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By the author of What School Should Have Taught You and The Faithful Prepper.
Have you ever seen the movie The Pursuit of Happiness? It’s a heartbreaking film, and in it, Will Smith plays the character of real-time human Chris Gardner. It’s a rags-to-riches tale where Gardner – now homeless, wandering the streets with his son – does everything he can to land a job that will allow him to provide for his family.
Eventually, Gardner lands a position in a call center. He’s a tireless worker (he’s got quite the motivation – starvation) and learns that if he doesn’t put the phone down but instead just uses his spare hand to hit the ‘end call’ button, he can make X extra number of calls per day.
It’s just a little thing, but it boosts his productivity.
I like to read Joel Salatin.
Arguably the most famous modern farmer, Salatin runs Polyface Farm, has written a number of books, and has probably done more for the American farmer than anybody else out there right now. I can’t remember which of his books it is (I think it’s You Can Farm), but Joel mentions that one of the things that the aspiring farmer needs to do to truly run a productive farm is to always have something in each of his hands.
Are you walking out to feed the pigs? Then keep a bucket of feed in each hand. Need to weed the garden? Then take a hoe in one hand and a basket for harvesting in the other. He also points out the benefit of always keeping a 5-gallon bucket handy, as it allows you to carry more everywhere you go.
It’s a simple tip – to always keep each hand filled – but it results in the farmer needing to make fewer unnecessary trips around his farm, allows him to keep more energy, and ultimately allows him to get more done.
No empty hands. A simple tip that boosts productivity.
Henry Ford was known for incorporating the same into his business.
He made as many small, minute changes as possible to ensure that everything was as efficient and productive as possible. Maybe it was accomplished by moving a toolbox 3’ closer to the worker. Maybe giving everybody a different tool was the key. The point is that it was a series of small steps that ended up boosting productivity.
How do you build a retirement account?
Do you do it in one fell swoop, or does it take years of small, minuscule investments? It’s the little strokes that fell great oaks. In the same way, the little things that you can do on a daily basis can greatly improve your productivity in the long run.
So my question for you is this: what can you do – however small – to boost your productivity on a daily basis?
How can you make it so that you can land more gigs in the same amount of time? What could you do to make it so that you finish the jobs you get faster? What little step can you add to your routine that makes being productive and efficient as easy and as convenient as possible?
- Can you mentally ban yourself from social media until after 5 PM?
- Can you log out of your social media accounts on your computer, adding an extra layer of inconvenience should you decide you want to check them during the middle of the workday?
- Can you start to pack your lunch so that you can eat faster than is possible by having to visit the factory’s cafeteria?
- Is keeping all of your tools in the same place every day a great means of ensuring that you always have what you need to accomplish a job?
- Do you need to write out a paper checklist of everything you could possibly need before each job so that you don’t have to make yet another trip to Lowe’s?
- Will keeping a gym bag in the trunk of your car keep you from having to spend 45 minutes driving back home, grabbing your stuff, and then driving to the gym again? What could you do with that time instead?
- Can you get more accomplished if you just leave your phone in your car while you’re on the job, only checking it during breaks, during lunch, and when the job is finished?
I wouldn’t consider any of these to be drastic steps to boost your productivity.
They’re all relatively easy to incorporate into your life. And yet they can all help you to boost your daily productivity. They can all help you to be better about making the money you need to make during working hours so that you can pay off your debts sooner, spend more time with your family, and get to leave your work at work so that you can enjoy your time off the clock.
But hey, these are just a few of my thoughts on how you can boost your productivity. What are yours? Do you have other tiny tips you think can help somebody to do so? Let us know in the comments below.
Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, What School Should Have Taught You, The Faithful Prepper, An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.