All the notes were taken directly from the source mentioned
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Productivity is about how much you accomplish by managing time, attention and energy. From knowing to doing.
- Attention: What do you focus on? how well? how easily you get distracted?
- Energy: how much drive, motivation and overall energy you have throughout the day?
Connection between Values – Goals
How to deeply care about your goals, and articulate why you want to become more productive
Hierarchy of tasks: High impact vs low impact
- Planning your day-week
- Investing on learning
- Saying no to activities for the sake of busyness
- Automating tasks
- Checking email/messages repeatedly
- Website maintenance/Uploading blog posts/managing social media
- Disorganized internet consumption (articles/videos/podcasts)
Which areas do you want to become more productive (One thing at a time)
Make a list of everything (GTD) -> Prioritize with the Rule of 3
Rule of 3
The 3 most important “high impact to do’s” based on time, attention and energy
Daily and weekly basis
Professional and Personal
Biological Prime Time
BPT: Period of highest energy
Work on your most important and meaningful tasks when you have the most energy – not when you have the most time.
your time for you automatically in the background, and Toggl lets you track your time
the more aversive (unattractive) a task or project is to you, the more likely you are to put it off. And there are six main task attributes that make procrastination more likely -> (Boring, frustrating, difficult, unstructured or ambiguous, lacking personal meaning, or intrinsic reward)
For example, if the trigger is:
• Boring: I go to my favorite café for an afternoon on Saturday to do my taxes
over a fancy drink while doing some people watching.
• Frustrating: I bring a book to the same café, and set a timer on my phone to
limit myself to working on my taxes for thirty minutes—and only work for
longer if I’m on a roll and feel like going on.
• Difficult: I research the tax process to see what steps I need to follow, and
what paperwork I need to gather. And I visit the café during my Biological
Prime Time, when I’ll naturally have more energy.
• Unstructured or Ambiguous: I make a detailed plan from my research that
has the very next steps I need to take to do them.
• Lacking in Personal Meaning: If I expect to get a refund, think about how
much money I will get back, and make a list of the meaningful things I’ll
spend that money on.
• Lacking in Intrinsic Rewards: For every fifteen minutes I spend on my
taxes, I set aside $2.50 to treat myself or reward myself in some meaningful
way for reaching milestones.
- Create a procrastination list: When you make a list of meaningful and high-impact tasks to do the next time you procrastinate, you can remain productive while your prefrontal cortex warms up.
- List the costs: Listing every single cost of putting something off is one of my favorite ways to get my prefrontal cortex fired up
- Just get started
Meet Yourself from the Future
- Make a letter for your future self. Use FutureMe.org
- Try app Aging Booth
The more you see yourself like a stranger, the more likely you are to give your future self the same workload that you would give a stranger, and the more likely you are to put things off to tomorrow—for your future self to do.
Internet makes you waste time
Simply disconnect from it when working on a high-impact or ugly task, and to disconnect as much as possible throughout the day. After
Moore’s law, which says that the number of transistors on a chip
will double every two years
Time, attention, and energy are inseparable. Managing your time becomes important only after you understand how much energy and focus you will have throughout the day and define what you want to accomplish.
When you work consistently long hours, or spend too much time on tasks,
that’s usually not a sign that you have too much to do—it’s a sign that you’re not spending your energy and attention wisely.
- How much energy and focus did I have left?
- How easily was I distracted?
- Did I accomplish what I intended to?
By controlling how much time you spend on a task, you control how much energy and attention you spend on it. Force yourself to spend more energy over a shorter period of time to get things work more quickly:
- Set an artificial deadline to create more urgency around the task
Simplifying and creating more space around your high-return tasks gives you the wiggle room to react and then deal with whatever unexpected task comes along. More attentional space can bring better ideas
When you work consistently long hours, or spend too much time on tasks, that’s usually not a sign that you have too much to do—it’s a sign that you’re not spending your energy and attention wisely.
Structure down time and weekend
Maintenance Day: Do them with someone, Make a call, Podcast/Audio Book or do the tasks mindfully
Keep a limit of time!
• Grocery shopping
• Clean house and office
• Create a meal and workout plan
• Trim beard and shave
• Do laundry
• Prepare lunches in Tupperware containers for the week
• Water plants
• Read articles I’ve saved up throughout the week
• Review my projects, and define next steps
• Review my “Waiting For” list
• Define three outcomes for the week ahead
• Clear out all my inboxes
• Review my hot spots
• Review my Accomplishments List
Shrinking the unimportant
Shrink them low impact tasks, by setting a limit for how much time you spend on them, how frequently you focus on them, or both.
“Parkinson’s law” states that your work expands to fit the amount of time you have available for it
Low impact tasks
• Answering email
• Loading blog articles and newsletters
• Managing my calendar
• Researching and scheduling travel
• Doing website maintenance
• Managing my social media accounts
The following are a few examples of the limits I set:
• Scheduled just three thirty-minute chunks of time every day to deal with email
• Limited myself to checking social media five times a day
• Lumped similar tasks together so I could focus on them less frequently (e.g., by making all my phone calls at once)
• Only checked for new email when I had the time, focus, and energy to respond to everything that might have come in
• Limited myself to attending four hours of meetings a week—and pushed back on or canceled any meetings beyond that
• Took “vacations” away from support tasks (e.g., took a holiday from email for a day or two by setting up a temporary autoresponder so I could work on a project that was high impact)
You can also shrink the distractions of email by installing a send-it-later email plugin.
- Gmail: Boomerang (BoomerangGmail.com)
- Outlook: SendLater (SendLaterEmail.com)
Check my email three times every week.
Ex: every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoon at 3 p.m
Reward yourself as a new form of habit
Removing the unimportant
How much would I be willing to pay in order to buy back one hour of my life?
• How much money I earn
• How valuable my time is to me
• How valuable money is to me
• How overwhelmed I feel
Eliminate my remaining low-return tasks by delegating them to someone
else, and free up valuable time and attention to spend on more important things.
Someone in a different time zone
• Fancy Hands (FancyHands.com) for hiring virtual assistants
• Zirtual (Zirtual.com) for hiring virtual assistants
• eaHelp (Eahelp.com) for hiring virtual assistants
• Freelancer (Freelancer.com) for per-task hiring
• Upwork (Upwork.com) for per-task hiring
• Job postings at local colleges and universities to hire an intern
• “Help wanted” posts on Craigslist and Twitter for assistants
“90 percent rule”
When you look at a new opportunity, rank it on a scale of 1-100 on how valuable or meaningful you think it is. If it isn’t a 90 or above, don’t do it.
Examining the commitments you take on and reflecting on their return will let
you simplify your work and life. These commitments include things like the following:
• Full- and part-time jobs
• Industry associations you’re a member of
• Owning and maintaining a home or a second home
• Educational commitments (e.g., attending university or college, or taking courses part-time)
• Relationships and friendships
• Clubs you’re involved with and Skills or hobbies you actively spend time on
Emptying your Brain
“Any ‘would, could, should’ commitment held only in the psyche creates irrational and unresolvable pressure, 24-7.”
What Bluma Zeigarnik named the “Zeigarnik effect” in the late 1920s: incomplete or interrupted tasks weigh on our mind much more than completed tasks.
Notepad and pen
Worry 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.
Simpler Passwords using Password manager app
Doing a weekly review of your tasks and accomplishments not only gives you a better perspective on your wins and the areas you need to improve, it also gives you more control over your life. Adding in “hot spots” is a powerful addition to this technique that will keep you on the right path.
J.D Meier Areas
• Learning (books, podcasts, audiobooks, youtube)
• Meditation/Mindfulness, Slowing down and working more deliberately
• Making more attentional space between work and life elements
The basic idea behind the technique is that once a week you review your list of hot spots, to think about how much time you spent in each one during the previous week, and to think about what to focus on and think about in the week ahead.
Every Maintenance Day, I look through the expanded areas of my life and ask myself a few questions— and some that I discovered during my year of productivity:
• What do I need to spend more time on next week?
• What did I spend too much time on last week?
• What do I need to schedule or do next week?
• What do I have to be mindful of next week?
• What are some unresolved issues I’m having in each area?
• What opportunities do I have in each of my hot spots next week?
• What obstacles will get in the way of my goals next week?
• Am I going in the right direction with all my commitments?
• Are there any commitments I need to add or remove? Expand or shrink?
• What did I knock out of the park last week?
To this day, this reflection helps me make course corrections and act more in accordance with my values and goals every week—without
Wander without distraction
30min per day for attentional space or productive mindfulness
• Swimming or going for a nature walk
• Listening to music
• Investing in a creative hobby
• Spending time with friends and family
• Going for a massage
Strengthen “Attention Muscle”
The less attention you devote to a task, the more time you have to spend to complete it
Make note of every distraction or interruption that pops up. Plan afterwards on how to avoid them
Shut alerts on your phone off
“20 Second Rule.” Positive psychologists (like bestselling author Shawn Achor) suggest that twenty seconds is enough temporal distance to keep distractions at bay and out of your way, and this rule can be used to your advantage.
Busyness is no different from laziness when it doesn’t lead you to accomplish anything
Cue, routine, and a reward.
“There’s the cue, which is the trigger for an automatic behavior to start, and then the routine, which is the behavior itself, and then finally a reward.” For example, when you wake up (cue), you might immediately pick up your smartphone to bounce between a bunch of different apps (routine), which lets you feel caught up and connected with the world (reward). Or when you’re trying to focus on an ugly task (cue), you might habitually open up your email (routine) to continue to feel productive even though you’re really procrastinating (reward). -> Charles Duhigg
- Work on Pomodoro time
- Deep listening in conversation or conference call
- Reading and eating
Find somewhere quiet where you won’t be distracted
Sit upright, relax and stay alert
Set a timer
Focus on your breath, simply observe it
When your attention wanders to focus on something else, bring your attention back
As you invest in your productivity, having a strong mental function becomes crucial—as does having a lot of energy.
Habits compound over time
Eat more unprocessed foods
Notice when you are full and stop eating
Reduce consumption of alcohol and sugary drinks
Drink caffeine strategically: Before a work session, a workout, while reflecting/journaling. Not in tasks involved in creativity. Green tea and matcha are better caffeine delivery systems.
Create a nighttime ritual (both relaxing and meaningful to you), less Blue lights, stop driving caffeine 8-14 before you sleep, make your bed room a cave.
Take it easy: Thoughts on happiness
Take smart breaks, make the list of things you are grateful for, journal, break tasks down, Ask yourself for advice, reward yourself, fix your mindset (Carol Dweck), create an accomplishments list (success builds over success), look pictures of cute animals
Shad Helmstetter has found that 70% of our mind wondering is negative, counterproductive and works agains us.
Same results shown by Matt Killingsworth
People are why we do what we do, and why we push ourselves to accomplish more. Quality of your relationships determines the quality of your life.
List of Assessments
- Values: Determine deep-rooted values -> determine goals
Every day: Set Intention -> Action
On your deathbed “Would I regret of doing more or less of this?
At the end of the day, did I get done what I intended to?
- Filter High Impact tasks
- “Rule of 3” day & week, set reminders
When, where, how and how much energy does each require
- Prime time Challenge: For a week
– Cut caffeine, alcohol and sugar and start measuring after 3-4 days
– Small eat, frequent meals
– Wake up and fall asleep naturally
– Use the chart in productivityprojectbook.com
– Activity, energy 1-10, time in procrastination
- Flipping challenge: Make your high impact tasks MORE ATTRACTIVE and work on them on BPT
- Time Travel Challenge: Connect your present self to your future self
- Disconnect: Phone airplane mode, eliminate notifications
- Shrink your work: Limit how much time you spend on your work
- Capture Challenge + Next Step
- Hot spot challenge
- The Wandering Challenge
- Single task Challenge
- Water challenge
- Heart rate challenge (15m)
- Sleep challenge
Meditation to slow down and work more deliberately
Sitting, walking, eating and every day house works
Creating mind maps for speaking engagements
- “Eat that frog” by Brian Tracy
- “Getting results the Agile Way” J.D Meier
- “Zen Habits” by Leo Babauta
- “Life Hacker” by Gina Trapani
- “Solving the Procrastination Puzzle” by Tim Pychyl
- “The procrastination equation” by Piers Steel
- “The happiness Hypothesis” by Jonathan Haidt
- “The procastination hand’s book” by Rita Emmett
- “The Willpower Instinct” by Kelly Mc Gonigal
- “Rapt” by Winifred Gallagher
- “The Organized Mind” by Daniel Levitin
- “Real happiness at work” Sharon Salzberg
- “The Shallows: What the internet is doing to our brains” by Nicholas Carr
- “Essentialism” by Greg McKeown
- “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg
- “Getting Things Done” Dave Allen
- “The Organized Mind” Daniel Levitin
- “Spark” by John Ratey
- “The Happiness Advantage” – Shawn Achor
- “How we got to now” Documentary by Steven Johnson
- Jane Goodall
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