Productivity

How To Break a Funk and Refocus on What's Important

How To Break a Funk and Refocus on What's Important

Yesterday, I was high on a big fat doobie of accomplishment, a productivity monster crushing every activity with aplomb. Today I woke up to a sick wife and daughter, a migraine of my own, and two sons who had to finish last-minute school projects that rivaled NASAs space shuttle development program in size and scope.

I felt defeated, exhausted, overwhelmed, and wishing for my day back.

When this happens, you can recover in three ways:

10x Your Success Rate With This Monthly Planning Process

10x Your Success Rate With This Monthly Planning Process

Whenever there’s a new month, there should be a new plan.

With a fresh month, you’ve got 20 or so whole working days in front of you.

You weren’t thinking of just winging it, were you 😉?

You already know this, but “winging it” is not how you achieve your goals. That’s not how you’ll finish this year a success.

People who wing it often wonder how they worked so hard and yet don’t find themselves where they want to be.

On the other hand, high-achievers use every new month as an opportunity to do two things:

What You Need This Weekend to Operate at Peak Level

What You Need This Weekend to Operate at Peak Level

I know you.

You’re already thinking about working this weekend.

You’ve got a shit-ton to do, mostly from random crap that piled up this week, but also from everything you couldn’t tackle due to last-minute meetings, an unprecedented number of emails, and constant interruptions from, ahem, Instagram and other social media notifications.

Why You Can't Ever Stop Pushing

Why You Can't Ever Stop Pushing

When this thing is spinning perfectly, it looks as if it could spin forever.

That isn’t by accident. It’s precision manufactured out of pure elements, this one out of Aluminum.

It’s light, it’s sexy, and it means business.

Even so, it doesn’t spin continuously. Despite a pinpoint bottom revolving on a polished glass base, friction causes this voluptuously curved beauty to slow and eventually topple.

Such is life.

10 Ways to Massively (and Immediately) Improve Your Life

10 Ways to Massively (and Immediately) Improve Your 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.