Don’t Work Hard, Work Smart
I stumbled upon a very good article tonight on productivity that summarizes some of the best research in the field. The article is called The Psychology of Getting More Done (in Less Time) and you’ll find some useful strategies in it. Highly recommended. Here is a quick summary.
Understand that willpower alone will not save you: Your productivity shouldn’t be reliant on your sheer force of will alone. Sure, mental toughness will get you a long way, but in order to stay disciplined over time, you need to acknowledge the usefulness of systems for keeping yourself on track.
Give yourself the ability to go “all-in”: Working harder on the stuff that matters is going to drain you mentally & physically. Don’t be afraid of giving yourself multiple breaks throughout the day. It’s better to “chunk” productivity sessions into 90 minute periods (followed by 15 minute breaks) in order to keep yourself sharp and to alleviate the stress of pacing your energy throughout the entire day.
World class experts utilize this strategy, so it ought to be good enough for you too!
If it’s not worth measuring, it’s not worth doing: Okay… that might be a bit of an exaggeration. Tracking has been proven to be the best way to stay diligent about your progress. Create an accountability chart to list what productive things you’ve gotten done throughout the day. You’ll see how much you’re really accomplishing.
Multitasking is your enemy: Treat it as such. Block out unwanted distractions and as Ron Swanson would say, “Never half-ass two things, whole-ass one thing.”
Plan your day the night before so you won’t get consumed with the wonderful distractions of the internet when you start your day.