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10 Ways to Actually Work Smarter

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https://www.dansilvestre.com/how-to-be-productive/

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10 Ways to Actually Work Smarter
Throughout the years, I've learned a lot of lessons about productivity and working smarter. These are my 10 commandments on how to be productive and work smarter, instead of harder. They serve as a constant reminder when I am feeling unproductive or things are just not working out the way they should.

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Focus on Systems Instead of Goals

Focus on Systems Instead of Goals

Most goals are out of our control. We have limited control to reach them. In a system, your focus is on all the parts that you do control. And system is a fancy word for “repeatable process”...

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Leverage the Compound Effect

Leverage the Compound Effect

When you focus on developing systems and work every day, your work compounds over time, developing exponential growth. 

The more advantages you create, the more your next advantag...

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Measure Output, Not Input

Measure Output, Not Input

Systems are the best way to progress since they reward effort and we control all the variables. However, we need to have a sense of direction in those efforts, to know what we are trying to acco...

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Use the 80/20 Rule

Use the 80/20 Rule

... to constantly question yourself if your focus, time or money is on the things that generate the majority of the results.

The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle states: 80% ...

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Reserve Mornings for Deep Work

Reserve Mornings for Deep Work

Our working memory, alertness, and concentration gradually improve a couple of hours after waking up, peaking at about mid-morning - our brain’s natural peak productivity period.

...

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3 Types of Distractions

3 Types of Distractions
  • Physical: they range from the clutter on your desk or having too many clothes, making it harder to choose an outfit in the morning. 
  • Intangible: notificati...

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Automate Repetitive Tasks

Automate Repetitive Tasks

More automation means more time to focus on creative and productive work.

Start by listing down all the tasks that you have to do recurrently every week. Then find ways to automate the...

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Be Data-Driven

Be Data-Driven

You should always make data-driven decisions. If you don’t, you are choosing to go with your opinion with no facts to back it up.

It starts by questioning everything: do I think this ...

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Delegate the Non-Essential

Delegate the Non-Essential

No one is the best at everything. By focusing on what you do best and delegating the rest, you optimize your productivity. 

Unless you have to develop a new skill, it’s always better ...

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The Struggle Is the Process

The Struggle Is the Process

Some days are great, some days are good, some days are bad. Embrace the struggle: this is the space where breakthroughs come from.

And when you finally find something that works, it’s...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Working Harder isn’t the Answer

We do it because it's the most visible form of productivity.

It is a way to prove to others that you are doing stuff and checking things off the list.

The Dose-Response Theory

Hard work is necessary in order to be productive, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

At some point, you start to be negatively productive.

Prioritize Tasks by Energy Level

It means scheduling your time according to your natural rhythms:

  • Do your most important work at the beginning of the day if you are a morning person.
  • Don't feel bad about sleeping in because you stayed up late at night to work if you are a night owl.

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Personal Mission Statement

It consists of thinking long and hard about your life and work. Write down everything that is on your mind, then consider what is most important.

  • You want to know where you want to go...

Acknowledging Progress

Progress can sometimes feel like endless staircases where you climb and climb, but can never see the end.

A personal mission statement allows you to look back and see how far you've climbed.

Putting Things Into Perspective

A personal mission statement reminds you where you're coming from and puts your life in perspective. When you feel frustrated, you can go back and read how much you've progressed over a specific time.

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Rethinking the 8-hour workday

Rethinking the 8-hour workday

Knowledge workers aren't factory workers. There is no direct correlation between how much time they spend on the job and their output.

For knowledge workers, the 8-hour workday doesn’t make s...

Quality vs Quantity of Time

The structure of most working environments punishes people for efficiency and rewards them for looking busy. We need to shift our focus from the number of hours spent on something to the quality generated.

Build the Right Environment

To make a 3-hour workday feasible, design the right environment to make it possible.

  • Behavior is the result of environment. If you have many apps open, you’ll be more likely to be distracted.
  • Eliminate the need for willpower. Think of willpower like a bank balance. For every decision you make, you spend a unit. Design the right environment, so you avoid depleting all of your willpower.

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