While serving a humanitarian and ecclesiastical mission at the age of 20, I learned potentially the most important lesson of my life. How you spend your morning determines your success in life. How you spend your morning determines who you will become.
There are two trains of thought – One leads to procrastination and one leads to motivation. And somewhere in between, there is a junction called anxiety. Let’s first look at the procrastination train of thought (at least that’s going somewhere, amirite?).
If you time-traveled to the 1960s, or even the 1980s, and tried to describe smartphones to the people you met, they wouldn’t believe you. These are just a few basic smartphone functions, but to your new friends, they would all sound like life-changing superpowers.
There's a strong connection between the way you think and the way you feel. And it goes both ways. The way you think affects your emotional state and your emotional state affects the way you think. When you're feeling sad, for example, you look at the world through a gloomy lens.
Meeting new people can be awkward. What should you say? How can you make a good impression? How do you keep a conversation going? Research shows relationships are vital to happiness and networking is the key to getting jobs and building a fulfilling career.
I found this system to work well for me. It's a Trello board of goals separated by time. Weekly/monthly/quarterly/yearly. Where month goals are ideally based off my year goals and week goals are based on month goals.
The reason most people get stuck in mediocrity is because they refuse to fail. The reason people refuse to fail is because they associate failure with defeat. Their fear of defeat paralyzes them to the point that they won’t move forward.
You simply have more chance of career success if you have more skills.
Writer Josh Kaufman shares his own tried-and-tested technique to learn a new skill by putting in just 45 minutes a day for a month.
Back in 2009, I made the decision to upgrade from my trusty old Franklin Planner and to implement the Getting Things Done (GTD) philosophy.
This post originally appeared at LinkedIn. Follow the author here. The eight-hour workday is an outdated and ineffective approach to work. If you want to be as productive as possible, you need to let go of this relic and find a new approach.
OK, this post won’t tell you how to magically make each day 38 hours long (we’re still working on that). But by assessing our tasks in terms of their significance, we can free up more time tomorrow, says leadership coach Rory Vaden.
Tired: Shallow work. Wired: Deep work. Welcome to the Smarter Living newsletter! Every Monday, S.L. editor Tim Herrera emails readers with tips and advice for living a better, more fulfilling life. Sign up here to get it in your inbox.
Do you really think Richard Branson and Bill Gates wrote long to-do lists and prioritized items as A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and on and on? In my research into time management and best practices for productivity, I've interviewed over 200 billionaires, Olympians, straight-A students and entrepreneurs.
Love was the most disgusting thing in the world to me. What the hell was he talking about? Love was living in another neighborhood at that time. Or another planet.
Note-taking is an incredibly powerful tool for learning. Notes extend your memories. I’ve explained before how writing can be seen as an external enhancement of your brain, allowing you to think more complicated thoughts and solve harder problems.
Our time on this planet is limited. Most of us realize that sooner or later. And yet, we keep on squandering our time and running around in circles. Why is it that we waste so much of our time? Most people think that we, humans, don’t understand the value of time.
As a coach who works with a lot of business owners and solopreneurs, I’ve seen my clients do everything from marketing to idea generation to logistical firefighting. Often, they’re doing all these things on the same day, if not the same hour.
Creative thinking is essential for everything from solving problems to personal fulfilment. So, how can we do more to nurture it? Every day we are expected to make hundreds of decisions and judgements.
“I want to debunk the myth that originality requires extreme risk taking and persuade you that originals are actually far more ordinary than we realize.” — Adam Grant, Originals Edit: The response to this article has been amazing. In the first few days, over 50k people have read it.
Peter Drucker once said “People often overestimate what they can accomplish in one year. But they greatly underestimate what they could accomplish in five years.”
Multi-tasking is to your work what smoking is to your health. Trying to do more than one thing at the same time is killing your productivity. Luckily, it’s not all bad news. 44% of those work distractions are self-inflicted and another 23% come from emails.
Entrepreneurs are always on a quest to win the race against time. As if that weren’t stressful enough, we also have to enhance our willpower and strengthen our self-discipline. If not, then all of the distractions flying around will stand in the way of us getting things done.
The last time you saw your grandma before she died. That work presentation last month. Yesterday’s argument with your SO. Your performance eval next quarter. That damn toast you agreed to give at the wedding next summer. What do they have in common? You can overthink the hell out of them.
Laura Mae Martin has been a natural task optimizer since childhood. Making cookies with her sister, she would insist on an assembly line system. Efficiency is her idea of fun.
Have you said any of these recently? Maybe that wasn’t the word you were expecting. But reactivity is a problem people have been contemplating for thousands of years. And, yes, it’s a bigger issue now than ever.
Consider the daily schedule of famed novelist Haruki Murakami. When he’s working on a novel, he starts his days at 4 am and writes for five or six continuous hours.
I want to share a system I have used and perfected over the past nine years and that has helped me achieve my goals while reducing my stress. I like to think of it as a simplified GTD built for the modern world. The truth is that most people don’t use a systematic personal workflow.
You can’t take advice from someone too different from you. You would feel like a dog learning how to be a cat.
Reading is a skill that once you’ve learned, you probably don’t spend much time trying to get better at. (Not all that different from, say, breathing.) And yet, many of us don’t have to look far to see signs that there’s plenty of room for improvement.
What are some of the best life tips? originally appeared on Quora--the knowledge-sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. Over the past 31 years of my life, I've learned a lot through my experiences. These include:
Imagine if you could take a pill that would double your intelligence. What would that feel like? You’d be able to keep more thoughts in your head. You could draw new connections between ideas. You could solve problems you’ve been stuck on for years.
Steve Jobs had extremely high expectations. He challenged himself -- and the people around him -- to work smarter, work longer, and work harder so he, and they, could accomplish everything they dreamed possible. Jobs believed in the power of asking.
Over the last three years, I’ve painted five rooms in my house. The first room I painted was my bedroom, and I was convinced that I’d have the task finished in a weekend. A month later, I applied the finishing touches.
As professionals around the world feel increasingly pressed for time, they’re giving up on things that matter to them. A recent HBR article noted that in surveys, most people “could name several activities, such as pursuing a hobby, that they’d like to have time for.”
You don't need more motivation. You don't need to be inspired to action. You don't need to read any more lists and posts about how you're not doing enough.
Music isn’t just a means of entertaining ourselves: it can also encourage creativity and help us become more productive. Listening to music can also be therapeutic, relieving feelings of stress so you can concentrate better.
My name is Kevin, and I have a phone problem. And if you’re anything like me — and the statistics suggest you probably are, at least where smartphones are concerned — you have one, too.
If you often find yourself having trouble falling sleep, you’re not alone. The American Sleep Association (ASA) says that 50 million to 70 million U.S. adults have a sleep disorder. Among that group, insomnia is the most common.
Yet again, your brain is working against you, and it’s because of a phenomenon called the urgency effect.
It’s the season of New Year’s resolutions once again. At the end of each year 45% of us roll up our sleeves and optimistically decide what we want to accomplish in the year to come.
A few years ago during a break in a leadership class I was teaching, a manager named Michael walked up looking unsettled. His boss had told him he needed to be more productive, so he had spent a few hours analyzing how he spent his time. He had already cut his nonessential meetings.
Last fall, I ran a successful Kickstarter campaign for a pair of glasses that block screens. Ironically, I found myself glued to screens more than ever.
I am lying on a mat, looking up at the bright blue of the skylight above me. I exhale purposefully, then let my lungs reinflate of their own accord. I am trying hard to concentrate on this slightly counterintuitive way of breathing, but the voices in my head are distracting me.
The reason I study productivity is because I’m an unproductive person. I truly am. If it wasn’t for my productivity system, I wouldn’t get anything done. I wouldn’t even write this article. But if you browse social media, all you see is super productive, healthy, and wealthy people.
Instead of chasing after the latest life hacks, focus on a few key changes that will have an outsized impact on your productivity. There’s no shortage of productivity advice out there on the Internet and self-help books.
It’s about creating a space to transition from your work self to your home self, according to peak performance researcher and consultant Adam Fraser.
Craig Jarrow shares his best productivity tips about email, motivation, procrastination, and much more.
From Michael Hyatt to Thomas Honeyman, thousands upon thousands of you have relied on tags as your primary organizational system. But, the power of Evernote is in its flexibility. Tiago Forte offers up a different approach.
Confession: In the last month or so, I've eaten plain oatmeal for dinner at least eight times. I'm well aware that a bowl of Quaker oats is hardly the most nutritious or substantive fare. Honestly, it doesn't even taste that good.
This post originally appeared at LinkedIn. Follow the author here. As co-founder of Hotwire.com and CEO of Zillow for the last seven years, 39-year-old Spencer Rascoff fits most people’s definition of success. As a father of three young children, Spencer is a busy guy at home and at work.
For most of us, getting enough sleep isn't a life-or-death kind of thing. Sure, we might make poor decisions, but our being sleepy at the marketing meeting tomorrow is not going to get someone killed. During WWII, though, the U.S.
Like many, I’ve attempted to follow David Allen’s famous Getting Things Done productivity method too many times to count. But inevitably my to-do lists begin to scare me. The number of overdue tasks in my Todoist projects slowly ticks up to panic-inducing levels.
Energy, not time, is the basis for productivity. Having all the hours in the day won’t help you if you’re exhausted for most of it. Your habits define your energy levels. If you have good habits, you’ll feel energized and be more resilient to burn out, both physically and mentally.
Whether you're working a traditional 9-to-5 gig or running your own business, we all struggle with productivity. For many this is a daily struggle. The good news? That struggle will be a thing of the past if you implement these 15 scientifically-proven methods for increasing your productivity.
When you say that you “don’t have enough time,” what you’re really saying is that you don’t have time for the activities that you want or need to do. You can’t actually create more time. We’ve all got a fixed 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week.
The whole world is exhausted. And it's killing us. But particularly me. As I write this, I'm at TED 2019 in Vancouver, which is a weeklong marathon of talks and workshops and coffee meetings and experiences and demos and late-night trivia contests and networking, networking, networking.
Let’s get right to the point: bouncing between your inbox, pointless meetings, and group chat notifications is no way to get ahead in today’s information economy. These are markers of busyness not productivity.
Many people strike it rich by just making one smart career move, investing in the right stocks or even inheriting a family fortune. But for others, it simply comes down to changing their daily habits and routines, adopting a new mindset or implementing small lifestyle changes.
Have you ever felt like life would be better if you had taken a different path? If only you had pursued that job, ended that relationship sooner or moved to a new city, everything would be just perfect. Nonsense, of course. But it’s human nature to linger on those feelings of regret.
Brian Little, one of the world’s leading experts on personality psychology, is renowned as a public speaker. If you watch his recent TED talk on personality, as millions of others have, you will see an engaging and witty orator holding his audience’s attention with aplomb.
One of the common questions I get asked about my ultralearning projects, such as the MIT Challenge, is how to keep up hard mental effort for long periods of time. During that project, for instance, my starting point was to study for 11-12 hours per day, five days a week.
An inside look at the specifics of how we decide what to do and then decide how to do it. “How do you guys actually work? How do you choose what to do? How big are your teams? How do you structure the work itself” are questions I get all the time.
Articles about the remote work lifestyle have tended to focus on drinking piña coladas on the beach, traveling the world, and otherwise enjoying a life that inspires envy in your social media following.This is not one of those articles.
Imagine a dozen dominoes lined up in a row. Push the first domino and what happens? They all fall down. Now take that same dozen and double it. No, triple it. No, wait — add 15,000 dominoes, branching off into a bunch of crazy shapes and designs. Now, push the first domino and what happens?
What makes a great manager isn’t the problems they solve, but the questions they ask. Start with these 16 questions here. An employee comes to you and says, “I have a problem.” If you’re trying to be a great manager, what do you do? Your initial instinct might be to roll up your sleeves.
In recent years, work has become infinitely more complex. Technological innovations have led to round-the-clock work schedules and mounting expectations. Our assignments have grown more collaborative, requiring more coordination, conference calls, and meetings.
Before we commence with the festivities, I wanted to thank everyone for helping my first book become a Wall Street Journal bestseller. To check it out, click here. We all waste a lot of time on the internet these days. And due to mobile devices, we do it everywhere, not just at home.
After years of watching nearly every Buffett interview, reading his annual Letters to Shareholders, reading multiple biographies, and applying the lessons to my life, I think I finally have the answer to why and how Buffett has adopted this schedule. This article shares that answer.
You can achieve almost anything in life…As long as you focus on achieving one thing at a time. It’s a time-tested strategy that’s been shared by many successful people. Gary Keller and Jay Papasan even wrote a whole book about this simple idea.
With thousands of tasks completed and having finally reached Grandmaster status, I figured I knew pretty much all there was to know about Todoist. I was wrong.
The eternal human struggle to live meaningfully in the face of inevitable death entered its newest phase one Monday in the summer of 2007, when employees of Google gathered to hear a talk by a writer and self-avowed geek named Merlin Mann.
It’s tempting to think that in order to be a valuable team player, you should say “yes” to every request and task that is asked of you. People who say yes to everything have a lot of speed. They’re always doing stuff but never getting anything done.
There are few things that impact your daily productivity, career trajectory, and overall well-being as much as your routines. As Will Durant writes in The Story of Philosophy (a quote often misattributed to Aristotle): “We are what we repeatedly do.”
One of the most challenging aspects of creative work is, well, sitting down to actually do it. There are so many different ways to cull out one’s creativity.
The holiday season is my favorite time of the year. It symbolizes family, friends, vacation and of course plenty of good food. I also enjoy it because it marks the end of the year and the beginning of a new one.
A lot of my friends are spending the month of January “going dry” or giving up sugar or training for marathons. I can relate. As a Type-A, goal-oriented masochist, I tend to make deeply ambitious New Year’s resolutions each year. Witness Exhibit A: My resolutions from 2016.
Self-help advice isn’t exactly in short supply. There are research-backed tips out there for boosting confidence, resilience, risk taking, and adaptability. The message is pretty clear: Feel better about yourself or change your beliefs about what you’re capable of, and you’ll excel.
We think we want to be happy. Yet many of us are actually working toward some other end, according to cognitive psychologist Daniel Kahneman, winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in economics. Kahneman contends that happiness and satisfaction are distinct.
It’s the rare day when we get to cross every item off our to-do lists. It’s a fact of life. We almost never accomplish everything we set out to do at the start of the day. And that’s okay. To-do lists aren’t for getting absolutely everything done.
Welcome to Reading Lists, comprehensive book guides from the Strategist designed to make you an expert (or at least a fascinating dinner-party companion) in hyperspecific or newsworthy topics, from microdosing and psychedelic therapy to French cooking.
Reaching any goal requires motivation, self-discipline and commitment. But where do those things come from? Many people see these as personality traits. Some people are motivated, others are lazy.
In Real Leaders Don't Follow, Steve Tobak explains how real entrepreneurs can start, build, and run successful companies in highly competitive global markets. He provides unique insights from an insider perspective to help you make better-informed business and leadership decisions.
Ping! Something needs your attention. Is it an email? A tweet? A text? A reminder on your phone? A calendar invite? Ping! Another one. Ping! There’s that sound again. Or maybe it’s a visual cue, an ever-ascending ticker count on your app icons or inbox.