1. Get enough sleep. Contrary to pop culture, it’s not a status symbol or sign of strength.
Research with arctic scientists proved they were more productive, more focused, and got their work done faster if they slept at least 9 hours per night instead of only 6 hours per night.
2. Don’t multitask. Cognitive neuroscientists have proven that humans cannot multitask. It’s merely fast switching from one thing to another.
Every time you switch tasks, you lose concentration and momentum. The older you are, the harder it gets. (An exception is listening to audio while walking or doing chores. You can put the physical activity on autopilot while your brain engages with the audio.)
3. Turn off distractions and focus. Disconnect yourself from the grid. The world will continue to spin without you.
Shut off the pings, tweets, instant messages, and focus your attention. Get off the grid for days if you need to, and get the project done.
4. Make a stop-doing list and put it where you can see it. There are so many addictive behaviors in life. So put down that video game.
Stop yourself from doing them by making a list. If what you’re doing now isn’t moving you closer to your goals, stop it.
5. No whining or complaining. Moaning about your situation doesn’t do anything to help it.
Nothing changes until you decide to change it. It’s not about having enough resources. It’s about your resourcefulness.
6. Make less content but post it more often. Attention spans are way down. People are gleaning facts, not looking for deep understanding.
Make your content shorter. Make videos under three minutes long. Make posts two-minute reads, around 500 words, but do them more often, with one key point in each.
7. Hire the talent. If you’re an expert in something, get others to write for you in the form of guest articles or posts.
Since you know your vocation well, you’ll know good content when you see it. Getting more content produces an authoritative website that will grow, providing more content for search engines.
8. Upgrade your equipment. It’s frustrating waiting for machines, uploads, or having to sneakernet data around between computers.
I always prefer to use a laptop computer. I can hook it up to a big monitor for production work or slide it into the backpack. All my data is in one place.
9. Repurpose your content. You may have heard it called transmedia, multimedia, or intermedia, but it’s all the same thing.
Shoot a three-minute talking head video, extract the audio for a podcast, and get it transcribed for text and slides. Now you can take one message and share it, in different forms, in hundreds of places.
10. Protect your assets and back up your data. Although not technically a production booster, it will prevent downtime, headaches, and legal hassles.
11. Focus on your core competencies. Learning a new skill is terrific, so long as you can apply it immediately to what you’re already doing.
It’s better to cultivate a deep understanding of one thing than it is to flit from idea to idea, looking for the next quick hit that never comes. Put down roots and do work you love to do.
12. Go analog. When it comes time for planning, go low tech with pencil and paper.
Research has shown that thoughts are more complete if you write them out by hand. You’re also more connected to them, more likely to complete them and remember them.
13. Make a to-do list. This idea has been around for 100 years, and it’s still great advice.
Make a list of the 5 top things that you want to achieve tomorrow, and number them in the order of their importance. Then do at least one of them and make progress towards your goals or ideals.
14. Plan in quarters. Divide a piece of paper into four columns. List in each quarter what you want to achieve.
Once you have your list, transfer it to a whiteboard within plain view. Then you can keep yourself on track as you aim for your quarterly goals.
15. Quit. Have the courage to quit, or delegate, everything you’re merely average at doing. Good enough isn’t good enough anymore.
These days, everyone’s a channel, a content provider, and a brand. What we lack is trust. So make a commitment. Choose to be the best in the world at what you love to do, or quit and move on to something else.
I hope this inspires you to take massive action. With a massive effort, you get massive results. If you build on the positive results, it leads to increased belief in yourself and your abilities. Then you can take even more action and continue to build your momentum.
So stop the distractions, procrastination, and excuses. It’s time to work hard and push yourself to produce more. That’s how you’ll weather the storms, get through the dips, and emerge best in the world doing work that you love to do.
To your success,
Michael Warren Campbell
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