I was talking with my sister over the XMAS holidays and somehow we landed on the subject of being MORE productive in the coming year and started comparing "time management" systems, tips, and tricks.
What started as a simple email the next day grew into a "The Productivity Manifesto Checklist". It was a list of the most powerful and useful tools that made a difference to me.
FULL DISCLAIMER: I'm a just a normal dude, not a certified project manager. I'm a DevOps at heart and thus constantly tweaking things in my own life to make it better. There are a few affiliate links to fund my site and ongoing ventures.
In continuing our conversation about “systems” and “time management” last night here’s the best ideas and tools I know to jump start your new year:
1. Fill up the day using a “Zero Based Calendar” or an “Unschedule Calendar”
The Zero Based Calendar is something I stumbled on at VideoFruit who posted a great video sharing his method. He references Stephen Covey's great Big Rocks story.
An Unschedule Calendar on the other hand is great way to get some clarity (or scare the hell of yourself) by actually seeing how your time is set up.
Essentially you take a regular calendar and fill it up with EVERYTHING (e.g. sleep, meals, commuting, etc) and then identify your true free blocks of time.
I will do an Unschedule from time to time to see if it actually makes sense and whether it works still.
2. Watch Randy Pausch’s Lecture: Time Management
BONUS: If you want some serious inspiration watch his "Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams".
You may cry BTW… just saying)
3. Try Pomotodo
I just started using Pomotodo and I LOVE it!
It's both a iPhone app and web application. With either I can track my time usage on very specific projects and aim to always bump up my stats.
When I’m really a rock star at work I have my headphones in, email minimized with notifications off, phone ringer off, and I listen to something in the background while running this app also in the background.
It will sound when your “25 min” sprint is done. A "5 min" break. Then you do another sprint.
4. Eben Pagan’s: Wakeup Productive Course
I purchased this program a few years ago and I’m ready to start it again. It's by far THE craziest program to get your shit together! I'm not going to lie, it's not cheap. But how much would you pay to get your life on track?
It’s basically a 12 week program to increase productivity. You listen to a track a week and slowly implement the changes.
Here’s a new video from Eben Pagan that explains the 1 most important key to increasing your productivity, success and profit in your business and personal life (just opt-in to watch it free):
Make sure to get the PDF download, and the 1-page summary sheet download as well, and do the exercise to identify the ultra high-value “money making activities” in your business.
In the video, Eben explains how he transformed and dramatically increased his productivity with one simple mindset and action change.
This video is about 18 minutes long, and will change the way you think about time management and productivity.
The best part is that you can watch it for free, by just opting-in.
5. Read or listen to the following books… one day.
Maybe you’ve already read these, if not you have to one day! This should be mandatory reading for every office worker.
□ “The 4-Hour Workweek”, Tim Ferriss
□ “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, Stephen Covey
□ “Getting Things Done”, David Allen
And I’ve just started reading this book …
□ “The Power of Full Engagement", Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz:
BONUS: Transcendental Mediation (?!)
I've heard now from several places, notably from interviews on Tim Ferriss' podcast, that several superstars practice using TM (Transcendental Meditation).
Although I have nothing to report or expand upon as I just started dabbling with meditation as part of my morning ritual...it has given me a little more calming energy. Very unusual.
Jerry Seinfeld does a great job promoting its benefits.
I hope some of these ideas help you out in the new year Red!
Experiment with abandonment!