How to Be Productive: 10 Ways to Actually Work Smarter Dan Silvestre - Deepstash

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Focus on Systems Instead of Goals

Most goals are out of our control. Our focus should be on systems rather than goals. In a system (repeatable process), your focus is on all the parts that you do control.

Reward effort instead of achievement: small gains compound over time.

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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 advantages pay off. A 1% gain every day compounds to almost 38x increase over a year.

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Track and Measure Output, Not Input

Focus on the output, rather than the input.

If you want to achieve something, you need to commit to a certain output, like publishing a post on your blog weekly. At the end of the day, a system is a way to control how to achieve an output.

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Live by the 80/20 Rule

“80% of the output or results will come from 20% of the input or action.”

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:

  • Are you focusing on the tasks that bring the most output?
  • Do you spend time on all your clients equally or are you reserving most of it for the best clients that bring you the majority of revenue?
  • Are most of your distractions coming from a couple of sources? Perhaps your phone or social media?

Once you figure out what’s exactly working, double down.

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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.

Take advantage of this state by scheduling your most important work for this period. Focus on performing Deep Work, meaning you get to work free of distraction for a long period of time.

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Remove Distractions

Distractions can be divided into three major groups: physical (i.e. possessions), intangible (i.e. technology), and people.

Anything that interrupts your work when you are in Deep Work state and/or doesn’t contribute to the life you want to build classifies as a distraction. Minimize distractions in your daily life in order to make progress in meaningful work.

Be aware of your distractions. Once you have nailed that down, move on to removing them. Quit these bad habits by adding friction.

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Automate Repetitive Tasks

Use technology to automate repetitive tasks. Start by listing down all the tasks that you have to do recurrently every week. Then find ways to automate them, either by using apps or building your own system. More automation means more time to focus on creative and productive work.

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Be Data-Driven

Question everything: do I think this way because it’s my opinion/other people say so/it’s how the world works or because I’ve tested it?

Test, test, test, and find what works specifically for you. Growth comes from hard work and a little luck. Hyper-growth comes from testing.

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Delegate the Non-Essential

By focusing on what you do best and delegating the rest, you optimize your productivity.

To delegate efficiently, make sure you choose the right person for the job. Be very specific about the finished product (the output) and provide clear step-by-step instructions on how to complete the task.

Invest in trading your money for time when the time it takes you to complete a task is more expensive than paying someone.

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The Struggle Is the Process

When you’re behind, go home early. Take some time to rest and come back energized the next day. Sometimes our brain solves the problems for us on its own. Embrace the struggle.

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