If you’re feeling like your to-do list is getting too long, that you’re falling behind, can’t maintain focus to get things done, and not sure how to set up you’re environment to win, then this one is for you.
We have 3 experts to share their top tips and tools for becoming more productive and efficient. Don’t forget to check out the full Kwik Brain episodes with our experts via the links!
We have Julia Roy (@juliaroy) a personal trainer for productivity who takes a brain-based approach to get it all done.
And Ari Meisel (@arimeisel) the best-selling author of Less Doing, productivity expert, and CEO.
Also, Jay Shetty (@JayShettyIW) storyteller, former monk and superhero friend of the podcast. He’s an award-winning host and viral content creator.
GUEST 1: JULIA ROY
- DESIGNATE WORK-ONLY ZONES
- When we do more than one thing in a single place, it becomes harder to do just the one task you’re meant to be doing
- When you’re at your desk doing different things each time (brainstorming, emails, managing projects, etc.) you can become distracted and wonder what you should do, because you’ve been anchoring that place in many types of work
- Using your bed to watch TV, read a book, checking your phone, we’re using our bed for work and play and then we wonder why we can’t fall asleep and use it for sleeping and dreaming—we’re confusing it by doing different activities in the one place
- SET THE RIGHT SOUNDTRACK
- Sound is such a part of our physical environment even if we’re not aware of it, but the good news is audio cues are one of the easiest things to insert into your workflow thanks to music
- As an example: if you’re trying to get through your emails, find a specific song or playlist and set it on repeat
- Julia uses “Intense Studying” on Spotify: this is upbeat, instrumental and has no words
- GIVE YOUR DEVICES SPECIFIC TASKS
- You might not think of your devices as part of your physical environment
- Study: our brain doesn’t know the difference between the real world and the digital world
- Use your devices for specific types of work e.g Julia is using an app-free, internet-free laptop to focus on her writing work
- Use an iPad for entertainment purposes only, don’t open up entertainment apps on your laptop because when you’re working on something that’s particularly hard, your mind will try to find other things to do (like open these apps to watch your favorite show!)
- If you designate different places and different technologies with different tasks, you will start to associate each with the activity it is meant for and get more done
- In this way, the iPad becomes a place where you can truly release and relax, where you won’t be thinking about work and adding to-dos, and this makes it easier for you to stay focused
- Start to use your environment to create a place where a specific type of work happens
GUEST 2: ARI MEISEL
- Any optimized business that wants to grow needs to look at 3 areas: communication, project management, and processes
- You want more tools for communication than less, and to have specific tools for different types of communication
- This is so our brain can switch into different contexts and roles when we use different tools
- Tools Ari uses: email as an external tool (won’t be talking to the team here), Voxer with the client, Slack used for the team, Intercom to bridge the gap between the two for customer support
- Favorite tools: Trello and Airtable, based on the principle of ideas being on an assembly line
- Process Street: check listing tool in which you can add conditional logic, and track tasks through a defined process
- Automation: using IFTTT Aris has taken processes that took 24 steps and multiple human beings and automated them using tools
GUEST 3: JAY SHETTY
DIGITAL DETOX STEP 1
- Think about it like a diet: you first have to look at what you’re putting into your body
- Health isn’t just about what you eat, it’s about what you think
- The first step is awareness
- Set up a digital detox sheet and journal your awareness: it will do half the work for you!
- Once you see how much time you’re spending on various apps (Facebook, Netflix etc.) it will assist you to change
- You can check your app usage on your iPhone or check your stats within Instagram
DIGITAL DETOX STEP 2
- Build no technology zones within your home e.g. no technology within the kitchen and bedroom where you can build better bonds with other people
- Set no technology times within your home e.g. Jay used to lock his phone outdoors in the car, used a real alarm clock to wake up
- Keep your phone in another room, do not wake up to your phone—will save you so much time and hassle
DIGITAL DETOX STEP 3
- Don’t switch between using lots of technology and no technology: build a diet and slowly remove parts of it
- Remember that when you reduce your consumption you’ll come straight back and want to do it e.g. when you starve yourself of anything your mind wants to go to the other extreme
- Once you build your digital diet sheet, set out your parameters in your home and your boundaries, only try to remove one thing at a time (e.g. Facebook, Instagram)
- Make your change a big priority, and a small step
- Little things are done consistently add up to big things
- Do one every week for a month: most of us try to change four things in one week when all you need to do is change one thing in one week for four weeks and you’ll have a beautiful result