Thanks for your article. It got me thinking (after nearly a lifetime of trial-and-error) of the best rules I have found to increase productivity:
- Enter the zone — Get to the work and force yourself to stay on it for 1 hour straight. No interruptions (or short ones if absolutely necessary). You find after getting into whatever the task is that your concentration grows and you are able to pack more into a day.
- This seems really dumb, but leave something left to do at the end of the day that can be completed in 5–10 minutes. That way when you begin the job again the next day, there’s a real quick accomplishment to get you started on in that 1st hour of ‘zone’.
- Take advantage of any tools you can find to measure how the task is progressing. Not possible with everything, but at some point I found when doing CAD work, there were features in the menu to tell how close to finishing a project you were (PCB 79% routed for example).
- High gradient of approach — Well, that’s what it used to be called. Do the easy stuff at the beginning of a project. Especially if a significant percentage of the job is easy, boiler-plate, design reuse, etc. That way, you are close to finishing much earlier and your momentum is still strong. If you are 75% to 90% completed in a short time at the head-end of the project, you will concentrate real hard to get to 100%.
- There’s probably 5 more things I can come up with, but I have got to get to work!