Productivity: What Are The Best Day-To-Day Time-Saving Hacks?

Apr 15, 2016 767
Published in MR. POSH

Some of the key findings:

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  1. Decide what’s important because in 5 years, 80% of what you do today will not turn into anything. 
  2. Sleep, food and exercise can help you triple your outcome, because they increase focus, motivation and energy levels.
  3. The 2-minute rule: if you can do something (like replying to an email, or a house chore) in 2 minutes, do it now. Planning it for later, remembering it, doing it in the future will take 5 minutes or more.
  4. The 5-minute rule: the biggest cure against procrastination is to set your goal not to finish a scary big hairy task, but to just work 5 minutes on it. You’ll find out that most times it continues well beyond the 5 minutes, as you enter a flow state.
  5. Seinfeld’s productivity chain: if you want to be good at something, do it every day. Including on Christmas or Easter. No exceptions.
  6. Your memory isn’t perfect. Get everything out of your head, even if you’re a genius. Write it down in a notebook! 
  7. Routine beats tools: You need discipline.
  8. For 30 minutes do only the task at hand. Nothing else: no phones, email, talking to people, Facebook, running out of the building in case of fire. Nothing else.
  9. Always wear your headphones. You don’t have to listen to music, but it will discourage people to approach you.
  10. Email scheduling and inbox zero. Don’t read your email first thing in the day, don’t read it in the evening, and try to do it only 3 times a day: at 11am, 2pm and 5pm. And your email inbox is not a todo list. Clear it: every message should be an actionable task (link it from the todo app), a reference document (send to Evernote or archive), or should be deleted now.
  11. Same thing for phone calls. Don’t be always available. I always keep my phone on silent, and return calls in batches.
  12. Willpower is limited. Don’t think that willpower will help you when you get in trouble. Make important decisions in the morning and automate everything possible (delegate, batch etc.). US presidents don’t have to choose their menu or suit color everyday—otherwise their willpower will be depleted at that late hour when they should push (or not push) the red button).
  13. The most powerful thing. Always ask yourself what is the most powerful thing you can do right now. 
  14. Ship often. Don’t polish it too much—as they say in the startup world, “if you’re not ashamed of your product, you’ve launched too late’!
  15. Pressure can do wonders. Use rewards or social commitment. 
  16. Scheduled procrastination: Your brain needs some rest!
  17. Delete. Say No. Ignore. Don’t commit to schedules. I love the last one, it’s from Marc Andreessen, because it allows him to meet whomever he wants on the spot. A lot of people will hate you for this, but you’ll have time to do relevant stuff.