3 Stress Free Productivity Hacks

What are your priorities in life?

In any given 24-hour period there’s so much to do in so little time. You have work obligations, family commitments, fitness goals, chores, and so much more to do. This can be extremely overwhelming.

The result?

Procrastination. For the most part, when people are overwhelmed they put off as much as they can. This builds and builds, snowballing into disaster. You end up spending every spare second of your life doing something you have to do rather than what you want to do–or you simply don’t do it at all. In either case, the end result is less than optimal. You rush through and take the easy way out, trying to skate through life.

Looking back, this has probably been you at one point or another. It really doesn’t have to be this way, though.

You’ve probably met overachievers in some aspect of life. Maybe these people are fitness freaks who find time to work out after doing overtime at a demanding job. Perhaps it’s the single mom who still finds time for her kids and personal goals. Whatever the circumstance, the point is that the seemingly impossible is actually quite possible.

But how is it possible to meet all of these life obligations?

No matter how busy you think you are, it’s possible to get more done. In fact, it’s very likely that with some fine-tuning you can master your life more than you ever imagined. To be more productive, check out these 3 tips!

Win the Morning

The early bird gets the worm.

This old adage is incredibly relevant when it comes to taking control of your day. While the world is asleep, you should be up grinding.

The best way to do this is to dominate your morning. Think about it–what other time of day do you have no disturbances and no distractions? Even if you have a family, there’s no excuse. All you have to do is wake up earlier to find time to achieve whatever you want.

The morning is when you have the most control over your day. It’s a time where you can be proactive rather than reactive. Consider all the things you need to do on a given day. This can be quite overwhelming, so only highlight the most important things. Imagine if most of them were done before you ever set foot outside of your house?

Before Arnold Schwarzenegger became Conan the Barbarian, he was already an extremely busy and successful man. He had to balance time bodybuilding, learning English, and running a business. Not only did he excel at each of these, he also took care of household basics. Prior to leaving his house in the morning, he made a habit of cleaning his home. It was a way to get a win before going out into the unknown and it also took care of something that no one wants to do after a long work day.

Take a lesson from the Terminator: finish important tasks before you leave the house.

Create Contingency Plans

In war and in life, the change in any given variable can ruffle up even the best of plans. One of the greatest generals in U.S. history and former president Dwight D. Eisenhower once said:

“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

Rough translation: no plan takes into account when the you-know-what hits the fan. As you probably know from firsthand experience, nothing is more frustrating than a last minute change. Whether it’s an accelerated deadline or an inconvenience like getting stuck in traffic, you have to adjust on the fly. Going back to what Eisenhower was saying, you need to have a contingency plan. That way, when things go awry you will be unphased and know exactly how to shift your attention.

Navy Seal and overall freak of nature David Goggins learned this the hard way. When he first decided to run a 100 mile race with no training–this is not a typo, he really did this–he made some major mistakes that you can learn from. While running this race, he realized he had not backup water source, in another race he had forgotten to take into account the terrain. The lesson was clear, prepare for the worst-case-scenario. Believe it or not, he could’ve made a 100 mile race more tolerable by having a backup water source and by researching the terrain and climate ahead of time. After doing this, his numbers and overall experience improved.

No matter what life throws at you, you can create a contingency plan by asking “what if” and by doing some research ahead of time. That way, when the inevitable changes do occur, you’ll be ready.

Hold Yourself Accountable

What was the last thing you wanted to do, but didn’t?

Chances are you have an excuse for why things went differently. Everyday people say things like “I would’ve gone to the gym but I had to work late.” Yet there are people who had to work late and still found a way to get to the gym.

How?

They hold themselves accountable. We start each day with a full tank of gas (will power), but as the day goes on there are things that require us to use it. Refraining from buying lunch at work because you brought a sandwich, forcing yourself to workout before going home, holding off on that new car–you name it. There’s a plethora of battles we fight each day that demand will power. To overcome temptation takes a combination of this plus accountability.

There are many ways to hold yourself accountable. Some people like to journal. Another common way to do this is by creating a to-do list. It’s pretty straightforward: if you complete a task you can cross it off, if you don’t then it stays on the list. As you progress throughout the day, you need to make these objectives your primary focus. Although your list may vary from day to day, the end result is still the same. You need to put aside everything else to get these tasks done. In theory, completing these objectives should push you closer to some great goal over time.

At the end of the day, it’s time to reflect on your progress. Whatever remains on the list is what you need to examine first. There’s probably a reason why you didn’t get it done because of how you approached the day. Be brutally honest and then come up with a plan of attack for the next day.

Accountability is the ultimate friend of productivity.

Final Thoughts

The truth is that anyone can be more productive. If you want to see amazing results and change your life for the better start implementing these ideas.