Productivity Hacks for Leaders


A few questions I like to ask every business owner I meet are, how are you doing so far this year against your goals? Are you on track? How do you know?

It never ceases to amaze me how many owners are stumped by the question. We track every detail of employee productivity, but many fail to track themselves. If the tables were reversed many of these business owners would fire themselves.

We may be experiencing the greatest technological acceleration ever experienced by mankind, but it comes with a huge drawback—distraction. Instead of the information age, it might as well be called the age of distraction. Accomplishing your goals may be the most important thing you do this year for your wallet and sanity. Guard your goals against everything pulling your attention away from the work required to achieve them.

As a marketing professional, I am in the business of gaining the attention of prospects and inspiring them to take an action. Much of what I do is geared at drawing their attention from something else and getting them to focus on what I want. And not just myself, but the entire industry has uncovered the science and psychology of gaining attention. Guard yourself! 

A new research study recently found that social media is actually making people less happy and feeling LESS connected. It seems that all of those people posting their wonderful lives on Facebook doesn’t help us feel good about ourselves.

I had a conversation with a 28 year old who ranted about how much she hated Facebook. When I asked her why, it boiled down to life envy. She was jealous of her friends who were recently married and having babies. She was still stuck in the singles scene and every update from one of her friends living ‘happily-ever-after’ was a blow to her self-esteem.

My advice is to shut it off, delete it all and spend the time you save with real people, building real relationships.

I quit Twitter completely and have since limited all social media to about 15 minutes a week. I even quit checking my emails every 30 minutes once at the beginning of the work day, once mid-day and again in the late afternoon. After I finish the work day, I turn off all my devices.

I wasn’t always this way. I was an early adopter of the “Crackberry” and for many years, I carried the newest phone with me everywhere. Each one had progressively more apps, sending me notifications on top of my texts and emails.

For a long time, I tried to convince myself I was more productive until one day, I missed a deadline that should have been easy to meet and it prompted me to sit down and take an honest look at where I was spending all of my time. What I found was terrifying. I was checking my news feeds dozens of times a day, responding to inane emails in real time and allowing interruptions disguised as “multi-tasking” to steal my attention away from my priority tasks. I was an addict in total denial, and it was leaving me anxious and irritable. It took a monumental effort to break the addiction, but a little at a time, I was able to do it and I have never felt better and I am more productive. Cutting the cord changed everything.

Now some of you will say, “I can never do that. I have to stay connected! How will I know what is going on in the world? What if my biggest customer, wife or kid calls or texts me?” My question for you is, what if they do? Do they require a response right this very moment? How often does a real emergency pop up? Almost never. And 99.99% of everything on the internet does not apply to nor effect you in anyway, so why waste time on it?

Cutting out the news will change your life. The constant barrage of negativity has a proven negative effect on your psyche and happiness. You can stay informed enough to function as an adult and responsible citizen with an occasional focused review of facts and it will take you a fraction of the time than it does, constantly checking social media every couple of minutes for the latest breaking headline.

Keep up with the latest marketing trends, news, and updates.  


Anthony Butler

Anthony Butler

Anthony Butler is the author of Primal Storytelling and the Founder of Can-Do Ideas

TOPICS: leadership, Technology

Like this article?
Get more!