Productivity Tips That Don’t Suck

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If you’re anything like me, you’ve read dozens of “productivity” articles that all they did was waste your time. Many of the tips I see would take weeks to months to train yourself to do, or just aren’t my style.

This post is coming from me looking at how much I used to work (12–16 hour days) down to the now 8–10. I’m a busy person.

Here are 5-tips that work for me and should work for just about anyone.

1. One Tab

If you use Chrome or Firefox, then you’re going to want to install OneTab (https://www.one-tab.com/).

It allows you to take a bunch of tabs and close them all into a single tab. You can close the browser, shut down, and when you open your browser later, those tabs will still be saved.

Source: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7492/16086764800_5158ba8cdc.jpg

This makes it easy not to be distracted by industry news, articles, and YouTube videos you want to watch. I used to keep emails to myself with all these links, but now I don’t need to worry about that extra clutter either.

I dedicate one day a week (Thursdays) to going through my OneTab tabs instead of wasting 1–2 hours a day on reading newsletters and blog posts.

2. Give your emails a quarterly Purge

I don’t know about you, but I get around 200–300 emails a day. Ouch.

At least once every 3–4 months, instead of just deleting emails I unsubscribe from lists I never open or rarely like the content, I’m getting.

Source: https://16762-presscdn-0-89-pagely.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/the-purge-election-year-courtesy-of-universal-pictures-1.png

If you use Gmail, make sure you’re using tabs. If you didn’t know, you can drag different types of emails to different tabs. For example, Google Alert emails usually go into the “Updates” tab, but if you drag them to the social tab, they will start appearing in there.

Might not seem like a big deal, but each of my tabs is dedicated to specific types of emails and Google doesn’t always get it right.

3. Task management

Source: https://mdn.mozillademos.org/files/10351/mdn_board.JPG

You should know at the start of the week, everything you’re going to complete that week. I use Trello (https://trello.com). Every Sunday I plan out the following week along with a time estimate for how long it will take me.

I give myself 8 hours of work a day. Leaving 1–2 hours a day for things that I didn’t expect. You need the wiggle room.

I also (try) to consistently use a time tracker like Toggl (https://toggl.com/) to know if I’m making my goal time-per-task.

Trying to figure out what you need to do today or right now is a massive time sink.

4. Stop wasting time (Duh)

This one takes a little bit of discipline.

Try to be a little more self-aware of where you spend your time during a work day. How often do you check your phone, Get up to make another cup of tea, or just aimlessly walk around the office / your house? (I have ADD, so for me, often)

Looking at your phone for 2-minutes isn’t a big deal. But 2-minues every hour is 16-minutes wasted a day or almost an hour and a half a week. That doesn’t seem like much, but you can do a lot in 80 minutes.

Source: https://www.fluentin3months.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/stop-wasting-time.jpg

Do you go out to lunch every day? Get takeout or bring lunch with you.

Let’s do some simple math. You’re trying to build a successful business, your competitor works a total of 6 hours per day, and you work a total of 8

(assume 52 weeks with five work days per week)

After one year your competitor has worked 1560 hours, and you have worked 2080 hours. Who do you think has the advantage? Who do you think is going to save more time in the long-run? You.

5. Don’t overuse tools

Don’t think that there’s going to be a magical tool which streamlines your work week automatically. Find a tool you like and stick with it.

Source: http://s88691088.onlinehome.us/pm2011/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/box201.jpg

You’re not more productive by going from tool to tool trying to be more productive. Don’t try and find the perfect time tracking app; it doesn’t exist.

That’s all from me folks! If you found this post informative, please share this with your friends — or strangers — and if you didn’t find this post informative, please share it with your enemies.

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