Newsletter – November – The bliss of productivity

Written by Matteo Cassese

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Being fully organized. Completely in control. Feeling confident that you’re always doing the right thing. Enjoying longer stretches of focused & uninterrupted time. Feeling productive. Enjoying the satisfaction of getting stuff done.

That’s how you should always feel.

And here are my top 7 tips to get there as fast as possible:

Exercise before you work: an intense hour at the gym is great, but even a 10 minute walk does wonders to your productivity. Do something with your body before you place yourself in front of the computer for an entire day.

Disable all email notifications: do it now. Do it on your computer. Do it on your phone. Repeat it on your ipad. Then close all email programs. [I know, you won’t read the end of this newsletter. Too bad for me, great for you!]

The Pomodoro Technique: slice your time to make the most of it. Divide your day in 25 minutes slots of focused work. Then force pauses in between to relax. Rinse and repeat.

Don’t break the chain: set a daily goal, each time you reach that goal mark the day on your calendar with a big “X”. Then strive not to break the sequence of big Xs day after day. Jerry Seinfeld applies this, and he’s tremendously successful.

Mind-mapping: some ideas are dangerous, because they produce a waterfall of other ideas. Some projects feel overwhelming because of the amount of action and decision that they require. What to do? Adopt a mind mapping tool. Start from a core idea and branch out. You’ll see everything with clarity.

Kanban: are you in the middle of a big project and don’t see progress? Try to lay out all the to dos, doing and done tasks on a Kanban board.

Getting Things Done or GTD: this is the holy grail of personal productivity. And it’s not an easy technique. I’ve been GTDing for more than 10 years now and I would have a panic attack if I didn’t have such a great framework on my side. To adopt it you need to read a book. The good news is that the book has been rewritten from the ground up just a few years ago and couldn’t be more current.

My wish today is for you to adopt just one of these techniques. What will it be? Chose one now, or get some more inspiration from the links below.

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The Pomodoro Technique®

Simple, yet powerful. Discover this technique through the words of its inventor.

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Don`t break the chain, made easy!

Simple printable calendar to keep track and visualize your chain. Don’t break it tough!

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XMind: Mindmapping software

This is the (free) tool that I use to capture ideas into mindmaps.

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Kanban & Trello are best friends. Here’s a board ready for you to use.

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Intro to Kanban in Under 5 Minutes

Just what it says on the tin: a quick and easy intro to Kanban.

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Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

The book that started a movement and changed a lot of lives. Including my own.

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The Art of Stress-Free Productivity: David Allen at TEDx

A short talk that will provide you with the GTD mentality in a nutshell.


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