10 Easy Tips on How to Work Like a Machine

Learn how to work like a machine to increase your productivity. You’ll then accomplish more goals, and still have time for things you love.

What’s more, you can apply what you learn to many areas of your life, and do the following:

  • Better help loved ones
  • Lose weight and gain muscle more easily
  • Make money easier and faster
  • Get errands done faster

To point out, the goal isn’t to lose your human side by working like a machine. Not at all. Rather, the goal is to get more done since you only have 24 hours in a day. And it’s no secret, humans are on the path to merging with machines and becoming cyborgs. So, it’s best to fine-tune your mind today and not get left behind.

#1 Create structure in your life

operator starting a machine using a computer

Structure in your life creates a roadmap for your daily routines. So, you’ll know what to do from the time you step out of bed without wasting time. It’s no different than a machine you program to do X, Y, and Z tasks. When you hit ‘start,’ the machine completes these tasks without a fuss.

Similarly, your ‘start’ button to go is your alarm clock going off in the morning. For example, I wake up at 5:00 AM every day and immediately exercise. It doesn’t matter if I’m tired, sore, or have a lot on my mind. Exercise is a self-programmed part of my structured daily routine. No different than how brushing teeth before bed is a part of most people’s daily routine.

What to do to work like a machine

Create a list of what you absolutely need to do every day. Then shape your schedule around these daily tasks. For example, your list may include the following tasks:

  • 1 hour of exercise
  • 4 hours of studying
  • 4 hours of engineering 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 fixed parts of your daily routine. From the time you wake up until you go to sleep, you know exactly what to do.

#2 Improve your stress management

I’m not sure how much is genetic, but I rarely ever stress. Once a problem surfaces in my life, I don’t dwell on it. It doesn’t matter how big the problem is either. Instead, I analyze the problem and quickly look for solutions. Let’s go over an example.

For a rental home I own, I received 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 because I brought in contractors for the repair. The situation was a huge mess and I had no control over it.

Yet, I didn’t allow the situation to affect my other lines of work. So after I did my best to address the problem, I pushed it to the back of my mind. I knew stressing over the issue wouldn’t improve my situation. BUT, it would negatively affect everything else I was doing.

The lesson is, don’t beat yourself up over something outside of your control. The way I see it, 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’ll continue to work unaffected.

What to do to work like a machine

Try to think of problems rationally. Understand self-sabotage through self-induced stress will only further set you back.

Just as important, tackle problems fast using all the resources at your fingertips. You want to do your best to quickly put out fires. This also means cutting out your emotions. Because emotions will often hold you back from efficiently tackling problems.

I know. This isn’t easy. But, the more you practice this way of thinking, the more it’ll become a habit.

#3 Create to-do lists

When you juggle many responsibilities, you’ll naturally become forgetful. Because your brain can process only so much. And more than likely, you can’t afford a personal assistant to follow you around. So, the next best bet is to create to-do lists for yourself.

I always create daily, weekly, and long-term to-do lists on my phone or a paper pad. Also, I constantly update my to-do lists in real-time before thoughts escape my mind.

It’s like a programmer who programs a machine to complete certain tasks. Without a program, a machine will sit idle doing nothing. Similarly, your to-do lists become your self-programmed tasks.

What to do to work like a machine

The day before, write down everything you need to do the next day. Make this a daily habit.

Create a monthly and yearly long-term to-do or goal list for yourself too. Your daily tasks then become roadmaps on reaching your long-term goals.

#4 Cut out the noise from your life

autonomous robot processing data

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.

While in the zone, all your focus goes on checking off tasks from your to-do lists. At the same time, you maintain a high quality of outputted work. And the good thing is, you don’t need any Adderall. To pull this off, do the following:

  • Put your phone away or flip it upside down so you can’t see your screen
  • Stay away from all people and distractions
  • Leave your house and find somewhere quiet to work
  • Quit daydreaming
  • Don’t overeat
  • Don’t open extra browser tabs on your computer 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, the terminator still chased after Sarah Connor.

In other words, you can’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
  • A new video game is waiting for you at home

What to do 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. But until this time comes, you need to train your mind by not feeding it what it wants.

#5 Limit your social interactions when you’re working

To maintain a high level of productivity, you need to cut out your largest time sinks. Time sinks are time-consuming activities without positive returns.

For many people, time sinks are unplanned friends and family interactions. A quick 1-minute conversation may turn into a heated 2-hour discussion. This is 2 hours of wasted time. To top it off, you’ll need an extra hour or two to cool down in some instances.

Now, I’m not saying to become a lifelong antisocial hermit. Not at all. But, when you work, your goal is to maximize every minute of your time. And not surprisingly, machines don’t socialize with nearby machines.

What to do to work like a machine

I recommend you do the following:

  • Only receive text messages. Don’t take any phone calls. A call for a quick question can turn into an hour of rambling.
  • 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 goals

Focus hard on what you want to accomplish. Then visualize where you want to be and what you want to do in X years. This will ignite a fire inside of you and you’ll move mountains to accomplish your goals.

I compare it to driving from point A to point B. When you know your final destination, you’ll always get there. Without clear-cut goals though, you’ll aimlessly go in circles. You’ll then scratch your head wondering where the time went.

This is why programmed machines are so successful. They have only one goal and they know what needs to be done. No ifs, ands, or buts.

What to do to work like a machine

Program yourself with one mission in mind. So, write down your specific goals and how you plan to reach them. Include the baby steps in your journey too.

Now I know, in the beginning, the path to accomplishing your goals may not be clear. But, this is why you write your steps down. You can then modify your steps as necessary.

#7 Increase your efficiency

You can optimize almost everything in your life. In return, you’ll save more time and encounter fewer problems.

Personally, I learned a lot about how to work efficiently through bodybuilding. For example, in college, I’d blend tuna and diet Dr Pepper together and drink it. I know, it sounds super gross. But, this blended drink saved me A LOT of time and it was cheap.

Back in college, I had a daily calorie and protein requirement. So I had to eat high quantities of food and protein, on top of my demanding engineering courses. And this blended drink became my hack to accomplish my goal.  I would blend the drink in 20 seconds and drink it in 5 seconds. Done!

If you’re curious, the diet Dr Pepper did a good job of masking the tuna taste. This is how I was able to get a can of tuna down my throat in a few seconds.

What to do 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. For example, I’ve been eating the same meal for lunch for years on end 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 daily decisions.
  • Pay for services to automate essential tasks. If software exists to save you an hour a day, then use it. This way, you won’t slave away using Excel as you pull your hair out in frustration. In most instances, $30 a month is worth the saved time.

#8 Hold yourself accountable

Merging of humans and machines in the future

Shout out bold goals to the entire world. This is a genius tactic often used by Elon Musk through his Twitter account. It’s free marketing for his companies, but also, it lights a blazing fire under his employees. It reminds me of the following quote:

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

I believe Elon keeps his motivation at peak levels, through this technique as well. You place extra pressure on yourself to save face and not look like an undependable hack. So, you push towards all the goals you set.

What to do to work like a machine

Set hard deadlines for yourself. Then post your deadlines on your wall, on your phone, and anywhere else you’ll see them.

This way, you’ll have clearly defined goals to work towards every day. Then as a level-up, tell people about your goals. Once you make your goals public, they’re permanently stored in the idea-sphere. It now becomes much more difficult to turn your back on your words.

#9 Instill fear in yourself

Fear is an amazing motivator. I guarantee if a madman chases after you, you’ll run as you’ve never run before. So the trick is, to recreate this fear for your work life. What I do, is think of how short and fragile life is. This instantly makes me work more efficiently.

So, I don’t allow an 8-hour task to stretch to 40 hours. This is 32 extra hours I could’ve further advanced my work to reach my goal. Or, 32 extra hours I could’ve spent with my 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. So, I want to always remain prepared. I know in the future, I’ll kick myself if I don’t. I don’t want to tell myself the following 20 years from now:

“Why didn’t you work just a little harder, to become financially stable?”

It’s important to live in the present but to have one foot in the future.

What to do to work like a machine

Paint your future in your mind. Think of what you’d feel if you hit a certain age without reaching a certain goal. Or at the very least, not even trying to reach a goal.

Then, keep thinking these thoughts, until your fear of failure sets in. This is mental warfare. Feed your mind fear to motivate yourself.

#10 Find your passion

When you love the work you do, everything then falls into place. You’ll want to jump out of bed at 5:00 AM to work. Heck, alarm clocks will become useless to you as you wake up on your own.

So, if you’re lucky enough to discover your passion in life, then milk it. Because this is a gift only a few people receive in their lives. For all NBA fans, a great example is the late great Kobe Bryant. Kobe would play one-on-one games to 100 AFTER high school practices.

Then in the NBA, he’d show up to 7:00 AM practices at 5:00 AM. Kobe was full of sweat before any other player even entered the practice facility. This level of intensity and passion separates the good from the great.

What to do to work like a machine

Think of all your interests. Then figure out what makes you tick and wake up early.

Once you pinpoint your passion, find a way to milk it. Even if you have an 8 to 5 job, milk your passion on the side. Because a passionate mind works effortlessly like a well-tuned machine.

Mastery of working like a machine

Don’t shy away from turning yourself into half human half machine. It’s one of the best ways to squeeze the most juice out of life. Your productivity will skyrocket. Even more, all other areas of your life will improve.

And this is why many business owners prefer machines over human workers. Machines work at a constant blistering high level without a hiccup. It’s work and life on easy mode.

How do you work like a machine in your everyday life? What works best for you, to increase your work output?

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