Episode 34 | (00:00):
Hey there, friend. Are you ready to learn the number one midlife secret to productivity that helps you achieve optimal performance every single day? Yes, I said every single day. And this could be you.
You could become a peak performer very quickly by just applying one or all three of these little solutions. So you're ready to go? Let's dive in and find out what this is all about, okay? I think you're gonna like it.
Hey there, Easy Ager. If you are not already an Easy Aging® Insider, then come on over to the Cool Club. Yeah, I said it, the Cool Club, and get on the Easy Aging® Insiders list. Just go to TheEasyAgingShow.com right after this episode and sign up today.
You know, when I'm trying to figure out what information to give you, I'm giving all these tips and strategies and that type of stuff. But every now and then, I just wanna give you some straightforward, midlife hacks that are gonna make your life easier and more productive.
Because I love me a good productivity hack. I am always up for new and more effective ways to do things. And I really, genuinely enjoy the hunt.
When I have a new discovery, I spend a decent amount of time playing around with it and seeing if it's going to fit into my life, seeing if it's going to work doing this or doing that. Or maybe it works better for one thing and it doesn't work for another.
So I do play with these. Over the years, I've discovered three things that have consistently increased my productivity and help me manage my time effectively, whether I'm at work or at home or working on a project or anything in-between.
In episode 32, I talked about three things to consider before you ever start decluttering your house or your workspace or your garage or whatever it is. And these three things work, not just for decluttering, but for just about any project you're going to be taking on.
So what I want you to do is just experiment with each one of these and see what fits easily into your life and see what works best for your needs. One may click with you and the other two may not and vice versa. Who knows, right?
What I'm going to be talking to you about today are called sprints. Now, if you are not sprinting daily, you are missing out on the next best thing to sliced bread when it comes to productivity. You can do these sprints in three different ways.
Sprints are very simple, just turn on the timer and go. And when the timer rings, stop. You know, pretty basic. It doesn't get more exciting than that, all right? So there are three ways to do sprints. Actually, there are probably more than three ways to do sprints, but I'm going to be giving you three ways today.
Before I get started, I wanted to tell you the main reason sprints work. And that's because of one little word that is called deadline. Yes. The urgency of a deadline pushes you, kind of backs you into a corner and forces you to work as quickly as you can.
When you're up against the clock, you have no choice but to be focused, to work at a steady pace, to work at a speedy pace. And it is amazing. It's absolutely incredible how much work you can get done when you are focused and the clock is ticking.
So when I'm giving you exercises and I say, "Hey, grab a sheet of paper and a pen and set the timer for two minutes," I do that for a couple of different reasons. Number one is two minutes — I mean, come on, it's just two minutes, 120 seconds.
That's not very long. And I think most of us think, "You know, I can do anything for two minutes." So I want you to understand that two minutes isn't that long and you can do it. It doesn't seem overwhelming. That's one reason I tell you that.
But the other reason I say it is because it helps you focus and it helps you realize, "Oh wow, I've only got two minutes. I need to get focused. I need to get as many things on this list as possible.
And your hand starts moving, and you're writing as fast as you can. When you're up against the clock like that, it does motivate you. It helps your brain get going, and you're moving at a much faster pace than you normally would if you had 30 minutes or an hour or something like that.
So that's why I always say two minutes. That's why I tell you two little baby minutes, two minutes of fun-sized action. That's all we're doing here, right?
So no matter how long the sprint is, I always feel refreshed. I feel accomplished at the end of my sprint and I sit back and I look at what I've done. And I am just in awe of my awesomeness because I was so productive. ;)
Yeah, no, I just sit back and pat myself on the back. I'm sure you'll do that too at the end of all this. So here are three different ways to sprint, depending on what you're doing.
If you want a really basic sprint, you can set the timer for five to 10 minutes, maybe even 15 minutes, and do the do, whatever you're working on. You're cleaning out a junk drawer. You're working on a closet. You're trying to get some filing done before you go to bed.
Whatever it is, five or 10 minutes is going to get you further than not doing anything, right? Okay. So that's the first way to do this.
The second way to do this is by using the Pomodoro Technique, which is basically 25 minutes of focused effort followed by a five-minute break. This is really good for learning. When you're trying to learn new things, it works extremely well with your memory.
It's based on the theory that our brains are more likely to remember what we learn in the beginning and at the end of a presentation or a workshop or a social event. We are less likely to remember the items in the middle.
So for instance, if you're at a party, you're probably gonna remember the names of the first few people you meet and the last few people you meet. Same thing if you're reading a long magazine article. You're gonna remember the information at the beginning of the article and at the end of the article.
This is just the way our brains work. So the key to remembering more in the middle is just to create more beginnings and endings.
Some folks use the Pomodoro Technique when they're learning and studying. Other folks use it just because 25 minutes works really well for them. I mean, either way, it's a really handy way to sprint.
So while the Pomodoro Technique helps with your memory, there are times when you just wanna get things done. You just wanna grind it out and be done with it, right? In those cases, those are the times you're going to want to expand the amount of time for your work sprint.
When I work, I set the timer for 60 minutes because I want to get into the flow of the task-at-hand. I wanna get as far along as I can before taking that break. So for me an hour works, it works really well. For other folks, they may choose lengths anywhere from 45 minutes to 90 minutes.
You're gonna need to play with these times and see what lengths keep you at your best. Once you figure out what works for you, just start doing it. Take little five-minute, 10-minute breaks in-between those sprints and you're gonna be amazed at how much you get done once you start getting into the flow and the momentum of your work.
And here's a little bonus productivity hack for you that I did not mention earlier. It's called the Do Not Disturb feature on your phone. Did you know you had one? Yeah. Yeah, you do. Even if you've never used it in your whole life, you have one.
Now productive people use this feature regularly on a daily basis. That's because these productive people know they cannot be productive if they allow interruptions into their day. It's just not gonna happen.
They also know that no matter how powerful or how important they are, the work will not get done unless they set these kind of boundaries. They know they have to decide, they have to prioritize and they have to commit to the work. So therefore, my Easy Ager, my midlife friend you — as a productive person — get to do the same things.
So to recap, sprints are the midlife secret to productivity. You can do the five to 15-minute sprint. You can do the 25-minute sprint with five-minute breaks called the Pomodoro Technique. That's really good for memory and learning new things.
And you can do the 45-minute to 90-minute sprint when you just need to grind out the work and get on to the next thing. And don't forget the Do Not Disturb feature on your phone. That is gonna help you stay away from those distractions that keep you from being productive during your day.
So that's it for today. I do hope you found some helpful hints in one or all three of these sprints. Give them a try and see how they work for you.
Once again, if you're not already an Easy Aging® Insider, go to TheEasyAgingShow.com and sign up right now. And until next time, peace, love and blessings to you and yours. Take care. Bye-bye!