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Productivity Tips

"Productivity isn't about being a workhorse, keeping busy, or burning the midnight oil. It's more about priorities, planning, and fiercely protecting your time."

-Gary Keller 

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Avoid Task Switching

Multi-tasking doesn't exist. We can't actively focus our attention on two things at one time. Instead, we task switch- that is, we rapidly switch our attention between tasks. 

Task switching kills productivity by up to 40%, since there's a time cost every time we switch tasks. 

Do Less, Then Obsess

Top performers are masters at prioritization. 

In 2011, management professor Morten Hansen set out to discover what separated top performers from their less stellar counterparts. His study yielded 7 "work-smart" practices. The greatest differentiator was, what he called, "do less then obsess."

Top performers limited their scope to only a handful of priorities and then they poured their full attention into them. 

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Organizing the Calendar

Organize Tomorrow, Today

In their book Organize Tomorrow, Today, Jason Selk, Tom Bartow, and Matthew Rudy recommend this simple but effective method.

At the end of every day, write down 3 tasks you want to complete tomorrow. Be as specific as possible and don't bite off more than you can chew.

Start tomorrow with a game plan that clearly defines what constitutes a successful day.

Drop, Delegate, or Restructure

There's an unfortunate paradox to being a top performer. Your workload continuously increases. You become known as the go-to person for getting things done which leads to more work, spreading you too thin and diminishing your performance.

The solution is to limit your attention to tasks that truly require your time. For every opportunity that arises ask yourself:

1) Can I DROP it?

2) Can I DELEGATE it?

3) Can I RESTRUCTURE it to increase efficiency?

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Utilize Your Golden Hour

Cognitive energy is a finite and inconsistent resource. It steadily decreases as the day goes on while taking hits from every decision you make. 

Everyone has a period during the day in which their cognitive energy peaks- their "golden hour."

Reserve your most cognitively demanding tasks for this time of the day.

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