We all have 24 hours each day but some of us are more productive than others.
Why is that?
Some people say it’s just “who they are”. Others say their upbringing is the reason they’re productive (or not).
In either case, one thing is certain: we all want to get more done in the time we have available to us.
Here are some tips and hacks for how you be more productive and get more done in less time:
A. Stop using to-do lists. They don’t work.
The problem with to-do lists is that each item on the list weighs the same. Think about it: any system in which “take out the garbage” gets the same amount of propriety as “call my accountant about the audit” is faulty.
Plus, we all know what happens with a to-do list: we’re tempted to do the easiest items first. We kid ourselves that it’s a “strategy” for leaving time for the most important things later.
But, too often, the important things never get done and then we wind up in emergency mode.
The solution: take everything off your to-do list, estimate how long you think it’ll take and put it on a calendar. Include time to check your Facebook messages or check your email. Allow for an extra hour or two of unassigned time to handle the issues that will inevitably pop up.
We use Asana to help us be more productive here at BusinessLabsPro. It just makes it easy for everyone to know who’s working on what. Plus, it offers the ability for you to create a personal Workspace as well for items like “pick up the dry-cleaning” or “Pate’s voice lessons”.
Lots of people use Google Calendar and iCal as well. Whatever you use, make a habit of it and start using a calendar instead of a to-do list.
B. Stop consuming information in real-time
Have you ever bought a training course that included hours of video? Does part of your work involve attending webinars or other online video events?
Most of us do. The problem with online video is that it’s typically a 1:1 ratio. That is, a 5-minute video takes 5-minutes to watch.
Yet I regularly get through a 30 minute video in 15 minutes. Or a 10 minute video in 5 minutes. Now that is more productive!
How? By speeding it up! Think about it: we all know the power of increasing our READING speed. Why not increase our LISTENING speed as well?
Just the other day, I attended a webinar that was just over an hour long. I watched it in less than 30 minutes. It saves me so much time!
Best of all, it’s free. If you use Google Chrome for your browser, there’s an extension called Video Speed Controller. Once you have it installed, you’ll see a new tiny little speed setting in the upper-left corner of your online videos.
Here’s what you do: after you install it, go watch a video at 300% speed. You won’t understand much of it. But keep listening. Then turn it down to 250% speed. You’ll notice that you’re picking up words fairly quickly. Listen to it for a few minutes and see if you can understand it.
Then, decrease the speed again to 200% and you’ll be blown away: you’ll be listening to the video at twice the normal speed but you’ll be able to understand 95% of what you’re hearing.
But, like any new skill, it’s going to take some getting used to. So decide right now that you’re going to stick with this for a few days. If you do, I promise you’ll love it. And you’ll be a lot more productive just by having half of your learning time back.
C. Use a transcriptionist to become more productive
This is a massive time-saver for me. It’s something I figured out a few years ago and I love it.
I read quickly. In fact, the only thing better (for me) than watching a video at 2X speed would be just having the transcription of the video in front of me.
So, if I have content I need to go through quickly — or especially if I need to review it or critique it — what I’ll usually do is send the file to Rev.com and have them transcribe it for me.
It usually only takes a few hours to get the transcription back. If you’re a fast reader, you can consume the same video content in minutes by just scanning/reading the document.
D. Re-purpose your content
Most internet marketers will tell you that producing content is the task that eats most of their time. A really well-written blog article of any size might take an hour or more.
But, think about how much faster you can talk than you can write. Think about how many words you’re producing every time you do a 20-minute podcast episode or a 10 minute Facebook Live video.
If you’re producing content in any format, you should re-purpose it in another format.
For instance, let’s say you shoot a 10-minute Facebook Live video for your Followers. Rather than just let that video live on your Facebook page (to scroll away and never be seen again), do this:
a. hit the “Embed” button, grab the code and embed it on your blog.
Result: that ONE Facebook video has now become a blog post, a podcast episode and a transcription that can be shaped into a new article, a book chapter, an ebook, a lead magnet, a course lesson, etc.
In other words, with just ONE 10-minute video, you’ve created a minimum of 4 pieces of content.
If you did this just a few times per week, you can produce up to 50 pieces of content every month that you can give away, sell, monetize, etc.
We can all afford to be more productive. But little tweaks like the ones I’ve shared with you here are an easy way to get more done.
What are some of your favorite productivity hacks and tips? Post them in the comments!