Mindful productivity: a sustainable way to work and think

As someone who suffers from time anxiety—the constant fear that it’s too late to learn something new, to start a new project, to change direction—I often push myself to be as productive as humanly possible. Our society has been built on productivity principles. However, since the turn of the century, many entrepreneurs, researchers, and managers …

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How to decide what to work on next

Many people manage their tasks using a to-do list. Everything they need need to work on at some point ends up on that list, and they measure their productivity by looking at the number of tasks completed in a certain amount of time. While I’m a big fan of checklists—which have a clear objective—I don’t …

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Planner or pantser: what’s your productivity style?

More than 80% of Americans want to write a book at some point in their lives. If you’ve ever tried to write the first draft of a book, you likely fall between one of two categories: planner or pantser. Planners outline their novel before writing it. Pantsers “fly by the seat of their pants”—they let …

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How to develop your self-authorship

Have you ever felt like you should do something because everyone is doing it? Do you follow certain rules which were taught to you as a kid, just out of principle, or maybe out of habit? Are there behaviours you consider acceptable based on what the society you live in has defined? Alongside growth mindset …

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Understanding the emotions behind procrastination

You have a deadline. You know you should get to work. But instead of focusing on what’s urgent and important, you spend your time on something else. Despite the inner voice telling you to get started and the rising anxiety, you’re procrastinating. While the neuroscience of procrastination is mainly based on a fight between your …

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Micro-wins: celebrating progress over success

I was having coffee with a friend today, and he told me how he made sure to celebrate his micro-wins. Celebrating victories is obviously not a new concept, but we tend to focus on the finish line and our biggest achievements. We rarely take the time to stop and appreciate the small, daily victories. Micro-wins …

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The ten minute rule of productivity

In the UK, the Ten Minute Rule allows a backbench member of parliament—one that is neither part of the government nor the opposition—to make their case for a new bill in a speech lasting up to ten minutes. After the ten minutes have passed, another MP may speak for a further ten minutes to oppose …

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SMART goals are not so smart: make a PACT instead

A system without a goal is like a marathon without a finish line. But a system with a bad goal will result in a bad outcome. Traditional goal-setting methods use the SMART framework. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. Sounds great for small, short-term goals, but not so much for ambitious, long-term …

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The Eisenhower matrix of prioritisation

Very few decision-making frameworks are as simple and powerful as the Eisenhower matrix. Dwight Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States and had an incredibly productive life. Amongst many accomplishments, he served as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II, launched programmes such as DARPA and NASA, …

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Being prepared is overrated: start before you feel ready

Getting ready is fun. Doing research, learning new things, feeling excited about the journey ahead. But whether you’re planning on writing a book, launching a product, or building an exercise routine, getting ready can become a distraction: there is a very fine line between preparation and procrastination. Yes, getting ready is comfortable. But most successful …

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