Adventures in Productivity

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Tips I've learned from some great books and tools on how to be productive in the new work environment.

Text of Adventures in Productivity

Adventures in productivity

Adventures in productivityEric J. Gruber1Workers are busier these days 2.8 percent increase in productivity4.0 percent increase in output1.1 percent more hours

This gain in productivity from the same quarter a year ago was the largest since output per hour increased 6.1 percent over the four-quarter period ending in the first quarter of 2002.

- June 3, 2010, Productivity and Costs, First Quarter 2010, Revised, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics2 and some are getting outMore U.S. workers quit their jobs than were laid off in March a sign of employees' growing confidence that more positions are becoming available in a slowly recovering job market.- May 12, 2010, More Workers Quit Than Were Laid Off in March, The Wall Street Journal

A lead culprit for workers' plans to move on? The lingering effects of cost-cutting and downsizing. A workforce that's lived with higher workloads and no corresponding rise in wages is an unhappy one.- May 25, 2010, Employers, prepare for IT worker exodus, InfoWorld3Ruh Roh

4Time for real productivity helpersNot goodGood

5E-mail6Your inbox is a bottleneckTime and attention are finite.Process to zero =>

Inbox Zero video: Zero presentation:

7Your inbox is a timewaster1. Turn off audible/visual alerts and automatic send/receive.2. Check e-mail twice per day, once at noon or prior to lunch and again at 4 p.m. (And, dont check e-mail first thing in the morning.)3. Create an autoresponser informing others you are busy and that you will check e-mail at specific times.- 2009, Step II: E is for Elimination, The Four-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris8Your inbox is a timewasterSample autoresponder:Because of a heavy workload today, I will only be checking e-mail at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.If you have an emergency, please call (785) 555-5555.

While this autoresponder is on, consider shutting off e-mail entirely.

9Meetings10Meetings are toxicTheyre usually about words and abstract concepts, not real things.They usually convey an abysmally small amount of information per minute.They easily drift off-subject easier than a Chicago cab in a snowstorm.They require thorough preparation that most people dont have time for.They frequently have agendas so vague that nobody is really sure of the goal.They often include at least one moron who inevitably gets his turn to waste everyones time with nonsense. Meetings procreate. One meeting leads to another meeting leads to another

2010, Productivity, Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson 11Meetings are expensiveWhen you think about it, the true cost of meetings is staggering. Lets say youre going to schedule a meeting that lasts one hour, and you invite 10 people to attend. Thats actually a 10-hour meeting, not a one-hour meeting. Youre trading 10 hours of productivity for one hour meeting of time.2010, Productivity, Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson 12Rules for meetingsSet a timer. When it rings, meetings over. Period.Invite as few people as possible.Always have a clear agenda.Begin with a specific problem.

Time is money.No, seriously. This is the Bring TIM meeting clock, available at 2010, Productivity, Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson 13Projects14Creative people can be chaotic

Especially in creative industries, [designers] are probably some of the most disorganized teams and individuals on the planet.

- Scott Belsky, CEO of Behance, March 3, 2009, VentureBeatThink happy organization thoughts.15Keep short deadlinesWork expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.- Parkinsons Law, by Cyril Northcote Parksinson, British naval historian and author16Focus on the importantRoughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.Vilfredo Pareto, Italian economist

Which 20% of sources are causing 80% of your problems and unhappiness?Which 20% of sources are resulting in 80% of your desired outcomes and happiness?- 2009, Step II: E is for Elimination, The Four-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris17MULTITASKING IS DEAD you should have, at most two primary goals or tasks per day. Do them separately from start to finish without distraction.- 2009, Step II: E is for Elimination, The Four-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris

Long lists are guilt trips. The longer the list of unfinished items, the worse you feel about it. At at a certain point, you just stop looking at it because it makes you feel bad. Then you stress out and the whole thing turns into a big mess.- 2010, Productivity, Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson 18Get organizedCreativity X Organization = Impact100 X 0 = 0Loads of ideas, but highly disorganized.

50 X 2 = 100Less creative but because of stellar organization skills will make a greater impact than the disorganized geniuses among us.

- 2010, The Competitive Advantage of Organization, Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky19Resources20BooksToolsThe Four-Hour Workweek by Tim FerrisMaking Ideas Happen by Scott BelskyThe Pomodoro Technique by Francesco CirilloRework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier HanssonAction Method: Basecamp: Bring TIM meeting clock: http://www.bringtim.comInbox Zero video: