Lean Productivity

Learn how to become productive by doing less. Improve your happiness, get focused, and achieve your goals. This is the definitive guide to getting the right things done.


Introduction — Chapter 1

What is Lean Productivity? 
A simpler, faster, better way to become productive
About Clever.do 
Our small team writes about productivity and creates simple software
Disclaimer 
Responses to some complaints we hear

First off, get unclenched. Start to listen to your body, slow down, and chill out. — Gary Keller (from The One Thing)


The Starting Line — Chapter 2

Feeling Alone 
You are not alone, dude — we all have the same problems
Reset 
Delete your current to-do app
Do Less
Slow down and chill out
Simplification 
Take the complexity out of your life
Magic Bullets 
The truth is: Do the work and do it every day
Limit Yourself 
Get a single focus and limit yourself — less is more
Procastination 
Don’t fight procrastination; accept it and change your behaviour
What’s your Problem?
Solve your problems first
Mindmap 
Create a map of your future
The One Thing
Identify the most important thing you want

One reason why people postpone doing things is that they want to start in the middle and not at the beginning. — John, Dr Tibane (from Advance your life)


Stay Lean — Chapter 3

Less Tools 
The leaner you are the better it feels
Stop worrying
Do whatever you are doing, but do it slower
Think in Iterations
Start at the beginning, not at the end
Feedback Loops
Get constant feedback from your mind
Draft
The first draft of anything is shit, and that’s OK
Quality
“Done” is better than “perfect”
Eliminate Waste
Waste reduction is an effective way to increase productivity
Communication
Write emails like a CEO

A body at rest will remain at rest, and a body in motion will remain in motion unless it is acted upon by an external force.— Isaac Newton (from Newton’s first law)


Priority — Chapter 4

Priority, not Priorities
There is no such word as “priorities”
Start With No
Tell people to “fuck off” (but do it kindly)
First Things First
Important things only
Forget To-Do’s
Let your life remind you what’s important
Hidden Costs
What is the price of doing things?
Just Think
Take lot of time to think
Visual Prioritization
Don’t prioritize with numbers or labels — put important tasks at the top
Full Inbox
Don’t let others dictate your life — auto-reply back as much as possible

In the end, limited resources don’t have to hold you back. Instead, they can be an opportunity to build a healthy business model that’s based on simplicity. — Blake Mycoskie (from Start Something That Matters)


Process — Chapter 5

Chaos 
Chaos helps you achieve your goals. Let the chaos begin!
Structure
Start with small changes; don’t try to solve the big problem first
Plans 
Plans usually don’t work, but a plan is better than no plan
Stick to It
Eat broccoli, motherfucker
Productivity Dilemma
It doesn’t matter as long you know what you goal is
Flexibility over Processes 
Stop overthinking everything
Discomfort
Make it for fun and don’t be rigid
Fucking Idiot
You already know how to do it, so simply do it
Distractions 
Distractions are the never-ending struggle; fight them, but don’t become frustrated

Many people live their lives with the illusion of control, and not realizing what it is that makes them unhappy — Leo Babauta (from The Illusion of Control)


Tool Selection — Chapter 6

Pen & Paper 
Let’s go back to the old school
Todo Apps
A flexible solution for everyone… but not for you
Project Management Apps
An even more flexible solution for everyone… but still not for you
Calendar
This is why successful people don’t use to-do apps
Note-Taking Apps
One-stop shop for everything, lost in chaos
Whiteboards and Stickers
Who loves to visualize things?
Gadgets
Cool stuff you haven’t heard about
So what?
The surprisingly simple tool behind extraordinary productivity

Tools (software and processes) don’t solve problems. People solve problems. Tools merely speed up the change. An idiot with a tool is still an idiot! — Christopher Daily (from The Daily Standup Blog)


Focus — Chapter 7

Focus, Not Focuses
There is no plural form of “focus”
Multitasking
For some people, good. For you, not good
Radical Focus
Keep work at work
Go Offline
Disconnect from your environment
Take a Break
Go outside the building
Remote
Avoid meetings in person; join them remotely instead

People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. — Steve Jobs, Apple


Setting Goals — Chapter 8

Goal Commitment
Committing to a goal can help improve performance
Three Horizons
Develop a simple planning approach based on time
Most Important Task (MIT)
Do what matters most
Measure Progress
Regular check-ins make you satisfied
Think Big
Bigger is better
Act Small
Break your big goals down into manageable chunks
Small wins
Celebrate small wins
95% Rule
Go one step further and become better than 95% of people

If you’re not doing some things that are crazy, then you’re doing the wrong things. — Larry Page, Google


Manage Time — Chapter 9

The Effective Executive
You are an executive of yourself, so become an effective one
Estimations
Humans are bad at planning; we don’t know how long things really take
Schedule
Schedule your priority, not your to-dos
Don’t Track
Know where your time goes — don’t use time tracking tools or methods
Delegate
Outsource what doesn’t matter
Cancel
Immediately cancel things you should not be doing
Block
Don’t try to block — It’s meaningless. Understand the “why”
Stop on Time
Stop at the right time to avoid stressful situations
Reprioritize
Once your priority has changed, everything else follows
Willpower
Decide what matters and reserve your willpower for that task
Leave at 6 P.M.
Learn to switch off your brain by filling the time

Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else. Effective executives know where their time goes. — Peter Drucker (from The Effective Executive)


Motivation — Chapter 10

Cognitive Discipline
A prioritized plan is the start, but it takes commitment and focus to stick to it
Setbacks
Sometimes setbacks happen. Don’t worry — just get back up on the horse
Frustration
Do less
Keep Calm
Listen to your body and mind
The Flow
If you’re inspired to do something, do it
Procrastination
Do things that don’t scale
Missed Deadline
Don’t avoid coming back — you need to tackle these tasks first
Simple Habit
The most important habit for your productivity
Fight Anxiety
It holds you back, so do anti-anxiety exercise and boost your productivity

Persistence is very important. You should not give up unless you are forced to give up. — Elon Musk, Tesla


Health — Chapter 11

Anti-Burnout
Prioritize to avoid your next burnout
45m Standups
Move your ass (on the floor)
Overstressed?
Don’t run away from everything
Nutrition
Eat well to get energy for your brain
Sleep
Wake up early, but get enough sleep
Exercise
Move your ass on the floor
Mental Training
There is no physical health without mental fitness
Less Stress
Relax, cool down, and get to know your body better
Aritificial Stress
If a task doesn’t get done, nobody’s going to lose their job
Life Balance
Bring balance into your life with this framework

If you don’t take time for your health today, you will have to make time for illness tomorrow. — Joseph Piscatella, Catawba Valley Medical Center


The Happiness Paradox — Chapter 12

Not Happy?
There is no reason to be unhappy
Your Journey
Enjoy the journey to your destination
Be Happy
Learn here how to become happy

Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present. — Jim Ron (from My Philosophy For Successful Living)


Achieve Your Goals — Chapter 13

Start It Up
A few closing thoughts
Productivity Checklist
Your daily checklist for super productivity


Resources & Books — Chapter 14

Books
The best books about productivity
Links
The best links about productivity