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The paradox of productivity

Gustave Flaubert

“Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work."

Gustave Flaubert

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The paradox of productivity

The paradox of productivity

https://medium.com/age-of-awareness/the-paradox-of-productivity-f8a4add97bde

medium.com

6

Key Ideas

The Experimental Mindset

Instead of following the tips from other people, one should have an experimental mindset to try and build a lifestyle that suits them. And this in itself is a process.

Gustave Flaubert

Gustave Flaubert

“Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work."

Order and Creativity

We are not very good at multitasking because can truly focus on only one thing at a time.

Discipline leads to creativity. If we are able to bring discipline and order in our daily lives, by decluttering and focusing on the important things, we can be more productive and achieve a lot.

A Daily Habit

By using regular systems for your daily activities and bringing in good habits in your day, you can increase your productivity and eventually achieve your goals.

It helps to regularly check your energy levels and find the right time of the day to do your best work.

Daily Practice

Regular practice develops your skills due to the fact that productivity habits compound.

The act of a successful positive habit increases manifold as we move up the ladder.

Week Day Distribution

How a week can look like:

  • Mondays can be used as a schedule setting and meetings day, setting you off for the entire week of productive work.
  • Tuesdays can be used for thinking, analysis, and writing, with minimal use of email or phone.
  • Wednesdays can be used for distraction-free deep work.
  • Thursdays as a catch-up day to do all spillover work from the previous 3 days.
  • Fridays can be used in an activity that interests you the most, like training other people, for example.

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Eliminate interruptions

Dustin Moskovitz, CEO of Asana (productivity and project management platform):

"We practice “No Meeting Wednesdays” to ensure that everyone at the company gets a large block of time to focus on heads-down work without having to fit it in between meetings. This may be our most valuable cultural practice, and I encourage every company to consider adopting it. Additionally, we reflect frequently on whether our group activities are getting enough ROI to justify the interrupt and time expenditure. "

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Scheduling styles
When it comes to our daily schedule, most people fall into one of two camps:
  • The Overscheduler: Their days are determined from the moment they wake up to their evening routine.
Scheduling your day

A good daily schedule is a blueprint for a successful life. 

Knowing what we’re doing and when empowers us with a sense of purpose, meaning, and focus.

Your most important work

The most successful people consistently get their most important work done first.

Build recurring time for your most important work in the morning, before you start anything else. Your energy levels are naturally higher in the morning, but completing a meaningful task first thing has also a domino effect that pushes you through the day.

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Productivity is a deeply personal thing
We all have different brains and, therefore, different preferences, perspectives, and situations where we feel most effective. In order to find what works, you have to understand your own psychology.
Action has momentum
So developing personal rituals to get your own snowball rolling downhill is far more important than what yerba mate supplements to take, or what yoga mat to sit on in the morning. 
Work as a linear function

We assume that the amount of productive output we create is directly proportional to the number of hours we input. But the truth is that most thoughtful, brain-intensive work does not unfold like this. The only work that is linear is really basic, repetitive stuff.

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Avoid having a Manic Monday
  • Write down your top 3 priorities to get done on Monday and plan your schedule around them.
  • Review your calendar for the upcoming week and tie key tasks or events to it so you know exac...
Get errands out of the way

Sundays are a great day to get your errands out of the way, like grocery shopping. Also, take time for cooking meals, cleaning rooms, or dropping things off at different shops. You most likely don't have the time and energy to do these activities after work.

But don’t spend all of Sunday on these tasks. Even though they’re important, you still need some time to decompress.

Schedule something fun

Make sure you also do something you enjoy, like brunch with friends or spending time with your family. 

This gives you something to look forward to during the week and it also helps you to disconnect.

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