5 Tips on Getting Sh*t Done From The World’s Greatest Leaders

Posted in: Business

If there is one phrase we live by here at H-I, it’s “Get Shit Done”.

Blunt, isn’t it? But really, at the end of the day, that’s what we’re all here to do - no matter what. No if ands, or buts about it!

But with all of the distractions in the world today, getting shit done isn’t always as easy as it sounds. And we all want to be more productive, don’t we?

Productivity is good news for everyone. More revenue. More growth. More time to do the things we love outside of work. It might sound like a dream world right now, but once you start incorporating some of these productivity tips, people will start referring to you as the office superhero:

Reward your accomplishments

Remember when the mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, revealed to the public that the reason he’s so productive is because he never leaves his desk, and takes very little vacation time? Well, sorry Michael, we like you and all... but that doesn’t work for most people. If you’re anything like me, you’ll lose your mind without some down time during the day.

I’m not telling you to spend your days at the water cooler or outside doodling in a notebook. Instead, figure out the most important items on your “To Do List.”  Once you knock one of those tasks off your list, reward yourself with a quick walk outside, snack break or anything that involves getting away from your computer for a minute. (My personal favorite escape is challenging an employee to a fun game of ping-pong). This will help revive your brain and keep you fresh for the next thing on your to do list.

Track your time

Ram Shiram, one of the founding board members of Google, keeps a diary to track his performance over time. There are a ton of tools out there to help you do that. My favorite is RescueTime. It breaks down your day and tells you what hours you’re most productive and least productive, what apps and websites you spend most of your time on, etc. If you don’t want to use software, simply create an Excel spreadsheet and jot down how long it takes you to complete each item on your task list.

For me personally, tracking my time revealed a lot about my productivity over time. I was also able to realize that my least productive time of day is around 3pm, so I know to leave easy tasks for that time of day. As you can see, by tracking your time, you can start working smarter, rather than harder. That means having more time to live your life outside of work, and it will make all the difference.

Avoid the telephone and visitors

Ernest Hemingway offers some pretty awesome tips when it comes to productivity. It’s pretty awesome that someone who was born in the 18oo’s (OK... practically 1900’s) was pretty much functioning the way an agile business would today. It’s like he knew about agile before it was ever invented. Anyways, back to my point - Hemingway was right when he  famously said “the telephone and visitors are the work destroyers.”

Let’s be honest, you probably check your phone or email every 5 minutes. It’s a horrible habit us modern folk have thanks to our need to be connected to the world 24/7. But when you’re working, learn how to ignore your email and put your phone down and get some work done! Unless your an email marketer or in sales, you shouldn’t even really be using email as your primary form of communication. If you must check your email because of the nature of your job, try limiting it to once or twice per day. The house hasn’t burned down yet because I stopped checking email so often, and I’ve freed up nearly 20 minutes more than I had before just by changing one small thing. Just imagine what you could do with that extra 20 minutes!

Calm your mind with meditation

If Oprah Winfrey (named the most powerful celebrity on the planet by Forbes this year) can find time to meditate, so can you. And it’s not just Oprah who feels more productive thanks to meditating.  Arianna Huffington, Bill Ford, Richard Branson, Robert Murdoch and many other famous CEOs use meditation to lower stress levels, promote creative thinking and increase productivity.

Research has shown that resisting the urge to move or let your thoughts wander during meditation translates into your other areas of life. No, this doesn’t mean you’ll never be tempted by distractions again. But, it disciplines you to stay focused on what’s important at that moment, and nothing else. The best way to get something done is to focus on that one thing and give it your everything, and meditation might just be the perfect way to practice that.

Remove the clutter

I’m convinced the world was most productive when it wasn’t so... noisy. No smartphones. No email alerts going off every .03 seconds. No commercials on the music you’re playing. No Netflix in the background. You get the point. Back then, if you were going to do something, it was just you, a piece of paper (or typewriter), and a pen. That’s it. When that’s all you have around you, it’s pretty easy to make shit happen. Think about that during your workday. If you remove all of the “clutter” - both physically and mentally, you’ll find you can get a lot more done.

So there you have it, 5 awesome, easy-to-do tips on getting shit done. Try incorporating one of them into your day today and tell me about how it’s helped you in the comments below.

Now get back to work, office hero!


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