May 5, 2022
Being productive is much, much simpler than most people think it is.
There’s so much information on productivity out there, that it’s undoubtedly overwhelming.
I know because I’ve consumed tons of it over the last few years. I’ve also tried many different tools and softwares. It wasn’t too long ago where I would obsess over tools, often switching to a new one the moment I heard about them. Name the tool, and I’ve tried it.
Talk about being productive...
Of course, there are lots of great tools and mothodologies to (supposedly) improve productivity, but I’m now convinced most people are significantly overcomplicating it...
Over the last year I’ve taken a few steps back (🤔 more than a few), and simplified my approach down to only two fundamental rules that I’ve followed to secure a productive day.
And trust me... the software or system you use does NOT matter.
1. Non-Reactive Mornings
Focus on the proactive, not reactive. Reactive activators include email, phone and people.
In other words, during your morning, don’t let external forces dictate how you spend your time. Make your mornings dedicated focus sessions.
Every morning, clarify the most important 2-4 items that would actually push things forward, and ONLY focus on that. I also put my computer on Do Not Disturb (which I quickly decided to leave on, forever).
THEN... after midday you can check your email, have meetings, and entertain all the things that will cause you to respond and react.
Mornings = Proactive
Afternoons = Reactive
By the time the afternoon rolls around, you’ve already pushed forward the things that actually matter, and you can expect less of yourself in the afternoon. To be reactive and proactive simultaneously is just not a realistic expectation.
"My life is better when I'm spontaneous AFTER I've done my most important thing” -Gary Keller
2. Simple To Do List
Move your daily checklist out of your project management system.
I use Notion.so as my project management system... BUT, I don’t live in there — I only review it once right before I begin my morning focus session so that I can clarify my 2-4 to do’s.
I then extract these 2-4 things on to a simple to do list (I most often use iCloud Notes), where all that is visible is my clarified to do list for the morning.
Why? Because there’s too much going on in my project management system (and likely yours too), which it self is a distraction. You only want to see the 2-4 clarified to do’s during your focus session. This is ALL that matters during this time.
Following these two simple rules have been fundamental to my increased productivity and simpler schedule.
"Big can be beautiful. But it is simple that is always beautiful" -Richard Koch
Go ahead & try it:
- Block off your next available morning and create a single calendar event called Focus Session
- When the morning comes, eliminate all reactive activators
- Review your active projects and clarify the 2-4 important things that you’ll push forward
- Get shit done
- Let the afternoon flow with little to no expectations
If you’re curious to know more about my morning routine and Daily Gameplan Template, click here.
If you have a system that’s consistently allowed you to be productive, please share it with me.
See you all next Thursday 👋
PS. Whenever you're ready... Here are three more ways I can help you become your most productive self:
- Access my Free Notion Task Manager → Get Access
- Get my Notion Personal OS to manage your business & personal life → Learn More
- If you need help mapping, creating & optimizing your systems → Work With Me
More recent posts ⤵️
Delivering high-impact tips every Thursday
Every Thursday, get 1 actionable tip on systems & productivity: