all posts tagged 'productivity'

The Best Way to Get Things Done

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That’s why your goal should be to be about 80%-85% utilized. You may have a less productive day here or there, but this slight inefficiency will prevent larger failures when fires inevitably pop up from time to time.

My secret to getting so much done is rarely operating at full capacity. My philosophy on this is simple—if you take care of the days, the years take care of themselves.

We know that this is right intrinsically, but many of us choose to ignore it to our own detriment. If I told a runner to sprint at 100% effort, they might be able to sprint for a minute before they would have to slow down or stop completely. But, if told them to run at 75% of their max effort, they could go on for hours. Same person. Same body. The only difference is what capacity they are operating at.

So instead of trying to get everything done, the better solution is to get the right things done (at the right capacity). But figuring out what the right things are is a challenge all its own.

A few years ago, I heard similar advice, but it used a car’s RPM gauge as the example.

There’s a reason your car can go up to 140 MPH: if you created a car that ran in the red all the time, it would break down all the time.

Most of us drive our cars in an optimally designed range so it can last way longer.

So it goes with our own bodies. We aren’t meant to sprint for :checks calendar: 12 years straight with no breaks.

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Positive Feedback Loops

🔗 a linked post to » — originally shared here on

Notice also that many of these examples will have negative feedback built into them as well: I get a bad grade, my habit app streak ends, I feel embarrassed that my friends know I haven’t exercised for a week, my task list is neverending and makes me feel overwhelmed, my coach might criticize what I did today, I forgot to do the language lesson and feel bad about it.

So if most systems have both positive and negative feedback built in … what can we do?

We have to design a better system.

Essentially, you should start rewarding yourself when things are going well, and have compassion for yourself when they are not. Then, the next day, give yourself a micro-task to accomplish. Reward yourself accordingly and get back on track.

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How to Do the Things You Keep Avoiding

🔗 a linked post to » — originally shared here on

Tasks you’re avoiding never leave your consciousness for long. They hang there like clouds, some distance away, watching you.

They’re big and looming, but they don’t move very quickly, so you can always just move a bit further away. You still feel their presence though, and it feels bad.

This metaphor is super helpful for me right now.

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7 Things Highly Productive People Do

🔗 a linked post to » — originally shared here on

Work in 60 to 90 minute intervals.  Your brain uses up more glucose than any other bodily activity. Typically you will have spent most of it after 60-90 minutes. (That’s why you feel so burned out after super long meetings.) So take a break: Get up, go for a walk, have a snack, do something completely different to recharge. And yes, that means you need an extra hour for breaks, not including lunch, so if you’re required to get eight hours of work done each day, plan to be there for 9.5-10 hours.

I don't normally like to link to these list type of posts since they mostly seem to offer mostly obvious tips. In this case, though, staying focused and productive is easily the most difficult part of being a freelancer, and this list offers some good advice for doing just that.

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