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Appster

Founder’s Productivity Blueprint
Appster Whitepaper

Table of Contents

Motivation and Passion

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Persistence and Discipline
Focused Mind

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Personal Energy
Efficiency

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Task Management

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Team Productivity
References

Motivation and Passion

1.

When you work hard at something you become good at it.and as laws physics suggest .if you burn your limited resources faster you will eventually burn out. "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.persistence and discipline. follow your effort. to get from point A to B you need something more reliable . • While motivation is a good thing. • Accomplishing something big. can you use the same motivation for 66 days in a row? • Motivation is really a temporarily heightened level of energy . consistent effort which requires a change in your daily behaviours and routines. there is a very good chance you will become passionate or more passionate about it. good things happen. Usually more than 1 thing.Motivation & Passion The Value of Motivation. When you enjoy doing something. • 4.   “Follow Your Passion” is easily the worst advice you could ever give or get.a billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban offers an alternate view: • “What a bunch of BS. . whether it’s building a startup or transforming your body requires long-term. When you become good at doing something. the assumption that it is a core ingredient to success is devastatingly wrong.” Thomas Edison 2. passionate and work even harder to excel and be the best at it. • Another popular belief is ‘just follow your passion’ . It will lead you to your passions and to success. Why ? Because everyone is passionate about something. you will enjoy it more. Follow Your Effort” he argues that the real passion comes with effort: • 1. • 2. • Don’t follow your passions. • Studies show that it takes 66 days for new behaviour to become a habit . • While motivation is situational and a great way to get started. When you are good at something. Inspiration & Passion • The popular belief is that if you want to get something done you need to get motivated. Think about all those passions … How many were/are there ?” • In his blog post “Don't Follow Your Passion. however you define it. • 3.so ask yourself.

2 Time / Execution e n i l p i isc i s r e P + e c n e t s D 3 4 3. most people quit here. . Discipline & Persistence New Idea Motivation is Great to Get You Started When we get new ideas we get pumped up . BURNOUT Motivation / Excitement • Discipline and Persistence Get You Further • Discipline and persistence is what gets you from point A to point B when the motivation is gone .this kind of motivation is highest at the beginning but like a fire it burns out fast once you face the challenges of execution.and once you start to see results the the real passion and motivation build up. Most Projects Fail Here • 1 Once the initial motivation is gone.Motivation & Passion vs.

• Numerous studies confirmed that reading these statements daily can strengthen your willpower to keep going. • E. • A recent study Cresswell et al. • When deciding what projects or ideas to pursue take other important factors in account . What Mark Cuban wanted to say is that following your passion alone is not enough to make you successful. improve your problem-solving skills and help you perform better under the stress. It came down to the idea that thinking about core values puts our minds into an abstract.Motivation & Passion Use What Motivates You to Boost Your Persistence • While motivation alone isn’t enough to make you successful. 4. 3d movies.a great guidance on this is the diagram above. it’s great to get you started and provide an extra push to get you started.g Steve Jobs loved design (passion). • A great way to stay on track is to clearly write down what are your main motivations. Putting your mind into abstract thinking mode has proved to boost self-control by number of experiments. passion and whatever has the highest monetization potential. high-level mode. whether it was personal computing. (2013) tested whether a simple self-affirmation exercise would have a beneficial effect on problem-solving under stress. In two more experiments the researchers asked why self-affirmation seems to have this beneficial effect on depleted self-control. • This combination is what usually set top entrepreneurs and high achievers from the rest. .the group carrying out the self-affirmations perform much better than the rest. as seeing your goals daily will help to make your actions aligned with your values. particularly for individuals who have been stressed recently . what are your goals and why are you doing what you’re doing. mp3 players or mobile. • The sweet spot is the combination of your skills. In the study the participants using a list of their core values as self-affirmations recovered their self-control levels much faster than the rest of the group. Skills What can you be best at? IDEAL PASSION What do you love doing? MONEY What can you get paid for? Don’t Follow Passion Alone • Being passionate about your work is indeed important. • • • • • Some studies confirmed that exercising self-control for longer period of time can seriously deplete your glucose levels and your willpower to keep going. • Schmeichel and Vohs (2009) wondered if self-affirmation could work the same wonders in the realms of self-control. he was a great product manager and marketer (skill) and always combined it with the hottest market at the time (money). • Then print it out and put it on the visible place … this can prevent the burnout.

Persistence and Discipline 5. .

it turned out that those with more self-control (who didn’t eat their marshmallow) were healthier. . • Intrigued by what qualities would most accurately predict outstanding achievement. a psychologist named Catherine Morris Cox published a study of 300 recognised geniuses.” • Duckworth was also suspicious of qualities like talent and intelligence as reliable predictors for remarkable achievement. • In the experiment children were given a marshmallow and scientists told them they could eat it now.” 1.” “I'm convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance” Steve Jobs 2. • After reading about the lives of hundreds historic geniuses. • She found that self-control is a great predictor of success.they gave up and ate it. The tendency not to abandon tasks in the face of obstacles. • All of the children wanted to wait. Not “looking for a change. • This experiment has been repeated over the last 40 years and the results show that self-control is better predictor of success than anything else including genetics. IQ or social background. Not seeking something because of novelty. tenacity. Harvard researcher Angela Duckworth decided to follow up on this. and scored higher on the SAT. beyond raw intelligence. The tendency not to abandon tasks from mere changeability. from Leonardo Da Vinci to Gottfried Leibniz to Mozart to Charles Darwin to Albert Einstein. more successful. but not the only important factor in predicting success at “extremely high-challenge achievement.Persistence & Discipline Self-Control & Persistence: The Ingredient to Success • In the late ’60s. (Who doesn’t want more treats?) But many couldn’t . Perseverance. Stanford psychologist Walter Mischel performed a now-iconic experiment called the Marshmallow Test. that predicted “greatness. • When the researchers checked in on these same children in high school. doggedness. less prone to addiction. Cox identified a host of qualities. and get two marshmallows.” 6. • Duckworth boiled these two characteristics down to a quality she called “grit. or wait 15 minutes. • And with good reason: Way back in 1926.

the key to grit is mindset. It was something or someone else’s fault. Dweck observed two different mindsets: • Fixed mindset: A belief that you either are talented or not. “It’s not my fault. It can be learned by practicing meditation and concentration exercises. • People with a growth mindset are more resilient to challenges related to their abilities and performance than those with a fixed mindset. • Once you start listening to your inner voice. • Stanford Department of Psychology professor Carol Dweck has done extensive research on the subject of grit which is defined as follows: • “Grit is the disposition to pursue very long-term goals with passion and perseverance. . to persist through those challenges you need grit. You learn and grow yourself and think long-term. but in order for it to work you must consistently take action to reinforce those beliefs. And I want to emphasize the stamina quality of grit.g. Intelligence and talent are just fixed traits. • 3. which voice you heed becomes your choice. 7. are at the root of whether some people become the best in their field while others languish.” • 2. As previously discussed.” • According to her research. Talk back to your fixed mindset voice: This is where self-affirmation technique comes handy . Failure is proof of your inability. Grit is sticking with things over the long term and then working very hard at it.e. Setbacks and criticism are a sign that you need to improve.you can recognise the most common thoughts that are holding you back and write counter-statements. Dweck's three decades of research suggest. • Growth mindset: A belief that abilities are developed. Take action: Over time. • These mindsets.Persistence & Discipline: Mindset Mindset: The Secret to Persistence • Entrepreneurship is a big endeavour that brings many challenges. • According to Dweck’s research growth mindset can be learned: • 1. Develop mindfulness: Mindfulness is ability to hear your inner thoughts. learn to recognise fixed mindset language .

this will work as a trigger for your brain.g. we perform them automatically without a need to force ourselves. • 2. if you want to perform some action such as daily workout or blog writing it’s best to focus on building a habit out of it than forcing yourself daily. • When trying get better at big picture stuff—like by getting more productive.the habit is so tiny you'll feel ridiculous for not getting it into your day.studies show that habits don't start feeling "automatic" until you've done them for about 66 days straight. you’re taking a huge bet. • By relying on willpower alone. creative we need to make the change as small as possible. despite best of intentions and ambition. • To build a habit Fogg shares his method called ‘tiny habits’ (above) • You can apply the same mechanics to a daily workout. Change of context • • 3. e. get a spot in an existing routine. Fogg of Stanford only 3 things can lead to long term behavioral change: • • 1. • In other words. healthy eating or day to day tasks that don’t come easy to you.J. • Lastly. as automatic behaviour often excludes the use of our willpower and our emotions. besides whenever we step out of our comfort zone our brains resist in order to protect us from unknown risk (this feature was very useful throughout the evolution) • One way to overcome this obstacle is to make the behaviour automatic. 8. but change of context and taking tiny steps are practical. • Habits are easier to do because like majority of our daily actions. • It turns out that one of the problems with relying on willpower is that you have a limited supply of it as confirmed by numerous experiments on this subject.Persistence & Discipline: Building Habits Building Habits: a Way to Hack Discipline • Startups like many other ambitious endeavours are a long-term commitment and long-term goals require great deal of discipline. • One way to stay disciplined is to rely on your willpower. However data suggest that this strategy may not take you far. • For example. . • Creating an epiphany is difficult. • B. running. Taking tiny steps to form new habits Once you pick something trivial. only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s goals. after brushing your teeth . keep repeating and slowly add workload . • Think about brushing your teeth. we don’t think about it much and in fact most people don’t even realise the act of doing it as we perform it habitually. Epiphany A good example is doing one pushup .

.Focused Mind 9.

000 adults during their day-to-day activities and found that 47% of the time. their minds were not focused on what they were currently doing. and took longer to complete a variety of focusing tasks analogous to multitasking than those self-rated as infrequent multitaskers. a co-author of the PNAS study. where you couldn’t call yourself productive if you weren’t a good multitasker. • These findings have demonstrated that when you shift focus from one task to another.Focused Mind Focus & Productivity • Many of us grew up in the age of multi-tasking. • Even more striking. • A recent article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) by three Stanford University researchers offers perhaps the most surprising result: those who consider themselves to be great multitaskers are in fact the worst multitaskers. they reported being less happy. • Instead. • In a recent interview with NPR.” • However." Alexander Graham Bell 10. working on a single task is not enough . states: ”The shocking discovery of this research is that [high multitaskers] are lousy at everything that's necessary for multitasking. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.today. though it feels instantaneous. there is a lag time during which your brain must yank itself from the initial task and then glom onto the new task. • A recent study by M. • The latest research however shows that this belief is devastatingly wrong. • Those who rated themselves as chronic multitaskers made more mistakes. Gilbert sampled over 2. . could remember fewer items. when their minds were wandering. takes time. Clifford Nass. • This shift. "Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. we live in the world of distraction and attaining focus is increasingly difficult. Killingsworth and D. • A summary of research examining multitasking on the American Psychological Association's web site describes how multitasking is neither effective nor efficient. that transition is neither fast nor smooth. up to 40% more time than single tasking -. In fact.especially for complex tasks.

Set your priorities and determine which tasks are truly vital and urgent that day. . • Ad Blockers: These browser extensions can be used to block banner ads and other obtrusive distractions. Recent neuroimaging studies show that daily meditation makes measurable changes in graymatter density in parts of the brain associated with willpower. memory and stress. • You can choose to ignore these distractions but doing so requires burning your limited willpower. OpenDNS. light the candle and focus on the flame only .Focused Mind: How to Attain it? Remove Distractions Train Your Concentration • If you're like most people. • Meditation apps: Meditation and relaxations apps can help you reduce anxiety. many of the distractions you face when trying to focus are self-imposed. 11am and 5pm. focus. functionally. In other words they work like muscles and just like muscles some part of our brain can be developed: • The best way to deal with distractions is to remove them altogether: • • • • • • • • • • Declutter your mind: Manage your distractions by simply blocking them.me allows you to set goals and build streaks in repeatedly accomplishing them. • An app called iDoneThis or Google Docs is a simple way to start. Practice regularly. and train your ability to focus. youtube. urge surfing is a powerful mental technique developed to help you overcome cravings and urges. feel better. • Social media. you can use apps to limit access to Facebook or Twitter to certain time. • Some can be set to limit the use of some websites to certain time periods. Take a candle. messy desk. • Habit forming apps: For example coach. which are not. • Brain training apps: Brain training apps such as Lumosity or Memorado are a popular way to train your brain. You can choose programs to boost your problemsolving skills. K9 Security contain features to block certain types of websites e. • To start. • You can even hire a text based coach for a small weekly fee. advertising. • • 2. Create a to-do-not list: “Not-to-do” lists are often more effective than to-do lists for upgrading performance. • 3.plasticity is the ability of the brain to change physically. Clear visual clutter: Clear your desk. social networks etc.ingoing all other thoughts. timer. and chemically throughout life.g. Our brains are plastic . Useful Apps • Like with many things you can use technology to help you out: • Web Blockers: Apps like Self-Control. Also. and especially your notes. shortcuts and programs.a good hack is to create an auto-responder getting people know you will be checking email at e. media streaming. The reason is simple: what you don’t do determines what you can do. Kill notifications: Turn of notifications and respond to emails only once or twice a day . concentration etc.g. clear your desktop or start screen from unnecessary files. try this simple exercise: • 1. ability to focus. while trying to achieve as few marks as possible • Journal: Keeping a daily journal helps you review your daily actions and stay on the track. useless chat. before your workday begins. • Instead you can acknowledge them and they will eventually pass. notifications. Meditation: Meditation is to your brain what weight lifting is to your muscles. Everytime you divert your focus or thoughts make a mark on the paper. Set the timer to 10 min. dedicate a few minutes to managing your schedule. It’s a proven fact that if you try to fight urges they get stronger. Prepare your schedule: In the morning. • 4. Like waves. pen and paper. • Urge Surfing: Similar to meditation. with you being the surfer. meaningless news etc. 11. • The theory is that urges come in waves.

the mind doesn’t have to wonder about what to do next . • In 1970s. . we stop paying attention. • The idea behind this trigger is that attention is most engaged. • In studies run by the U. Creativity gets a 7x boost. and the challenge/skills ratio as the most critical. • Immediate feedback. When goals are clear. Action and awareness merge. immediate feedback.it already knows. immediate feedback tells us how to do it better. • In flow. and we’re pulled even deeper into now. tell us where and when to put our attention. • Thus. 12. • The challenge/skills. immediate feedback is something of an extension of clear goals. 500% more productive in flow. • To find a flow you need to create an environment with right conditions / triggers. for example. we get demotivated. pioneering flow researcher Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi identified clear goals. snipers in flow learned between 200-500% faster than normal. executives and artists. we are so focused on the task at hand that everything else falls away. • Clear goals tell us what we’re doing. Time flies. • Clear goals. Action and awareness start to merge.when the challenge is firmly within the boundaries of known skills: • 150 years of research backs up such claims . If the challenge is too easy.” a peak state where we feel our best and perform our best. military.S. and extraneous information gets filtered out.a 10-year McKinsey study. All aspects of performance go through the roof. • While attaining such state is highly desired by many athletes. is another psychological trigger. As a focusing mechanism.Focused Mind: Finding Flow Flow: The Optimal Experience • Researchers define flow as an “optimal state of consciousness. Self vanishes. And this list goes on. when there’s a specific relationship between the difficulty of a task and our ability to perform that task. motivation heightens. • This sweet spot keeps attention locked in the middle .e. found top executives are 5 times i. concentration tightens. is arguably the most important. finding it is no easy task. • If the challenge is too great.

Personal Energy 13. .

fatigue and lower concentration. • The following page describes most basic ways of boosting your energy levels: "Be relentless. • One important factor to consider is that brain uses a lot of energy (around 30%).” Steve Blank 14. • Some symptoms of dehydration are headaches.Personal Energy Focus on the Basics • Being an entrepreneur requires to work harder. • Coping with all that is easier if you have a full tank and keep your personal energy levels high. the lack of energy can be caused by multiple factors . • A good way to start is to visit your doctor and get a complete blood test. • As written in previous chapters. longer and better than most of your peers.type of metabolism. • In terms of nutrition. exercise and sleep. vitamin and micronutrient deficiency or even more serious such as diabetes or low testosterone. before taking any steps. psychologically and physically draining. . with constant stress and distractions you can burn a lot of it inefficiently. • Another common reason is dehydration: Studies show that more than 75% of US population are dehydrated. brain training and managing your distractions not only improves your focus but also optimizes the way use it. persistent and tenacious. without realizing it. • The basics of improving one’s energy levels lie in the basics such as nutrition. sugar sensitivity. • Startups can also be emotionally.

Other supplements such as amino acids or creatine. Thus a 10-15 minute nap can genuinely restart your body and provide you with more energy than a cup of coffee. What works for one may not work for another. However. most people fail to exercise daily. If you wake up in a light sleep phase you’re more energized. then your body adapts. pasta. mostly because it takes time and effort. After that you typically get your energy levels back. Not only do we go through our day in series of cycles. The way it works is that you enter a deep sleep phase when your body recharges and then you start getting into lighter sleep while your body prepares itself for waking up. 15. talk to your doctor. B6 and Magnesium can boost your energy and testosterone levels especially if you’re deficient (very common among men in particular) When you quit coffee you may experience some withdrawal effects for about 4 days (headache.Personal Energy Experiment With Your Diet Sleep Napping Everyone has different metabolism and there is ideal diet for all. despite the popular claims. There are numerous apps and devices that track your sleep cycle and determine the best paterns the popular choice is ‘Sleep Cycle’ app: Quit Drinking Coffee Exercise Supplements Coffee is an excellent stimulant – for a while. as your body have flushed away your sleep hormones and prepared itself to wake up. . Coffee also messes up with your sleep – a basic element of healthy lifestyle. but without coffee and with improved sleep. fatigue) To build a routine follow Tiny Habits described in previous chapters. When we fall asleep our brain flushes them away and you basically get a reboot. Before you decide to take any supplements.g try vegetarian or paleo for a month and make a conclusion. Supplements such as Zinc. The best way to implement exercise into your everyday life is to make it a routine. That means you end up having same energy as before but you need a cup of coffee to get it.g. used by top performance athletes are safe addition to healthy diet. bread) leads to an insulin spike and energy crash. For many people however eating sugar and starchy foods (e. potatoes. Throughout the day your brain accumulates toxins – these toxins are a reason why we experience fatigue and difficulties to focus after some time of performing work or studying. we also sleep in cycles.exercise can build up your strength and increase your energy levels. while eating fat and protein rich foods leads to more consistent energy release. This is a no-brainer . E. Since food is to your body what a fuel is to an engine the best thing to do is to try different kinds of diets and observe.

Efficiency 16. .

although in reality it may by 90/10 or 95/5. 80% of the results come from 20% of the actions . Result=2. • If you have trouble prioritizing your tasks. prioritize each item by the amount of effort required (1 to 10. an Italian economist. discovered that 80% of the wealth of his time was generated by 20% of the people and that 20% of the pea pods in his garden contained 80% of the peas. Priority=1 ‣ Task 3: Call current customer about referral. you ensure you do those important low-effort tasks that make up 80% of your success. Task 2 second. in sales. Now divide the potential results by the amount of effort to get a "priority" ranking. the Inc. and Task 1 last–if at all.find out what brings you the most results and delegate.1 • See your new priority-based order? You do Task 3 first. As an entrepreneur you need to budget your time and actions wisely . • By being able to do the right tasks. • Pareto. • Effort=1. • This way. .) • In other words. with 10 being the highest impact. ‣ Effort=4. he discovered something profound: it is the little things that account for the majority of results. typically 80% of revenue comes from 20% of the sales team. Priority=5 ‣ Task 2: Prepare presentation for marketing. you will avoid wasting time on things that don’t matter. suggests another strategy: • In what later became known as Pareto’s principle. When you make a "to do" list. Result=4. • Harvard Business Review suggests writing down your top six priorities of the day— and then crossing out the bottom five. outsource or give up the rest.Efficiency: Pareto Principle Pareto Principle (20/80 Rule) How to Apply it? • One habit that high achieving entrepreneurs have is the ability to focus on the tasks that will give them the greatest benefits. Do the items with the lowest resulting priority number first. ‣ Effort=10. 20% effort 80% Results ‣ Task 1: Write report on trip meeting. 17. Result=10. Priority=0. • You can use the 80/20 rule to cut out or delegate categories of tasks or focus on individual tasks in your to-so list. • Here's a simple example: • • • • For example 90% of Warren Buffet's wealth is from just ten investments and. with 1 being the least amount of effort) and the potential positive results (1 to 10.

schedule your breaks for low performance times and try to maximize the peak times for work. • Recently an elementary school in the UK divided it’s pupils in 2 groups and adapted their schedule. • The result was higher alertness and 45% improvement in grades. allowing night owls to start their day later. 18.Efficiency: Biorhythms Circadian and Ultradian Biorhythms • Throughout the 24 hour period our bodies are governed by Circadian Rhythm. focus and mood on the scale of 1-3 for a week: • Then put it in chart to find out your peak performance and low energy times throughout the day. • This is genetically given and there are 2 categories of people: those who are most easily stimulated in the mornings and before noon (early risers) and those who are most easily stimulated in the afternoon and evenings (night owls). • The best way to learn about your biorhythms is to track them. plan your day accordingly e. start by grade your energy. .g. • In addition to 24 hour circadian rhythms our bodies are governed by Ultradian Rhythms – 90-120 minute periods that start with higher alertness and finish with lowered energy. • Once you defined your daily biorhythm.

• Cirillo named the system "Pomodoro" after the tomato-shaped timer he used to track his work as a university student. entrepeneur. Every 4 Pomodoros take a longer break 19. which makes sure you're consistently productive. and you actually get a lot accomplished. . • Repeat that process a few times over the course of a workday. • The Pomodoro Technique is probably one of the simplest productivity methods to implement. or you have to postpone the distraction until the pomodoro is complete.you work in short sprints . Work on the task until the Pomodoro rings. • You also get to take regular breaks that bolster your motivation and keep you creative. meeting. • The methodology is simple: When faced with any large task or series of tasks. Set the Pomodoro to 25 minutes (the Pomodoro is the timer) • 3. then put a check on your sheet of paper That "longer break" is usually on the order of 15-30 minutes. or emergency. Take a short break (5 minutes is OK) 5. you either have to end the pomodoro there (saving your work and starting a new one later). 2. whatever it takes to make you feel recharged and ready to start another 25-minute work session. All you'll need is a timer: 1. • It's important to note that a pomodoro is an indivisible unit of work—that means if you're distracted part-way by a coworker. Choose a task to be accomplished. timed intervals (called "Pomodoros") that are spaced out by short breaks. • It is a cyclical system . • With time it can even help improve your attention span and concentration . and author Francesco Cirillo.Efficiency: Pomodoro Technique Pomodoro Technique: Simple Productivity System • The Pomodoro Technique was invented in the early 90s by developer. 4. break the work down into short. • This trains your brain to focus for short periods and helps you stay on top of deadlines or constantly-refilling inboxes.

Task Management 20. .

. • That's why it's important to research different methods of managing your tasks to find what works for you. • The following pages provide an overview of the most popular task management methods: ‣ The "Grocery List” ‣ The Text Editor Method ‣ Getting Things Done ‣ The Kanban Method ‣ Rows. • But choosing the app is only one aspect of setting up your task-management system as there are numerous methods to choose from.” Marcus Aurelius 21.Task Management Choosing the Right To-Do Method • There are so many things you need to do. there's no one-size-fits-all . Columns n' Sheets "The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious. • When it comes different methods. and so many ways to keep track of those to-dos. • Search the App Store for "todo list" and you'll find thousands of tools that all promise to help you increase your productivity and get more done.some methods will fit you perfectly while other may never work no matter how hard you try.

is by far the most popular task management method. .Task Management Methods The Grocery List • The "Grocery List" method. • It's the way you'll likely organize tasks without even thinking about it. Two of the more popular are Todo. • When using Todo. To create different lists. just create a new text file.txt application for iPhone. • These can be arranged by priority and can be tagged with its corresponding project.txt on your computer. most have the ability to set a due date and some (namely. it's that easy. making for an easier to read and more enjoyable experience. you can link your text file to a supported Todo. you need a more complex solution.txt. • This method may not be practical for everyone . or just organizing tasks in simple lists.if you need to manage small tasks within larger tasks or like being able to track the progress of a task or project. 22. • There are many different methods of using a text editor to manage tasks. you can create singleline tasks within a text file. It puts all tasks and their respective due dates front-and-center with no fluff. • For instance. With Todo. Apple's Reminders app) can set reminders for tasks using a device's location.txt and Today. • Grocery List apps often have some essential organization features to go along with the bare tasks.txt. • There are so many Grocery List-style to-do apps that you'll find a lot of variety in the design of the app. • Text editors give you the freedom to manage tasks how you'd like and be free of the visual distractions of a Grocery List app. The Text Editor Method • Using text editors for task management has been around for quite some time. • Today.txt is even simpler than Todo.txt: it's a three line paragraph stressing one task.

• Most standard GTD apps have note taking and file-drop capabilities .Task Management Methods Getting Things Done (GTD) • This method of task management. ensuring you won't forget any small details and giving you a one-stopshop for your task's resources.this is very useful when starting a project as you can attach all of your ideas and related files to the task. and with any data related to that task attached as a note. 23. something great for running errands. . is simply a powerful way of using lists and details to manage your tasks. apps like OmniFocus let you attach location data to tasks. popularized by the book with the same name. • The basic idea with GTD is that you can get everything out of your head and into your todo list app. making for a seamless on-the-go task management experience. • It’s a lot of stuff in each tasks to make sure you won’t have to juggle anything in your head and can focus on what you’re doing. • Additionally. organized in lists of related tasks with each task tagged (or categorized) according to the place or context in which you’ll do the task. many GTD apps—including OmniFocus—have created great mobile apps that sync with their desktop counterparts. time management tools and more built in. • Apps based on this method may look similar to standard grocery list-style apps. but they'll also have sub-lists. and for good reason: creating tasks and adding additional criteria can be tough when typing on a smartphone keyboard. • However. • GTD applications are generally desktop-focused.

each with columns to keep track of data that makes sense for each. doing. you can use Google Sheet to make a no-frills group task management system. they're an especially great way to manage a ton of projects and tasks. Kanban can still fit your workflow. • If you prefer tracking tasks digitally. • If you're working in a team. • To start. an actual card) to signal steps in their manufacturing process.e. • And since Google Sheets has a built-in chat client. split your white board into three sections: to do. move them to their new spots on the cork board to track them.” Toyota line-workers used a kanban (i. and done. or any other differentiator. • When using a spreadsheet. Apps like Trello and Leankit all use the Kanban method to manage tasks in the cloud. • Due to spreadsheets' flexibility.000 times faster than text and 90% of the data that comes to our brain . The Rows. it's easy to collaborate with team members. Columns n' Sheets Method • Spreadsheets are often overlooked when it comes to task management. • Write tasks on color-coded Post-It notes and stick them in their respective step of progression .suggesting that our neurological pathways might even prefer pictorial displays over text • Kanban helps you harness the power of visual information by using sticky notes on a whiteboard to create a “picture” of your work.. and cells can be color-coded to represent their importance or other key parts of a task. • But they can be as powerful of a tool for task management as you let them be. you can make different sheets for different types of tasks. and can add as much or little detail to each task as you want. especially in the mobile space. project. • Tasks can be placed in individual rows. one sheet can be for work tasks and another for home errands. 24.Task Management Methods The Kanban Method • Kanban is Japanese for “visual signal” or “card. • The brain processes visual information 60. .as your tasks progress. • You can color-code tasks by client. • For example.

.Workplace Productivity 25.

all OKRs are public from Larry Page on down. Don't say. teams.Workplace Productivity Objectives and Key Results Methodology (OKR) • The OKR system came from Intel.” Peter Drucker 26. for instance. Google took to OKRs pretty much immediately and has been using it ever since. you set up an Objective. but are also simple. • Say you want to make your website 30% faster. • Here’s how they work: • First. • The benefit of OKRs is that they can be used by employees to keep an eye on what they've accomplished. • Most engineers at Google. admit that they were most productive when they closely tracked their OKRs "Productivity of work isn't the responsibility of a worker yet of a manager. . You can look up what your co-workers' OKRs are in the employee directory. and straightforward. • At Google. Square. Palantir. • Your objectives should be definitive and measurable. and individuals. Then you set up a number of "Key Results" that are quantifiable that will help you hit your objective. Zynga.OKRs are a simple way to create structure for companies. Or you want to increase engagement by 15%. etc. I want to make my website prettier.

• When they do it (time) – Consider switching to a ROWE (results-only work environment) What they do (task) . Ideally. • Companies tend to think that a cash bonus is the best reward to acknowledge the success of an employee. a daily scrum meeting is held in the morning. Studies show that 69% of employees would work harder if they were better recognized. 29% of workers said that doing something meaningful was their key motivator at work.when points are displayed. according to McKinsey. and recognition motivated 17%. However. Focus on Intrinsic Motivation Provide Autonomy Celebrate & Reward Intrinsic motivation is the kind of motivation that comes from the inside of the person’s own will. leaders are realizing the value of incentivizing employees with rewards and points. A good alternative are daily scrum meetings these meetings are typically held in the same location and at the same time each day. only 24% are satisfied with the level of recognition they receive at work.Workplace Productivity: Tips Model Exellence Limit Meetings Gamify Your Workplace You’ve probably heard the phrase: Behaviour breeds behaviour . A genuine “thank you” can also leave a lasting impression. No matter how many perks and bonuses you may use. This keeps the discussion brisk but relevant. whereas money motivated 25%. • How they do it (technique) – Don’t dictate how employees should complete their tasks. Affects My attitude your behaviour My behaviour your attitude Affects These scrum meetings are strictly time-boxed to 15 minutes. So a good way to start celebrating success in your team could be to start all your team meetings with a simple “thank you”. . such as bonuses. Cash rewards are only part of the appeal . that they’re able to work at their highest potential. celebrating success as a team can be more rewarding than a monetary bonus. With so many gamification solutions available. Despite the prevalence of social media in the workplace. as it helps set the context for the coming day's work.this saying is illustrated by a simple model called the Betari Box. • Whom they do it with (team) – Allow employees some choice over who they work with . meetings and conference calls hold the spot as the top office time-waster.Allow employees to have regular ‘creative’ days where they can work on any project/problem they wish. it tends to ignite the competitive spirit in workers. it’s only when they are personally interested in the result. In a survey conducted by BNET.this can be hard to embrace. However. and fear of being fired. Provide employees with autonomy over some (or all) of the four main aspects of work: As opposed to extrinsic motivators. 27. leaderboard-style.

require all team members follow a decision tree below to help you quickly determine if a meeting makes the most sense. call or schedule a video conference. • Although scheduling a meeting can be the right solution in many instances. • The problems occur when meetings get more regular and become a part of the company culture.Workplace Productivity: Tips Some Meeting Are Necessary • A study conducted by Atlassian shows that tech employees spend over 30 hours a month on meetings and over 50% of that time is unproductive. YES Does moving forward require a real-time conversation? YES Does this necessitate a face-to-face meeting? NO NO Send an email. Source: Harvard Business Review 28. Use chat. YES Schedule and prepare for a meeting. Have I thought through this situation? YES Do I need outside input to make progress? NO NO Schedule a time for strategic thinking. • While daily stand-ups can minimise the amount of meeting required some meeting are necessary. . • To avoid that from happening. Schedule time for doing the work. it’s not always the best answer.

Part I: Grit Is More Important Than Talent Stanford University Carol Dweck: Can Personality Be Changed? The Role of Beliefs in Personality and Change (Stanford University) Fast Company: The Secret to Changing Your Habits Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford: 3 Steps to New Habits Dr. .References Brain Pickings: Scott Belsky on How to Avoid Idea Plateaus PsyBlog: Perform Better Under Stress Using Self-Affirmation PsyBlog: Self-Control Instantly Replenished by Self-Affirmation PsyBlog: How to Improve Your Self-Control James Clear for Huffington Post: How Long Does It Actually Take to Form a New Habit? (Backed by Science) 99u: The Future of Self-Improvement. Jim Taylor for Huffington Post: Myth of Multitasking Berkeley University: How to Focus a Wandering Mind Lifehack: 10 Ways To Remove The Distractions That Keep You From Doing the Best At Work Tim Ferriss: How to Check E-mail Twice a Day… And Have Your Boss Accept It Tim Ferriss: The Not-To-Do List: 9 Habits to Stop Now The Art of Manliness: Live Life at the Limits: How to Hack Your Flow Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Harper Perennial Modern Classics) Asian Efficiency: The Pareto Principle (Or 80/20 Rule) Lifehacker: Work Less and Do More by Applying the Pareto Principle to Your Task List Lifehacker: Productivity 101: A Primer to The Pomodoro Technique Zapier: Beyond the List: 8 Powerful Ways to Manage Your Tasks 29.

References Thought You May Ask: Getting Things Done #2 LeanKit: What is Kanban? DeskTime: Motivating your employees – what you’re doing wrong and how to fix it Adidas Group: 7 tips to build a high-performance team Checkside: Motivation revamped: A summary of Daniel H. . Pink’s new theory of what motivates us Business Insider: This Is The Internal Grading System Google Uses For Its Employees — And You Should Use It Too iDoneThis: Silicon Valley’s Productivity Secret Harvard Business Review: Do You Really Need to Hold That Meeting? Atlassian: You waste a lot of time at work 30.

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