How to Increase Your Productivity Without Going to Great Lengths

January 30, 2019 | 1,085 views

How to Increase Your Productivity Without Going to Great Lengths
How to Increase Your Productivity Without Going to Great Lengths

Perhaps one of the most inspiring CEOs of our time is Peter Shankman. One of his cornerstone accomplishments is Help A Reporter Out (HARO), a business that became an almost overnight success and was acquired in less than two years by Vocus, Inc. But recently he’s turned his focus elsewhere — on telling his story about being a productive CEO with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).


Shankman recently published a book, Faster Than Normal: Turbocharge Your Focus, Productivity, and Success With the Secrets of the ADHD Brain. In the book, he offers insight into how to embrace your unique attributes (ADHD or not) and tap into your creative potential by making small adjustments to your day.


Although he’s known for taking extreme measures, such as purchasing a $5,000 round-trip ticket to Tokyo to force himself to focus on the book he needed to write, he has practical applications that can be used by anyone aiming to improve productivity. Here are some of our favorites.

1. Be Deadline-Oriented

Many times, a boss will ask a team to get something done. Or, someone will ask you to complete a task. Rarely is there a deadline attached to it. This, Shankman says, leads to a dangerous temptation to continually push the task to the side and not see it to completion in a timely manner.


Instead, be deadline-oriented. If a deadline isn’t attached to a task, ask for one. Then, commit yourself to running toward that deadline at full speed.

2. Delegate Whenever Possible

Shankman says, “There’s so much good help out there.” and he’s right. There are plenty of people who are ready to help and hiring them doesn’t have to break the bank.


But delegating doesn’t have to be limited to people alone. We’re living in an age where programs and software can pick up some of the slack of tedious tasks too. You can also delegate jobs that are eating away at your productivity to a tool, such as ScheduleBase, to manage your schedule or Trello to manage your project deadlines. Find clever ways to delegate and free up your time to do what you do best.

3. Create a Routine Instead of Continual Resolutions

It’s become standard practice to create New Year’s resolutions each year as January rolls around. Although it’s a good idea to continually self-audit and find areas where you can improve, those resolutions must turn into routines if you want to be productive for the long haul. Shankman says, “Change is great when you’re trying to be creative, but not so much when you need to focus.” Use those New Year’s resolutions to create routines you can stick with all year round.

Get It Done

Ultimately, to get stuff done, your schedule must look and feel manageable. Shankman suggests you, “break it down into manageable pieces, employ the strategies you’ve learned, and get it done.” There’s no room for overwhelm on a to-do list for a man with ADHD and there isn’t room for overwhelming tasks on your to-do list either. By following Shankman’s advice, you can give yourself more time in your days to become more productive.


Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007, and 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017.

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