17 ways to maximize your productivity: Ankur Warikoo

A time management technique that’s proven to maximize productivity and attention. Break your day into 25min chunks followed by a 5min break (this 30min unit is called Pomodoro). – Ankur Warikoo

17 ways to maximize your productivity. A thread…
1. Record your thoughts through an audio recorder Audio captures not just the thoughts but also our emotions at that moment. Which is super helpful, when we hear it again in the future. Bonus: Start the voice note with “I am recording this while I was doing…” Context helps.
3. Set specific times to check your emails If you check your emails as and when they arrive, you will be sucked into them! Schedule your emails to hit your inbox only at scheduled times (I do it 4 times a day). Then use Pomodoro to go through them all in one go.
4. Set app usage limits Use your phone to set time limits on the app you tend to waste time on. Use a password to unlock and ask someone in your family to set that password (you shouldn’t know it!) Similarly, use website blockers.
5. Create a self-WhatsApp group Create a WA group with someone. Delete that person. Pin that group to the top. Now you have a WA group with just yourself. Use it to record your pics, voice notes, typed notes. Basically anything! Super hack for quick recording and retrieval.
7. Put all tasks on your calendar Build the habit of using a calendar. And then put EVERYTHING on the calendar. Not just meetings and work tasks. Birthdays. Bills to be paid. Reminders. Family events. Daily routine. It will add structure to what might look like a random day!
8. Make your frequent apps hard to find Do not place them on the home screen. Put them in some random folder, called something random. In addition to time limits, the visual hurdle to get to your app will make you spend a LOT less time.
9. The 2-min rule If something takes less than 2-mins to get done, then get it done right away. Postponing them only adds to the cognitive load our mind had to bear with. We think we still have a LOT to do. Feeling burdened and overwhelmed.
10. Pick the hardest things when high on energy Find out when is your energy at its peak. Could be early morning, mid-day or late into the night. Reserve the hardest things for that time. That is when you will find the flow to get it done.
11. Create a to-do list and check things off Psychologically, we get a sense of progress and achievement when we check things off. Create a small to-do list everyday, on a piece of paper (not your phone/PC) And check them off, as you finish them.
12. Reply to messages/emails when people are less likely to respond The biggest time suck is real-time communication. It requires you to be attentive, respond and take decisions. It consumes energy. If not needed, then avoid it.
13. Schedule distraction time Do not try to shut down distraction time. Instead, schedule it. You will love forward to it. And you will be more disciplined about it.
14. Do not try to remember anything This is my magic hack! I write everything down. And have a way of retrieving that, when required. Not spending your energy in remembering things, frees you up to do things!
15. Listen to songs without lyrics Songs with lyrics get us to hum along. Taking our attention away. Instead, play music known to help with mindfulness. Listen to your favorite songs, during your distraction time.
16. Write down your distracting thoughts Keep a notepad handy. As soon as you are distracted, write it down. Writing tells your brain that it is important. The minute the brain identifies it as important, it relieves itself. Allowing you to go back to what you were doing.
17. Minimize decisions Minimize the decisions you have to take. Which starts with, being quick to take decisions too. 99% of the decisions we take are reversible. Don’t spend time trying to make the right one. Just make one! Spend time on the few decisions that truly matter.
Productivity is another word for progress. If we sense progress, we feel productive. So you want to design your life in a way that you are constantly measuring progress, and feeling a sense of progress. The more you do, the more productive you will become.
These hacks are simple. What’s harder is the intent. My experience tells me that forming habits to be productive and feel productive have massive compounding effects. The best time to start was in your teens. The next best time is today!
Even if you were to pick 5 of these hacks and create a 30-day challenge to follow them, I guarantee you results that will surprise you!
Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning and focused effort. – Paul Meyer

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