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Brantley

@brantley410

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It helps you decide when to tackle a task by following the steps below:

  1. Define clearly what is the task and the actions that compose it.
  2. If the action takes less than two minutes, do it, although it is not an urgent or high-priority task; if not, defer it or delegate it.
  3. If you do not achieve the result of the task with the action, identify the next action and process it following the same criteria of the previous step.
  4. If doing a task will take less time than processing it, organizing it in your lists and tracking it timely, it is more efficient to do it right away.

@brantley410

Basic GTD: The Two-Minute Rule

facilethings.com

Most Of Us Are Overworked

The hustle fallacy is a common belief that by working harder, putting in more hours, and grinding throughout the day, we can get ahead of others and find success.

Overworking, which often leads to burnout, bad relationships, health issues and low-quality output is a product of decades-old work cultures across the world, and most of us post-2020 are either workaholics or recovering from it.

Free Yourself from Overwork - Michael Hyatt

michaelhyatt.com

  • Realize that work-life balance is possible if you want it to happen.
  • Understand that work isn’t the primary orientation of life, just something you do to live better. Your priority shouldn’t be work, but the good life you will lead because of your work and your earnings.
  • Constraints do not stifle productivity but enhance it.
  • One shouldn’t always be busy. Productivity actually means working smarter and faster to free yourself from work and go live your life.
  • Rest is not something done by lazy people. We all are in a dire need of daily rest, restoration and relaxation, which we are completely neglecting.
Oliver Emberton
secret to mastering your time is to systematically focus on importance and suppress urge

The secret to mastering your time is to systematically focus on importance and suppress urgency

businessinsider.com

Important vs. urgent tasks
  • Important tasks are things that contribute to your long-term mission, values, and goals.
  • Urgent tasks are tasks that have to be dealt with immediately: phone calls, urgent deadlines, and situations where you have to respond quickly.

Sometimes important tasks stare you right in the face, but you neglect them and respond to urgent but unimportant things.

Don't be available all the time

Time, not money, is your most valuable asset. Invest your asset:

  • Allocate time to each task you need to get done every day. 
  • Each task of the day should be attainable, realistic, and time-bound. And it should advance your goals for the day, week or month.
  • Don't get distracted by everything others expect you to do.
Stephen Covey
"You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage pleasantly, smilingly, and non-apologetically — to say 'no' to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger yes burning inside."
Being super connected

Modern technology has evolved to exploit our urgency addiction. You can be distracted simply by hearing or feeling your phone vibrate, even if you don't pick it up.

  • Try putting your phone out of sight (and touch) for uninterrupted productivity.
  • Turn off all your notifications. Choose to check these things when you take breaks.
Don't take on too much

If you get excited and take on too much, you'll be spending your energy all over the place.

Spend most of your time on the right things and the rest takes care of itself. It's not enough to just 'work hard'.

Morning routines

Of all the different things you can try to improve your productivity, a morning routine is one of the most effective:

  • It gets you started and sets the tone for the upcoming day;
  • They take place in the most consistent part of the day - mornings are usually quiet, with fewer social obligations.

Six Morning Routines that Will Make You Happier, Healthier and More Productive

scotthyoung.com

Sleep and productivity

When it comes to productivity, getting enough sleep is essential. Any morning routine you develop needs to accommodate your sleeping rhythms.

And research indicates that 7-8 hours per day is a nearly universal requirement.

Different goals, different routines

There isn’t one perfect routine that will make you rich and happy overnight. Instead, there’s different routines for different purposes: if you're focusing on health and fitness, starting with exercise or eating a healthy breakfast might go first. If you're working like crazy, getting straight to work on your most important tasks may be better than cluttering up my morning with different tasks.

Exercise and energy

Right when you wake up, before eating breakfast, checking your phone or the TV, go out and move:

  • it puts fitness in that all-important first slot of the day, especially if you're struggling with making this a priority; 
  • It will wake you up and keep you alert.
Meditation and Stillness

If you start your day with meditation, it’s important to do seated meditation and not do so lying down in your bed, or you’ll be likely to fall back asleep. This routine will help because:

  • it leaves you calm and focused for the day;
  • allows your mind to wake up without strain.
Getting the work done

The key to productivity is just doing the work. This routine underscores this by making getting some work done your first priority, so that your first break is the chance to eat breakfast, shower etc. :

  • it not only maximizes your time, it shifts your productivity much earlier.
  • it is that you get to take a break when you need it.
Planning the day ahead

Don’t just jot down some to-do items, but actually imagine working on them: What will be the complications, where will you have gaps in your schedule that need filling, what will you need to focus on etc. Doing this planning first thing in the morning can be a good way to prime your day for success, especially if you have a hectic busy schedule.

Make your bed

By putting your house in order, you put your mind in order as well: Making your bed, brushing your teeth, showering, shaving, doing makeup, pressing your clothes are all little tasks that can put you in good form for the rest of your day. 

The Flow State

Flow is characterized by complete concentration in the activity at hand, resulting in a loss in one’s sense of space and time. It’s a state of both high challenge and high skill—a place where we’re capable of stretching ourselves to overcome difficulty.
Anyone is capable of inducing such a state of deep productivity and creativity.

In The Flow: How To Master Your Brain's Peak Productivity

blog.trello.com

  1. Intense concentration on the task at hand.
  2. A merging of action and awareness - “being and doing become one”.
  3. A loss of reflective self-consciousness.
  4. A sense of personal control over the situation.
  5. A distortion of the perception of time.
  6. Autotelic experience: the activity itself is intrinsically rewarding, rather than the expected outcome.
  • It’s not easyFlow is not just a state where we love the work so much it just pours out. Flow is a state where hard work meets joy and meaning. 
  • It’s not for beginners. The act of learning how to do something won’t always allow us to get into the flow. Getting into the zone in a specific discipline is something that needs to be learned and practiced.

It's almost impossible to get into the flow state if you're doing something you don't like. Look for experiences that are inherently enjoyable, meaningful, or satisfying.

Even in our dream job, we might have to do repetitive or unpleasant work. But, if you generally find it difficult to find flow in your work throughout the day, question whether your tasks are challenging or complex enough.

It’s only after you reach a state of competence that you’ll be able to achieve a flow state. How do we get good at getting into this optimal zone?

  • Learn how others do it
  • Try it yourself
  • Analyze your performance
  • Try again, based on what you’ve learned
  • Repeat

Distraction is the enemy of flow. 

If you can, sit somewhere quiet. If you’re in an office, try using noise-canceling headphones.

Music or ambient sounds can be really helpful; preferably calm, repetitive, atmospheric sounds so your brain doesn’t focus on melody or words.

Your ability to achieve a lasting flow state hinges upon your energy and health.

The four types of rest necessary for creative flow are:

  • Mental rest - Meditation, reading fiction and things unrelated to your work.
  • Social rest - Using social connectedness to relax.
  • Spiritual rest -  Going to a place of worship, or just taking time to think about the big questions in life.
  • Physical rest - Getting horizontal or taking a bath. Exercising can count as rest if you normally sit down all day.
  • Vision List - consists of everything you want to experience in life.
  • 100 Days List - all the task waiting for you in the next 100 day.
  • Personal Sprint Backlog or Bi-Weekly Sprint - tasks categorized by to-do, in progress, and done.
  • Daily 3T List - the three most important tasks of the day.
  • Not-to-do List - tasks you simply don’t do, no matter what. 

The not-to-do list - AgileLeanLife

agileleanlife.com

A list of tasks you simply don't do: You delete them, delegate them, outsource them or simply say no when they try to find their way on your to-do list:

  • Things you want to say no
  • Distractions from being productive
  • Regular tasks you can delete, delegate, or outsource
  • Other people's responsibility
  • Small projects that get way on bigger projects
  • Emotionally draining tasks
  • Bad habits
  • Stuff that doesn't need to be done
  • Things that are out of control
  • Everything else that you can systematically eliminate and bring a bigger margin into your life.

When people ask you personally or via email something that you are struggling to decline, use templates. Templates are standard response you use to everyone. With the use of these, you refuse them politely without offending them. Also,  it saves you time and there's less emotional pressure compared to writing a decline every time.

  • Take time to make a list. 
  • Analyze your tasks from the past and look for patterns.
  • Evaluate recurring tasks. Identify their effects in the future. Know if you can delete, delegate, or outsource the task. Ask yourself what you would feel if you're going to do it.
  • Be honest with yourself about what should be on your not-to-do list. Realize that you should let go, and commit to other things.
  • Prepare your template for kind declines and start saying no to yourself and other people.

Procrastination is fundamentally an emotional reaction to what you have to do. The more aversive a task is to you, the more you’ll resist it, and the more likely you are to procrastinate.

Aversive tasks tend to: be boring, frustrating, difficult, lack intrinsic rewards, be ambiguous and unstructured.

Here's why you procrastinate, and 10 tactics that will help you stop

alifeofproductivity.com

Make a task less aversive

When you notice yourself procrastinating, use your procrastination as a trigger to examine a task’s characteristics and think about what you should change.

By breaking down exactly which attributes an aversive task has (boring, frustrating, difficult, meaningless, ambiguous, unstructured), you can take those qualities and turn them around to make the task more appealing to you.

Unproductive responses

... people have when they procrastinate:

  • Distracting yourself, and thinking about other things
  • Forgetting what you have to do, either actively or passively
  • Downplaying the importance of what you have to do
  • Focusing on your other values and qualities that will solidify your sense of self
  • Denying responsibility to distance yourself from what you have to do
  • Seeking out new information that supports your procrastination.
Limit your time

Limiting how much time you spend on a task makes the task more fun, more structured, and less frustrating and difficult because you’ll always be able to see an end in sight.

And instead of throwing more time at the problem, you force yourself to exert more energy over less time to get it done, which will make you a lot more productive.

Be kind to yourself

Be mindful of how kind you are to yourself, and watch out for times when you try to deceive yourself. 

The reason you deceive yourself when you procrastinate: at the same time that you know you should be doing something, a different part of you is very much aware that you’re not actually doing it, so you make up a story about why you’re not getting that thing done.

Just get started

You just need enough motivation to get started. Once we start a task, it is rarely as bad as we think: your attributions of the task change, and what you think about yourself changes, too.

For example, to go for a swim in a cold pool, you just need to be motivated for the 30 seconds it takes you to jump in and start swimming.

The costs of procrastinating

Activating the rational part of your brain to identify the costs of procrastinating is a great strategy to get unstuck.

So make a list of the tasks you’re procrastinating on, and then note how your procrastination has affected you in terms of things such as your happiness, stress, health, finances, relationships, and so on.

Think about your future-self

Research has shown that we have the tendency to treat our future-selves like complete strangers, and that’s why we give them the same kind of load that we’d give a stranger.

We’re not very good at predicting how we will feel in the future. We are overly optimistic, and our optimism comes crashing down when tomorrow comes. When our mood sours, we end up giving in to feel good. We procrastinate.
Disconnect from the Internet

47% of people’s time online is spent procrastinating, so our best tools for productivity (computers, smartphones) are potentially also one of our greatest time wasters.

To get something done, we need to disconnect from potential distractions like social-networking tools.

Especially for tasks that are not defined and poorly structured.

This means thinking about when, where, and how you’re going to do them. Move from broad goal intentions to specific implementation intentions.

Seek out more meaningful work

You procrastinate a lot less with meaningful tasks that are intrinsically rewarding. 

In every job, there are going to be tasks you find aversive, but when you constantly find yourself procrastinating because your work is aversive, there may be other jobs that are more aligned to your passions, that you will be much more motivated and productive in.

Dealing with to-do lists

The common struggles to conquer our to-do lists:

  • 41% of to­-do items are never completed.
  • 50% of completed to-­do items are done within a day.
  • 18% of completed to­-do items are done within an hour.
  • 10% of completed to­-do items are done within a minute.
  • 15% of the items done started as to-do items.