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The Only 3 Ways to be More Productive

Use Popular Productivity Hacks

  • Find an Accountability Buddy
  • Create a morning ritual for the first hour of your morning
  • Use the Pomodoro Technique to break your work into chunks
  • Make a “Not-To-Do List” with the things that waste your time
  • Use freelancing platform to outsource tasks 
  • Batching similar tasks into one chunk.
  • Practice systems like David Allen’s Getting Things Done for task management.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

The Only 3 Ways to be More Productive

The Only 3 Ways to be More Productive

https://taylorpearson.me/3productivity/

taylorpearson.me

7

Key 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.

Learn New Skills

Acquire new skills that will help you get more things done in less time.

  • Consume information and learn about other people from your field, about their mistakes and methods.
  • Apply what you learn.

Use Popular Productivity Hacks

  • Find an Accountability Buddy
  • Create a morning ritual for the first hour of your morning
  • Use the Pomodoro Technique to break your work into chunks
  • Make a “Not-To-Do List” with the things that waste your time
  • Use freelancing platform to outsource tasks 
  • Batching similar tasks into one chunk.
  • Practice systems like David Allen’s Getting Things Done for task management.

Courage And Working Smarter

One reason we work too hard is that we are using that hard work to make up for a lack of courage.

Example: Instead of firing the team member who is dragging down the project, we work harder to make up for them. Firing them takes courage.

Apply Courage to Your Work

  • Courage is in choosing to work less because we are confident in our own productivity time, even if that means having a 5-hour workday.
  • It is having a difficult conversation with someone at work.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Focus on Systems Instead of Goals
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”...

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.

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Effectiveness 
It is basically a polite word for getting things done. But the right kind of things.
Peter Drucker's Strategy 

... to become more effective:

  • Know your time: if you want to manage your time better, you have to know where it goes first.
  • Identify the non-productive work: activities that have ZERO return, with no importance if you stopped doing them.
  • Eliminate the trivial, time-wasting tasks.

“To be effective, every knowledge worker, and especially every executive, needs to be able to dispose of time in fairly large chunks. To have small dribs and drabs of time at his disposal will not be sufficient even if the total is an impressive number of hours.”

“To be effective, every knowledge worker, and especially every executive, needs to be able to dispose of time in fairly large chunks. To have small dribs and drabs of time at his disposal will not be sufficient even if the total is an impressive number of hours.”

Meaningful productivity

The best work happens in short intensive deep work spurts (1–3 hours, no distractions). 

Your best thinking  will actually happen while you’re away from your work, “recovering.” B...

The first 3 hours of the day

...are your most precious for maximized productivity. 

Your brain is most attuned first thing in the morning, and so are your energy levels. Consequently, the best time to do your best work is during this time.

The “90–90–1” rule

Spend the first 90 minutes of your workday on your #1 priority, nothing else. 

Zero distractions. Just get that work done.

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Eliminate as Many Choices as Possible

The more decisions you make (small or big) the less mental energy you have. Eventually, you'll lose your focus and you'll end up susceptible to bad habits.

If you limit the amount of dec...

Do the Hardest Thing First

For most of us, our mental energy is at its highest in the morning.

As the day goes on, you'll feel more fatigued and so you are more likely to make bad decisions. Do the hardest thing on your list in the morning, and you will be less likely to crack under pressure later on.

Refuel Frequently

Having regular healthy nutritional meals and snacks gives your brain little boosts of energy it needs to power forward. 

Without the proper fuel, your brain is more likely to focus on immediate indulgences and forget about those long-term goals.

The philosophy of working "smart"

... is to maximize your productivity when you are working so that you can get more stuff done in shorter periods of time.

By working smarter, you'll find yourself with more time in th...

Find the to-do list app that work for you

The best one for you depends entirely on your working style and personal preferences.

You can use a physical notebook around everywhere you go, but it's easier to use a to-do list app or tool that syncs across all your devices. That way, you can access your to-do items whenever and wherever you need to, whether you're at your desk, in a meeting, or on a business trip.

Prepare in advance

Write out your to-do list the day before:

  • You'll free your time to dive right into your to-do list in the morning - one of the most productive times of day.
  • It can help you spot obstacles ahead of time and prepare accordingly.
  • Knowing what you have going on well in advance could help you relax and sleep better the night before.

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The Pressure Of Time

Most leaders have familiar approaches to managing time: setting goals, planning, delegating, tracking commitments, and creating to-do lists. While these approaches do help in self-organization, the...

Sustainable Productivity

Instead of increasing the number of productive hours, we can focus on getting the right things done in a timely way. We also need to restore and balance ourselves, our colleagues, family and environment, instead of a neurotic or pathological focus on deadlines.

Find out what's truly important to us and use the finite resource of time wisely.

Phantom Workload

Phantom workload looks like real work but results in massive unproductivity and even conflict in an organization. The pressure to meet unrealistic expectations causes a vicious cycle of further workload.

Leaders need to take a hard look at what is being avoided or not addressed. Facing difficult tasks that were 'swept under the carpet' earlier strengthens them further to make hard decisions and face difficult people and situations.

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Productive vs Efficient
  • Productivity measures how much you do or produce within a given timeframe.
  • Efficiency is about being productive with less effort.

To be more productive in a w...

The Right Questions

When companies have more work than they can handle, they tend to ask, "Who will do this work?" But the better questions are:

  • How should this get done?
  • Is this the best way to do this?
  • Is there a more efficient way to do this?
  • Should I be doing this?

Identify what can be automated, delegated or be replaced in favor of something else. Even if it only saves you a few minutes, it will add up over time. 

Broad-Strokes Efficiency

Efficiency is not limited to how you perform specific tasks. Consider how the general way you work impacts your efficiency.

  • Work in a way that complements your internal clock.
  • Find out how to get yourself into a flow state when you need to do deep work.
  • Take more and better breaks, so you'll be more refreshed and focused throughout the day.

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Learn To Use Procrastination
Learn To Use Procrastination

The desire to procrastinate is a healthy brain craving, a natural need for novelty and curiosity. We must stop the negative self-talk we have towards us not working as a machine all the time. The l...

Observe Your Need To Procrastinate
  1. Observe the need to procrastinate, recognizing and being aware of your desire. This is called meta-recognition and is what all the Gurus keep talking about when they speak about awareness.
  2. Label and accept your urge to waste your time, but without any negative judgement.
  3. Validate your urge to procrastinate, increasing your self-esteem.
  4. Approach procrastination as a friend, not as a threat.
The Real Enemy of Flow

The biggest obstacle, the main villain hampering our productivity is always in your hands, and rarely in your pockets. _It’s your smartphone. It needs to be powered off for some time. Your laptop, clamouring for attention, is not helping either. Remove all distractions and notifications so that you can get in the ‘flow’ mode.

Creating friction between us and the open black hole of the online distractions helps us focus on work.

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Focus on what matters
  • Write down the end goal.
  • Divide the goal into specific actions you need to take to get there. Think in terms of systems: focussed, routine actions that you can do daily.
  • List a...
Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs

“Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do. It’s true for companies, and it’s true for products."

Seek Simplicity
  • Find out if the problem really exists, and why. This will open a path to alternative ways of solving it.
  • Some problems, which seem complex, often have simple solutions.
  • What is the surest thing in that complex problem? That becomes your First Principle, your starting point.
  • List out the possible solutions
  • Focus on one good solution while removing the rest.

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Learning from mistakes
Learning from mistakes

It doesn't happen automatically. It requires thinking and reflection. No one likes to fail, lose time and energy. That’s why we need to make an effort to learn from the things that we wish w...

Lessons learned by making mistakes
  • You can't know everything. Be humble.
  • Never blame others for your unhappiness. Take responsibility.
  • Don't waste time on losers. You might become one of them.
  • Most of us have a twisted idea about love.
  • You actually don't have a lot of time.
  • Learning never stops. 
  • Sometimes you need to distance yourself from others and be alone.
  • Small decisions lead to big outcomes.
How well you’re spending your time

Ask yourself: 

  • How much time am I wasting on things that give me zero fulfillment? 
  • Do I like my job? 
  • Do I like the people in my life?