The average workday is 8 hours. More often than not, the employer expects their employees to be working for those said 8 hours. That means 8 hours of sitting and concentrating on whatever tasks that profile deems as “work”. However working many hours straight without a break does nothing for your productivity. By concentrating consistently throughout the day, you risk burnout.
“It is only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up – that we will begin to live each day to the fullest as if it was the only one we had.” ~Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
Lesson 1: Being productive is more important than being busy
Have you ever seen ants in action? No doubt they are the most hard-working insects on the planet, but that doesn’t mean they are being the most productive. When it comes to being productive, there is a lot of chance we mix it with hard work. Although, sometimes it is difficult to differentiate the two, and that is where Tim Ferris makes it clear to us.
The 80/20 Rule
Tim Ferris drive our attention to the very famous 80/20 rule. This rules simply means that you have the choice to choose and work on things that are giving you 80% results. For instance, if you are doing an online business and you want to keep it productive. Take out a list of your customers and filter them out based on order value. You will see a pattern. You will see that 80% of the customers are giving you 100% of the business, and 20% of the customers are energy drainers. The energy drainers are those customers that turn every experience into a disaster. No matter what you do, they will always find something to blame you. So, Ferris makes a point to focus on those 80% customers and fire the rest of 20% customers.
Lesson 2: Cultivate Selective Ignorance
The news is a waste of time. If something is really important, people will bring the news to you. Watching news not only deteriorates your mind power, it also fill your mind with aimless assumptions. Tim forces on the fact that watching less tv and instead of reading in that time will put you in the top 10% of people in America who achieve what they dream.
As an example, Ferris suggests to completely eliminate tv and do web surfing instead. Pick out topics that you love or even start reading whatever you came across that will enhance your knowledge in any manner.
Lesson 3: Delegate, Delegate, and Delegate
“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.” ~Bill Gates
Never automate something that can be eliminated, and never delegate something that can be automated or streamlined. Otherwise, you waste someone else’s time instead of your own, which now wastes your hard-earned cash. A good practice is to use online task management tool that will save your valuable time.
In this fast phase world, you need to act smart and fast than your competitors. The wisest of you are those who automate things and fill that time by doing something productive.
Lesson 4: Challenge the status quo
The author goes like if people are facing with a problem and everyone is applying the same solution to the problem then it is time now to change the approach and ask yourself. What different can we do to accomplish the same result? Change your approach no matter how nonsense it sounds at first. If you don’t execute your ideas, they will die. So, it is better to execute your ideas and learn something rather than not doing anything and regretting it later.
Lesson 5: Find something that excites you
When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way that when you die the world cries and you rejoice. Most of the people die with their song in their heart. Make sure you are not one of them.
Many people spend most of their lives doing jobs they don’t like and working for people they don’t feel comfortable with. The solution to this problem is to do something you love and start something that excites you. This can be anything that excites you to make up in the morning and cut off your sleep time. Some people refer to this as ‘in the zone’ something that doesn’t need your attention, instead you are driven to that work by heart.
Lesson 6: Master ‘The Art of Refusal’
When you start saying ‘Yes’ to anything that is important soon you will be saying ‘No’ to everything that is important to you. No doubt saying ‘No’ is sometimes difficult but keeping the above idea in mind you need to build a habit and learn ‘The Art of Refusal’ Ferris presented a simple way to say ‘No’ to anything that is unimportant. This particular scenario can be used to eliminate the time wasters.
You: “Hi, this is John.”
Caller: “Hi John, this is Jane.”
You: “Hi Jane, I’m right in the middle of something/I have a call in just a minute/I’m about to go to a meeting. How can I help?”
This is short, sweet and not offensive. You can build your own. For every scenario learn ‘how to say No’ in the best possible manner.
Lesson 7: Brainstorm Ideas
Generating ideas is one thing, but executing them is a different ball game. Pick your top 5 ideas and start brainstorming them. How can you tweak them for best possible results? How can the ideas serve humanity? It is very important to do the brainstorming session with your most trusted friends. Your friends will give your genuine reviews about your ideas. And if your gut feeling goes with the idea than you surely need to execute that idea.
To conclude it all. We all are born in this world for a reason. And we all have limited time on this earth. We cannot change the past or the future, but what we can do is to live today better than yesterday, and plan tomorrow better than yesterday. We can only achieve big things if we plan out and prioritize things in advance. The 4-hour work week is an amazing book that can teach you tons of more life lessons. For productivity management, you can also go for ‘Getting Things Done’ by David Allan.