Archive - Systems & Tips
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One Creative and Quirky Trick to Fight Procrastination

The Nothing Alternative

In Willpower, the authors discuss the concept of The Nothing Alternative to procrastination. I had heard similar tricks before – but for some reason, it struck me this time.

My first impression was that it’s a goofy trick. So much about it was illogical.

But after implementing it a little over the past few weeks, I’ve been won over by the benefits.

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Practice: The Key to Constant Productivity Improvement

Practice: The Key to Constant Productivity Improvement

In the last post, we talked about how the key to constantly increasing productivity is the powerful but simple concept of taking time to think about how to improve.

But how do we decide exactly what to change? How do we implement that change? How do we know if our efforts are fruitful?

Luckily the world of sports and music has a lot to teach us: the process of continuing to grow and improve uses the same concepts that a tennis player uses to master a backhand and a musician uses to perfect a concerto.
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The Two-Minute Secret to Better Productivity

Two Minute Productivity Secret

In only two minutes a day, one simple tip could increase your productivity by 100%, 400%, or even 1,000%.

I know that sounds like an informercial, but it’s really just taking advantage of the most powerful, yet the most underrated, productivity technique you have.

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Why Covey’s Big Rocks Illustration Is Wrong

Covey's Big Rocks

You may have heard of Stephen Covey’s (author of First Things First) prioritization system. He stresses the need for us to differentiate the truly important from the merely urgent.

To be sure, Covey has contributed a lot of great thinking on how to manage our time well. But there are some areas where I think people misunderstand his points.

And although it’s a nice conversation piece, I think Covey’s famous “big rocks” illustration leads people in the wrong direction.

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How Writing Can Improve Your Productivity

How Writing Can Improve Productivity

The following is a guest post from Nick Thacker.

If you’re involved in business (or life) in pretty much any way, you probably have little rules for improving your day-to-day productivity. For me, as a writer, these “rules” look like “write every day,” or even “write 1,000 words every day,” for example.

Even if you’re not a writer, you probably have to-do lists, task managers, or an Evernote account–something that helps you organize and store your thoughts, tasks, and goals. Much has already been written on how to get the most out of all of these great productivity tools, so I’ll take a different approach in this post.

Instead, I’ll look at the flip side of productivity–not how to be more productive so you can write or produce more, but how to use writing itself to help you be more productive.

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Seth Godin: Let Discomfort Guide You

The Lizard BrainI saw a recent interview with Seth Godin, the marketing expert, creativity thought-leader, and author of several bestsellers such as Linchpin.

In the interview, Godin shared a pretty unique way of determining the priority of his tasks. It seems to be the exact opposite of what most people do.

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Be Quick and Thorough: Getting Started with Task Lists

Getting Started with Task Lists

Right now, you have a mountain of tasks that you’re trying to manage. From today’s to-do list to remembering those appointments and obligations for the next few months, there are a lot of activities that we all need to keep track of in order to maximize our effectiveness.

There are a few different approaches to organizing this avalanche of tasks. We each have our own unique situations and personalities, so we’re not looking for a one-size-fits all solution – but the one that works for us.

Here are some thoughts on basic lists and task management ideas that you can think about and tailor to your individual needs.

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Thinking Hard about Productivity is Part of Your Work

Productivity Is Your Work

We love the elusive search for that perfect productivity system.

That’s why the racks of your local bookstore are crammed with titles on time management, organization, and taking charge of your life.

Each author claims that their new method is a no-nonsense, breakthrough, revolutionary approach to accomplishing your goals and feeling at peace with the world.

It feeds right into our desires. Because that’s what we truly want – a turnkey system that we plug into our lives easily and effectively.

But we’re looking at it the wrong way.

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Goals Aren’t That Big of a Deal

One of the crucial aspects of time stewardship is setting goals. After all, you have to know where you want to go before you can think about getting there effectively.

But I think we often overestimate the power of goal-setting. And this happens because we don’t understand the process of goal achievement – and we forget the true purpose of goals.

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One Overlooked Key to Achieving Goals

Band Aid

In Pick Four, Seth Godin has revamped Zig Ziglar’s classic program to goal setting. It’s a pretty simple approach (which is a good thing), but there was one powerful step that caught my eye.

It’s something you probably know about. But it’s something you might not be doing.

And it could provide a crucial boost to achieving your goals.

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