60-Second Guide To Productivity

60-Second Guide To Productivity

Let us walk together for 60-seconds as we explore what’s simple and effective in time management and productivity. Beyond the horizon, past the new-age mambo jumbo, there is level of simple achievement that any of us can obtain.

The key is to recognize, capture and utilize the fundamentals, to take what works, and get rid of everything else.

Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.
~Paul J. Meyer

0:60 Become an Achiever
One of the biggest factors that causes procrastination is the belief that we do not deserve to achieve and succeed. Without any hype just make the simple decision that you do want to finish what you start and believe in yourself that you will be able to handle the responsibility.

0:55 Differentiate Between Productive Time and Unproductive Time
Which part of the day are you most productive and when are you groggy or low on energy? Schedule the most important tasks during your most energetic and focused time periods.

0:50 Identify Time Sinks
Whether you’re hanging out by the water cooler, surfing YouTube, or idling in front of the television you know what your own vices are. Think about the difference you could make in the world if you traded these time sinks for productivity.

0:45 Goals — Clarify
Clarify exactly what your goals. This will prevent you from being stuck in a position where you don’t know the next action and help you avoid times when you don’t know the reason for why you’re doing something. Make sure your goals are not only clear, but time sensitive, and that you have a concise reason for wanting to accomplish your goal.

0:40 Break Down Tasks
Another big reason for procrastination is that our goals seem too big for us to attempt to achieve. The simple solution is to break up your huge goals into easy to manage tasks and just go ahead and bump them off your task list.

0:35 Get Accountable
When your willpower is questioned, it helps to have people in your life to keep you accountable. Just like my friends who read this blog would not tolerate any negativity from me, you could start a blog, forum, or find friends, family, and co-workers to keep you accountable about your productivity ventures.

0:30 Lists, lists, lists
Have a to-do list running so that you aren’t caught with nothing to do. Whether it’s what you should clean, buy at the store, accomplish at work, read, exercise on, etc. make sure you’re never stuck sitting there with nothing to do. This doesn’t mean don’t relax, but when you do relax do it to your fullest, not because you’re stuck.

0:25 Finish What You Start <period>
When you take on a task you invest time into it. When you put a task off for later you have the potential to never return to it. This is a waste of invested time. Build up momentum and see your tasks through from start to finish without interruptions whenever this is feasible.

0:20 Say ‘No’
Whenever an interruption, or a task that will throw off your schedule presents itself, say no. Do not think that you are being selfish, or unkind to other people that need you — rather think of yourself as disciplined and productive and do not allow anything to be an excuse for reaching your personal goals.

0:15 No Excuses, Be Your Word
Just think of excuses as a breach of integrity where there is a disconnect between giving your word (to yourself or others) and doing the actions. Eliminate all excuses, no matter how good they sound, and do as Nike would do — just do it.

0:10 Breathe
Breathe because this has been an intense 60 seconds and because breathing will send oxygen to your brain and increase your focus. You’ll be rejuvenated for your very next task. Make a commitment to meditate for 15 minutes each morning when you wake up to facilitate high energy and concentration.

0:05 Celebrate Victory
Do a little pre-victory celebration; you deserve it. You now know everything it takes to be super productive. All you need to do is go out there and do it.

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Posted by in Productivity, Time Management | June 5, 2008 | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumble | Print | 12 comments

  • http://www.faceyourfork.com Matt @ Face Your Fork

    Breaking down tasks = the best thing to make myself more productive. If I have a monster of a project but I have no real clue how to handle it, it will be put off *forever*. But if I know exactly what needs to be done and how it needs to be done, there’s a 99% chance that I’ll be tackling that project instead of doing anything else.

  • http://www.warriordevelopment.com Jarrod

    Productive times vs unproductive times…

    Maybe I’m a bit quirky but I find that providing I have enough sleep in the day then there are no unproductive times. It’s more a matter of kicking my mental state to do something than anything else.

    I suppose getting enough sleep is another element of being productive.

  • Doug Rosbury

    Mr. Shalman: The one thing I do when I write is to proof read as I go and also after I am finished
    writing. The most aggravating thing I find on the internet is a seeming lack of consciousness
    regarding the accuracy of peoples written texts. And lo and behold, I also find this lacking in
    your writing at times. You whom I observe pretending to be accomplished at writing.
    In my view it is of paramount importance to be accurate in all aspects of writing if your readers are to receive an uninterrupted flow of effective story telling. misspelled words and other
    infractions Leave me with a severely diluted experience and a feeling that spoils my experience and leaves me feeling that the writer doesn’t care enough for his or her readers experience to take the time to do things right. When this happens, I simply discard the whole text and move on.
    I’m sorry but There’s too much carelessness going around.—Doug Rosbury

    ps: If you wish to delete this rant, be my guest. You can’t hurt me by deleting this. I don’t even care, really.

    • http://www.alexshalman.com Alex Shalman

      Thank you for your constructive criticism Doug, as usual. =)

  • http://www.realjvcash.com/ dusty

    Hi Alex,
    Very informative site!
    How about using leverage,
    using other peoples resources
    to become more productive?

  • http://www.lasvak.com LasVak

    Worth of implementing

  • Pingback: Success Quotes dot Net » Blog Archive » On Productivity()

  • annak

    i like the lady in the picture.. she reminds me of myself a bit

  • Ben

    This is one of my hugest pet peeves,


    you don’t need workouts to prevent it,

    you don’t need a drug to live with it,

    Osteoporosis is a vitamin D deficiency, just take a vitamin D supplement, or drink some milk.

  • http://Successsoul.com/blog/ Shilpan | successsoul.com


    Identify time sinks and finish what we start are the two most important aspects IMHO. Most people get excited initially and quickly find their mind struggling with more than one goal. I believe that most marketing companies take advantage of this fact and that’s why they sell get quick rich programs knowing full well that most people will not bother to even go through the program.


  • http://www.williamsmind.com/blog Will

    great post

  • http://www.SuccessWithEFT.com Michele Price


    I agree with #1 it all starts with the belief we “deserve” I have helped so many solopreneurs and micro-business owners release their lack of deserving.

    You would be surprised in the ways it shows up for people running their own business. The number one thing I see is it affects the ability to take their business to the next income level.