I hate the term “I didn’t have the time.” You know why? Because we all TOTALLY had the time. What we didn’t have was the productivity.

People ask me all the time how I do all the things I do in a given day. It’s really not hard. It simply takes a combination of tools, time management, and awareness.

I’ve distilled it down into five key bullet points below. These are the rules that almost everyone in my entrepreneurial mastermind group lives by, because they simply work. Try them for a week. You’ll be amazed. Productivity can be yours. I promise.

How to get more done each day:

1) Wake up earlier. This is hands down, the #1 way to do more. The simple act of waking up earlier means you’re less rushed to start your day. Being less rushed means you have more time to do things the right way first, as opposed to having to go and redo them later. The amount of time this will open up for your day is staggering. Does it mean going to bed earlier? Possibly. But you know what? That’s not entirely a bad thing. And that leads us to:

2) Go to sleep earlier. Shut off your devices. Don’t waste your first hour of sleep liking the Instagram photo of a car owned by someone you haven’t seen since second grade. Get into bed, tell your home to shut off your lights, and go directly to bed. Every minute you stare at a screen in bed means longer for your brain to reset and let you fall asleep.

3) Use tech to your advantage. Check out the KillNewsFeed extension for Chrome or Safari, and prevent yourself from getting sucked down the Facebook rabbit hole before it happens. Also check out the wonderful app OmmWriter, which shuts off all your notifications while you write, giving you a perfect Zone of Focus.

4) Exercise! More dopamine = more focus. More focus = more ability to get stuff done. It’s very simple: When I start my day with some kind of exercise, I’m tons more productive than when I don’t. Because of this, I use my first rule to my advantage, wake up early, and do something physical before the sun is up.

5) Reduce “time-sucks” to one day a week. You know when I have my meetings? Mondays only. Why? Because that leaves me four days a week to create content, which is how I make my living. Knowing that one day a week is lost to meetings, I don’t worry so much about it, because I know the other four will be massively productive. And that makes everything less stressful.

6) Bonus: Clean your workspace. Study after study shows that people with untidy or cluttered workspaces tend to be less productive than those with clean workspaces. It’s simple, really. If there’s a bunch of junk of my desk, I’m going constantly be fighting the urge to look at it. Why set off that trigger? Clean desk, nothing to focus on other than my work.

What’s your favorite productivity tip to get more done? Tweet me: @petershankman, and let me know.

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