A Health, Wellbeing and Self-Development Special
In the latest instalment of our Tales in Tech series, Engineering Manager Tullio Coppotelli from Rightmove introduced us to the ‘life hacks’ that have allowed him to become his ‘best self’, during lockdown, after finding himself in a bit of a rut. In the first edition of our ‘Health, Wellbeing and Self-Development’ series, Tullio walked us through how he implemented simple & incremental changes into his daily routine that allowed him to harness his focus & make time for the important tasks in his life that he had been putting off, becoming his most productive self.
Catch up on the full talk here:
We’ve rounded up the top ten tips from Tullio’s talk to walk you through how you can become your most productive self, using small and simple steps.
1. Don’t misconstrue being busy with being productive.
Whilst being busy can often make us feel as though we’re being productive, it can actually cause us to be so overwhelmed that the important tasks don’t end up getting done... sound familiar? Start by making a list of everything you need to do and list them in order of priority, and then break these down into a manageable plan, ensuring that the high-priority tasks are at the top of your list.
2. Ask yourself – is my plan achievable?
We all know the saying ‘fail to plan, plan to fail’. But more often than not our plans can be the source of self-sabotage. You need to be honest with yourself and be realistic about how much you can achieve in one day. Small incremental changes each day can often be more productive than attempting to get everything done all at once.
3. Stop managing your time and start managing your focus.
When writing your plan, instead of working your tasks around the number of hours in your day, think about when you are most focused, and work your tasks around this. For example, if you enter your productive peak in the morning, schedule your high-priority tasks in the morning. If you know that you have a bit of brain-fog after lunch, maybe use this time to tick off the easier tasks that require less brain power. It’s all about being smart with your time but intuitive with your body & mind.
4. Eradicate distractions.
Think about the activities that you do that contribute little to nothing in your life. For example, are you an avid Instagram scroller? Or a self-confessed Netflix binger? What these activities all have in common are that there is no end to them, you can never complete them. So how do you know when to stop? These are known as ‘zero-value activities’, and are a constant distraction in your life and instead eat into your time that could be spent bettering yourself. Once you have identified what distracts you, allocate yourself time in your daily plan for these tasks during a period where you won’t be detracting from your high-value tasks, as down-time or a way to switch off at the end of a busy day.
5. Practice productivity every single day.
If we want to become our best selves, we need to invest in ourselves day-in and day-out. This means working on ourselves each and every day, even when we may not feel like it. Why? Because part-time commitment will only bring about part-time results. Even if you better yourself by 1% each day, you will have still achieved a result that is 37x greater than when you started the year before.
6. Try not to get hung-up on the failures.
Change doesn’t come easy. So, when things don’t go the way, you hoped the first time around, always keep going. On average it takes 66 days to form a habit. Within in those 66 days, the first 22 are undoubtably the hardest – that’s why they’re often referred to as the ‘destruction phase’, a time to experiment with the new habits and get rid of the old.
7. Understand the difference between a ‘growth’ mindset, and a ‘fixed’ mindset.
Our intelligence and levels of talent can always be improved through effort and learning. But in order to continually invest in our education and development, we need to have a growth mindset in order to push through the days where we might feel unmotivated. Without maintaining a focus on the end goal, we can allow ourselves to remain in a ‘fixed’ mindset when the going gets tough. Nothing changes if nothing changes.
8. Don’t underestimate the importance of taking care of your mental & physical health.
It’s difficult to retain a positive and productive mindset if you are surrounded by negative energy. Start by assessing who encourages you to be your best self and who brings you down. Choose who you spend your time with wisely and remember to think of what you are grateful for at the beginning of each morning to get your day off to a positive start. Similarly, take care of your body too. Listen to how you are feeling and take it slow when you need to. You can’t be productive when you’re burnt out.
9. Make yourself accountable.
If you find it hard to implement and stick to new changes by yourself, try speaking to a family member, friend or college about what you are trying to do as a way of making yourself accountable to someone other than yourself. If you quit, you are no longer just letting yourself down, you’re letting your support system down too.
10. Find a way to organise your day that works for you.
There are plenty of frameworks for day-planning available to us to try. But what works for some might not work for you. Whether it be time-blocking, prioritising your workload, the pomodoro technique – the list goes on! It’s all about trial and error until you find a method that allows you to be your most productive self.
A huge thank you again to Tullio for presenting such an insightful & valuable talk! If you’d like to pick Tullio’s brain about his productivity journey and ‘life hacks’ any further, you can follow him on Twitter here or LinkedIn here.