“Success leaves clues,” is something you’ll hear Tony Robbins say in his seminars. Thankfully successful people in every field have obliged by taking the time to write down what they learned. The question is whether we’ll bother to go in search of them. With the internet, a few clicks is all we need, and yet still so many people can’t be bothered. It’s one of the great mysteries of life.
Want to know how to build a business? Pick up a book by Richard Branson, or maybe Tony Hsieh. Want to have better relationships, check out How To Win Friends and Influence People or Women Are From Venus And Men Are From Mars. Whatever answers you’re looking for, there’s a good chance you’ll find it in a book somewhere.
I’ve personally added over 300 books to my library on the topics of personal development, marketing, and time management over the past 10 years.
From those books, interviews, and audio programs I’ve listened to, here are 17 of the best productivity hacks I’ve come across.
- 4-Minute Meetings – In his book, AskGaryVee, Gary Vee talks about how he has gotten his meetings down to four minutes. How long do your meetings need to be? (Gary Vaynerchuk)
- Turn Off The TV – Negativity sells. That’s why newspapers and the news is full of all that’s wrong in the world. We need to be filling our minds with inspirational ideas that can make a difference in our lives, not what is going on thousands of miles away. (Chris Widener)
- Eat that Frog – Start off your work day doing the thing you want to do least. Maybe it’s paying a visit to an irate client, or talking to your boss about a mistake you made, but once it’s finished, a weight will be lifted from your shoulders. Most people do just the opposite and procrastinate. (Brian Tracy)
- Complete Lose Ends – Don’t leave tasks hanging. Once you start on something, work to finish it completely before moving on to something else. The last thing you want is to have a lot of unfinished projects on your desk. (Eben Pagan)
- Health – Two words: Hydrate and food. A car needs the right oil and gas to ensure that it runs well. Think of your body as the most valuable car you’ll ever own. Treat it well. (Tony Robbins)
- Sleep – Rest is critical. Too often entrepreneurs sacrifice sleep for their work, but our body requires sleep to perform at optimum levels. (Arianna Huffington)
- The Early Bird – While there are some people that are night owls, physiologically speaking, the human body is made to be active when the sun is up. It’s amazing how productive you can be if you make waking up at 5am a habit. (Darren Hardy)
- Alert Addiction – We are constantly distracted by our iPhones buzzing. It excites us. Interrupt someone in the flow of things and it will take them about 10 minutes for them to get back into it. Don’t self-sabotage your success. (Brian Tracy)
- Refuse – By saying no, we free up time to do the things we want to do. When opportunity comes knocking, make sure you have time to answer it. (Jack Canfield)
- Stretch – A quick work-out to begin the day is recommended by so many experts I’ve lost count. The problem is people tend to find any excuse not to do it. If that’s you, then a 5 or 10-minute stretch will suffice. (Brendon Burchard)
- Mobile University – Commuting time is dead time. Most people use it to listen to news or music. Why not pick up some audio programs instead? In a few short years, you’ll have gotten a world-class education in any subject you desire. (Jim Rohn)
- VA – The Four-Hour Work Week is not a fairy tale if you use virtual assistants. Help yourself by letting other people assist you. They can cost as little as $5/hour. At that price, it’s certainly worth exploring the possibility of hiring one. (Tim Ferriss)
- Screw Perfectionism – Windows is constantly getting updated, why? Because it’s better to sell something that isn’t perfect, than wait for a perfect product. Mistakes will happen anyway, but doing something always trumps doing nothing. (Bill Gates)
- The Clean Desk – The last thing you need is a messy desk. Finding the necessary papers should be the least of your worries and with an organized desk, it is. (David Allen)
- Tech Is Your Friend – Like it or not, Facebook is the greatest networking tool in existence. Use it. (Mark Zuckerberg)
- Old School – Books are your friends. Looking for a good idea, pick up a book over 40 years old. You’ll be amazed at what you find. Want a really amazing idea? Try reading a book over 100 years old. (Jeffrey Gitomer)
- The Email Trap – Want to be 30% more productive? Stop looking at your email in the first 60 minutes of the day. 90% of people wake up grab their phone and check their emails, and by doing so you let their needs and wants dictate your life. (Brendon Burchard)
“Books are your friends. Looking for a good idea, pick up a book over 40 years old. You’ll be amazed at what you find. Want a really amazing idea? Try reading a book over 100 years old.”