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Being Productive Starts With Knowing Your Limits

Being Productive Starts With Knowing Your Limits
The only way to be consistently productive is to be honest with yourself Everyone has a built-in limitation - these limitations are physical, mental, social, and chronological. Until you recognize those limitations, you can't demand the best of yourself or deliver your very best every day.


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"The first step to being truly productive is to be honest with yourself — have an honest assessment of what you are realistically capable of doing."

Thomas Oppong




Accepting our mental limitations

This requires acknowledging that we have a limit on how much mental work we can accomplish in a day or week.



Our reactive state

We are flooded with tons of information and requests, and we feel compelled to read and respond at all hours of the day and night.

These unhealthy habits limit more than we realize our ability to do more great work.



“We willingly accept the loss of concentration and focus, the division of our attention and the fragmentation of our thoughts, in return for the wealth of compelling or at least diverting information we receive."

Nicholas Carr



The limits of productivity

There are limits to what your body is capable of doing. A productivity strategy will only work for you if you know how to make it work with your current habits, routines, mental strength.

Organize your day around your physical and mental energy. And do more of what works for you.



"Our society today focuses much on doing more and getting more done. The bitter truth is, you will never be able to do it all — do one thing well, not three things badly!"

Thomas Oppong




1:1 meetings

1:1 meetings

1:1 meetings matter. It is important to nurture that essential employee-manager relationship. But it still not easy to get right.

Under pressures, managers are still juggl...

1:1 category

The goal of an effective 1:1 is not an update from your direct report or for you to lay down some instructions. It's a conversation. It's a chance to hear about your direct reports' ideas for your product, their career goals, and possibly their opinion of their performance.

Keep a list of three potential topics ready for discussion. When they say they have nothing to discuss, you can jumpstart the conversation with one of your items.

Manager's best tool

Your most precious resource is your own time and energy. When you spend it on your team, it helps build healthy relationships.

Your job as a manager isn't to give advice or 'save the day.'' It's to empower your reports to find the answer themselves. If you want to understand what's going on, ask. Let her lead the conversation while you listen and probe.

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Life happens in 4 stages

Life happens in 4 stages
  1. Mimicry: As children, the way we’re wired to learn is by watching and mimicking others.
  2. Self-Discovery:Learning what makes us different from the p...

The value of trauma

Transitions between life stages are usually triggered by extreme events: near-death experiences, divorce, failed friendships, death of loved ones.

Trauma causes us to step back and re-evaluate our deepest motivations and decisions. It allows us to reflect on whether our strategies to pursue happiness are actually working well or not.

Questions to ask before trying biohacking

  • Is it scientifically sound?
  • Is it logically sound? (i.e. is there a sound explanation behind the tactic?)
  • Is the estimated cost (risk, money, time/energy) ...

Sleep Hygiene

Objective: Get plenty of restorative deep and REM sleep on a regular basis.

Key tactics

  • Measure the stages of your sleep
  • Block blue light 3-4 hours before sleep
  • Have your bedroom dark and humid
  • Wake at exactly the same time each morning
  • Evaluate things that seem to help or disrupt sleep.

Optimal nutrition

Objectives: Minimize insulin levels, maximize glucose disposal, optimize various growth factors towards things we want (e.g. muscle) and away from what we don’t want (e.g. cancer).

Key tactics:

  • Do not eat sugar in any form. Sugar is poison
  • Do not eat processed foods. Eat natural food instead
  • Do not eat cheap industrially-farmed animal products
  • Eat mostly plants
  • Eat organic when possible, especially when discussing animal products
  • Try keto diet.