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Six Ways to Supercharge Your Productivity

| October 19, 2010

by Jim Bruce

Tony Schwarts, CEO of the Energy Project, says a lot in this short piece “Six Ways to Supercharge Your Productivity”.  His key point is that as a result of the digital demands of the world we now inhabit, we are in danger of undertaking more and more tasks and creating less and less real value.

He suggests six practical behaviors – all of which you’ve heard before – which if adopted will increase the value of what you do:

1.  Make sufficient sleep – at least 7-8 hours a night – a top priority.  “Even small amounts of sleep deprivation take a dramatic toll on our cognative capacity, our ability to think creatively, our emotional resilience, the quality of our work, and even the speed at which we do it.”

2.  Create one to-do list.  Writing it down gets it off your mind permitting you to focus on what’s most important at the current moment.

3.  Do the most important thing first.  At the beginning of the day you have your highest energy level.  This is the best time to work on your most important task.  

4.  Live like a sprinter, not a marathoner.  Break up your day to give you a chance for renewal and refueling.  Schwartz suggests that you not work on any task for more than 90 minutes at a time.

5.  Monitor your mood.  When demand exceeds our capacity, our mood turns negative.  We become reactive and impulsive, and less reflective and responsive.  You need to be on guard and monitor yourself for such mood swings.  Only by being aware can you act.

6.  Schedule specific times to work on activities that are important but not urgent today.  If you don’t schedule time in the future for such activities you will have difficulty getting to them.  So, when you encounter an important but not urgent task, take a moment and make one or more appointments with yourself at some future time so you’ll have time set aside to work on the task.

So, here you have it.  Six behaviors that will improve how you deliver value.


Have a great week.  .  .  .     jim