My 5 Favorite Productivity Tips Of The Year (In 140 Words Or Less)

Of the 500+ ideas I’ve shared this year in my For The Interested newsletter, here are a few quick summaries of my favorite productivity tips.

If you’d like me to send you more tips like this on Sunday, sign up at the bottom of this post. Thx!

1. How To Stop Checking Your Phone And Start Using It With Intention

Try these simple tactics:

  • Don’t check your phone in the car.
  • Don’t check your phone during TV commercials.
  • Keep your phone across the room from where you’re sitting.
  • Turn off all notifications.
  • Choose an end point for every web surfing session.
  • Don’t check your phone while in line.
  • Don’t check your phone for first and last 30 minutes of each day.
  • Turn phone off immediately after posting something on social media.

2. Design Your Day Using Anti-Goals

Invert your goals.

Instead of thinking about what your perfect day would look like, make a list of things that would be on the schedule of your worst possible day.

Then, work backwards and create a set of rules to help you avoid your worst day.

If your worst day would feature a packed calendar, then create a rule that you can have no more than two hours of scheduled time per day.

If your worst day would feature long meetings, then make it a rule to never in-person meetings for things that can be accomplished via phone or email.

(via Andrew Wilkinson)

3. How To Get Better At One Thing In One Month

Follow these eight steps:

  1. Choose one thing. Multitasking doesn’t accelerate improvement, it impedes it.
  2. Clarify your motivation. The better you understand your why, the more likely you are to succeed.
  3. Define “better.” You can’t achieve what you can’t define.
  4. Do your thing at least three time a week. Improvement comes from action, not intention.
  5. Measure your results.
  6. Develop a hypothesis about how you can improve.
  7. Test your hypothesis. There’s as much to learn from being wrong as there is from being right.
  8. Recognize that “better” isn’t necessarily “great.” The way to get great is to keep getting better.

4. The Best Auto-Reply Email I’ve Ever Seen

Here’s an auto-reply email I received from a successful lawyer that’s a perfect example of how you can make your inbox work for you instead of the other way around.

Let me apologize — if you don’t get an immediate response.

My phone may be turned off.

I may be walking, and looking up, instead of down.

If you are curious — and this is a workday — feel free to call my office.

I may be in a meeting, or my “device” is on a “time out.”

In any event, I am trying to be less distractible, more deliberative, and more mindful.

I am hoping this will make us all more productive.

If you need me — and this is urgent, or timely — please call my office or my cell.

If this is a weekend, or an evening, and this is NOT urgent, let’s talk during the week.

If this is personal, call me, find me, see me — let’s talk not text.

Let’s try this.

5. Prioritize Your Work Using Warren Buffett’s “Two List” Strategy

Write a list of your top 25 goals.

Then, review the list and circle your top 5 goals.

Separate them into two lists – one with your top 5 goals and another with the other 20 goals.

The list of five become your top priority.

But here’s the twist — the other list becomes your “Avoid At All Costs List” because those goals are of secondary importance and yet will be the ones that tempt you the most.

They’re the ones you have to fight hardest to prevent from distracting you from the five that matter most.

(via James Clear)