2 Productivity Hacks That Help Me Balance Multiple Projects and a Family

Updated: Apr 21

The Salis Family

Make this your most productive month to date with these productivity hacks that’ll change your life.

Set effort based realistic goals (not outcome-based)

There are thousands of benefits of Goal setting. Every successful entrepreneur/author/influencer has a Goal that he/she/they are willing to achieve. But, how you set goals might be more important than you think.

Normally this is how most of us set goals:

I will sleep 7 hours daily.

I will walk 10,000 steps daily.

I will publish one blog post daily.

These types of goals are called outcome-based goals. We are chasing a number that we want to achieve. It is very helpful initially because we have something to chase. But, in the long run, let's say in 30 days, you failed to achieve any of the goals you set a month back.

Instead of sleeping 7 hours daily, you slept 6.5 hours daily.

Instead of walking 10,000 steps daily, you walked 9,000 steps daily.

Instead of publishing one blog post daily, you published three blog posts weekly.

At the end of the month, you achieved 0 out of 3 outcome-based goals. It will make you very sad and might also trigger your anxiety. It will show you that you are not making any progress. But, you did put effort. This is the reason why you should set effort-based goals instead of outcome-based goals.

This is how to do it:

I will go to bed before midnight and wake up after 9 am.

It is my sleeping goal. Before the clock hits 12, I try to complete all my daily tasks and close all electronic devices like mobile, TV, and laptop. Then, I set my smartwatch to sleep mode. By doing this, I am sending my brain a signal that everything is done - now go to sleep. I do wake up multiple times during the night to feed my daughter, change diaper (sometimes), but when my smartwatch shows that it is past 9 am now, I officially get out of bed. I have tried this routine, and it worked for me. Now, somedays I sleep 6.5 hours and somedays more than 9 hours. It balances out my sleep deprivation and shows me that I am making progress.

I will walk while using my mobile, or when I don't have anything else to do.

Instead of chasing 10,000 steps every day, whenever I use my mobile, I walk. For example, I am talking to something, I walk, I am posting something on Social Media, I walk, I am checking my emails, I walk. The same goes for the time when I have nothing else to do, I walk. The result is amazing! There are days when I hit 10,000 steps at 1 pm, there are days when I hit 10,000 steps at 6 pm. Every single day, I am reaching the target of 10,000 steps without doing anything extra. I just changed my outcome-based goal from - Walk 10,000 steps daily to walk while using mobile or free. Simple and effective!

I will work on my blog post for 45 minutes daily.

Instead of trying to publish a blog post every single day, I try to work on a blog post for just 45 minutes daily. Some blogposts, get published within 45 minutes, while some take days to get published. What matters, in the end, is me showing up every day for just 45 minutes to write and publish a blog post. By doing this, you will feel a sense of accomplishment, and it will remind you, that you are making progress every single day.

Focus only on things that are under your control

Now that you know why setting effort-based goals is better than setting outcome-based goals. Let's jump straight to our next hack i.e Focus only on things that are under your control.

It is easy to set goals and get started immediately. You will feel like everything is in your control but the fact is, it is not. Let me give you an example:

My wife, Shafaque Eqbal decided to go out for a run at 5 am daily. After weeks of running in the morning, one day, monsoon hit, and from that day onwards it rained almost every day in the morning. This made her very sad. It was one of the things that she enjoyed doing and now it stopped immediately.

After a couple of sad days, she decided to focus on other areas of her life where she can improve. From eating delicious homemade Butter Chicken, she shifted to a healthier version of Chicken Rice. From drinking cow milk, she shifted to soy milk. On days, when it is raining in the morning, she tries to get an extra couple of hours of sleep. By focusing on the things that are in your control, you will be unstoppable.

When you are unable to work on any of your goals due to unavoidable external factors like rain, lockdown, etc. try to work on another goal that serves the same purpose.

I will be adding more hacks to this list soon. Stay tuned!