What's More Productive: Counting Hours or Tasks Accomplished? - Deepstash

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What's More Productive: Counting Hours or Tasks Accomplished?

https://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/2017/02/02/tasks-or-time/

scotthyoung.com

What's More Productive: Counting Hours or Tasks Accomplished?
I'm a big fan of setting constraints to get work done. If you make work a scarcer quantity, you're more likely to use time wisely and get things done than if it feels like an endless to-do list. There's two key ways you can do this: restrict your hours or restrict your workload.

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Constraints and productivity

If you make work a scarcer quantity, you’re more likely to use time wisely and get things done than if it feels like an endless to-do list.

And you cand do this by restricting your hou...

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Time vs workload

  • Restricting hours: set aside a certain chunk of time for work and don’t work outside of it. For example, the Pomodoro technique for working in short bursts of time.
  • Re...

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Constraining time

The biggest advantage of constraining time is that it’s always unambiguous. If you decide to work for three hours and then stop, there’s no confusion there.

Disadvantage: time ...

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When time constraints work best

  • It’s unclear the time and effort required to complete the task.
  • The work itself is ambiguous and may require a lot of trial-and-error.
  • The work is continuous a...

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Constraining tasks

The advantage of constraining tasks is that it focuses directly on the object of productivity: whatever you’re trying to accomplish: you can't fool yourself into believing you’re working har...

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When task constraints work best

  • Tasks are discrete and fairly predictable.
  • You might be tempted to fill up time without making real progress
  • The tasks are frequently repeated, and therefore e...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Ruthless prioritization

It means deciding not to do things you'd really like to do. It also means deciding what's the most important task even when everything on your list feels crucial.

But if you can prioritize until you have only one thing to focus on right now, you can't help but get to work.

Consolidate All of Your Tasks Into a Single Source

To-dos arrive from a variety of sources. Your boss sends you an email, you get a Slack message from IT, a bill arrives in the mail, or a coworker asks for a favor in the hallway.

In order to prioritize your task list efficiently, you need a master to-do list that contains all of the tasks you need to prioritize and complete from all of those sources.

Analyze Your Task List

Go through your list, review each task, and decide what you want to do with it. You have 4 options:

  • Do: complete the task now
  • Defer: complete it later
  • Delegate: assign it to someone else
  • Delete: remove it from your list

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The Action Hero

Give them a seemingly impossible list of tasks and they will have them done and dusted faster than a speeding bullet. But in their haste, they can miss things and prioritize nonurgent tasks.

Strategy: For this type, ranking tasks according to urgency is a good call. 

The Diva

Very sociable and upbeat but with a tendency to procrastinate, they often boast about their nonexistent achievements giving the impression they are more productive than they really are.

Strategy: breaking tasks into tiny steps, scheduling their resolution and setting reminders works well. Email management according to urgency is also crucial considering how much time it usually consumes. 

The Workhorse

Thoughtful, cautious, methodical and quite independent in terms in carrying out tasks. They plan and prioritize well, but may be seen as overcautious, while others can be frustrated by their inertia. Their dedication to the job can also lead to an unwillingness to share the burden of work.

Strategy: Choose the most important things you need to focus on and those that only you can do, while delegating the rest according to staff skills.

A system is...

  • Something you do on a regular basis that increases your odds of success regardless of the immediate outcome.
  • A collection of goals, tools, habits, and methods is not the same as a purposeful system.
  • A working system allows you to reduce your tasks to a manageable set of inputs and outputs, and establish some predictability.  

Systems vs. goals

  • If you do something every day, it’s a system.
  • If you’re waiting to achieve it someday in the future, it’s a goal.

James Clear

James Clear

“When you focus on the practice instead of the performance, you can enjoy the present moment and improve at the same time.”