WHY TODO | Productivity tips

Productivity tips

Productivity is a super hot topic, and there are a lot of books about it.

Some of the top suggestions include getting clarity, staying focused, removing distractions, managing your energy, better planning, building good habits, finding your purpose, setting priorities, and being consistent.

WHY TODO will help you implement these principles into your daily life.

Let's take a look at some productivity books:

  1. Getting Things Done by David Allen
  2. First Things First by Stephen Covey
  3. Deep Work by Cal Newport
  4. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
  5. Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg
  6. The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan
  7. Make Time by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky
  8. Atomic Habits by James Clear
  9. The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins
  10. Drive by Daniel H. Pink
  11. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
  12. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  13. The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
  14. Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy
  15. High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard
  16. Start with Why by Simon Sinek

"Getting Things Done" by David Allen

  1. Capture everything: Write down all your tasks, ideas, and commitments in an external system, like a to-do list, so your mind is free to focus on the task at hand.

  2. Clarify and define tasks: Break down your tasks into actionable and specific next steps. Ask yourself, "What's the next physical action required to move this forward?"

  3. Organize your tasks: Use a trusted system to categorize and prioritize your tasks, whether it's by project, context, or deadline. Keep everything in its proper place.

  4. Review regularly: Conduct regular reviews of your task lists and commitments to ensure you're staying on track and making progress toward your goals.

  5. Do it, delegate it, defer it, or drop it: When you come across a task, decide whether you can do it immediately, delegate it to someone else, defer it to a specific time, or simply eliminate it if it's not necessary.

"First Things First" by Stephen Covey

  1. Prioritize your most important tasks: Identify and focus on your most important and impactful tasks. Covey emphasizes the importance of distinguishing between what is urgent and what is truly important, and to give priority to the latter.

  2. Use the time management matrix: Covey introduces a time management matrix that categorizes tasks into four quadrants based on urgency and importance. Aim to spend more time in Quadrant II (not urgent but important) to proactively address significant tasks.

  3. Set clear goals: Covey encourages readers to define clear and specific goals for their personal and professional lives. Setting goals provides a clear sense of direction and helps you stay focused on what matters most.

  4. Learn to say No: Effective time management often involves saying no to activities and requests that do not align with your priorities. Covey suggests politely declining commitments that don't contribute to your long-term goals.

  5. Weekly planning: Covey recommends taking time each week to plan and organize your schedule. This weekly planning ritual helps you align your actions with your goals, ensuring that you are consistently working on what matters most.

"Deep Work" by Cal Newport

  1. Create a deep work routine: Establish a regular schedule for deep work sessions, dedicating uninterrupted blocks of time to your most important tasks.

  2. Embrace boredom: Don't rely on distractions like social media or constant email checking to escape boredom. Instead, use these moments of restlessness as opportunities to train your brain for deeper concentration.

  3. Set clear goals: Clearly define your objectives for each deep work session. This clarity will help you stay focused and make progress more efficiently.

  4. Use rituals: Develop rituals or habits that signal the beginning and end of deep work. This can help you transition into a state of focus and out of it when your work session is complete.

  5. Limit shallow work: Be mindful of the time you spend on shallow, low-value tasks. Minimize them as much as possible to free up more time for deep work that drives significant results.

"Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less" by Greg McKeown

  1. Clarify your purpose: Start by defining your core values and long-term goals. Understanding what truly matters to you will help you make better decisions about where to invest your time and energy.

  2. Learn to say No: To make room for the essential, you must be willing to say no to non-essential commitments and requests. It's okay to decline opportunities that don't align with your priorities.

  3. Set clear priorities: Identify the few things that will make the most significant impact and prioritize them. Don't spread yourself too thin by trying to do everything at once.

  4. Create space for thinking: Regularly schedule time for reflection and introspection. This will help you make more deliberate choices and avoid getting caught up in the busyness of life.

  5. Edit and eliminate: Continually evaluate your commitments and projects. Remove or delegate tasks that don't contribute to your essential goals. Focus on what truly adds value and purpose to your life.

"Smarter Faster Better" by Charles Duhigg

  1. Set stretch goals: Duhigg emphasizes the importance of setting ambitious and specific goals. Stretch goals can motivate you to push beyond your comfort zone and achieve more than you initially thought possible.

  2. Focus on the Why: Understanding the deeper purpose and motivation behind your tasks can enhance your productivity. Duhigg suggests that connecting your daily actions to meaningful goals and values can increase your motivation and commitment.

  3. Use mental models: Develop mental models and frameworks to help you make better decisions. These cognitive tools can improve your problem-solving abilities and help you approach tasks with a more strategic mindset.

  4. Build a decision-making tree: When faced with complex decisions, create a decision-making tree to break the problem into smaller, manageable choices. This structured approach can lead to better decision-making and reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed.

  5. Harness the power of teamwork: Effective teamwork involves creating a sense of psychological safety, clear communication, and shared goals. Duhigg suggests that fostering these elements within a team can lead to improved productivity and better results.

"The One Thing" by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

  1. Identify your one thing: Determine the most important task or goal in your life or work, and focus on it above all else. By concentrating on your "one thing" you can achieve greater results.

  2. Time block for your one thing: Dedicate specific, uninterrupted blocks of time to work on your most important task. Eliminate distractions during these periods to maximize your productivity.

  3. Use the focusing question: Ask yourself "What's the one thing I can do such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?" This question helps you pinpoint your priorities.

  4. Avoid multitasking: Multitasking can diminish your productivity. Instead, concentrate on your one thing at a time to achieve better results.

  5. Create a success habit: Consistency is key. Develop a daily habit of working on your one thing, and over time, it will lead to significant progress and success.

"Make Time" by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky

  1. Highlight: Start your day by choosing a single activity that is most important to you, and make it your highlight. This helps you prioritize and ensure that you focus on what truly matters.

  2. Time blocking: Create daily routines by scheduling specific blocks of time for different activities. This prevents distractions and helps you stay on track.

  3. Distraction-free environment: Eliminate or reduce distractions in your workspace. Turn off notifications, clear clutter, and create a serene environment to improve your concentration.

  4. Energy management: Pay attention to your energy levels throughout the day. Identify your peak and low-energy times, and schedule your most important tasks during your high-energy periods.

  5. Reflect and adjust: Regularly review and adjust your daily routines to ensure they align with your goals and priorities. Be open to making changes to optimize your time and productivity.

"Atomic Habits" by James Clear

  1. Make it obvious: Clear suggests that you should make your desired habits obvious and visible. For example, if you want to read more, place a book on your nightstand where you can't miss it.

  2. Make it attractive: Find ways to make your habits more appealing. For instance, if you want to exercise, choose activities you enjoy so that it's not a chore but something you look forward to.

  3. Make it easy: Simplify the process of performing your habits. Reduce friction and barriers that might hinder your progress. If you want to eat healthier, have healthy snacks readily available in your kitchen.

  4. Make it satisfying: Reward yourself when you complete a habit. This positive reinforcement helps reinforce the behavior. For example, treat yourself to something enjoyable after a productive work session.

  5. Make it a habit loop: Understand and utilize the habit loop of cue, craving, response, and reward. Identify the cues that trigger your habits and work on changing the response to align with your goals.

"The 5 Second Rule" by Mel Robbins

  1. Count down and start: When faced with a task you've been putting off, count down from 5 and start it immediately. The act of counting down creates a sense of urgency and can help you overcome the initial resistance to getting started.

  2. Break tasks into smaller Steps: If a task feels overwhelming, break it down into smaller, more manageable steps. This can make it easier to tackle and reduce the sense of being overwhelmed.

  3. Use the rule for decision-making: The 5-Second Rule can be applied to making decisions as well. If you're uncertain about a choice, count down from 5 and make a decision when you reach 1. This prevents overthinking and hesitation.

  4. Combat negative thoughts: When negative thoughts or self-doubt creep in, use the 5-Second Rule to interrupt them. Count down from 5 and then reframe your thoughts into more positive and empowering ones.

  5. Create a morning routine: Start your day with a productive morning routine. By establishing a consistent and positive start to your day, you can set the tone for increased productivity and better decision-making.

"Drive" by Daniel H. Pink

  1. Embrace autonomy: Give yourself and others more control over how tasks are accomplished. Autonomy can boost motivation and productivity by allowing individuals to pursue their own methods and schedules.

  2. Master your own goals: Encourage the development of intrinsic motivation by setting personal, meaningful goals. This approach can create a sense of purpose and drive productivity.

  3. Foster mastery: Create an environment that supports skill development and continuous learning. Progress and growth in skills can enhance motivation and productivity.

  4. Encourage purpose: Connect tasks and projects to a larger purpose or mission. Understanding the significance of your work can increase motivation and productivity.

  5. Offer rewards carefully: Be mindful of the types of rewards used, as extrinsic rewards can sometimes undermine intrinsic motivation. Consider using rewards that acknowledge achievement without creating a sense of control.

"The Compound Effect" by Darren Hardy

  1. Track your habits: Start by tracking your daily habits and routines. This will help you identify areas where you can make positive changes.

  2. Focus on small steps: Instead of trying to make drastic changes all at once, focus on making small, manageable improvements over time. These incremental changes can have a significant impact in the long run.

  3. Stay consistent: Consistency is key to the compound effect. Commit to your chosen habits and routines every day, even when the results are not immediately apparent.

  4. Surround yourself with positivity: Surround yourself with positive influences and people who support your goals. Avoid negative influences that can hinder your progress.

  5. Review and adjust: Regularly review your progress and be willing to adjust your strategies as needed. Reflect on what's working and what's not and make necessary changes to stay on track.

"Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience" by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

  1. Set clear goals: Define specific, achievable goals for your tasks or projects. Having a clear objective helps you focus your attention and energy, making it easier to enter a state of flow.

  2. Concentrate on the task at hand: Eliminate distractions and immerse yourself fully in the task. Concentrated attention is a key component of flow, so turn off notifications and create a distraction-free environment.

  3. Challenge yourself: Flow is more likely to occur when the challenge level of a task matches your skill level. Push your limits and engage in tasks that are slightly more challenging but still within your capabilities.

  4. Seek feedback: Regular feedback helps you adjust and improve your performance. It provides a sense of progress and keeps you engaged in the activity. Use feedback to fine-tune your efforts.

  5. Find intrinsic motivation: Engage in tasks that you find intrinsically rewarding and enjoyable. Flow often arises when you are motivated by the activity itself, rather than external rewards or pressures.

"The Miracle Morning" by Hal Elrod

  1. Start your day early: Wake up early to give yourself extra time in the morning. This quiet time can be used for personal development and goal setting without the distractions of the day.

  2. S.A.V.E.R.S routine: Elrod introduces the acronym S.A.V.E.R.S, which stands for Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, and Scribing (journaling). Incorporate these activities into your morning routine to enhance your productivity and well-being.

  3. Set clear goals: Define your objectives and goals for the day. This clarity can help you stay focused and motivated throughout the day.

  4. Practice mindfulness: Incorporate mindfulness and meditation into your morning routine to reduce stress, increase self-awareness, and enhance your ability to concentrate on tasks.

  5. Make it a habit: Consistency is key. To benefit from "The Miracle Morning" routine, make it a daily habit. Over time, it will become a natural and productive part of your life.

"Eat That Frog!" by Brian Tracy

  1. Prioritize your tasks: Start your day by identifying the most important and challenging task (the "frog") and tackle it first. By completing the most critical task early in the day, you'll set a productive tone for the rest of your work.

  2. Set clear goals: Clearly define your goals and objectives. Knowing what you want to achieve will help you stay focused and avoid time-wasting activities.

  3. Plan and organize: Create a to-do list or schedule for your day. Break down your tasks into smaller, manageable steps. Having a plan and staying organized will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed.

  4. Eliminate distractions: Identify and minimize common distractions, such as checking social media, excessive email, or unrelated tasks. Create a focused work environment to improve your efficiency.

  5. Learn to say No: Avoid overcommitting yourself to tasks or projects that don't align with your priorities. Politely decline requests that would hinder your ability to accomplish your most important goals.

"High Performance Habits" by Brendon Burchard

  1. Clarity: Define clear and specific goals. When you know exactly what you want to achieve, you can focus your efforts more effectively.

  2. Energy management: Take care of your physical and mental energy. Prioritize sleep, exercise, and nutrition to ensure you have the vitality to perform at your best.

  3. Prioritization: Identify the most important tasks and tackle them first. Use tools like the Eisenhower Matrix to determine what's urgent and essential.

  4. Productive procrastination: Use procrastination to your advantage. When you're avoiding a critical task, work on other important tasks to make the most of your time.

  5. Daily high-performance habits: Develop consistent routines that include daily rituals and practices to maintain your productivity and performance over the long term.

"Start with Why" by Simon Sinek

  1. Define your Why: Clearly articulate your purpose or "why" for any task or goal. Understanding the deeper meaning behind your actions can provide the motivation and focus needed to be productive.

  2. Prioritize your most important tasks: Identify the tasks that align with your "why" and prioritize them. Focus on activities that have the greatest impact on your long-term goals.

  3. Stay consistent: Consistency is key to productivity. Stick to your goals and routines, even when faced with challenges or setbacks. Your "why" can help you stay committed.

  4. Communicate your Why: Share your purpose and vision with others. When your team or colleagues understand the "why" behind your work, it can foster collaboration and productivity.

  5. Embrace a growth mindset: Be open to learning and adapting. Embracing a growth mindset can help you overcome obstacles and continuously improve your productivity.


Feel free to get in touch with us and let us know which book has been beneficial to you.

Do you have any suggestions or recommendations for this list?

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