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Some use their time to accomplish an impossible amount of work, while others waste their time repeating the same few tasks, perhaps gaining 10% improvements each year.
Even if you believe you're in the first camp of making heroic progress, if you're focused on finding the right productivity app, you're in the second.
It's easy to fall into the habit of doing something repeatedly without clarifying what the steps are. Explaining how to do things ensures tasks are done properly, and that no one has to spend time constantly re-teaching how to do something. Once the system is defined, it's possible to start automating and delegating it.
Before you consider automating or delegating a system you've defined, go through each step and see if it can be removed, combined with another step, or if you can create some new step that removes a handful of others.
Financial leverage involves using other people's money to improve everyone's returns. The very rich had the confidence to take on some leverage to increase their upside if they succeeded.
We all have access to another form of leverage which can be the difference between increasing your salary by 10% per year and doubling it every year. It's called Personal Leverage and is a measure of your ability to extend your productivity beyond yourself.
The best way to extend our work beyond ourselves and take advantage of personal leverage is to go through the Personal Leverage Loop: define, refine, automate, and delegate.
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Switching between tasks can have damaging costs to our work and productivity.
Develop the habit of single-tasking by forcing your brain to concentrate on one task and one task only. Put your phone away, close all the browser windows and apps that you don’t need. Immerse yourself in this task. Only move to the next one when you’re done.
“Time management is not a peripheral activity or skill. It is the core skill upon which everything else in life depends.”
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...
... 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% of the output or results will come from 20% of the input or action. The little things are the ones that account for the majority of the results.
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.
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.