When it comes to personal development and self-improvement, each person is different. However, the following tips encouraged almost all of my mentoring clients and workshop participants to enhance their productivity, even if they came from a variety of backgrounds.

  1. Dispose of all distractions

    I can not take this one very seriously: distractions are the greatest killers of efficiency.

    Push notifies the pop-up, colleagues enter your place, sudden phone calls ... these all cost us so much more energy and time than we know right away.

    You don't have time to check your email, but it goes much further. Such sudden interruptions trouble your concentration and focus, which in the long term is much higher.

    According to a 2015 report, distractions not only damage our concentration during our work, but also increase the likelihood of error by almost 30%.

  2. Use the law of 5 seconds

    Mel Robbins's five-second rule is one of my favorite success books and things are done.

    Even if I loved reading the book, it can be quickly summarized in essence of the 5 Second Rule:

    The moment you have an instinct to act on a goal you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will stop you. 5–4–3–2–1-GO!

    — Mel Robbins

    But how can this law be implemented to boost everyday productivity?

    The five-second rules help to avoid delays. If you don't want to do anything out of necessity, the rule makes you act.

    We do not function productively in many cases because we are overwhelmed and irritated by spending time filled with unnecessary things rather than perform the basic tasks.

    Using the five-Second law, you can focus and carry out your todo list anywhere you do not want to.

    Whenever you are looking for excuses as to why not, consider the five second rule. Count backwards 5–4–3–2–1, and get back to work.

  3. Prepare the day before the night

    I end up being unproductive and inefficient when I don't know how to continue my (working) day. This is not that I'm lazy, but I really don't know where to begin and what to do first.

    If I have to use important resources first in the morning to plan my job and appointments, I have no time all day long.

    Planning the days ahead at night works wonders for many of my clients and myself. In this way, you know you are not involved and can focus on the most important tasks right after you wake up.

    I will strongly advise the Ivy Lee method if you do not have an appropriate regular planning process. I saw lots of productivity equipment and hacks already (and tried) yet I have definitely found the Ivy Lee approach to be the most successful and easiest.

  4. Get enough sleep

    The lack of production and the growing inability to concentrate over time is one of the most common reasons why we are sleep deprived.

    So many people today get trapped in a hustle and bustle of mind that they would do more if they spent fewer hours in bed.

    While we're sleeping, there are hundreds of processes going on in our bodies. Sooner or later a lack of sleep will backfire, both physically and mentally.

  5. Do something that you love

    This might sound a little vague, but it's the hard truth. Working productively and producing great results is hard when you don't like what you do all day long.

    When you feel stuck and you don't enjoy your job at all, take some time to think about whether or not what you're doing is your passion.

    Each job comes with challenges, yet it's easier to get through the bad times if we do something that we enjoy.

    Ikigai is an incredibly effective Japanese term and method of finding your purpose for being anytime you feel stuck.

    It helps you to figure out how to match your talents and desires with what the world needs, and is willing to pay for them. The most important game-changer in my life was discovering my own Ikigai.

  6. Setting the Exciting Goals

    Figuring out what to do is the first step, but once you've found your Ikigai, you also need some ambitious goals. Otherwise, you would soon get bored, and your productivity would decline.

    Even though we do meaningful work, having a clear vision and ambitious goals is a great driver of motivation and progress.

    Getting a perfect vision of our future in mind is a great motivation to get shit done and operate effectively, even if we don't feel like it.

    If I feel stuck, the first thing I do is do a visualization exercise. What do I want my life to look like in five, ten, or fifteen years? Which tools do I need to build the life of my dreams? Once I know the answers to these questions, I find it much easier to set specific targets and get the jobs done.