Monday, May 30, 2011

Points on Productivity

Luke, at the Less Wrong community, wrote an interesting post about several things, one of which was productivity.

The points I found interesting were the following:

1. Doing the right tasks is more important than doing your tasks efficiently. In fact, too much concern for efficiency is a leading cause of procrastination.
This is an interesting idea to me because I might think a lot about efficiency relative to thinking about doing the right tasks.
2. Say "no" more often, and use your time for tasks that really matter.
It's often difficult for me to say no to things.  Perhaps if I start doing these points on productivity I will have more reasons to say no to people.  Therefore, it might become easier to do.
3. Delegate responsibility as often as possible. Throw away unimportant tasks and items.
I've done this a bit more recently, e.g. payed teenagers to do things for me, and realized the benefits.  I wonder if there are more ways that I could do this.
4. Keep a record of your time use. (Quantified Self can help.)
I try to keep somewhat of a daily schedule, and this helps me to monitor how I use my time.  But, I'm not very good at keeping it.  I should explore different ways of doing this.
5. Write down your goals. Break them down into smaller goals, and break these into manageable tasks. Schedule these tasks into your calendar.
I have heard this advice very often.  Perhaps I should try it.
6. Process notes and emails only once. Tackle one task at a time, and group similar tasks together.
I like this idea, except for the times when I need to put some thought and effort into an email.  Then, often I process an email several times.
7. Make use of your downtime (plane rides, bus rides, doctor's office waitings). These days, many of your tasks can be completed on your smartphone.
I think I do this idea fairly well, already.

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