There are only 24 hours in a day, and if you’re looking to become a millionaire by 25, you need to make every hour count. Productivity is extremely important to completing work on time, and enables you to be successful. Especially if you’re in school or college, you only have a small amount of time to work on your business and finances. You need to make that small amount of time count.
For some, it’s easy to stay on task but for others it’s very difficult. Especially with younger people, there are so many online distractions like Netflix and YouTube. You need to learn strategies to manage this distraction, and continue to be productive. Here are 10 tips and strategies on staying productive, to become a millionaire by 25.
Make to-do lists
To do list really does help you get work done. Before you go to sleep, write down everything that you need to accomplish tomorrow on a yellow pad. Then tomorrow complete those tasks. Because you have what you need to do right in front of you, it’s easier to stay on task. You know what you need to do, and you know it’s already been done.
Refine to-do lists
However, many people find that, when creating to do lists, they inevitably are unable to finish a task that day, and move it to the top of the next day’s list. This goes on and on and on, and really bite into your productivity. To stop this from happening, refine your to-do list. Get rid of the obvious things that you need to do such as laundry or shopping. Then, with the remaining tasks, organize them into different categories. For me, my categories are “school”, “work” and “real life”.
Track (in writing) your tasks
Only around 17 percent of people are able to accurately estimate the passage of time, so you should track your time down in writing. When starting a task, write down the time. Then, have an alarm on your phone ring, every 30 minutes to an hour. This helps you gauge your time, and be productive. If it’s a habit/task you do everyday, then everyday it should have the same time. If you find yourself going far over time, then you’re probably procrastinating. Tracking your tasks really helps you cut out the procrastination.
On the topic of time, setting deadlines helps you accomplish your task in good time. Try to estimate how long the task will take you, and then set a deadline accordingly. Track your time, and the deadline will push you to finish the work when you need to. This helps you fit in a lot more tasks throughout the day.
A side note: Complete the quickest and easiest to do tasks within an hour after you wake up. I personally find that this really helps me out. I do all the quick things, such as laundry, Instagram posts and blog outlines in the morning time. This gives me the afternoon (after school) to complete the more time-consuming tasks such as writing blog posts and publishing podcasts. Because I have school, I wake up at 5 a.m. to complete these tasks. If I didn’t do these tasks in the early morning, I would be a lot less productive throughout the day.
You may think breaks are just a waste of time, but they’re quite the opposite. Research has shown that taking short breaks during long tasks helps you to maintain a constant level of performance; while working at a task without breaks leads to a steady decline in performance. If you’re completing a task that takes over an hour, take a 10 to 20 minute break in the middle of the task. This will help you continue to concentrate. However, be sure to track this break, and don’t do anything extremely distracting during it, like watch Netflix.
Follow the 2-minute rule
An entrepreneur by the name of Steve Olenski created the ingenious two-minute rule. It states that if a task will take you under 2 minutes, do it immediately. he says that by doing it immediately, it removes stress and actually saves time. And, when you think about it it makes a lot of sense.
A lot of people, especially young people Pride themselves on multi-tasking. I know a lot of friends who choose to do homework while watching TV. This is one of the worst things that you can do for your productivity.. Psychologists have found attempting to do several tasks at once can result in lost time and productivity. Instead, make a refined to-do list, and complete one task at a time. When you’re done with all of your tasks, then you can choose to do more work or to relax and take a Netflix break.
Work in 1 and 1/2 hour intervals
Florida State University recently did a study that found elite performers (athletes, chess players, musicians, etc.) who work in intervals of no more than 90 minutes are more productive than those who work 90 minutes-plus. They also found that top performing subjects tend to work no more than 4.5 hours per day. When doing work, try to do it in 90-minute intervals. If the task will take more than 90 minutes, break it into smaller intervals with other tasks or breaks in between. This will greatly increase your productivity, and by breaking it up will allow you to concentrate more on the task.
Turn off notifications
Phone notifications can be one of the biggest distractions of our time. Every time your phone buzzes, your brain reacts, and you instantly are taken off task. I’m sure you’ve experienced it, and so have I. However there’s a simple remedy to counteract this. When doing work, leave your phone in another room. Then, when you’ve completed the task or on a break, check the phone to see if you’ve missed anything important. You should also do this when sleeping, because if you receive a notification while you are sleeping, studies show that it could take you out of deep sleep. Move your charger out of your room, and into the living room or kitchen.
And now for the most important thing you could do for productivity. Eliminate distractions. I’m going to talk about two main distractions that young people face. (Actually there are three, but we talked about the phone above.) The two main distractions are YouTube and Netflix, and both platforms are actually designed to keep you there for as long as possible. Luckily, you can counteract this.
YouTube is a blessing and a curse. It can be very informational, and teach you a lot, but can also be extremely distracting. I found a good way to use YouTube for education and learning, but not get distracted by clickbait videos. It’s a neat tool called DF (distraction-free) YouTube. It allows you to block certain elements of YouTube, such as the trending page, recommended videos, comments and more. I choose to block everything on you to but the search bar and video. I’m not greeted by a homepage that’s designed to get me to click on as many videos as possible. Instead, all I get is a search bar, where I search for my topic, distraction-free. Then, I learn about my topic, distraction-free, and leave YouTube willingly on my own accord. I strongly suggest that you get this tool.
For Netflix, there are few things that you can do. One, you can remove the autoplay in settings. Unfortunately, this usually isn’t enough to get you off Netflix. Netflix makes money by the amount of videos you watch, so their website is designed to get you to watch as much content as possible. And doubly unfortunately, the content on Netflix is very good, so it’s not hard to get stuck on the website. I think that the best way to remove this distraction from your life, is to Simply get rid of Netflix. Cancel your account.
If you’re using a family account, there are several tools that you can use to block this website, and other websites that distract you. I use Freedom.to, a tool which blocks distracting websites until 9 pm. It allows me to be extremely productive during the day, but still watch a TV show or two in the evening.
Work smarter not harder. By simply removing distractions, and becoming more productive in your life, you’ll have to work less. If you have any other productivity tips, be sure to let me know in the comments section below.