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Build Your Own Productivity Style by Remixing the Best

Build Your Own Productivity Style by Remixing the Best
Related:  Sef-improvement Inbox

Productivity porn It’s like a finger pointing at the moon. Do not concentrate on the finger or you will miss all of the heavenly glory!— Bruce Lee. The internet is full of productivity tips and techniques, more accurately known as productivity porn. And I plead guilty. I’ve learned a few things the hard way that are not often mentioned. If you really deeply care about something, you will do it. So what do you need a system for? Do not confuse activity for progress. businessinsider Books suck. No question about it, almost everyone who writes a book is a crappy writer. And this is a good thing. It's because the writer spent his life getting GOOD at what he was writing about. He didn't spend his life being good at writing. He didn't spend his life typing. He or She DID something. But that's ok. I like reading billion-person books. I like reading books where I feel my brain have an IQ orgasm. And, (please let me stick with this metaphor one more sentence), I might have a little brain-child that turns into my own special idea or book after reading a great book. Before I give my list, I want to mention there are three kinds of non-fiction books: (and I'm only dealing with non-fiction. These are books like "How to be a leader". They establish the author as an expert. These books usually suck. In fact, writing one might be desperately important to your career. A publisher will see an article somewhere like, "12 ways to become smarter" and say, "that should be a book".

Practice your personal Kaizen A fine article. But as a resident of Japan who's spent over half his life speaking Japanese, let me take this chance to address one common myth. "Kaizen" in Japanese does NOT mean "continual improvement", or have any mystical managerial significance. It's a mundane, generic word meaning "improvement" - any improvement, continual or not. (An aside: Leading Japanese companies like Toyota make continual improvement a core practice. Toyota and some of its contemporaries have indeed developed advanced, powerful methods for continuous operational improvement, within the context of their industries. Of course, if modern management gurus in the US (or wherever) want to latch on to the word "kaizen" as the new name for "continuous improvement", they're welcome to do so; words gain new meanings all the time.

Why You Get More Done When You Gamify Your Life As a kid playing games, you didn’t stay up for hours because of the music, the graphics, or the storyline. Rather, it was because the games were so difficult that any kind of achievement was a massive deal for your 8-year-old self. As an adult, these basic lessons still ring true: difficulty doesn’t put you off if it’s supplemented with rewards. “Difficult” can mean mentally demanding, or even just arduous (as you’ve undoubtedly experienced after spending six hours on the same darn spreadsheet). In fact, you probably already have tried to gamify your life, that is, you’ve made games out of boring activities to pass the time. How To Gamify Your Life Gamification is turning a task into a game to motivate yourself to do it. “We evolved to be satisfied by the world in different ways […] As intelligent beings, we’re enormously stimulated by problem solving and learning,” says Tom Chatfield in his explanation of gamification for TED. So, let’s say you’re low on milk. The first is Habitica.

15 Bad Habits Which Always Destroy Your Productivity Do you feel as if your productivity levels are at an all time low? Do you find it more and more difficult to complete work in a timely, and efficient fashion? You might be sabotaging your productivity without even realizing it. Avoid these 15 bad habits and you’ll give your productivity a much-needed boost! 1. You take too much time to complete a simple task. Taking six hours to write a simple, one-page e-mail really isn’t the best use of your time. 2. There will be times when you just can’t complete your work in a timely fashion. 3. Do you stare at your schedule, thinking about how best to use every last minute of your day? 4. Quick, when was the last time you left your desk for a break? 5. You need food – and water – to survive. 6. Is there an app on your phone, tablet or computer that you absolutely despise? 7. When’s the perfect moment to start planning your dream vacation, clean out your closet or look for that new job? 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

uk.businessinsider Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design/flickr Tapping your productivity in ways you never have before takes unconventional thinking. Reaching optimal productivity is about working smarter, not harder, and making the most of each day. The following TED talks offer valuable lessons in doing just that. Adam Grant's 'The surprising habits of original thinkers' If fear of failure is stopping you from producing more ideas, Grant, a Wharton professor and author of "Originals," has some inspiration for you. "The greatest originals are the ones who fail the most, because they're the ones who try the most," he says. According to Grant — who has studied many of the greats — churning out tons of ideas, even bad ones, is the key to successfully launching a game-changing idea. Shawn Achor's 'The happy secret to better work' He suggests the common belief that we should work to be happy is misguided, and instead happiness inspires productivity. Nilofer Merchant's 'Got a meeting?

Systems, ciphers, and the dirty little secret of self-improvement My theory is that the secret code for most self-improvement systems—from Getting Things Done through Biofeedback and the Atkins diet—is not hard to break; any idea that helps you to become more self-aware can usually help you to reach a goal or affect a favorable solution. That’s pretty much the entire bag of doughnuts right there. Self-improvement juju works not because of magic beans or the stones in your soup pot; it works because a smart “system” can become a satisfying cipher for framing a problem and making yourself think about solutions in an ordered way. Systems help you minimize certain kinds of feedback while amplifying others. Also, when you’ve undertaken most any kind of program, there’s usually a built-in incentive to watch for change, monitor growth, and iterate small improvements (think: morning weigh-in).

The Chokehold of Calendars Meetings may be toxic, but calendars are the superfund sites that allow that toxicity to thrive. All calendars suck. And they all suck in the same way. Calendars are a record of interruptions. And quite often they’re a battlefield over who owns whose time. In my experience, most people don’t schedule their work. I’ve yet to see a résumé—and I hope I never do— that lists “attends meetings well” as a skill. The problem here is two-fold. Let’s start with the premise that you have a 40 hour week. People rarely schedule working time. Why are you letting other people put things on your calendar? Start saying no. Why do you feel like others have more of a right to your time than you do? The problem with calendars is that they are additive rather than subtractive. “I’m adding a meeting” should really be “I’m subtracting an hour from your life.” We need a goal-oriented calendar, but first we need to understand why a goal-oriented calendar is necessary. Most of these things currently exist.

10 Laws of Productivity You might think that creatives as diverse as Internet entrepreneur Jack Dorsey, industrial design firm Studio 7.5, and bestselling Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami would have little in common. In fact, the tenets that guide how they – and exceptionally productive creatives across the board – make ideas happen are incredibly similar. Here are 10 laws of productivity we’ve consistently observed among serial idea executors: 1. A bias toward action is the most common trait we’ve found across the hundreds of creative professionals and entrepreneurs we’ve interviewed. 2. When our ideas are still in our head, we tend to think big, blue sky concepts. 3. Trial and error is an essential part of any creative’s life. To avoid ‘blue sky paralysis,’ pare your idea down to a small, immediately executable concept. 4. When working on in-depth projects, we generate lots of new ideas along the way. 5. 6. Part of being able to work on your project a little bit each day is carving out the time to do so. 7.

Guide to Personal Productivity Productivity porn (or, for those really in the know, "productivity pr0n") consists of techniques, tactics, and tricks for maximizing personal productivity -- or, as they say, "getting things done". The techniques that follow work together as an integrated set for me, but they probably won't for you. Maybe you'll get one or two ideas -- probably out of the ideas I stole from other people. If so, I have succeeded. Let's start with a bang: don't keep a schedule. He's crazy, you say! And that's it. Please feel free to nominate additions to the list! Turns out Robert Benchley wrote about structured procrastination back in 1949. The sharpest reaction has been to my theory of not keeping a schedule. First, it is certainly true that many people have jobs and responsibilities where they can't do that. But if your reaction is, "boy, I wish I could do that", then it may well be worth rethinking your approach to your career. Second, I do not recommend pursuing this approach in one's personal life :-).

How to Scale Yourself and Get More Done Than You Thought Possible The following is a detailed write-up of a popular productivity talk delivered by Scott Hanselman. Visit his blog,, for more productivity tips. "Don't worry, just drop the ball." This counterintuitive advice is one of a dozen-plus productivity practices preached by Scott Hanselman, a program manager at Microsoft, author and avid blogger and speaker. "Dropping the ball is sometimes the right answer," Hanselman says. Hanselman's not the person you'd to expect to hear encourage dropping the ball and discourage burning the midnight oil. How does he do it? "A lot of people say, 'Well, Scott, you're doing all this stuff. "It turns out," he continues, "the less that you do, the more of it that you can do. Scale Yourself In a 40-minute talk Hanselman originally delivered in 2012, and has since presented several times—most recently at South by Southwest Interactive earlier this month—he shares his productivity practices. Look for Danger Signs "Hope is not a plan," Hanselman says.

Working remotely & Getting things done 4) Keep on Learning “You need to read this book!…” If Warren Buffet can still make time to read, I figure I can do that too, especially when engaging in those longer commutes. My colleagues love to read, they always have great recommendations, When I find something interesting, I go ahead and YouTube proof it: Do I enjoy this topic enough to spend 5–10 hours reading about it? Speed-watching a video (2x speed) on the topic helps me find out, Ok, that’s my kind of book! Kindle reading is awesome! Equally awesome, I recently got addicted to Most audio books I found are 6 to 9-hour long, You can listen to them at 3x speed… Going through an entire book through a flight, or a single afternoon: Be advised that 3x listening requires your full attention… 5) Concentration flow How long should you spend on any given task? “Timeboxing allocates a fixed time period to each planned activity” Also, I love to listen to music when I’m working. “focus@will is a new neuroscience based music service”