Externalizing your tasks and writing them down is a powerful way to free up mental space and get organized. Performing a “brain dump” not only reduces stress and helps you focus, it also motivates you to action.
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Every single support task in your work can be either shrunk, delegated, or even, in a few rare cases, eliminated entirely. After you have a better grip on how much time and attention you spend on your problem tasks, the maintenance tasks in your work are a lot easier to deal with.
The intention behind your actions is like the shaft behind an arrowhead—it’s pretty difficult to become more productive day in and day out when you don’t care about what you want to accomplish on a deeper level. This productivity insight is by far the least sexy tip in this book, but it may be th...
In fact, the happier you are, the more productive you will become. According to psychologist and happiness researcher Shawn Achor, who wrote the bestselling book The Happiness Advantage, when your brain is happier, it “performs significantly better than it does at negative, neutral, or stressed. ...
In this new environment, the most productive people not only manage their time well—they also manage their attention and energy well.
Not all tasks are created equal; there are certain tasks in your work that, for every minute you spend on them, let you accomplish more than your other tasks. Taking a step back from your work to identify your highest-impact tasks will let you invest your time, attention, and energy in the right ...
Support tasks like checking email are likely a necessary evil for your workday, but shrinking how much time, attention, and energy you spend on them is one key to increasing your productivity. By creating more time and space around your highest-return activities, you become more creative, focused...
Your brain cells consume double the energy that the other cells in your body consume; even though your brain makes up just 2–3 percent of your body mass, it burns 20 percent of the calories you take in. As you invest in your productivity, having a strong mental function becomes crucial—as does ha...
Minute for minute, you accomplish more doing these tasks than you do through tasks like:
• Attending pointless meeting
• Keeping up-to-date with social media
• Checking your email repeatedly
• Reading news websites
• Participating in idle chitchat
The more t...
I wasn’t as productive as I could have been because I had never sat down, determined the highest-impact tasks in my work, and deliberately worked on those tasks. Instead, I had been spending my time on the items that happened to fall onto my to-do list.
If I caught myself worrying about something throughout the day, I reminded myself that I had scheduled time to worry later, and if I started worrying about a new thing during the day, I captured it on the list so I could worry about it later, as well. Most of the time I don’t need this list, but ...
Like with most of the tactics in this book, buying back time isn’t about doing less; it’s about working smarter to do more of the things you find meaningful. I found that the value of my time has orbited around four things:
• How much money I earn
• How valuable my time is to me
On days when I find myself having more or less energy than I usually do, I simply write out how much energy (on a scale of 1–10) each of my three daily tasks will take. This makes it easier to adapt what I’m working on to the amount of energy and focus I have at the moment.
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This is the act that transforms a dream into a goal.
Writing down your goals forces you to clarify what you want, motivates you to take action, helps you overcome resistance, and gives you a way to objectively measure your success.
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