Four Super Simple Moves for Increased Productivity By Josh Hinds

I’d like to share two quotes that I believe are important to keep in mind if one wants to remain productive.

Ready? Good, here goes…

“Out of sight, out of mind is a productivity killer!”

and …

Writer G. K. Chesterton said, “More often than not people need to be reminded, more than they need to be instructed.”

With these quotes in mind, let me then share a few things that can keep you productive:

1. Keep your priorities straight. Write down the most important things and do them first! Remember that not every task that comes our way is created equal. While everything in its own way may be important–some tasks when completed give you a greater sense of accomplishment or reward.

Tip: Develop the habit of identifying tasks that if completed will give you the biggest payoff — be sure to keep them front and center of mind so that they’re the first to get your attention each day.

2. Use lists. I’m a big proponent of keeping lists because they help remind you about what needs to be done. Keep these things in mind when you come up with your to-do list:
include your most important items first, leave room for unexpected things, add time frames for when you will do something, and don’t schedule things back to back with little or no time between them. Then, when you finish a task, mark it complete so that you’ll get a sense of accomplishment to give you the boost you need to go through the other items on your list.

Tip: Don’t panic if you don’t accomplish every item on your list. Instead, at the end of the day, just place the items left behind on your to-do list for the next day.

3. Get a calendar. A calendar offers an easy “at a glance” view of upcoming events, whether they are today or in the near future. You can use a traditional paper calendar–such as a day planner that’s small enough to carry with you. Or, if you prefer, you can opt for a desk calendar. My primary calendar solution is the Web-based Google Calendar. There is no shortage of software programs or other web based solutions to choose from.

Tip: With the Google Calendar, you will be able to create unique calendars within a larger calendar. You can have specialized “sub-calendars.” For example, you can create one for personal use and one for work purposes. As you add new tasks you assign the particular “sub-calendar” to the task.

One advantage to this is that while everything can be grouped on your calendar view, you can also easily view tasks by each calendar group. With a Web-based calendar, you could also have alerts sent to either your cell phone as a text message, or sent as an email to remind you of the events on your calendar.

4. Adopt a “Do it now!” attitude. Even the most well-laid plans get derailed when we don’t get moving. It’s not always because we don’t want to do the tasks. At times, they just don’t get done because other things come up and overwhelm us. The funny thing is when we simply do the thing we’re neglecting, we find that it rarely takes anywhere near the time to do it that we may have originally thought it would.

In many instances, we waste more time when we put off a task in order to wait for a more convenient time to do it. Isn’t that ironic?

Tip: Keep in mind that becoming more productive is simply about doing what you know needs to be done as soon as possible, as well as using a few handy solutions and tools which will help you in your efforts.

For starters, these moves should help you get things done right through a more streamlined process that will give you more time to develop groundbreaking ideas. When that happens, then there’s no doubt that you’re on your way to the peak of your productivity.

It’s Your Life, LIVE BIG!
Josh Hinds

PS. If you enjoyed the article you just read click here to download some free sample chapters from my book, It’s Your Life, LIVE BIG!

  • Awesome post Josh!  I was nodding my head up and down as I read!   # 1 Couldn’t agree more!!!  I have some awesome notes on Eat That Frog (the book by Brian Tracy) that I’d be happy to share with you and your readers (but I don’t want to “spam” your wall with a link as this is my first comment here – unless you give me the go ahead to share it)#2  ABSOLUTELY – I keep lists for everything, I’ve blogged about it several times as well.   Well said! #3 I’m a big fan of the Google Calendar and also scheduling appointments on my Iphone and then using the reminder feature 2 days ahead of time so I can start to take the proper preparations.  For Smartphone users the “Things” is another great way to keep track of things and prioritize and is well worth the $9.99 price in my opinion though I realize a $10 app still causes sticker shock for some folks.   #4 Taking massive action and adopting the “just do it now” mindset is probably one of the two biggest differentiators between successful and unsuccessful people (the other I would say is being an optimist, solution oriented and having a positive outlook on things).  I’m reading “The 10X Rule” by Grant Cardone which is all about taking massive action.  His premise for the book is everything takes 10 times more money, effort and work than we estimate and we need to become obsessed with creating an extraordinary life.   Have you read it?  Definitely worth checking out! Overall, great post – I will be checking back on your blog in the future!! Keep improving!! Joe

  •  Joe, glad to know you enjoyed the article. Thank you for your thoughtful reply and ideas shared here. I got your link on twitter to the post you mentioned. I scanned it and it looked very informative. I’m looking forward to digging deeper into it.

    One thing I didn’t mention in the post is that I also keep physical journals. Not a diary, but a journal (I refer to them as my “success journal” because I prefer to include things that can serve me in some positive way in them. I.e. ideas, stories & experiences, etc. – I take notes from good books or events I’ve attended. Mentor calls, etc. — inspiring thoughts / quotes that come to mind – that sort of thing). Credit to Jim Rohn for planting in my mind so many years the importance of keeping a journal.

    Funny that you mentioned the Things App. I used it as well. I actually have an Android phone now, but did have an iTouch and when I did I used Things. It’s been a while since I used it, but I agree it is a good tool. I also like to Gtasks (simple little google tasks) because it is available when I’m in gmail or the calendar. Plus, I just created a bookmark via my phone so I can get to it handy as well. It makes for a good source when I need to quickly drop something in for saving, plus it’s easy to synch what I need across my phone & computer (desktop & laptop), etc. — excuse the rambling, but I get passionate about sharing ideas 🙂

    -Josh

  •  Hi Josh! 

    All great ideas!! 

    Do you have a specific format or good system you use to take notes on books?  I’m always looking to improve.  Historically, I’ve been an under liner and highlighter, though occasionally I’ll take well documented notes like I did with Eat That Frog (and I did the same for Tim Ferriss’s The Four Hour Work Week).  I’d love to hear any ideas or systems for note taking you’ve found helpful.  I do a lot of my reading these days on my Kindle and have been using the highlight feature though would love to hear any ideas or effective systems you have on ways to take good notes (for books and/or seminars). 

    I’m a HUGE fan of journaling as well!!  I have been doing a success & gratitude journal for the past couple years and this year I started a new type of “all-in-one journal” where I list:

    1.)  1 new bucket list item
    2.)  3-5 things I’m grateful for
    3.)  3-5 successes from the day (big or small)
    4.)  Anything new I learned today
    5.)  New ideas from the day

    I love writing things down (pen to paper) for to-do lists and brainstorm sessions as I think we get a deeper connection with meaning behind it, when writing versus typing (at least for me).  Thoughts?

    Thank you for the shout back and for the ideas!  I just got off a two hour phone call with a guy from one of my mastermind groups, which reminds me of the great Jim Rohn quote, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”   Look forward to connecting more with you in the future and feel free to include a link to those Eat That Frog notes for your readers if you want to, you absolutely have my blessing.

    Keep learning, loving, laughing, living, improving and finding ways to make the world a better place – from what I see, you are already doing an outstanding job!!!  Keep it up!!

    Have an excellent weekend,

    Joe

  • As far as a formal note taking system. I don’t have a specific one, though over the years I’ve done different things. I combine underlining, At times I will keep notes on 3×5 index cards, I like to include notes in my “personal library too). I’ve also, at times included notes in the margins, or back cover of the book. Often I will include notes in my journal that I mentioned above.

    You make a good point about the connection one gets when writing (w/ paper/pen) in addition to the typing. Obviously, I type a lot. Though I also make a point to write in my journals. Also, I like to write out my goals in my journal. I really feel like what gets in the way of folks falling short of their goals is that it often because they lose sight of, or neglect to do the day to day actions needed to achieve them. Like the saying goes, “ya gotta’ be in it to win it.” The repetition of writing & re-writing my goals out really helps me to stay plugged into what I’ve identified as worth pursuing.

    I hope you’re having a great weekend Joe!

    -Josh