Learn how to work like a machine to increase your productivity tenfold. Accomplish more of your goals, while still having time for the things you love.
The goal is not to lose your human side by working like a machine. Rather, to get more done since you only have 24 hours in a day. And 4 to 6 of those hours you’re sleeping.
Then, once you learn how to work like a machine, you can apply the skill to all areas of your life. You can better help loved ones, lose weight and gain muscle, make money, and so much more.
In short, humans already are on the path to merging with machines and becoming cyborgs. So, it’s best to fine-tune your mind today to stay a step ahead.
#1 Create structure in your life
By creating structure in your life you create a road map for yourself. This way, you know what to do from the time you step out of bed.
Otherwise, you’ll aimlessly wander around thinking of what you should do. Not only will you burn valuable time, but you’ll depress yourself.
Now, let’s switch over to how a machine works. We program machines to do X, Y, and Z.
A machine will complete its programmed tasks once you press the ‘start’ button. The machine will not have any second thoughts or doubts once it starts working. It just goes.
On the same token, once your alarm clock goes off in the morning, that’s your ‘start’ button to go.
For example, I wake up at 5:00 AM every day. I then immediately exercise. It doesn’t matter if I’m tired, sore, or have a lot on my mind.
Exercise has become a part of my structured daily routine. No different than how brushing teeth before bed is a part of most people’s daily routines. So, I just exercise without a second thought.
Step to take to work like a machine: create a list of the main things you absolutely need to do every day no matter what. Your schedule will then take shape around these daily tasks.
For example, your list may include the following:
- 1 hour of exercise
- 4 hours of studying
- 4 hours of design work
- 1 hour of brainstorming for future ideas and businesses
- 30 minutes of meal prep for the next day
So, Monday through Friday these tasks become a part of your daily routine. This way, from the time you wake up until you go to sleep, you know exactly what you need to do.
#2 Manage stress
I’m not sure how much is genetic, but I rarely ever get stressed.
Once a problem surfaces, I don’t dwell over it. It doesn’t matter how big the problem is.
Instead, I analyze the problem and quickly transition to how to solve it.
For a rental home I own, I was hit with a $20,000 expense out of the blue in the middle of the holidays. To top it off, I had to house disgruntled tenants in a hotel.
It was a mess, to say the least. But, I didn’t have control over the situation.
Yet, I didn’t allow the situation to affect my other lines of work. Once I did everything I could, I let the situation be. Then, I pushed the problem to the back of my mind.
Stressing over the problem wouldn’t have improved the situation. But, it would have negatively affected everything else I was doing.
So, don’t beat yourself up over something out of your control. There’s no benefit in stabbing yourself after you’ve been stabbed.
Similarly, a machine doesn’t care if there’s an earthquake or fire nearby. It will continue to work unaffected.
Step to take to work like a machine: try to think of problems rationally. Understand that self-sabotage through self-induced stress will only further set you back.
Also, learn to always do your best in your work when you tackle a problem. At the same time, cut out your emotions.
I admit this is not easy to do. But, the more you practice this way of thinking, the more likely it’ll become a habit.
#3 Organize with a to-do list
When you juggle many things at once, you’ll naturally become forgetful. The human brain can only process so much.
To point out, more than likely you can’t afford a personal assistant who will follow you around either. Thus, the next best bet is to create a to-do list for yourself.
I always create daily, weekly, and longterm to-do lists. Also, I constantly update these to-do lists on my phone.
I sometimes even carry my daily to-do list with me on a piece of paper. I keep a pencil with me too, to add to my list before a thought escapes my mind.
It’s like a programmer that programs a machine to complete certain tasks. Without a program, a machine will sit idle doing nothing.
Similarly, your to-do list will become the tasks you program yourself to do. Without it, you’ll sit idle scratching your head.
Step to take to work like a machine: in the morning or the evening before, write down everything you need to do for the day. Make this become a daily habit.
Create a monthly and yearly to-do or goal list for yourself too. Your daily tasks will help you one day reach your longterm goals.
#4 Cut out the noise
I use this tactic when I need absolute focus. I cut out all distractions to ramp up my productivity to peak levels.
The goal here is to become tunnel-visioned with your work. Athletes call this falling into the zone.
When you’re in the zone, all your focus zooms in on checking off tasks from your to-do list.
At the same time, maintaining a high quality of work. Good thing is, you don’t need any Adderall for this. To pull this off, I do the following:
- Put my phone away or flip it upside down.
- Stay away from all people and distractions. So, I leave the house to find somewhere quiet to work.
- Quit daydreaming.
- Not overeat.
- If I’m working on my laptop, I don’t open extra browser tabs with non-work-related subjects.
This no-bullshit approach makes you efficient like a machine. I compare it to the first Terminator movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The terminator’s only goal was to capture Sarah Connor. Even when half its face was blown off, its goal still remained to capture Sarah Connor.
In other words, you shouldn’t allow outside noise to affect you. Even when you know the following is going on while you work:
- Your friends and family are at a theme park on a hot sunny day.
- Your favorite sports team is playing.
So, you stick to your to-do list. Your only focus remains on checking off your tasks.
Step to take to work like a machine: write down your biggest distractions. Then one by one cut them out when you work.
For example, leave your phone in your car or turn it off. This will train your mind to better focus. Eventually, you can work with your phone right next to you. No different than pro athletes who play at a high level in front of thousands of screaming fans.
#5 Dealing with other people around you
To maintain a high level of productivity in social environments, you need to cut your largest time sinks.
By time sinks, I mean anything that takes up too much of your time without a return.
For many people, this time sink comes from friends and family. A quick 1-minute conversation may turn into a heated 2-hour discussion.
That’s 2 hours of wasted time. To top it off, you’ll need an extra hour to cool down in some instances.
In short, when you work, your goal is always to maximize every minute. To that end, a machine doesn’t socialize with nearby machines. Thus, you need to do the same.
Step to take to work like a machine: I recommend the following:
- Only receive text messages. Don’t take any phone calls.
- When speaking with people, cut out the small talk. When others speak non-work related subjects, don’t ask follow up questions. Be courteous, but don’t extend the conversation.
- Make others aware of your goals and work schedule. Not only will people respect your time more, but they may even follow your lead.
#6 Focus on your end goal
Focus hard on what you want to accomplish. Visualize where you want to be and what you want to do in X years.
This will ignite a fire inside of you. With this fire, you’ll move mountains to get where you want to be.
It’s no different than driving from point A to point B. When you know the final destination you’ll always get there
Most humans don’t have clear goals to shoot for. Whereas we program machines with only one goal in mind. The machine will almost always reach its goal.
Step to take to work like a machine: to train yourself to work like a machine, write down your goals. Then write out how you plan to reach your goals. Include the baby steps.
Everything may not be clear to you in the beginning. But, that’s why you need to always add steps in the journey towards your goal. This will program you with one mission.
#7 Become more efficient
You can optimize most things in your life. As a result, you’ll save more time and encounter fewer problems.
I learned a lot about becoming efficient, through bodybuilding. In college, I would blend tuna and diet Dr Pepper together and drink it.
I know, it sounds gross. But, it saved me a lot of time.
I had to eat such high quantities of food and protein daily, on top of my engineering course load. So, I found this drink to be the best solution.
The diet Dr Pepper masked the taste of the tuna. This allowed me to get a can of tuna down in a few seconds.
Step to take to work like a machine:
- Eat the same thing over and over again every day on your workdays. This way, you don’t think about what to take for lunch. I’ve been eating the same thing for lunch for years now.
- Wear the same type of clothes every day. There’s a reason why Mark Zuckerburg wears the same type of shirt every day. He wants to cut down the time of making non-important decisions in his day.
- Pay the fee for a service that’ll automate essential tasks for you. If software exists that will save you an hour a day, then use it. This way, you don’t slave away using Excel and pulling your hair out. In most instances, $30 a month is worth the saved time.
#8 Hold yourself accountable
This is a tactic used by Elon Musk a lot. He shouts bold goals to the entire world through his Twitter account.
Not only is this genius marketing to drive up his stock value. But, it lights a fire under his employees.
It follows the quote of: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
In other words, you place extra pressure on yourself to save face. You don’t want others to view you as undependable and a hack.
Step to take to work like a machine: set hard deadlines for yourself. Post your deadlines on your wall, in your phone, and anywhere else your eyes will come across them.
This way you’ll have something to work towards every day. Then, tell people about your goals. Once you make your goal public, it becomes difficult to turn back on your words.
#9 Instill fear in yourself
Fear is a great motivator. I guarantee if a bear is coming after you, you’ll run. Even if you’ve never run before because you hate exercise.
To that end, I always think of how short and fragile life is. This makes me more efficient in my work.
I don’t allow a task that should only take 8 hours to complete to stretch to 40 hours. That’s 32 extra hours you could have further advanced your work to reach your goal. Or, 32 extra hours you could have spent with your loved ones.
Even more, I peek into my future. I know one day I may get hurt, or I may need to provide extra care for a loved one.
For this reason, I want to always remain prepared. I know in the future, I’ll kick myself if I don’t.
For example, I don’t want to tell myself, “why didn’t I do that earlier, to become more financially stable today?”
It’s always important to live in the present but to have one foot in the future.
Step to take to work like a machine: paint your future in your mind. Think of what you’d feel if you reach a certain age and you don’t reach your goals.
Keep doing this until the fear of failure becomes a reality. This is mental warfare. Feed your mind fear to motivate yourself.
#10 Find your passion
When you love the work you do, everything will fall into place. You’ll want to wake up at 5:00 AM to work.
You don’t need an alarm clock. Your mind will be awake from the time your eyes open.
So, if you’re lucky enough to discover your passion in life, you need to milk it.
This is a gift that few people receive in an entire lifetime. So, take advantage of allowing your passion to fuel your day.
The late great Kobe Bryant would play one-on-one games to 100 after high school practices. Then in the NBA, he would show up at 7:00 AM practice at 5:00 AM.
Kobe would be drenched in sweat before other players entered the practice facility. This level of intensity separates the great from the legends.
Step to take to work like a machine: think of all your interests. Figure out what makes you tick.
Once you find it, find a way to milk. Even if you have an 8 to 5 job, milk your passion on the side.
A passionate mind works effortlessly like a machine.
Mastery of working like a machine
By mastering how to work like a machine, you can completely change your life around. The type of work you do doesn’t even matter.
You can apply how to work like a machine to all areas of your life.
What’s more, once you become more like a cyborg, people will think you have endless available time. You’ll make juggling countless lines of work look easy.
There’s a reason why many business owners today prefer machines over human workers. Machines work at a constant high level without making one excuse.
Now, you too can turn yourself into half human half machine. The best of both worlds to more quickly level up in life.
How do you work like a machine in your everyday life? What one thing would help improve your work efficiency?
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Koosha started Engineer Calcs in 2019 to help people better understand the engineering and construction industry, and to discuss various science and engineering related topics to make people think. He has been working in the engineering and tech industry in California for over a decade now and is a licensed professional electrical engineer, and also has various entrepreneurial pursuits.
Koosha has an extensive background in the design and specification of electrical systems with areas of expertise including power generation, transmission, distribution, instrumentation and controls, and water distribution and pumping as well as alternative energy (wind, solar, geothermal, and storage).
Koosha is most interested in engineering innovations, the cosmos, and our history and future.