more anxiety I had and it never got finished.
In the first year of high school, I was told that the trades were the place to be and where the money was. I listened and started to take shop classes. Then in grade 10 I got into a program called OYAP (Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program).
This was a program that allowed me to attend only 2 classes in the morning and then work the rest of the day in a tool shop. I thought this was a bonus and at the time this meant I could spend far less time in school studying and more time in the shops working and making money.
Looking back now, this was the worst thing that could have happened to me as I never really spent the time to focus and learn how to be productive on my own. I got out of school and never learnt how to study, how to learn and do my homework to meet the deadlines the teachers had given me.
Fast forward to today where I wish I could go back so I could learn everything all over again and love the process as I do now. Since I can’t, I have learnt to love reading and consuming all the knowledge that I can. This in turn has helped me focus on becoming more productive.
Through all of that and working in many different industries after my mould making career I learnt how to become productive through failing many times and then again after leaving the Beer Store and moving to working from home I have now taken what I learned over the years and continue to try and perfect it.
Now that doesn’t mean I am the most productive person there is and I still have a lot to learn but the systems and tools I have in place have helped me become more productive and get more done in less time.
With all of that said, I want to talk about something you can do before you even start working. Living in a digital world, there are so many tools that can help us become more productive but something that has helped is going “old school” so to speak and using pen and paper or an agenda/planner.
There is no question, we all need to have some sort of calendar like Google Calendar so that we are able to have all our important dates, meetings and calls in there to remind us but taking it this one step further can help you tremendously.
On Sunday morning or on Sunday evening it’s good practice to sit down with an agenda/planner so that you’re able to plan out your entire week. Writing this down is great for refreshing your memory and helps to see what the week will be like. This helps you so you can focus on the work that needs to be done.
I do this not only for the week ahead but I do 2 weeks ahead of time in my Rocketbook Fusion planner and then weekly in both my Rocketbook Fusion Planner and my Rocketbook Panda Planner. They each have a different structure so for my routine it works best.
Something you need to do each morning as you start your day is to review your planner and set your goals for the day while writing out your to do list. I know I talk about ToDoist often but having my top daily tasks written out helps me visualize my day and that in turn is what really helps me become more productive.
The next thing that will help you become far more productive is blocking time out for your tasks. This something I do both digitally using Google Calendar and in my Rocketbook Panda Planner. In my Google Calendar, I have different colours setup for different tasks, appointments and events.
I will have my day structured so that I have all my major tasks and projects blocked out in the calendar. This is usually first thing in the morning so I know that with that slot blocked out I work on nothing but that project. The hardest or the biggest tasks are always the first thing you should tackle.
When doing this next step though, there are some conflicting theories but one thing is common among them all, we need to take breaks. For me, I work solid for 90 minutes and then take a quick 10 minute break to get up and walk around. This gets the blood flowing and keeps my energy up for the entire day. I continue this throughout the day and make sure to take a full hour for lunch to reset. When doing this though, on your lunch it’s best to walk away from all your screens to help you stay focused and energized.
Lastly I use ToDoist as both a To-Do list to keep me on track with what needs to be done as well as my project management tool. Using ToDoist I’m able to set different priorities for each task and focus on the tasks that are the most important and the tasks that will move the needle forward in my business. These are typically the hardest tasks and something I get out of the way first.
There are many different styles of planners out there and 2 of the best planners I have used are the High Performance Planner from Brendon Burchard and now the 2 I’m currently working with now, the Rocketbook Fusion notebook and the Rocketbook Panda Planner. These can all be found on Amazon and will be perfect in becoming more productive.
Lastly is ToDoist and because I believe in it so much and I know it can help everyone become more proactive, I put together a great offer.
What I’m doing is not only giving you 2 months of ToDoist premium for free, that’s not enough. I want to help you get started. To do that I am giving you 3 of my most used templates that have helped me set up the systems I have today and have helped me get a lot more done in a lot less time.
So that’s 2 months of Todoist Premium as well as 3 of my most used templates. I wanted to make sure this is a no brainer when it comes to helping you become more productive.
Does that sound good? If you are ready to take action and start getting more done in less time, just click below and take me up on this offer before I shut it down.