Listening to something from Ramit Sethi (iwillteachyoutoberich.com) about productivity, and decided to take notes. Ramit’s approach breaks down to:
- Test assumptions
- Don’t assume that this or that “productivity framework” (GTD, Pomodoro, etc) will actually work for you. Try it, but take notes and determine metrics. Different people have different behaviour models, so one size does not fit all. SCIENCE!
- Be brutally honest with yourself
- … which really means being self-aware. Not a morning person? Don’t tell yourself you “should” be one. Again, testing.
- Have clear outcomes
- You can’t measure unless you know what you’re working towards.
- There are only so many hours in the day. If you don’t determine your own outcomes, you waste cycles.
Unsorted “lifehacks” from Ramit’s readers
- Sleep in your exercise clothes (and optionally put the alarm in another room next to your shoes)
Tiny habits e.g. “Right after I wake up in the morning, I do a single pushup — that’s it. I trained the routine until it was automatic, and then increased it, so I now do 25-30 pushups every morning. Its ridiculously simple, but highly effective.”
- Host something in your house every two weeks e.g. a board game night. Do a little cooking, keep the house clean.
- Before bed, I write down a limited number of time pressing and productive things I will complete the next day (between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.). If I fail to complete them at the end of the day, I will write down the reasons/excuses on why it wasn’t done.
- When there is a task that I am really dreading doing, I set a timer and work on it for 15 minutes. I can do anything for 15 minutes and I usually will keep on working once I get started, but I give myself permission to quit after that first 15 minutes and break for something else more enjoyable. I also really like to treat myself when the task is complete. A tv show, a glass of wine, a cup of tea, time out spent reading for leisure. They are not things that cost money or take a lot of time and they are things that I could do anyway, but I find that this helps me to get going on something sometimes.
- Use lamp timers around the house for convenience, but also as reminders. Light comes on in office, time to call it a day. Light goes off in den, time to go to bed. Little things like that to help maintain better discipline.
- Always cook double when cooking from scratch – one for now, one for the freezer.