Productivity

What 10 things can I do now to have a better life?

What 10 things can I do now to have a better life?

Life hacks. Tactics. Pro tips for stealing small, incremental improvements to your life...

Make your bed.

Organize your desk.

Drink eight glasses of water a day.

Who. Fucking. Cares?

Seriously, are these truly going to make your life better? Are you going to look back from your death bed and say, "you know, I wish I would have drunk so much goddamn water that I needed to piss 47 times every day?"

The Most Ridiculously Simple Way to Get Things Done

He puked everywhere.

After a hotdog, a bag of popcorn, cotton candy, and dippin dots, the nachos put his four-year-old stomach over the edge.

It was then, having brought my son home from a Washington Capitals game (where he ate his little heart out), I remembered the project management adage:

“What gets measured gets done.”

It started with him finishing the hotdog.

“Wow bud, I can’t believe you finished that! You’ve got a big appetite,” I told him.

From that point forward he asked for more food, which he ate, and I kept expressing how pleased I was until... the point of no return.

Or should I say the point that everything returned. 🤢🤮

Rookie dad mistake.

It’s true, what gets measured gets done.

Just like a child who continues to do a job well when congratulated for a job well done, when you measure yourself against a certain standard you’ll naturally find ways of living up to it.

Take, for example, a two year study published by Cornell University in 2015. They showed that tracking and charting your weight daily is “effective for both losing weight and keeping it off...”

Think of that. The only thing you have to do to start losing weight is track how much you weigh.

😮

What gets measured gets done can be applied to more than just weight loss though.

Want to write a book? Track words written per day against a target.

Want to bench press 200lbs? Track your weight lifted every workout against a goal.

Want to wake up early every morning? Track what time you wake up.

Simple.

What gets measured gets done.

Just don’t measure how much your kid can pack in their little stomach. They’ll get it done, and you’ll see it all again.

PS. That pic is of my notebook habit tracker. Yes I draw it out every month. Yes I color in little boxes everyday. Yes I crush my goals because of it.

Email me to crush yours.


About the Author

mike_mehlberg.jpeg

Michael Mehlberg

HUSBAND, FATHER, ENTREPRENEUR, BUSINESS STRATEGIST, AUTHOR, FITNESS NUT, ORGANIZATION FREAK, PRODUCTIVITY JUNKIE

I help high-achieving entrepreneurs organize their brain and schedule so they can organize their life and business.

Subscribe to my free, weekly newsletter on personal excellence and business mastery that one client called “The Owners Manual to an Awesome Life.”

30 Days of Daily Planning for a Better Life

30 Days of Daily Planning for a Better Life

The last place I ever wanted to be was on a twin-engine propeller plane in an ice storm.

Yet there I was, sitting in seat 2b, listening to the engines labor to keep 20 tons of metal and humanity afloat. Unlike the constant drone of a jet engine, this prop plane had a chant—a repetitive roar intermingled with a gnarly growl—like a lion voicing his displeasure as he tumbled around in an industrial dryer.

The Difference Between Achieving Your Goals and Staying Exactly Where You Are

The Difference Between Achieving Your Goals and Staying Exactly Where You Are

Have you ever set a big goal for yourself only to lose sight of it quickly?

You planned on hiking to some distant land of happiness and abundance, but didn’t know where to start? Or maybe you started strong, but lost momentum along the way?

Over time, your goal became increasingly unattainable until, seeing no end in sight, you struck it from your list and carried on with your life.

It’s happened to all of us, and it’s not hard to understand why.

41 Ways to Get Home Early Every Day This Week

𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗡𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗕𝗲𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗲

1. Get 7 hours of sleep
2. Lay out daily clothes in advance
3. Block calendar for important work
4. Schedule commute time
5. Schedule breaks
6. Plan to deal with time obstacles
7. Schedule administrivia

𝗜𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗠𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴

8. Exercise
9. Eat healthy food that energizes you
10. Tell everyone when you plan to leave
11. When work begins, begin work (don’t get distracted)

𝗙𝗼𝗿 𝗠𝗲𝗲𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀

12. Squeeze meetings together
13. Focus (or leave) meetings that aren’t productive
14. Reschedule meetings that start late
15. Hold stand up meetings
16. Decline meetings where you can’t contribute
17. Add buffer between meetings and tasks

𝗠𝗮𝗻𝗮𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗧𝗮𝘀𝗸𝘀

18. Schedule important tasks
19. Prioritize urgent tasks
20. Delegate unimportant tasks
21. Delete the rest of your tasks
22. Limit emailing to 3x per day
23. Automate repetitive tasks with apps like IFTTT
24. Bundle similar tasks together
25. Set a timer for your tasks

𝗗𝘂𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗪𝗼𝗿𝗸

26. Begin with the end in mind
27. Minimize distractions
28. Stick to your schedule
29. Delegate
30. Work on what matters
31. Focus with music
32. Work intensely
33. Take breaks often
34. Work when everyone else isn’t

𝗔𝗱𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗶𝘃𝗶𝗮

35. Call instead of email
36. Send shorter emails… get to the point
37. Only read emails where you are in the to: line

𝗔𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗘𝗻𝗱 𝗼𝗳 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗗𝗮𝘆

38. Block time before you leave to clean up your day
39. Reduce and remove clutter in your work space

𝗠𝗶𝘀𝗰/𝗗𝗼𝗻’𝘁 𝗙𝗼𝗿𝗴𝗲𝘁

40. Add some greenery to your work space (scientifically proven to increase productivity)
41. Sit, stand, walk, talk, act confidently

How to Get Where You're Going with a Good Plan

How to Get Where You're Going with a Good Plan

A good plan for the week starts on Monday and has two parts:

☝️ The three most important things you’ll get done this week to make it easier to achieve your goal.
✌️ The three things you will get done today, Monday, that will make it easier to have a successful week.

That’s it.

People often complicate planning, thinking it requires expensive project management software, some fancy new task management app, or PhD in Gantt charting to organize their thinking.

This over-complication transforms into an excuse for not planning—for working in disorganized chaos—for living a busy but unproductive life.

But here’s the thing:

A 30-Second Exercise for a Full Day of Productivity

A 30-Second Exercise for a Full Day of Productivity

Tetris is the best puzzle game of all time. Period.

(I thought of ending the post here, but you’d have no f*cking clue how that statement relates to this picture, and I have a point to make...)

The satisfaction of slipping a multicolored shape into the perfect opening to clear the entire board in one epic moment can’t be explained, it must be played.

When you get good at Tetris, you automatically get good at similar games like Dr. Mario, Bejeweled, or Luminex.

That’s because they all have…

Why Productivity Tips and Life Hacks Don't Work

Why Productivity Tips and Life Hacks Don't Work

Look, I write about different productivity, self-mastery, and organization tips almost every day.

Do you think I use them all, all the time?

Hell no!

I’ve used every one of these systems and tips at one point:

📆 I’ve used Kanban and Scrum to manage big projects.
❤️ I’ve used Pomodoro to manage my…

The Japanese Planning System For Procrastinators

The Japanese Planning System For Procrastinators

Planning isn’t for procrastinators.

Procrastinators need pressure to complete their project—time pressure, money pressure, the pressure of a demanding customer.

Procrastinators also need energy. Energy to focus on their task. Energy to ignore the coffee machine, phone calls, texts, cat videos, and other distractions.

When procrastinators have energy and pressure, they don’t need a plan. Shit just gets done.

Without these two things, however, procrastinators find themselves thrashing around like fish in a catch-and-release pond, biting one shiny lure after another, wondering why they can’t make it home.

If you’ve ever procrastinated, you know that fighting it is impossible. But you also know that succumbing to a day of lost work isn’t acceptable.

That’s where Kanban comes in.

Use This Exercise to Get Out of Disorganized Chaos

Use This Exercise to Get Out of Disorganized Chaos

It’s Friday, and you’re battered from a 5-day attack on your focus, attention, and patience; a battle that started the moment your alarm blared Monday morning.

If you started with a plan, it’s now buried in the rubble of a week that bombarded you with emails, phone calls, and customer demands.

Yes, the work-week struggle was real, and though it’s now over, another battle looms next week.

But, enter the weekend with a clean slate and you’ll start next week fresh, reinvigorated, and ready to crush it. What’s more, your free hours won’t be consumed with thoughts of unfinished tasks. You’ll enjoy a truly restful weekend.

This all begins with a weekly review.

Get the Results You Need to Hit Your Goals Faster, Better, Cheaper

Get the Results You Need to Hit Your Goals Faster, Better, Cheaper

There are three ways of working:

  1. 😫 Working in chaos.

  2. 🙂 Getting shit done.

  3. 😁 Getting the results you need to hit your goals faster, better, cheaper.

When you work in chaos or you just try to get shit done, it’s easy to think:

start work -> to get results -> so I can meet my goals.

But this is backwards.

How to Destroy Your Limiting Constraints

How to Destroy Your Limiting Constraints

The first time I watched my grade school friend, Brian, navigate his computer, I was awestruck.

Without touching the mouse, he was switching windows, selecting menu options, and “clicking” buttons on the keyboard, his fingers slamming keys like Mavis Beacon in a Red-Bull-induced typing competition 💻🏋️‍♀️😓.

I was shocked because I didn’t realize such speed and efficiency was possible.

Watching him, a master, was transformative.

Prevent Wasted Effort by Beginning With the End in Mind

Prevent Wasted Effort by Beginning With the End in Mind

It’s Monday, closing time, and in four days your week will be over.

Where will you find yourself Friday afternoon? What will you have accomplished?

Most people don’t know. They begin each day, do what they can, and try to “finish things up” Friday afternoon before cashing out for the weekend.

I’ve been there. Living day to day, never knowing how much I can get done, never planning a path my goals.

A Simple Tool for Staying Massively Productive Every Day

Sometimes, at the end of the day, it feels like you've kept busy yet accomplished nothing.

It's not that you didn't work hard. You answered emails. You took phone calls. You attended meetings. You made decisions.

But for some reason you got nothing done.

Well, that's not true. You got other people's work done, just not your own. You've made little progress toward your goals. You've been running around solving other people's problems. You've been answering other people's questions, and spending time in their meetings.

There's a solution to this problem. It’s a way to move closer to your goals every day while quickly separating busy work from important work.

It's called the Eisenhower Priority Matrix. Here's how it works:

  1. Split a blank sheet of paper into four quadrants, just like the picture above.
  2. Label the four quadrants with Urgent, Not Urgent, Important, and Not Important, just the like picture above.
  3. Write each task in your to-do list down on your paper. Place it in the appropriate quadrant based on whether the task is important (or not) and urgent (or not).
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Now, here's how you deal with each quadrant:

Not Urgent and Not Important? Delete it. These are things like checking Facebook, organizing files on your computer, or other trivial tasks.

Urgent but Not Important? Delegate it. Making dinner reservations, dealing with unimportant emails, and booking flights would qualify here.

Not Urgent but Important? Schedule it. These are things that must get done, but keep getting kicked to the back burner. This would include activities like calling a family member, exercising, developing a marketing plan for your business, etc.

Urgent and Important? Do it. Right now. This is real work. This is where the rubber hits the road. This is where you make real progress toward your goals. Today.

That's it!

If you've ever wondered why you stay so busy but get so little done, this just might be the answer.

It's a simple tool, but should keep you massively productive every day, and leave you with a sense of accomplishment (and time for fun and games)!


About the Author

mike_mehlberg.jpeg

Michael Mehlberg

HUSBAND, FATHER, ENTREPRENEUR, BUSINESS STRATEGIST, AUTHOR, FITNESS NUT, ORGANIZATION FREAK, PRODUCTIVITY JUNKIE

I help high-achieving entrepreneurs live their passion and achieve their dreams by consistently saving time, getting productive, and being more efficient and organized.

Subscribe to my free, short, 60-second newsletter for tips, tricks, links, products, and other discoveries to becoming a more purposeful, passionate, and productive human.

The Importance of Developing a Personalized System to Find an Optimum Path to Your Goals

Have you seen that commercial of the “productivity guy?”

He’s crushing it.

He’s emailing, texting, shuffling papers, taking phone calls, all at the same time.

It’s funny. But it’s NOT healthy.

Multi-tasking. Frantic effort. A relentless pursuit of the next task on full afterburner.

How long can you operate at that level?

Pro hockey players can for about a minute and a half. After that, they hit the bench to recover before taking back the ice.

Your work isn’t as physical, but you still need rest after focused effort.

Real productivity isn't "go go go." Real productivity requires balance.

Balance between exercise and relaxation, business and family, achievement and celebration.

Without balance, you’ll spend a few hours crushing it like the “productivity guy” only to burn out for the rest of the week.

nathan-dumlao-520251-unsplash.jpg

Which sounds better to you?

90 minutes of achievement followed by a week of under-performing?

or

Balanced, sustained, consistent progress and results week after week, month after month?

Uhhhh, option 2 please.

For these results, you need a personalized system complete with:

🍎 A nutrition plan to keep you sharp and focused so you can get work done without sacrificing fun food like 🌮🍔🥓🍩.

🏋️‍♀️ An exercise plan to give you more energy on tough days while fitting your work/travel schedule.

📅 A projects/goals plan so you can achieve consistent results over a predictable timeframe.

📝 A daily management plan so you can end each day with a sense of accomplishment and not feel guilty for resting and recharging.

Shoot me an email if you need help developing a personalized system to find an optimum path to your goals: one that will make a massive positive impact on your health, energy levels, and productivity.


About the Author

mike_mehlberg.jpeg

Michael Mehlberg

HUSBAND, FATHER, ENTREPRENEUR, BUSINESS STRATEGIST, AUTHOR, FITNESS NUT, ORGANIZATION FREAK, PRODUCTIVITY JUNKIE

I help high-achieving entrepreneurs live their passion and achieve their dreams by consistently saving time, getting productive, and being more efficient and organized.

Subscribe to my free, short, 60-second newsletter for tips, tricks, links, products, and other discoveries to becoming a more purposeful, passionate, and productive human.

How to Find Your Breathing Space for a Productive and Important Day

Tucson, Arizona is a beautiful and treacherous place.

At 6am, before the golden sun broke over its cactus-covered foothills, the still, dry air was not yet hot enough to have chased us visitors back in to the comfort of the air conditioned resort. The poisonous tarantulas had not yet crawled out from under their rock homes to scout for mates. The venomous rattlesnakes had not yet set out on their evening hunt for food.

The dangers were minimal. It was the perfect time to be outdoors...

kyle-loftus-657565-unsplash.jpg

But I wasn't out on that serene landscape with those dangers in mind.

I was out to escape the dangers of a world that, in a few short hours, would attack me with its demands, distractions, and expectations; just me, wandering, out for a hike through the desert for no other reason than to hike.

No, this hike didn’t solve some problem or accomplish some goal.

It was the fuel, the space between the logs, the breathing space for what would be a productive and important day.

This weekend, before the demands and distractions of the coming week, take time to find your breathing space.


About the Author

mike_mehlberg.jpeg

Michael Mehlberg

HUSBAND, FATHER, ENTREPRENEUR, BUSINESS STRATEGIST, AUTHOR, FITNESS NUT, ORGANIZATION FREAK, PRODUCTIVITY JUNKIE

I help high-achieving entrepreneurs live their passion and achieve their dreams by consistently saving time, getting productive, and being more efficient and organized.

Subscribe to my free, short, 60-second newsletter for tips, tricks, links, products, and other discoveries to becoming a more purposeful, passionate, and productive human.

Stop Making “Feel Good” Progress and Put a Real Dent in Your Goals

Have you ever completed a task, written it down, and then checked it off after the fact?

It’s okay. You can admit it :-). Almost everybody does.

It gives you a sense of completeness. It makes you feel good. Like, your brain literally releases dopamine to your body, the feel good chemical.

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There’s nothing inherently wrong with this.

But take care not change your mindset from making important progress to making “feel-good” progress.

✅ Call the dentist? Check.
✅ Send that email? Check.
✅ Walk the dog? Check.
⬜️ Build a product strategy aligned with a new target market? Hmmmm... maybe I’ll walk the dog again.

If you start craving that dopamine hit, you stop working on what’s important and start looking for the fastest or easiest thing to do.

And while you’ll always have easy work to do, be sure to keep an eye toward what’s important, what will make a dent in your goals, and what will leave a lasting impact.

✅ New blog post done? Check.


About the Author

mike_mehlberg.jpeg

Michael Mehlberg

HUSBAND, FATHER, ENTREPRENEUR, BUSINESS STRATEGIST, AUTHOR, FITNESS NUT, ORGANIZATION FREAK, PRODUCTIVITY JUNKIE

I help high-achieving entrepreneurs live their passion and achieve their dreams by consistently saving time, getting productive, and being more efficient and organized.

Subscribe to my free, short, 60-second newsletter for tips, tricks, links, products, and other discoveries to becoming a more purposeful, passionate, and productive human.

Why You Should Delegate Instead of Multitask

Why You Should Delegate Instead of Multitask

You hear a lot about multitasking.

Namely, how you shouldn’t be doing it.

You know it doesn’t work. You know it stresses you out. You know you’re not as effective while performing more than one task at a time.

But it feels as if there’s no other way.

So you jump on the phone, fire up email, and try to work, all at the same time. You keep on multitasking because, though the experts tell you to stop, life demands you don’t.

Let me suggest another way…