How to boost productivity

I am really impressed with Steve’s list of tricks to boost one’s productivity. Talking of tricks, it reminds me of Dave‘s statements:

The key is that we trick ourselves into doing what we ought to be doing.

Coming back to Steve, here are some tricks that I liked:

  •  Daily Goals: Keep yourself some daily goals and work towards it from the beginning of the day. With a clear picture in mind as to where you are heading for the day, it becomes easy to concentrate and get on.
  • Worst First: To beat procrastination, start with the worst task first. This way one can get things done.
  • Peak Times: Identify peak times and get important tasks done during that time. I have had some trouble in identifying my peak time. It comes mostly around lunch (both pre and post) and snacks (mostly pre).
  • Early Bird: Get up early in the morning and go straight to the task that is most important.
  • Pick up Pace: Deliberately pick up pace. Read faster, walk faster, Speak faster, type faster. Identify all the slow tasks and try to do it faster consciously.
  • Workspace: Try to have a clutter free workspace.
  • Pareto: Focus yourself on the critical 20% of the task mostly than the unimportant 80%.
  • Set deadlines: Set deadlines for the tasks at hand and use it as a focal point. This is When to end, unlike Stephen Covey’s What to end. 
  • Punctuality: Whatever it takes, be present on time, in fact a bit early.
  • Have something in the inventory: Always have something in the inventory so that when idle time pops up it can be easily filled, than to use to it to evoke the devil inside us.
  • Resonance: Steve uses the word “resonance” to describe this. Keep visualizing the outcome that you want to achieve and it will eventually be achieved.
  • Rewards: Give yourself some exciting rewards for getting things done.
  • Quad 2: This is Stephen Covey’s lingo describing the tasks that are important but not urgent, which we keep procrastinating. Exercise for e.g. is a quad 2 task. Don’t miss out on quad2 tasks. Even though they apparently seem not to be contributing anything to productivity, they will give huge returns in the long run.
  • Continuum: At the end of the day, keep everything ready for starting work tomorrow as soon as you arrive at your office.
  • Divide and conquer: No need to expand on this.
  • 30 days: Start a new habit that you wanted to and do it for 30 days. Whenever there is the internal laziness, just tell yourself that it is only temporary and not permanent and do it.
  • Optimization: Elucidate the processes that you use most often, jot them down on paper, think of ways to improve it and optimize it.
  • Cross Pollination: Keep looking for tricks from vastly different domains that you can use to increase productivity.
  • Super Slow: This is a nice technique. Pick up something that you have been planning to do for a while and not getting the right mindset to begin. Start too slow on it doing very small progress for sometime. It will automatically pick up speed, if you find it interesting.
  • Dailies: Schedule some fixed time for dailies. Exercise, reading articles etc. Sometime a day can produce  a lot over a period of time.
  • Training: Train up your skills to improve productivity.
  • Software: Use new software to improve your productivity. LifeHacker has many.
  • Recapture: Reclaim other people’s poor usage of time for yourself. Use that time to visualize your outcomes.
  • Twenty: This is another sweet trick. Take a piece of paper, write down from 1 to 20, and fill in the items for the current subject at hand and refuse not to stop until all the items are filled.
  • Challenger: This is another trick to get on with work (and hence improve productivity). Make some task deliberately harder or do it differently, in a way that is never tried before.
  • Opt-out: Opt out from lists, news groups, feeds, clubs, communities that seem worthless to you.
  • Decaffeinate:If possible cut on drugs, go through the suffering for a while and re-discover the new disciplined self.
  • Valor: This is another technique to overcome procrastinate. Pick the one that scares the —- out of yo, muster all the courage and start out on it NOW.
  • Inspiration: Read inspiring books and articles, about great people to keep yourself excited.
  • Trolls: Take away all the negative trolls and replace them with positive trolls with associative memory.

So that completes the productivity list. This is a very long list and practicing all of them wil surely boost productivity like anything.

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