The following are various commonly repeated and mostly helpful habits to increase productivity. I've tried most at various times. Some I use daily and have significantly improved my own ability to keep track of my work. Others don't seem to stick for me or solve problems I don't normally have. Within the [[Productivity Industrial Complex]], it seems widely accepted that different methods work for different leadership types and personalities. That is likely true. So, some of these may be of little value to me and still of great value to someone else. ### Daily review A daily review of my upcoming tasks is, by far, the single most important productivity habit I've developed. For me, this is simple, takes no longer than 15 minutes early in the morning each day, and involves a simple index card. More intricate and involved methods for daily review exist, but I find it hard to keep those going. Less is more for me. That said, the daily review is my keystone habit for productivity. If I stop doing this, everything else falls apart. Each morning, I take out a single index card and write out the list of tasks I need to accomplish for the day. I capture tasks throughout the day in other places (often on the back of the index card in a section titled "later"), but I only add tasks to my index card for I plan to execute on that day. During my daily review, I pull out my other tasks that have accrued in Todoist, in emails, in my "later" section, and a formulate a quick plan of tasks for the day. I ask questions like: What is the most important thing I must complete today? How many of these tasks can I actually accomplish today? Then, I order my tasks accordingly, keeping them checked off as I go. ### Task batching Task batching is a simple idea to increase your efficiency for getting tasks accomplished. By sitting down with your list of tasks and categorizing them into similar types (i.e emails, errands, reading, writing, etc.) you can batch them into chunks of similar tasks. Instead of stopping every 10 minutes to answer an email, create a chunk of time where you will only answer emails. Then, do not answer an email unless it's during that window. Task batching allows you to avoid task switching, which comes with cognitive load and lost time every time you switch. It takes time to get focused back on the original task. ### Time blocking Time block is one of the most effective productivity habits I've found. In order to time block, you need to triage your tasks (this works especially well if you batch your tasks) in order to determine what all you need to accomplish in the week. Afterward, sit down with your calendar and block out various time slots to accomplish your tasks. Time blocking creates a real schedule for your tasks and forces you to have a task list that lives within the constraints of time. You only have so many hours a day, and time blocking requires you to assign a time limit to each task, so in order to place it on your calendar. With digital calendars on computers, this is a relatively easy thing to do. Be mindful of some common missteps with time blocking. First, we all think we can do a task quicker than it will actually take. So, most people do not give tasks enough time and over fill their day. Second, make sure you assign the right portions of the day to certain tasks. It's usually a bad idea to place your tasks that require focus in the portion of the day where you are most likely to get interrupted. ### Eat the Frog Eating the frog is simple in principle but incredibly hard in practice. One common productivity pitfall is to use all your time on tasks that are less important. It's possible to be very busy and still not accomplish the really important things. Procrastination often sets in when we get to the hard or important tasks, and we avoid them by filling our list with other unimportant things and tackling those. Instead, eat the frog. In other words, triage your task list for the day and determine what the hardest and most important task is for that day. Then, force yourself to do it first. This will ensure you get done the one, most important thing for the day. Doing the hard thing first has some real positive benefits, as well. If you get the hard thing done first, the rest of the day will feel accomplished. String together enough days of eating the frog, and you begin seeing your most important stuff regularly finished, and that can move the needle in work or studies. ### Eisenhower Matrix >[!Note] Need to add an illustration of the matrix to this one. Also, link to a YouTube video for this, if I can find a good one. The Eisenhower Matrix is hard to explain, but it is a method of organizing your daily tasks in order to prioritize them. Prioritizing your tasks is an important steps to accomplishing the right things. We tend to focus on unimportant work that is easy to accomplish when given the chance. The matrix allows you to see through the mirage of busyness you create to avoid doing the hard things or the important things. The matrix uses two concepts to create a grid: urgency and importance. All tasks are either urgent or not urgent. All tasks are either important or unimportant. Using these two categories creates a grid of four boxes into which tasks can be assigned. A task can be important, but not urgent. It can also be urgent, and unimportant. Of course, tasks that are both important and urgent need to be accomplished first. However, some of the most meaningful work in a person's life falls into the important but not urgent category. This is usually where tasks that sharpen you as a person, grow your skills, or form you spiritually reside. Using the Eisenhower matrix helps you find these tasks so you can dedicate time to them, perhaps by time blocking your day. It also helps you avoid unimportant tasks that are not urgent. Most likely a tasks that is neither important nor urgent can just be dropped altogether, saving you time for more important things. Here's a video: ![]( ### Going to the movies