The last few months have been an incredible learning experience. I’ve discovered many issues with where I’m at and how I’m doing things. To put it simply, I want to do more. It started with falling behind at work. It gave me anxiety. It significantly impacted my mood every single day that I didn’t feel “productive” enough. I hated it.
So I took step back and said, “I need to feel better after each day of work. How do I do that?” I took steps toward improving, but I wasn’t seeing much progress. So I took another step back and said, “I need to become a better software engineer, how do I do that?” I started reading more, but wasn’t seeing much progress. So I took yet another step back and said, “I need to manage my time better, how do I do that?” And finally, I started seeing progress.
I’ve consumed lectures, courses, articles, and book summaries to compile a list of productivity tips. The tips I’ve bothered to show here had to be:
- Actionable & relevant.
- Mentioned by more than one source.
You might notice that some of these items could be considered duplicates. “Do the hardest things first” sounds like it falls under “Do the right things.” You might also notice some of these tips lack context. Look, my bad, we’ll get there. Keep in mind that my goal with this post is simply to capture relevant information. The next step is to make sense of it. This is a journey.
Ordered by number of unique mentions, descending. Bold items are tips that significantly increased my productivity immediately after implementing them.
- Prioritize using the Eisenhower Matrix
- Make use of downtime
- The 2 minute rule
- Just start doing
- Have a clear finish line
- Schedule creative time
- Plan ahead of time
- Find a mentor
- Carry a notebook
- Continually evaluate progress
- Dedicate time for reflection
- Use the Pomodoro Technique
- Execute off-peak hours
- Use your biological peak time
- Do the hardest things first
- Link everything to your goals
- Use OKR’s