Do you know these productivity techniques?

Do you know these productivity techniques?

You can do anything, but not everything.
— David Allen

We all have the same amount of hours each day.

Yet how do some people seem to get so much more done?

I mean, how does Elon Musk manage to run Tesla and Space X and find time to work on Neurallink?

The answer is that they manage their time effectively.

They spend the most time on tasks that give them the best return on their time. That’s to say, the ones that give them the most leverage.

Anything that isn’t a good use of their time, they either don’t do or outsource it to someone else.

So how can you make sure you're using your time most productively?

For starters, there are several things best avoided:

1. Don’t open your emails as soon as you wake up

Doing this means you have started your day attending to other people’s priorities. It’s a slippery slope from there.

2. Don’t create overly optimistic to-do lists

To constrain yourself, use a Post-It note. Its dimensions will force you to write down the most important things you must do daily.

3. Put your phone away or on flight mode when working

Checking and responding to a WhatsApp message may only take a few moments, but research shows that when interrupted, it takes us an average of 23 mins to return to our original task.

If you want to take your productivity to the next level, it’s worth your time trying the techniques below.

Like anything else, you may find you gel with one in particular. The technique you chose doesn’t matter - the most important thing is that it works for you.

1. Pomodoro Technique

The linguists among you will have spotted that Pomodoro is Italian for tomato.

You’re probably wondering what this red edible has to do with productivity. The answer is the creator of the technique, Francesco Cirillo, had a timer shaped like one.

The goal of this method is to complete 25 minutes of uninterrupted work.

It involves the following five steps:

Step One - Choose your task.

Step Two - Set a timer for 25 mins.

Step Three - Work on that task for 25 mins without distractions.

Step Four - Record whether you completed the task or not.

Step Five - Take a 5-minute break. After four Pomodoros in a row, take a 30-minute break.

2. Eat That Frog

Eat That Frog: Get More Of The Important Things Done Today is the title of a popular book by Brian Tracy.

The frog is a metaphor for the most difficult thing you need to achieve that day. You must eat your frog before you tackle any other task.


Because prioritising your tasks is one of the cornerstones of productivity.

The temptation is always to fill your day with quick and easy tasks that give you the impression of being productive but, in reality, mean you won't achieve anything of value.

In other words, you’re extremely busy, but nothing of consequence gets done. A productivity mirage, if you will.

Like all great rules, it’s a simple one.

Identify your most important task for the day and tackle it first.

Once you’ve achieved it, you will not only have accomplished something genuine but also feel in a positive mood, which has the added bonus of lifting your day and making the other tasks feel light work by comparison.

Oh, and don’t try to eat more than one frog a day. It’ll give you a bellyache for a start.

3. The ABCDE Method

Similar to ‘Eat That Frog’, the ABCDE Method is a technique for prioritising tasks based on their relative importance.

You rank each task in descending order of priority from the letter A - E.

You give your most important task the letter A, the next most important task the letter B, and the least important task, the letter C.

Any task with the letter ‘D’ you can delegate, and tasks with the letter E you can eliminate.

If you have more than one A item, rank them as A-1, A-2, A-3 etc.

To summarise:

A: A task you must complete. You should rank additional A-items with A-1, etc.

B: A task you should complete. There are mild consequences associated with not doing it.

C: An optional task. You would like to do it, but there are no consequences associated with not doing it.

D: A task you can delegate. Do so as quickly as possible.

E: A task you can eliminate without any real impact.

What other helpful productivity techniques have you come across? Feel free to share your suggestions in the comments below.

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