Lack of motivation and procrastination are the enemies of productivity. Trying to overcome such obstacles keeps Denis Asamoah in business. The author, productivity coach, business leader and consultant are committed to getting entrepreneurs started on the right track while showing them how to increase productivity.
He explained in a We Talk Biz conversation the best techniques to massively increase productivity and related topics.
“There are so many techniques that you can use,” Asamoah said. “One of my personal favorites is the Pomodoro Technique. Just set a timer for 25 minutes to focus on one task. When it goes off, take a short break for five minutes to stretch your body, grab a snack and recharge.
“When you plan the night before, you avoid wasting time and deliberating about what you should do the morning,” he said. “I also subconsciously start dreaming about solutions to tasks or problems I need to solve the next day.”
At best, Asamoah sees email as a mixed bag.
“Unless your job involves replying to emails, I encourage people to avoid them,” he said. “They’re a distraction. You’re reacting to what’s coming into your inbox rather than focusing on more valuable tasks. My suggestion: Schedule three times in the day when you check your inbox.”
Asamoah has found top reasons why people typically avoid difficult tasks:
- Bad habits.
- Wanting to do the easier tasks first.
- Motivation: Not passionate about work.
- Mindset: Trying to avoid or escape doing the work because you know it requires a lot of focus and time you would rather put elsewhere.
He favors time management steps to manage daily tasks:
- The night before, list your three most important tasks.
- In the morning, avoid emails and focus on those tasks.
- Ensure there are no distractions in your working space. Turn your phone off if necessary.
- Use the Pomodoro Technique to break down work into intervals when tackling tasks.
“People should plan in advance,” Asamoah said. “Be proactive, not reactive.”
He explained that inspiration is one of the key factors of productivity along with mindset, energy, environment, habits, health and motivation or clarity.
Asamoah believes these are the best routines to adapt to keep motivated and productive when feeling uninspired:
- Listen to a motivation video, podcast or audible book.
- Go for a refreshing swim.
- Unplug from social media and the phone to have time to reflect on goals.
- Set weekly, monthly and yearly targets so you can track progress.
Every business owner suffers setbacks, which calls for extra motivation.
“We all have a choice, even when it comes to down to things you can’t control,” Asamoah said. “You still have a choice on how you react even during bad situations.
“I practice daily gratitude,” he said. “When I have a setback, I always try to see the positives in the situation. It’s a paradigm shift.”
Activity does not mean productivity. That’s one of the most dangerous misconceptions about productivity and focus that Asamoah believes entrepreneurs need to unlearn.
“Another one is that waking up at 5 a.m. means you will be productive,” he said. “It’s what you do during the time you’re up that is going to make the difference.
“I also disagree that naps are bad for you,” Asamoah said. “Adding naps to my daily routine has increased my productivity output. 50 Cent once said, ‘Sleep is for broke people.’ That’s a big myth. He’s probably still in bed in his big mansion.”
Asamoah added these tips to overcome procrastination:
- Put deadlines in place.
- Use the Pomodoro Technique.
- Reward yourself for getting past different stages of a project.
- Break down larger tasks into smaller tasks.
- Remove any environmental distractions and obstacles.