Become a productivity machine

By @TheMarkDalton

When you go all in on your business or your side hustle and you really want to make it a success, productivity is the key metric you need to measure yourself on. Productivity is key to getting the end results you are looking for no matter what they may be.

Rise and grind

Waking up at 5am sounds like hell, right? Well it kind of is hell and its hard not to just lay there looking at the ceiling and doing nothing. It is not easy when you live with other people too and you don’t want to wake them up with your morning hustle. Trust me, they will hate you.

Productivity blogs make it look easy, blogs about people who get up at 5am to meditate and work out before the day begins. There are things you can do to force yourself into the routine such as setting an alarm clock away from the bed so you actually have to get up and turn it off.

Then when you are up you can load up on that caffeine (in moderation of course) but the looming question is – why would you even want to do this to yourself?

Truth is nobody would want to do this, unless you are trying to build something for yourself. Whether you want to work on your side hustle or build your business, those extra hours in the morning can be crucial because while the competition sleeps you can be hard at work.

Waking up at 5am as opposed to waking up at 7am gives me an extra two hours that I really need. Whether I am working on preparation for the upcoming day, working on content, selling on eBay, working on content curation. Whatever it may be, those extra two hours are vital and if I don’t get them in then I feel behind already.

Even the big players are getting up early to get those extra hours in. Tim Cook, Jack Dorsey, Gary Vee. They all rise early with the same purpose and the same approach, not because you want to do it but because you need to do it.

When people ask “Why do you get up so early?” That is the first tell that you are not a winning player. Oh and by the way, you don’t need to be a winning player either. If you are working for someone or you are in a job you are happy with and you don’t want to have a side hustle then you don’t need to be doing this.

However, if you are going into business and you want to win big, you want all the riches and the spoils that come with it or you want to have your side hustle game going strong to supplement on top of your current income then those extra hours are hours that you can’t do without.

For me, if I got up at 7am then several hours would be lost before the day has even started.

Cut your meetings in half

Meetings are great ways to waste time and this is something I have worked hard on over the past year to get in tune with. When I first started out, I cringe at how long some of my meetings ran. Once potential client I was considering taking on had a two hour meeting with me. Talk about a waste of time, that certainly never happened again.

How long does you typical meeting take? For many people it would be an hour. Cut that in half. I really want you to go ever harder to be honest and get down to 15 minutes if you can do it. That is what I have worked towards and it has been a dream for me.

This won’t be possible for every meeting but the ones you can do it for then do it. At the start I am courteous, smile and make a joke or be generally pleasant but as soon as I sit down it is go time and I am ready to go so you better be too.

When you reach the time to finish then wrap it up and cut loose. You don’t need to be rude about it, you don’t have to be a complete jerk but wrap it up briskly and don’t hang around because that encourages people to continue. When you are done then you are done.

In your own mind – have a huge ego

This one is not for everyone, but it is my favourite and I love doing it. Have a massive ego internally, don’t ever let it show. Keep it to yourself and use it seldom when you feel the need to boost your confidence and your fire.

Perfect example was last week when I was in Starbucks in the city (I know, the coffee is shit but the wifi is great). I went in to get an hour of work done, there was two people on laptops and the rest were just relaxing and chatting. It is 10am on Monday morning.

I look around, some people are on Facebook, some are on YouTube and some are just chilling. The way I look at it? Nobody wants it. Nobody wants it the way I do, nobody is putting in the work for it. More for me. Then I smile and continue on my own shit.

Now, a point to be made about this. Mainly that it is completely untrue, plenty of people want it and are working hard for it. Many of you I know want it and are grinding for it. However, it is simply a little frame of mind I break out every now and then, especially on Monday morning which can be a bit of a drag so I can light that fire underneath myself and keep pushing on.

Like I said, this isn’t going to be for everyone. Not everyone is going to like this but it works for me and I would recommend finding a similar state of mind you can keep stored away which will work for you.