“When you know you’ve got a busy day (or week) ahead of
you, it’s important to have a clear plan for what you
need to achieve.”
work resources) to stick at your scheduled
task as long as you need to.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t take
breaks. You definitely should — breaks
are critically important to our long-term
productivity. The longer you work on
something, the less mental resources you
have to give it.
Entrepreneur Magazine’s The Secret to
Increased Productivity: Taking Time Off,
notes that “one study found that mental
fatigue takes hold after three hours of
continuous time on-task; other scientists
say brains need a break after 90 minutes,
the length of the “basic rest-activity
cycle.” You can also use systems like the
Pomodoro Method, in which you take
a short break after 25-30 minute work
outside circumstances running smoothly.
However, things don’t always go according
to plan. Public transportation runs behind
schedule; we get stuck in traffic; we end up
in waiting rooms; or our friends are late
to meet us. A good way to ensure this time
isn’t wasted is to be prepared.
Carry a book or your Kindle with you just
in case you have to wait.
If you prefer audio to the written word,
there are plenty of podcasts you can listen
to so you can learn something new and
improve yourself while you wait. We talk
about our top 10 productivity podcasts in a
different article, but here are a few we love:
Just make sure that your breaks are
scheduled and intentional, rather than
There’s a big difference between a
strategic, healthy break and the kind
where you just scroll through your phone
for half an hour. It’s important that your
brain actually gets a break!
Use your break time to clear your mind
and do something for your physical health.
Get outside and enjoy the sunshine and
fresh air by taking a walk around your
neighborhood or through a local park.
Spending 10 to 15 minutes meditating
or journaling can be another good way to
refresh your mind.
These healthy breaks can help you
get your most important work done
effectively, leaving you with enough
energy to handle your smaller tasks and
anything that comes up unscheduled.
3. BE PREPARED FOR DELAYS
A big part of our schedules depend on
Extreme Productivity with Kevin
Kruse: Kevin Kruse is a New York
Times bestselling author who has
interviewed highly successful people
such as athletes, billionaires, and
CEOs. Each episode of his podcast is
only 15 minutes long, which makes
them ideal for filling in delays.
The Productivityist Podcast: This
podcast by Mike Vardy is full of tips
for boosting your productivity in
new and innovative ways. He touches
on topics such as minimalism,
mindfulness, journaling, wellness,
and much more.
ProdPod: There’s no excuse for
missing out on this podcast –
each episode is only two minutes
long. In that short time, host Ray
Sidney-Smith is able to pack in
plenty of information on aspects
of productivity like dealing with
burnout, finding your focus, tackling
procrastination, and overcoming
We all struggle to make time for the
things that are important to us. But
with a little planning and conscious
prioritization, we can maximize the time
we’re given. The key is to be intentional
about the ways we spend our days. If
you make it your goal to be present and
mindful, you’ll find yourself making
choices that will benefit your future
self instead of opting for the instant
gratification of time-wasting.
Want to get better at prioritizing your
time and being more productive? Turn
your to-do list into a success list with the
411 worksheet (the1thing.com/resources/
your-411). This simple template for
weekly, monthly and annual planning
turns your ONE Thing intentions into
Gary Keller is the founder and chairman of the
board for Keller Williams Realty, the world's
largest real estate franchise by agent count.
A finalist for Inc. Magazine’s Entrepreneur
of the Year award, Keller is recognized as
one of the most influential leaders in the real
estate industry, leading his company to 30
consecutive years of growth and profitability.
Keller has written three nationally best-selling
books: The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, The
Millionaire Real Estate Investor, and SHIFT:
How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough
Before Jay Papasan co-authored the
bestselling Millionaire Real Estate series with
Gary Keller, he worked as an editor at Harper
Collins Publishers. There he worked on such
best-selling books as Body-for-Life by Bill
Phillips and Go for the Goal by Mia Hamm.
Jay also co-owns a successful real estate team
affiliated with Keller Williams Realty with his
wife Wendy in Austin, TX.
The ONE Thing Blog. (“3 Ways to Find More Time in Your Day”). Retrieved
Based on the book The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind
Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, Bard Press, 2013.