How to Get More Done in a Day

It’s well-known that I value productivity. In fact, I’m a little obsessed with it. So much so, that I’m frequently asked, “Viken, how do you get so much done in a day?” (Sometimes, when I look back over the things I was able to accomplish, it’s a question I even ask myself.)

But the truth is, there’s no big secret to be found at the heart of my productivity. I manage my schedule well, plan out the week ahead on Sunday, and — here’s a no-brainer — avoid wasting time.

I also:

  • Follow Ben Franklin’s advice: early to bed and early to rise.
  • Answer my cell discriminately.
  • Empower my staff so they do not have to email or call me unnecessarily.
  • Check my email 3 times a day, not every 5 minutes.
  • Reply to an email, delete it, or file it as a to-do item.  My inbox has less than 30 emails at one time.  Usually less than 5.
  • Anything that takes three minutes or less, I do immediately.
  • Delete useless endless emails such as jokes and unnecessary social stuff.
  • Do not tweet, Facebook and post on GIFT-PL or LinkedIn as if it were my job. Social media is a big productivity drain!
  • Am not hanging out at Starbucks 3 times a day. Like almost everyone else, I enjoy Starbucks, however it has not become my home away from home.
  • Eat a light lunch. And I eat a lighter dinner.
  • Eliminate time vampires.
  • And, when I do happy hour, it’s at 8 PM, not 4:45. (Unless I am having fun with a client or catching up with my wife on our deck at the end of the day. )

Finally, my biggest productivity hack: I remain *ROI-conscious, and create and update this ongoing three-tiered to-do list:

1.       Down the road
2.       Proactive and Important
3.       Urgent

I try to minimize the Urgent so I can focus on #2.  Best way to do it? I take a “thought break” by heading out into nature (it’s easy here in Valley Forge Park) with my notepad and “think.” And yes, I shut off my cellphone.

Do you really want to know how to get more done in a day? It’s simple: Don’t count time. Make time count.

 

*Return on Investment

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