Productivity is a broad topic with lots of things you could say about it.
In this article I outline three basic skills to give you a head start on your quest towards greater productivity.
If you enjoy the topic and want to go deeper definitely check out the resources I recommend towards the end.
These are the three skills I found to be fundamental in becoming more productive myself. Obviously I’m not perfect at them, but just improving slightly at each of those will get you a long way.
I recommend learning about them in the sequence as presented on the roadmap (they build on each other).
Lets dive right into it…
Skill #1: Time management
Time management is about scheduling time for tasks that move you towards your goals. If you spend 24 hours of your day chilling you are obviously not being productive.
There are many ways to get better at managing your time. Some examples are planning ahead using a calendar and creating daily to-do lists.
The problem is that at some point time management will give you diminishing returns in terms of productivity. There is only so much time to allocate and once you learned to do that I suggest you move on to improving your focus.
Skill #2 Optimizing your focus
In my experience a big factor that affects productivity is the quality of attention with which you dedicate yourself to a task.
If you are focused work gets done quickly. If you are distracted it seems to take forever.
One tactic that helped me improve my focus was to eliminate distractions. Make a list of all things that regularly interrupt you while you are working. Then find ways to eliminate those for a block of time. An easy win is to turn your phone on flight mode.
Alright… Now that you added laser-like focus on top of rock solid time management, the question becomes: Which activities should you focus on?
Skill #3 Identifying high-leverage tasks
Once you have a well-organized schedule and are able to focus for a block of time the best way to increase your productivity further is to prioritize high-leverage tasks.
High-leverage tasks are those that create results quickly. Low-leverage tasks are those, which make you busy but don’t change much.
For example a personal goal of mine is to increase my daily blog traffic.
A high-leverage activity would be to improve the quality of my content and market it through social media. A low-leverage task would be checking out random articles on blogging or browsing word press for the latest themes.
The better you get at identifying and prioritizing the tasks which have the greatest impact on your progress the more productive you’ll get.
So… if you want to learn more about any of those skills I suggest you check out my resource list below.
These are the ones I personally found helpful and have used myself.
Felix’s resource recommendations
(no affiliate links)
Time Management: “Getting Things Done” by David Allen gets into detailed tactics on how to manage your time. I read it years ago and still use his to-do list tactics.
Focus: Flow: “The Psychology of Optimal Experience” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi teaches you how to get in the zone. It goes well beyond what I covered in this article, but if you want to go deep this is the one. For a practical how-to check out my article on how to eliminate distractions.
Identifying High Leverage Tasks: “Busy: How to Thrive in a World of Too Much” by Tony Crabbe teaches you how to identify high-leverage tasks. He argues that being busy is a self-inflicted and unproductive state. A quick read with some great insights.
Lastly if you only have 7 minutes watch Tai Lopez’s YouTube video “Why Working Smarter Always Beats Working Harder”.
That’s it. I hope you found this article useful.
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Until next time,