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.

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

The Necessary Ingredient to Leadership, Competitive Greatness, Everything

The Necessary Ingredient to Leadership, Competitive Greatness, Everything

It was a three Advil and two Tylenol kind of morning.

I should have known it would be.

You can’t drink two beers, down three glasses of wine, eat four cake pops, go to bed five hours late, and expect to wake up at six am rearing to go.

At least I can’t.

No, when I woke this morning after a night of food-and-bedtime-debauchery, you could have told me…

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.

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.

Earpods — My Favorite Productivity Tool

I’m pissed 😡🤬🤯🤭😡

Somewhere, in the Denver airport, some kid is walking around with my lost AirPod earbud dangling from his right ear.

I can see him now, happily listening to crappy music, laughing obnoxiously while playing that God-awful Fortnight game with his friends.

The left earbud, still in my possession, doesn’t cut it. My brain rejects music in only one ear, and trying to talk on the phone in my left ear is like trying to brush my teeth with my left hand, possible, but messy and ineffective.

It’s not about the money. AirPods are expensive, but the missing bud can be replaced for only $69.

I’m pissed because I’ve lost one of the most effective tools in my toolkit.

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AirPods are awesome. They are game changing. They are (were) one device that absolutely, unequivocally helped me comfortably, enjoyably, and reliably get more done.

That’s because while I maximize my productive time through planning, scheduling, and building systems, I also get more done by using the right tools.

AirPods were my tool. I popped them in for phone calls, music, dictation, podcasts, or just drowning out airplane noise while traveling. I wore them while walking my dog, hustling through the airport, working out, or even sitting hands-free at my desk.

These little wireless wonders have saved me more hours than I probably realize, and now they’re gone; lost forever in a massive airport 1,465 miles away.

I’ve ordered a new earbud. It should show up in two to three days.

Until then, if you’re traveling through Denver and see a snobby-looking kid with one white bud in his right ear, give him your best stink-eye for me. He’ll never understand why you did, but he deserves it nonetheless.

Have any tools you’re passionate about? Tell me in the comments below. I’m always testing out new ways to be productive and love a good gadget more than most :-).


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.

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.

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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...

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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…

How to be Consistent Productive with a Weekly Review

How to be Consistent Productive with a Weekly Review

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 had a plan to begin with, it’s now buried in the rubble of a hellish week that bombarded you with hundreds of emails, dozens of phone calls, and the constant pull of customer demands. Your reserves have long since been exhausted.

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

The person who enters the weekend with a clean slate, who ties up loose ends, and who thoughtfully closes open projects will start next weeks campaign fresh, reinvigorated, and ready to crush it. What’s more, their free hours won’t be consumed with thoughts of unfinished tasks or worries over the many troubles next week might bring. They’ll enjoy a truly restful weekend.

This all begins with a weekly review.

How to Defeat Hustle Guilt

How to Defeat Hustle Guilt

I suffer from "hustle guilt" constantly.

For example, I've purchased *hundreds* of video games over the years, yet have played less than 1% of them.

It's not that I like wasting money, or that I don't want to play. Video games are my fav, right up there with cheese, movie theater popcorn, and peanut M&Ms (the only M&Ms anyone should ever eat).