Increase your productivity

I recommend that you read my post about email productivity tips before you continue to read this post.

productivityist-workbook

I have been writing a lot about what I have been doing this summer; how I’ve been working while I’ve been on vacation, and how much I enjoy being a solopreneur, watching the ocean while I am working. Today, I want to send a huge thank you to Mike Vardy for writing his book The Productivityist Workbook.

I bought the book the first day of my vacation, and I read it, like my life was depending on it. I have been focusing on getting things done for a long time, but I am still not doing things the way I’d like. Don’t get me wrong, I have always been taking action, and I don’t procrastinate. But still, I don’t focus on doing what’s important, and I’ve been missing something.

I started listening to Mike Vardy on his podcast with Michael Schechter Mikes on Mics a long time ago. I’ve listened to most of the episodes, and I have learned a lot. It’s a great productivity podcast. When I heard about his book, The Productivityist Workbook, I decided right away that I was going to buy it.

The book is divided into four sections:

  • Task management
  • Email management
  • Idea management
  • Time management

What I’ve learned is to identify what a task really is, and how to manage all my tasks. To me, this was what I was doing in the first place, and that was more or less my system of productivity. After reading The Productivityist Workbook, I’ve shifted from a time mindset, to a task mindset. I’m using different tools, like Things and Evernote, to plan all my tasks, and have all the information I need. I’m using tags in order to add information about the tasks, if it’s urgent and important, or if it’s not.

I have changed how I control my email, but The Productivityist Workbook is the reason why. I am now using Sanebox to filter all my email, and I have not a single email in my inbox before I go to bed. I send all the emails I need to do something with to Evernote. And, when I’m ready, I’ll manage the email. I use three categories for my email:

  • Follow-up email needed
  • Follow-up email not needed
  • No need to respond

I archive everything that I can use as a reference later on.

I’ve never had a method to manage my ideas. They’ve been all over the place, and some stay inside my head for a long time, others have been lost on various napkins or notebooks. I believe that I have had too many ideas, and many of them (maybe even most of them) haven’t been ideas worth pursuing. I am now applying the idea criteria, and I have a calendar for all my ideas.

I have been doing many exercises to make time work for me. And, the exercises inside The Productivityist Workbook as helped a lot. I am now doing “time chunking” and that’s what really works for me.

I highly recommend The Productivityist Workbook by Mike Vardy. It was $5 when I bought it, and you’ll read it fairly fast, since it’s only 33 pages. But, believe me, you’ll learn a lot.

  • http://www.craigmcbreen.com/ Craig McBreen

    Hi Jens,

    I was a productivity book junkie, but I’ve moved on ;) Lately I’ve been doing a few things that have helped immensely:

    1. I’ve stopped batching like a madman. I used to divide my day into segments and batch tasks like crazy, but NOT doing that helps a lot. A better way to put it is that I divide big projects into small tasks and treat each one of those as a mini project, not stopping until I’m done.

    2. I’ve eliminated multi-tasking. This also helps me maintain my sanity ;)

    3. I go old school: I’ve gone back to placing projects in manilla folders and using the basic Mac text editor for just about everything: notes, posts, ebooks, client outlines, etc. I’ve canned a lot of “productivity” tools for a simpler way and it’s been working for me :)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    Hi Craig,

    I need to learn more from you Craig. I’m reading all the productivity books I can find (both paid and free).

    Are you using a software to manage your tasks and time?

  • http://www.gurujobalert.com/ Gajendran M

    You give good information friend really i love it…..thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.craigmcbreen.com/ Craig McBreen

    Hi Jens,

    Less and less these days … Manila folders, text edit and iCal ;)

  • http://www.marketingsolutionsink.com.au/webdesignsydney.html Anushha

    Every human has 24hours, and loads of things and tasks to be managed, so a good factor of productivity becomes crucial and of much importance. The various sections are looking pretty useful. Thanks for the share.

  • http://www.factorydirectgazebo.com.au/ marytlou

    Small things help in increasing productivity; from making sticky notes to follow up emails everything matters. Books can only share with us knowledge and ideas about ways to increase productivity but our choice to apply or not to apply those tips in our routine makes the difference.

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    Thank you so much for the feedback :)

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    Thanks a lot for the feedback Anushha.

  • http://slymarketing.com Jens-Petter Berget

    That’s true. I’ve been reading many books about productivity, but I am still searching for the “perfect” system :)

  • Rickymartin

    Thanks for your positive comments, Brigette! It can be amazing keeping track of where time is spent – and then realizing how much of it goes to trivial things instead of high priority items.

  • Levon

    you lose track of time and the next thing you know you missed out on your chance to do some productive activity its good to have fun but don’t let it get in the way of business, great article.

  • Allison

    Task Management is important for individuals and also for organizations. Proper task management will improve productivity in both cases. Using task Management software is the answer for individuals, small and large organizations. I’ll suggest using DeskShare’s Team Task Manager.

  • rajaditya

    It is really a nice article. As you mentioned that task management and time management are the keys of success.