When it comes to production mastery, there are a few topics unarguably important to the process. There are also many indirect forces that can make or break a projects rhythm. It is important to know and label these causalities in order to better prepare for the inevitable mistake, busy season, crunch moment or even a smooth period of more consistent engagement.
The primary factors of consideration come in many different forms and no two people are alike in any production method. Just like our inner-personalities, we have varying degrees of production habits and quirks when compared to our fellow mastery pursuers.
1) Get up Early or Stay up Late
It may seem obvious but if production mastery is truly your goal, this method must be under-taken. The work day is bare minimum to a production master. I personally enjoy getting up early to knock out the days more demanding labor. My mind is the freshest at 6am every morning, I eat breakfast in front of the computer and just take off running. Many of my peers and acquaintances enjoy late evenings at home in the dark with their work. They relish the quite only one hears at 2 am.
2) Structure the Week
This habit of taking additional organizational steps each week will help to ensure optimum production capacity stays consistent. If someone were to work 6-8 hours per day every day in a week to complete a task, then that person is functioning at below optimum capacity. We must be putting in 10-12 hours per day on specifically designated work days in order to truly define our mastery and ensure optimum production. These 10-12 hour days can be followed more easily by days of complete disassociation. 5 days X 10-12 hours means that two days per week should be set aside for completely ignoring the production task. Structuring your week to have quality on and off time will help to ensure that your venture is always running with gas in the cylinders.
3) Eat like a King in the morning and a peasant in the evening
One of the most important components in an optimized production capacity on a day to day basis is the fuel that we put inside of our bodies. When we drive our car and forget to change the oil or use dirty gasoline, we wouldn’t expect our cars to last to their highest potential. Our bodies operate in exactly the same way and ensuring that we fuel our bodies in the most effective ways is a crucial component to our own potential. Every body is different but most people fall under a category of basic nutritional needs. For me I look forward to a large breakfast every single day. Usually protein, whole wheat grains, fruit and tea or coffee. I avoid snacking until lunch when I have a vegetable heavy lunch with some carbs and maybe a protein. For dinner I keep it efficient and effective. We like to make a protein, vegetables and rice. The biggest downfall for most people in our first world is the sweets in the evening before bed. This is one of the worst things that you can do before you sleep. Sugar will prevent your brain from hitting the necessary rem cycles for a deep night of sleep.
4) Sleep like it was your job
It is truly unbelievable to me how many people do not get enough sleep during their daily routine. I admit that sometimes I struggle with this function when days are busy and we want to stay awake a little later to get some more family time or fun time. The key to getting enough sleep every night is by improving the above three key points in order to create a more supportive sleeping cycle in the evenings. Most people lose sleep because of sleeping in late and getting to work late which can lead to a feeling of inadequate social time in the evenings with family. Also a poorly structured work week can lead to quick deadlines and poor project timing. This can create a domino effect in your weeks which will eventually accumulate into two or three days per week when work may seem more consuming than other days. Lastly poor evening diets of simple carbohydrates, sugary foods or alcohol will make it harder for your body to get that necessary deep sleep that our bodies crave.
5) Don’t work in the same room that you sleep
I admit that there was a point in my entrepreneurial career when I simply could not avoid this pitfall. At the time, I had no idea what working in my bedroom was doing to my psyche. I would wake up, cook a nice breakfast, walk back into the bedroom, sit at the desk and eat breakfast. I would work 10 hours, go for a workout, come back home, cook dinner and go to bed. It was a cycle of work efficiency that I was truly convinced was healthy for my production effectiveness. Eventually I started showing signs of “cabin fever” which can show in anti-social behavior, depression and poor sleep habits. All of this would culminate into a less than ideal production capacity which spiraled into poor work output. My clients were receiving less quality work and my personal relationships were failing. Now I’m not saying that you should never work in your bedroom office but I would never recommend this habit more than one day per week to any hungry entrepreneur. Allow yourself the space to separate pleasure from work. By combining these two functions, we are removing pleasure from work and work from pleasure.
6) Limit the social media addiction
All people on this planet have a social pit within their lives that must be filled with real quality dirt (human relationships). Social media gives us the perception of quality dirt and quality relationships without incorporating any actual human interaction. Not to mention how addicting social media is to the average user. The addiction comes from the need to fill that pit with dirt and yet social media keeps that pit completely barren of quality human relationships. This addiction and feeling of social inadequacy will lead to a poor productive cycle. During the work day, simply don’t look at social media and always schedule time during the evenings with friends, family and loved ones. A human without any true social interaction is barely a human at all. By harnessing strong personal relationships, we are ensuring that our need for social completeness is being fulfilled which in turn drives a more positive mindset for our day to day. Without this positive mindset, it is without any doubt that our production capabilities will suffer.
7) Build a diverse team of peers
There are so many people out there in the world with experiences unlike your own on every level of the diverse spectrum. The true production master needs to have access to a deep portfolio of acquaintances to embrace the vast amount of universal knowledge that exists across the different cultures and people. This fact is present within our awareness of personal and professional knowledge bases. For example, I associate with peers that are technical developers, creative designers, financial professionals, legal council, marketing pros and product specialists. All of these functions are crucial within the operation of any entrepreneurial venture. If your goal is to become a production master within your specific trade of business, don’t allow your weaknesses to hamper your strengths. Place professionals around you for which you can leverage their knowledge in exchange for your own specialty. Clearing your mind of the concepts that give your business struggle will increase your quality of time and effective ability to produce like the best of us.
8) Embrace the stimulation in music
It amazes me how many professionals avoid music within the workplace and it is especially surprising when an entrepreneur shuns music when they heavily utilize public places and co-working establishments. The ability for silence within these places of common production output is almost non-existent. Phones, conversations, kids, baristas, doors opening and closing. The distractions are endless and whether you want to admit the problem or not, you work poorly when your mind is unable to obtain singular attention towards your production endeavor. Most professionals avoid music because they may not know much about diverse music in order to pick the right kind of tunes for production optimization. In todays culture, the music that is most popular on the radio is the least optimum for production enhancement due to the fast tempo and party focus. If I were an individual that knew nothing about music and wanted to dive into the world of eclectic listening for enhanced concentration power, I would start with sounds of nature or film and television original compositions. Pick one of your favorite vacation spots and listen to waves crashing or birds chirping to eliminate harmful background noise. Pick your favorite drama film or television show and listen to the original scores that make up the composition. These compositions are great for increased production capacity due to the nature of film and television compositions to support the art itself rather than modern music which aims at capturing your undivided attention.
9) Embrace Traffic
When I told one of my peers about the title of this section, I was given an annoyed look. Embrace traffic? Who in the world would want to embrace traffic? We want to schedule our days around traffic, correct? We want to avoid traffic like the plague, right? You will be surprised that my answer to these questions is a whopping NO. Lets take a step back to understand how most people act during times of traffic annoyance. Most people will get in the car, sip coffee, listen to radio and eventually when they get to work will answer emails, make phone calls and start the work day. This habit may have been acceptable in 1985 but in 2016 this ritual is a complete waste of precious time. With hands free Bluetooth technology and cell phone access, there is no reason that you shouldn’t be making more phone calls on the road way before you even get to work. Every day when I am at work, I will purposefully miss phone calls two hours before I leave my office in order to make those calls in the car on the hands free Bluetooth. These two hours of pure production output has become a glorious component of my daily routine and allows me to catch up with annoying projects that I may have been dreading to undertake during the early hours of the day. In todays 21st century the professional that allows himself to be available on the phone 24/7 is less effective at productive tasks than the person who will designate phone conversation time.
10) Always have FUN
Sometimes the easiest and sometimes the hardest component to ensuring production optimization. The result though must always be the same and thus carrying a smile with you while you work is the single most important demand for the production master. Let’s take two individuals who are working on any task. The one person has a smile on day in and day out, even on days when tasks are redundant and tedious. The second person lets the tedious components of each project take control of their emotions only to create pessimistic outlook towards the work itself. Who in the above two examples will be able to obtain true production mastery faster, better and with less strain? The answer is obvious and so is your need to either start always enjoying the work you do or start the process by writing that resignation letter.