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10 Ways to Actually Work Smarter

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 accomplish

Writing daily with no objective is just practice. 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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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

10 Ways to Actually Work Smarter

10 Ways to Actually Work Smarter

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

dansilvestre.com

10

Key Ideas

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”.

For example: running a marathon is a goal, running 4 days a week for 30 minutes is a repeatable process. 

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.

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 accomplish

Writing daily with no objective is just practice. 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.

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% 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.

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.

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.

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: notifications from your phone, random web browsing sessions without an end in mind, convoluted apps and systems that take more time to manage than to do the actual work.
  • People: the annoying coworker who keeps interrupting you or that friend that you always give more than you receive. 

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 them, either by using apps or building your own system. It doesn’t matter what you do, you’ll always have recurring tasks.

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 way because it’s my opinion/other people say so/it’s how the world works or because I’ve tested it? 

Growth comes from hard work and a little luck. Hyper-growth comes from testing.

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 to find someone already skilled at something to complete that task.

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 a magical time. But no one is going to clap. So you must do it for yourself. Learn to enjoy the small victories.

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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Brian Tracy

Time management is not a peripheral activity or skill. It is the core skill upon which everything else in life de..."

Brian Tracy

Work Around Your Energy Levels

Productivity is directly related to your energy level.

Find your most productive hours — the time of your peak energy — and schedule Deep Work for those periods. Do low-value and low-energy tasks (also known as shallow work), such as responding to emails or unimportant meetings, in between those hours.

Plan Your Day the Night Before

Before going to bed, spend 5 minutes writing your to-do list for the next day. These tasks should help you move towards your professional and personal goals.

You’ll be better prepared mentally for the challenges ahead before waking up and there won’t be any room for procrastination in the morning. As a result, you’ll work faster and smoother than ever before.

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