Solid advice from Curtis:
It takes years of practice to become an expert at anything. If you’re continually waffling around between things, you’ll never be the expert you want to be.
What looks effortless from the outside is the result of thousands of hours of previous practice.
When You Stop Trying, Progress Plummets to 0
Few quotes I picked up from
The Art of the Finish: How to Go From Busy to Accomplished
In fact, I would go so far as to say that the act of becoming accomplished is almost entirely unrelated to being productive
If you are productive without harboring this intense desire for completion, you will end up just being busy. [..] You work all day off of your to-do list. Everything is organized. Everything is scheduled. Yet, still, months pass with no important projects getting accomplished.
With traditional GTD-style methodology, during each day, you look at your current context and at your next action lists and choose what to do next. It’s easy, in this case, to fall into a infinite task loop where you are consistently accomplishing little actions from your next action lists but making little progress toward completing the big projects.
Each morning, look at your project page and ask: “What’s the most progress I can make toward completing this list today?” Your biggest goal should be to complete projects. If you see a way to do it (even if it requires a big push, perhaps working late) go for it. If you can’t finish one, think of the single thing you could do that would get you closest to this goal over the next few days. Harbor an obsession for killing this list!
Productivity is important for being successful. But its role in this endeavor is often blown out of proportion. Some of the most accomplished people I know are incredibly disorganized. They work at the last minute. They stay up all night. They constantly scramble to find what they’re looking for. But they still get it done. Other accomplished people are incredibly organized. What gives? The truths underlying this reality:
Being productive does not make you accomplished. It does, however, make being accomplished less stressful.
The key to really getting ahead has nothing to do with productivity. From my experience with successful young people (and, as I writer, I have quite a bit of exposure to this crowd) what you need, put simply, is a drive to keep working, with a laser-like intensity, on something even after you’ve lost immediate interest. Tenacity. A grating thirst to get it done. These are the precursors of accomplishment.
Dangerous Ideas: Productivity is Overrated – Study Hacks – Cal Newport
I think these observations are very true. I’ve been following the How I work series on Lifehacker and one of my own observations is that it’s rare for any one to use any elaborated productivity systems. The most popular to-do systems are simple pen and paper, a document on a computer or a default reminders/notes app.
In efffect a productivity system might help you a bit but it’s not critical to delivering results and achieving success.
How to Maximize Your Focus and Master Your Priorities](http://jamesclear.com/buffett-focus) via James Clear.
If you want to get an abnormal amount of work done in a day, cut out the distractions you allow.
If you want to break from the average, you have to be willing to do the things others aren’t willing to do. You have to be willing to say no to distractions. You have to be willing to do the hard work of analyzing your ideas. You have to be willing to adopt a growth mindset.
How to stop being normal and break from average
Do less and achieve more should be the daily mantra. It’s impossible to keep up with everything. Better to stick with selected few and constantly refine it.
Closed ended list of projects, daily actions, daily routines, weekly goals. are great tactical ways of putting the do less achieve more into practice.
Your odds of success improve when you are forced to direct all of your energy and attention to fewer tasks.
Warren Buffett’s “20 Slot” Rule: How to Simplify Your Life and Maximize Your Results – JamesClear.com
honesty and clarity are not microwaveable. Defining meaningful productivity — having a plumb line for doing our best creative work — requires time. Time away from all the noise and time to think and to ask ourselves challenging questions about our roles in life, our values, our dreams, and more.
How to Stay Focused in an Age of Distraction
Matther Lang – Why Notebooks Work For Me
Managing your tasks using notebooks means that you need to spend more time planning, reviewing and making decisions about what’s important.**
Why Notebooks Work For Me
Biological systems are generally hacks that evolved to be good enough for a certain environment. They are far from pretty top-down designed systems. And to accommodate an ever-changing environment they are rarely the most optimal system on a mico-level, preferring to optimize for survival over any one particular attribute.
The Need for Biological Thinking to Solve Complex Problems
Improvised solutions are typically those that last longest…
with Nicholas Bate’s Productivity 4
board isn’t any sort of technological or design breakthrough in visual tools — it’s not going to win a place in the Museum of Modern Art — but consider how elegantly it communicates the two critical pieces of information that anyone needs to know: when the work is supposed to be done, and whether or not it’s complete.
How Visual Systems Make It Easier to Track Knowledge Work
This is quite compelling concept and one that I’ll be actively looking to implement as I think greatly simplifies tasks management and provides quick overview of where things are at.
In an earlier post I shared couple links which outline why you need a paper notebook. Now that hopefully you have one I’ve listed few more posts which will give you an idea what to do it and how to use it.
- Keep paper notebook
- My first Baron Fig
- An Illustrated Guide to Using the Sh*t Out of Your Notebook
- How to Use a Simple Pocket Notebook to Change Your Life
- My GTD “Get Things Done” Moleskine Setup
Obviously these reflect other people ideas and circumstances to make the paper notebook become part of your every day carry you need to find your own uses.
Experiment, test and refine.
A lot of people I admire and follow and learn from use some sort of notebook of regular basis.
These posts came across my radar recently I thought it would be worth sharing them as they nicely show why it’s worth having one.:
- Why Should you always carry a notebook
Why I keep a paper notebook and you should to
The Manly Tradition of the Pocket Notebook
I’ve been carrying a number of notebooks for last few years and experimented with different formats. I found that pocket size works best when it’s relatively thin say 40-60 pages tops and used for quick capture of ideas on the go. The larger size (13 x 21 cm / 5 x 8.25 in) works better for notebooks with more than 100 pages and suits to planning and writing.
These are my observations you best bet is to try and see what works for you.