They say that shopping is fourth discipline of triathlon. Very true observation indeed. I remember sitting once with my fellow triathloners while on bike training and talking about bikes.
Everyone was ready to spend another couple thousand dollars for bike that would be 5 pounds lighter than one we already had. Which would be fine but looking around the table, every one of us was like 10 pounds overweight.
Obviously, it is much easier to buy new expensive flashy bike that is 5 pounds lighter than shave off those 10 extra pounds.
Same with most of business and life advice. Hacking instead of building strong foundation and working on improving basics. Time management for example. All of the books are offering better tools, more sophisticated apps, new hacks. All aimed on getting more out of your day.
I strongly believe we should take one step back and focus on fundamentals of productivity. Being effective requires healthy, fresh person full of energy.
4 Fundamental Keys To Effectivity
To be an effective person there are 4 things you need to do on regular basis:
i) good sleep
Without good sleep your productivity will go down. Your decisions will not be sharp.
Best sleep is before midnight, so if you can choose, it is much better to wake up early than staying late. Many successful people report on waking up as early as 5am. There is no substitute for sleep. Any pils, drinks or other hacks will catch up with you sooner or later.
ii) eat well
What you put in you get out. 5 healthy meals a day will keep you fresh and full of energy. Plenty of vegetables, as little simple sugars as possible. Moderation in amounts of what you eat. Simple rules to live by that will keep you fresh and healthy.
Don’t forget to drink plenty of water during the day with most of it in the morning. Your productivity is directly related to your eating habits.
Here I don’t mean spending hours in gym. Something as simple as walking will do.
Get simple pedometer or smartphone app and set yourself goal of 10 000 steps a day. Start small and then increase it. Walking is great for thinking, making phone calls and don’t forget, it will take you from A to B. Very useful. Obviously, if you can do more exercise the better. But don’t overdo it. We tend to be very focused on results that results in burn out instead of refreshment.
Make sure you have at least half an hour a day of being unplugged and doing nothing. Save at least one day of weekend for rest, not even checking emails or Facebook. If possible, short vacation every 3 months will do miracles for your productivity. Don’t wait all year for a week or two off in hope it will save you.
Seems bit contradictory, but you need to slow down and refresh to be more productive. At the end you will work less but achieve more.