What are the things that you do or use in order to make yourself more productive and smarter?
Most people see productivity as a numbers game: spend as many hours as you can staring at a laptop (and possibly be loud while you do that so you can show everyone else how productive you are being).In reality, productivity is not about the input, it's about the output.It's about how much you produce, not how much you suffer throughout your day.So here are FIVE UNCONVENTIONAL PRACTICES things I use to push my productivity.#1 ‡ SLEEP LIKE A BOWSSI was talking with a coaching client, and he said "I need to sleep seven hours a night. That's my minimum. Any less than that, and I don't function."He was presenting it like a disadvantage. "Everyone else can function on five, and I do seven and a half."The truth is, I need seven and a half. When I train, it gets worse.Eight as a minimum. I see it as an advantage.By having fewer hours in the day, I had to come up with strategies to become more effective, and always make sure I do not waste my day, so I can more effective than anyone else.A lot of people seem to think that sleep is the enemy: it robs us of our time.But actually, sleep impacts the quality of your awake time by letting you be more present and recharged.Studies have shown that a lack of sleep correlates to a drop in IQ (that’s your cognitive performance), and a similar effect on responsiveness as alcohol.Being awake for 17–19 hours has been shown to impair abilities more than drinking over the safe driving limit.From time to time, it's okay to have to sprint late into the night.But when that becomes the norm rather than the exception, it becomes dangerous. Your performance is so low, you will never have enough time in the day…to sleep (and you’ll be caught in a negative loop).#2 ‡ GO ALL IN (ON EVERYTHING)Downtime is a myth.Most people go all in on one thing, and forget everything else.They work hard, and then punish themselves for working hard by not doing anything else with their day.If you’re an entrepreneur, this is the ultimate trap: working hard on your business to create more freedom, only to find yourself going all in on work alone, while everything else withers. Your health, your relationships, your family, you personal time,…it all gets “paused” till a later date.Essentially, you are punishing yourself for doing great work: no wonder motivation falters.And here’s the added bonus to going all in on everything that you do: your standard for life will go up. Instead of accepting mediocre results from yourself in some areas, your discipline and results go up across the board.So your business will benefit too.If you have to stay motivated all day, you are working on the wrong things.Go all in on everything that you do, and motivation will never leave you.#3 ‡ HEALTHY BODY, HEALTHY MINDThere's an old Latin proverb that says, "Mens sana in corpore sano", meaning that, physical exercise will make you perform better mentally as well.First of all, training (especially aerobic, heart-pumping exercise) triggers the release of endorphins in your body, the feel-good chemical. That will change your day and your outlook on your opportunities immediately.Training daily gives you a sense of energy for the day and…it also asks your metabolism to adapt and generate more energy daily.And guess what? You will have more energy.Our bodies and minds are made to adapt to any circumstance, so the more we do, the more our body will adapt to generate more energy, burn more calories, and keep you energised throughout the day.That's why I start my days with a micro-workout of less than 4 minutes, and most of my coaching clients do the same: even if that's just one push up a day, training builds the habit of showing up and getting results over time.So tomorrow morning, get out of bed and do 10 burpees.#4 ‡ READ LESS, ACTION MOREIt's easy to get lost in Quora, blogs, books, audiobooks, podcasts, YouTube, whatever. Feeling that you’re always behind, always missing some key information that’s going to turn your situation around.The truth is, information doesn’t get it done.Imagine reading a book on handwriting.Imagine memorising every single letter and how each stroke is drawn.Does this make you good at writing longhand? Or even able to?Most of us learnt how to write by practising. Someone showed us how to do it (the theory), and then through experience, it became automatic. We’re so good, we can apply it to different materials and use different pens. But, though we do have a theoretical understanding of how to write, most of us can only do it with one hand.Theoretical knowledge usually builds context, exposes you to new ideas, gives you a clear direction and specific examples of what you are learning. It’s a great way to learn from the experience of others, and direct and shortcut your own.Experience, on the other hand, comes from blending theory with facts, events, and actions. It brings knowledge to a whole new level, making it flexible to problem-solving and adaptable to different situations, which makes it more applicable and requiring less cognitive power.Here’s a simple rule of thumb: only absorb as much information as you can action.The less time you can dedicate to taking action, the more focused you should be in your learning.#5 ‡ HAVE A LIFEDon't punish yourself.If all you do is work and not even have a life, you are punishing yourself for doing great work (using some more work on top). Why would you do that?Plus, when you see inspiring people, do exciting activities, and integrate practice in your life, you will learn how to work better (and why), and you will grow all areas of your life.Life isn’t made of small areas you can juggle or freeze temporarily.Everything moves at the same time: your health will affect your work, your work will affect your social life, your socials will affect your motivation, and your learning…and so on.If you pretend some areas in life do not exist, that’s like removing a leg from a chair. I wouldn’t sit on it.Growing all areas of your life is going to make you more productive. And having a natural curfew will also force you to choose high-value activities that bring you forward by leaps and bounds, rather than spreading yourself thin across “everything” you could do.So here are the five unconventional practices to be more productive and smarter:Sleep like a bossGo all in on everythingStay activeRead less (and action more)Have a lifeNow it’s your turn to go do it.‡ Matt♦︎♦︎ join my free, 7 day email course and go from Busy to Productive here ♦︎♦︎