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10 Life Hacks for Better Productivity

10 productivity tips and techniques that I've learned over the course of my career

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10 Life Hacks for Better Productivity

  1. 1. 10 Life Hacks For Better Productivity Simon Guest
  2. 2. Introduction • For most of us, time is our most precious commodity • Yet, most of us, don't use it well. • Consume vs. create mentality • We're busy, but we're not productive • Top ten things that have helped me become more productive over my career
  3. 3. 10. Where is Your Time Going? • Analyze your calendar - pie chart of your time • Use RescueTime or similar tool • How much time doing work vs. Facebook?
  4. 4. 9. Implement Methodology • Most people do not have a system for managing their workload • Many people still carry everything in their head • Learn methodology such as GTD (Getting Things Done) from David Allen • 10 minutes to clear your head
  5. 5. 9. Implement Methodology • Everything has a project, context, and if applicable, timeline • For example, "Speak to Jake about presentation" #PragueVisit @jake !fri • Filter • What do I need to do for my visit to Prague? • What do I need to speak to Jake about? • What do I need to do before the end of the week?
  6. 6. 8. Use a Tool to Help • Many different task lists around • Experiment with the ones that work with you • The most important things is that you trust it • My favorite is Todoist • (but I've used EverNote, TaskPaper, Outlook)
  7. 7. 7. Don't Stop at Desktop App • The best ideas come at some really random times • Shower, in bed, at grocery store, etc. • Pen and paper by the bed • I thought of this presentation at 5.20am on Sunday! • Use todoist on phone (or email/call myself) when I'm on the road • Key is to get it into your system reliably
  8. 8. 6. Apply Agile Principles to Your Work Week • Weekly sprint to plan week • Daily "standup" to check task list • Regular backlog refinement • Whenever I feel things are out of control
  9. 9. 5. Learn to Delegate • If there is nothing to learn, and your participation is non critical, delegate • Not direct order, but maybe an opportunity for someone more junior to learn? • Delegate using SMART technique • Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely
  10. 10. 4. Shortcut Everything • What are your mundane tasks? • Seconds add up to hours lost • Common tools are so powerful, but underused most of the time • You can script most of the things that you commonly do • Learn keyboard shortcuts for everything • Especially those who use IDEs!
  11. 11. 4. Shortcut Everything • How quick can you: • Set a timer? • Find someone in the GAL and send them an email? • Look up a previous order from Amazon? • Create a calendar appointment for next Friday? • Subsitute text in an email
  12. 12. 3. Structure Your Day • When do you work your best? Morning or Afternoon? • Structure the day accordingly, block time for focused work • Dedicated time for catching up with news/email/slack • Then shut off all notifications while you work • For creative/development time, make sure you take breaks • Pomodoro Technique
  13. 13. 2. What's Your Hourly Rate? • Set yourself an hourly rate based on your income level • For example, $25 per hour • Would you pay $100 to attend that 4 hour meeting?
  14. 14. 1. Mind/Body Connection • The mind cannot function effectively without good health • Sleep: Minimum of 8 hours • Exercise: Every other day • Food: Diet that improves your mental performance • Don't be frightened to prioritize your health • Avoid the mindset that 80 hour work week makes you a hero
  15. 15. Top Ten Again • 10. Where is Your Time Going? • 9. Implement Methodology • 8. Use a Tool to Help • 7. Don't Stop at Desktop App • 6. Apply Agile Principles to Your Day
  16. 16. Top Ten Again • 5. Learn to Delegate • 4. Shortcut Everything • 3. Structure Your day • 2. What's Your Hourly Rate? • 1. Mind/Body Connection
  17. 17. Thank you!