When I was 17 years old, I used to work and study for about 20 hours a day. I went to school, did my homework during breaks and managed a not-for-profit organization at night.
Productivity isn't about getting more done, but about getting what matters most done. With this in mind, here are three habits productive leaders do differently to focus on what matters most. You need to prioritize to be productive. Most to-do lists, however, prioritize the wrong activities.
Trello is a popular productivity tool An Effortless Way to Set Reminders With Trello An Effortless Way to Set Reminders With Trello There are many ways to set reminders these days, but if you use Trello on the regular, then this nifty card trick could be the most convenient option for you.
The leaders of the biggest companies on the planet are always trying to figure out what to do with their time, and it seems they all have come to one conclusion: work.
Being busy is more often than not a trap — an illusory euphemism for poor time management. By doing deep work you’ll get rid of distractions, gain more focus, get more things done and, unexpectedly, have more time for other things.
More than 2,400 years ago, Hippocrates stated, "walking is man's best medicine." While this was shared from a health perspective, walking being your best medicine encompasses all aspects of your life. Steve Jobs was notorious for taking walking meetings along with Mark Zuckerberg.
Office perks such as free snacks and gym membership discounts only go so far. Turns out, if you really want to make your employees happy, you might consider cutting their hours. That’s what one Swedish city found.
This is an excerpt from my book Code For Cash that I coauthored with Jay El-Kaake. Try not to become a [wo]man of success. Rather become a [wo]man of value. Albert Einstein
The average Indian enterprise is more an act of desperation than a burst of entrepreneurship. The lack of viable job opportunities elsewhere has led to the creation of millions of tiny enterprises that offer families dignity but not much of an income.
First, a bit of background. I went to Yale and learned about elite college admissions from reading forums like College Confidential. This knowledge helped me get into great schools and I advised my classmates/younger students too. But 1-on-1 advising doesn’t scale.
Business leaders have many tasks to accomplish and prioritizing stuff can be hard. Yesterday I wrote about the need to “do fewer things, more often” in which I described that frenzied world we live in and why the shiny objects and distractions stop us from living up to our true potential.
Sometimes, life seems upside-down. So, here goes, and I hope it helps at least a few of you.
Although people think they perform better on caffeine, the truth is, they really don’t. Actually, we’ve become so dependent on caffeine that we use it to simply get back to our status-quo. When we’re off it, we under perform and become incapable. Isn’t this absurd?
Sound familiar? Looking back, I realize I used my work to try and fill a void in myself. The problem was that this void was like a black hole. No matter how many hours I worked, it never seemed to fill it up. If anything, it made me feel worse.
About four years ago I started working for myself. I wanted the freedom and flexibility to own my schedule and the space to bring my ideas to life.
We all often face the same problem: The workweek drags by at a glacial pace, while the weekend speeds past us before we even realize what’s happening. Mathematically, of course, it all makes sense.
Schwab (oddly enough, no relation to Charles R. Schwab, founder of the Charles Schwab Corporation) was the president of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, the largest shipbuilder and the second-largest steel producer in the U.S. at the time.
Estimated reading time: 12 minutes. I’m an expert on how technology hijacks our psychological vulnerabilities. That’s why I spent the last three years as a Design Ethicist at Google caring about how to design things in a way that defends a billion people’s minds from getting hijacked.
Forget overpriced schools, long days in a crowded classroom, and pitifully poor results. These websites and apps cover myriads of science, art, and technology topics. They will teach you practically anything, from making hummus to building apps in node.js, most of them for free.
At the start of your career, chances are good that you’ll be hired primarily for your “hard skills”–the stuff you know that’s relevant for the job.
Shorter workweeks could help reduce accidents, combat climate change, make the genders more equal, and more, contends historian and author Rutger Bregman. Had you asked the greatest economist of the 20th century what the biggest challenge of the 21st would be, he wouldn’t have had to think twice.
Noah Kagan built three multi-million dollar online businesses before turning 28. He also looks great in green. (Photo: Brandon Wells) I first met Noah Kagan over rain and strong espressos at Red Rock Coffee in Mountain View, CA. It was 2007.
What separates strategic, visionary thinkers from the rest of us? And why do we tend to worry about our ability to remember names—or where our keys are—rather than loss of cognitive memory that makes great performers?
If you listen to management pundits, "collaboration" is all the rage. While the term is a bit fuzzy, what's usually meant by "collaboration" is 1) plenty of ad-hoc meetings and 2) open-plan offices that increase the likelihood that that such meetings take place.
We all have things that we want to achieve in our lives — getting into the better shape, building a successful business, raising a wonderful family, writing a best-selling book, winning a championship, and so on.
Think about all the stuff you’ve been putting off—really, go ahead. Chances are you’ve been putting off thinking about the stuff you’ve been putting off, right? It’s not that you don’t think those things are important, or even that you believe they’ll go away if you ignore them.
With well over 50 billion dollars to his name, Warren Buffett is consistently ranked among the wealthiest people in the world. Out of all the investors in the 20th century, Buffett was the most successful.
But the great thing about this story is that anyone can have such an impressive outcome, and it’s not at all as daunting as it might sound. In fact, all these outcomes came from doing small things every day over a long period.
There’s that project you’ve left on the backburner – the one with the deadline that’s growing uncomfortably near. And there’s the client whose phone call you really should return – the one that does nothing but complain and eat up your valuable time.
On my birthday this year, my coworkers planned an elaborate surprise. When I came into work, several dozen colleagues had dressed up as me, donning my trademark accessories: a flannel shirt, a baseball cap—and a scowl. There are two takeaways from this anecdote.
Your subconscious never rests and is always on duty because it controls yourheartbeat, blood circulation, and digestion. It controls all the vital processes and functions of your body and knows the answers to all your problems.
I once had a boss who would send me a series of two-word emails throughout the day, each one bearing the same message: “Call me.” Each time I received one of these emails, the hairs on the back of my neck would stiffen and my stomach would churn violently.
There’s no time for anything. At least that’s how it feels doesn’t it? No time to learn all the things you think you need to learn to stay ahead of the curve. No time to go back and refactor that ugly piece of code. It works (sort of) and there’s a deadline approaching.
It’s 4 p.m. and you’re having a hard time focusing. So you stare at your computer and click in and out of lots of tabs. But when you look up, you see it’s only 4:03 p.m. Then, you get a glass of water, which takes all of seven minutes.
When George Shultz was secretary of state in the 1980s, he liked to carve out one hour each week for quiet reflection. He sat down in his office with a pad of paper and pen, closed the door and told his secretary to interrupt him only if one of two people called:
NYTimes bestselling author Charles Duhigg already revolutionized the way we think about our habits thanks to his work on The Power of Habit. Now, he’s going after productivity.
In 1687, Sir Isaac Newton published his groundbreaking book, The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, which described his three laws of motion. In the process, Newton laid the foundation for classical mechanics and redefined the way the world looked at physics and science.
According to experts, here are the 15 best productivity apps to keep you dialed in all day. Get fired up in the morning and wrap up your day smoothly. Endless scrolling.
Most of us are constantly looking for the Perfect System: The perfect morning routine The perfect system for dealing with email The perfect system for productivity, to end procrastination The perfect system for finances or building wealth The perfect system for learning anything The perfect system
Aristotle is credited with saying these 15 famous words. And for most of my life…I didn’t believe him. Know what I discovered?
How is it even possible that Elon Musk could build four multibillion companies by his mid-40s — in four separate fields (software, energy, transportation, and aerospace)?
I’ve spent many years referencing Wikipedia’s list of cognitive biases whenever I have a hunch that a certain type of thinking is an official bias but I can’t recall the name or details. It’s been an invaluable reference for helping me identify the hidden flaws in my own thinking.
Here at Google, we don’t have a secret formula for innovation. But that doesn’t mean Googlers’ best ideas are ineffable mysteries. On the contrary, we’ve found they can be systematically coaxed into being and steadily improved upon. And so can yours.
This story is about the launch of Harry’s, a new men’s grooming brand. Specifically, it will explain how they gathered nearly 100,000 email addresses in one week (!).
You know exactly what you want in life. But you can’t seem to get there. You have all these resolves. You’re going to get healthy.
The traditional 9–5 workday is poorly structured for high productivity. Perhaps when most work was physical labor, but not in the knowledge working world we now live in.
For anyone who hasn’t caught on: Remote work is here, it’s happening, and your employees are happier if they are given the option to do it.
Everyone wants to be productive, but boosting productivity doesn't happen by itself. Sometimes it takes a motivational quote to shift us in the right direction. Here are some powerful thoughts to get you started on a more productive year.
Multi-tasking is to your work what smoking is to your health. Trying to do more than one thing at the same time is killing your productivity. Luckily, it’s not all bad news. 44% of those work distractions are self-inflicted and another 23% come from emails.
Regardless if you’re an entrepreneur, athlete, coach, artist or politician, we all must overcome hurdles and setbacks at some point in our lives.
How much more could you get done if you completed all of your required reading in 1/3 or 1/5 the time? Increasing reading speed is a process of controlling fine motor movement—period.
A few months ago, my friend Tim took a new sales job at a Series C tech company that had raised over $60 million from A-list investors. He’s one of the best salespeople I know, but soon after starting, he emailed me to say he was struggling.
These essential skills are never taught in school, but they will pay dividends for your entire life. We often focus only on learning skills that are directly pertinent to our jobs during the busy workweek.
For years, my approach to email was like slaying a hydra. For every email I deleted, two more landed in my inbox. Part of the problem, I knew, was the nature of my work.
These days it seems like most people have too much on their plate. Everyone complains about feeling overworked. So how do you tell your boss you simply have too much to do? No one wants to come across as lazy, uncommitted, or not a team player.
I believe that the best insights are made possible when they’re built from the best knowledge available. Discovering that information gets easier and easier every single day. Medium has become my go-to resource for war stories from the startup community.
It’s early and dark. The alarm sounds, and you reach over to switch it off. After a short pause, you sit up. You swing your legs off the bed, touch the floor with your feet, and reach for your phone. You sit quietly while your phone’s screen illuminates the dark bedroom.
Why is it that between 25% and 50% of people report feeling overwhelmed or burned out at work? It’s not just the number of hours we’re working, but also the fact that we spend too many continuous hours juggling too many things at the same time.
Imagine you need people to donate to a cause you care about. How do you get as many people as possible to donate? You could send an email to 200 of your friends, family members, and acquaintances. Or you could ask a few of the people you encounter in a typical day—face-to-face—to donate.
How is it even possible that Elon Musk could build four multibillion companies by his mid-40s — in four separate fields (software, energy, transportation, and aerospace)?
My framework for getting places, accomplishing things and living in a way that makes me happy. This isn’t a bullshit, head in the clouds, you can do it if you just *believe*post. There’s plenty of those out there. I’m not going to write another one.
The modern world is filled with constant distractions. Only those with maniacal focus on results and a willingness not to engage in every activity achieve extraordinary results. As executives we’re all seemingly accessible at any moment to anybody via email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Text.
Like most 25-year-olds, Julia Rozovsky wasn’t sure what she wanted to do with her life. She had worked at a consulting firm, but it wasn’t a good match. Then she became a researcher for two professors at Harvard, which was interesting but lonely. Maybe a big corporation would be a better fit.
I go to this boot camp-style class sometimes at a gym near my apartment. It’s one of those classes where a coach stands there and yells at you to do more pushups and squats until you think you’re going to puke. Then you go home and struggle to sit on a toilet for the next three days.
When I was young, there was nothing so bad as being asked to work. Now I find it hard to conjure up that feeling, but I see it in my five-year-old daughter. “Can I please have some water, daddy?” That was me when I was young, rolling on the ground in agony on being asked to clean my room.
Little things become big things. When you justify and allow even little things into your life which your intuition warns you against, you permit a virus to enter your life. It spreads to other areas.
The trouble with self-help advice is that it’s often based on barely any evidence.
Fall 1996. A young Chris Fralic is selling software for Oracle. He’s not sure what he wants to do next, but he’s always been curious about venture capital. And then some unusual magic happens — a friend offers to introduce him to Kevin Compton, a vaunted name in VC.
So you managed to get through a phone screen, ten resume revisions, and a lot of anxious moments when you were convinced they were ignoring you. Or at least playing hard to get so that you’d be grateful if they ever did offer you an interview.
Mental toughness can take many forms: resilience against attack, calmness in the face of uncertainty, persistence through pain, or focus amidst chaos. Below are eight lessons from eight of the toughest human beings I know.
Congratulations! You got the job. Now for the hard part: deciding whether to accept it or not.
When Google acquired the online photo editor Picnik in 2010, CMO Lisa Conquergood and the rest of the Picnik team went, too. They worked on the site until Google narrowed its focus and closed Picnik in 2012.
Why don’t successful people and organizations automatically become very successful? One important explanation is due to what I call “the clarity paradox,” which can be summed up in four predictable phases: Phase 1: When we really have clarity of purpose, it leads to success.
Some people have an uncanny ability to get things done. They keep their nights and weekends sacred and still get more done than people who work 10 or 20 hours more per week than they do. A new study from Stanford shows that they are on to something.
This is how Warren Buffett, one of the most successful people in the business world, describes his day. Sitting. Reading. He advises everyone to read more, and that’s certainly a goal we can all get behind.
You’ll notice that I made the title of this post sound quite impressive (at least I hope I did!). But the great thing about this story is that anyone can have such an impressive outcome, and it’s not at all as daunting as it might sound.
A great deal has been written in recent years about the perils of automation. With predicted mass unemployment, declining wages, and increasing inequality, clearly we should all be afraid. By now it’s no longer just the Silicon Valley trend watchers and technoprophets who are apprehensive.
There’s some interesting research in social psychology explaining how most people form their peer groups. Especially as children and adolescence, but often as adults, people select their friends based on proximity more than anything else.
Sleep is a time suck. If you multiplied the average recommended number of hours we should sleep in a day—eight for a typical adult—by the number of days in an average lifespan (78.8 years in the United States), that would amount to about 9,587.3 days.
To become more more successful at everything you do in life, you need to do three things: reduce the amount of time you waste, be more organized, and get rid of the “mental clutter” that distracts you, preoccupies you, and stresses you out.
Bezos was explaining how he goes about running the massive company Amazon has become — 341,000 employees — like a startup. That's a concept he calls Day 1.
A friend of mine once had a curious experience with a job interview. Excited about the possible position, she arrived five minutes early and was immediately ushered into the interview by the receptionist. Following an amicable discussion with a panel of interviewers, she was offered the job.
I was coaching Sanjay,* a leader in a technology firm who felt stuck and frustrated. He wasn’t where he wanted to be at this point in his career. He had come to our coaching session, as usual, prepared to discuss the challenges he was currently facing.
We often focus only on learning skills that are directly pertinent to our jobs during the busy workweek. Wealthy and successful people, on the other hand, never stop reaching for new heights and learning new skills, even if a teacher or boss isn’t telling them to.
In all of the myriad articles and advice on productivity, there is one evil lurking in our activities, one activity that when mastered, opens the door to potential productivity paradise. When it comes down to it, distractions (or lack thereof) are the real crux of working better.
Procrastination strikes everyone, and once it gets hold of you, it can be very difficult to shake it off. When you imagine a highly productive person, you likely think of someone who focuses effortlessly on the job and never succumbs to procrastination.
The slides are available on SpeakerDeck and at the bottom of this article. The video of the session is available in YouTube. This article has been printed in the June 2016 edition of Hacker Bits. He publicado también una traducción al castellano. J’ai aussi publié une traduction au français.
If you’re reading the Evernote Blog, chances are you’re someone who loves to get things done. To move the needle.
We've all heard how successful entrepreneurs wake up well before the crack of dawn and get a metric ton done before 5 a.m. However, as a successful entrepreneur who struggles with mornings, I wanted to let the late risers out there know that there is hope for you, too.
Trello is an awesome project management tool that makes collaboration easy and, dare I say, even fun. But this visual list tool can do so much more, whether you’re organizing work projects, family chores, travel plans, or just about anything else.
Kim Scott, co-founder of Candor, Inc., has built her career around a simple goal: Creating bullshit-free zones where people love their work and working together. She first tried it at her own software startup.
It’s easy to lose perspective when we’re facing a thorny dilemma. Blinded by the particulars of the situation, we’ll waffle and agonize, changing our mind from day to day. Perhaps our worst enemy in resolving these conﬂicts is short-term emotion, which can be an unreliable adviser.