Workplace Popcorn: How to Become Super-Productive By Working For Yourself
Colleagues, I present to you a translation of an article about Super-Productivity , which hit me a lot. I hope that the translation will be useful to you for organizing your working time.
I got to know this idea somewhere on Hacker News a few weeks ago and adapted the concept to my own lifestyle, and this changed my approach to work.
Super-productivity - how to start working more than ever
I will not talk about such important principles as:
-Pareto Rule, 80/20
Law -Tomato Technique
Now these laws and strategies are known to everyone, but today I want to tell about the productivity technique that I myself used, and you can apply it right tomorrow.
This tripled the number of weekly posts I publish and helped me find a way to do more than usual. I conditionally called this technique “workplace popcorn”.
The big problem
If you work for yourself or from home, then you are familiar with “Imitation of work” - work where you unrealistically do something. If you work somewhere, and your boss forces you to do unnecessary work, then you definitely know what work is for the sake of work.
However, if you are an entrepreneur, then your business is even worse.
You spend hours at the computer obediently “working,” but you do very little. You end each day with a feeling of fear that you have not done anything today. You can be buried under a pile of cases from your task list. Fear that tomorrow will come and bring even more work that you can’t do anything at all.
In the meantime, deep down, you say that you are not working at 100% efficiency. You know that you spend time secretly on Facebook and Reddit, reply to mail, and do things that are loosely connected with your business. You spend hours at the computer, but make almost no progress on things you should, even if you work longer than usual.
How to solve this problem? How can you become more productive by focusing more and doing more tasks in less time?
My answer: workplace popcorn.
How it works
Create a to-do list for one day
List of everything you need to do today. Try to be more specific. Be sure that each entry in the list represents a specific action, not a vague idea.
At the end of the day, you can return to the list again and say, “Yes, I did it,” or “No, I did not.” If you are not ready to answer calmly Yes or No, then you have prepared an insufficiently specific to-do list.
Here is an example of tasks that you should not add to your to-do list:
-Make some tasks
-Make progress in sports
-Start writing a blog post
All these tasks are wrong. You cannot tell whether you made them or not.
Here's what you can plan in return:
A good example
-Write a post of at least 800 words about my new productive technique and send it to Joanna
-Write instructions for creating an Incredible List (no less than 2,000 words) and send it to Joanna for editing
-Write a mini-guide on the FPC Protocol
I can say “Yes” or “No” to complete each of these tasks by the end of the day.
The great tool for this piece of technology that I use is the Any.do service. Of course you can just use a regular notepad. This also works well.
Break this to-do list into three equal parts
The next thing to do is split the to-do list into three equal parts. These parts should be equal depending on how much time you spend on them. If you are not sure about the timing of this or that task, then just take a look at the eye. This is normal, so don’t worry.
-Task 1 (1 hour)
-Task 2 (45 minutes)
-Task 3 (45 minutes)
Total time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
-Task 1 (1 hour)
-Task 2 (30 minutes)
- Task 3 (1 hour)
Total time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
-Task 1 (30 minutes)
-Task 2 (45 minutes)
-Task 3 (45 minutes)
Total time: 2 hours
Find three places where you will be work
Whenever I come to a new city, the first thing I look for is new coffee houses.
Now I have a few favorites that I prefer to work in. They meet the following criteria:
-Good coffee -Location
-Stores and WiFi
Similar places are easy to find.
Choose a time. Check out Yelp, Google Maps, and Urbanspoon or just walk around to find new places. Find three different places to work outside your home.
You can find more places later, but right now there are only three.
If you work at home, then choose a place where you will only work. Resist the temptation to work in bed or on the couch. It is very comfortable and tempting there, but your work there will tend to zero.
Now you have done all this work, which was quite simple. Here are the following two steps:
Step 1: Go to cafe # 1
Step 2: Start working there on affairs from group No. 1
Important: Only focus on matters from group No. 1. Try to forget about all the other things on your sheet. Only these matters, and nothing more.
Once you have finished these things, get up and go. Close the laptop, pack up and go to the next place. If you can, then walk or bike to the next stop. Avoid cars if you can. Physical activity is very important.
Use time to practice your Zen, tear yourself away from the computer, feel the pleasant moments in your day. Keep your phone in your pocket and move around. Stay away from work for 30 minutes. All that you did, forget in the place where you just were.
Option: Turn on your iPod while you are moving to get around 1.5 times faster.
When you come to the next cafe, start the next group of activities and repeat.
Do this until your to-do list ends.
When everything is done in your sheet for the day, then finish the job. Relax and live a full life. Do not take up work at home, because it does not help to do more - it just exhausts you.
Since I started working on this technique, I have increased my productivity.
A few intentional (and unintentional) consequences:
I work less hours
I do more in less time. Instead of working at home and always being available, I do more and finish my work sooner. I also do not bring my work home.
I do more
Of course, these are not unintended consequences (this was the goal), but using this system, I write one or two posts a week and write other not so important posts in the amount of six pieces a week on my projects, which is a significant result for me.
I will explore more places.
When you look for three new places every day, you will soon find out the whole city. You certainly won’t do this by working at home.
I sleep better
This is very strange, but I really began to sleep better. Before that, I often woke up at night, worried about things that I did not have time to do, I planned the next day. The current strategy gives me a feeling of satisfaction and completeness at the end of each day, which allows me to relax. Whenever I start thinking about tasks, I understand that it will be tomorrow and I just write down ideas and remind myself that the time will come for work.
I don't waste time
With this crazy focus on three things in one place, I don't spin like a squirrel in a wheel anymore. I force myself to sit down and start work, because I know what I have to do. When I finish my tasks, I get up and go. I am not starting to check Facebook, watch news sites, or other places of a waste of time. When I work, I work.
Bonuses to work
Now I have to move every two hours and I realized that I move more generally. So I forced myself to walk and ride a bike, doing a standard amount of work, which ensures my growth. These are constant exercises. Well, since I start and finish work at a certain time, in fact I get much more free time before and after my work day.
I realized that the most difficult part is to decide what to do.
Still, these rules showed me again that work, as a rule, is not so difficult. Decide to work hard. It's even harder to focus on something. Super-productivity hack - just decide what to do. This is a good way to get into the workflow.
How to make it your own
A few notes:
-Usually you can choose to do more or less tasks in a cafe. The idea is to divide tasks into different categories that take approximately the same time. Three is usually good, because these are just three tasks for you that are hard to miss.
-Email is not an important task. You cannot add it to the list of tasks. You can do this at the end of the day when other tasks are completed.
“Work is a signal, Email is noise.
-If you need more time to complete the task, then use the "Focus Oreo". The Oreo Focus consists of two short sessions. Try this idea when solving your problems.
-If you want to be really tough, then do not use a laptop charger for one of the sessions. This is an artificial limitation that will allow you to do more until your computer shuts down. Good luck
-Try the Tomato technique, which turns on work in 25-minute iterations. You can combine this technique with super-productivity.
-Post on productivity will not be a post on productivity without mentioning music for productivity. Listen to what inspires you.
It's all. Plan your daily tasks and do them. Try it and let me know how it works!