3 personal productivity hacks

Yes, you've seen this, read that. Another one of the millions of productivity blog posts out there. But why should that be a problem? I love to read and experiment all productivity tips I can, because hey, it's a different kind of pleasure altogether to waste time for productivity.

Now ever since I've joined in capacity as a director at my family business, and trying to manage a not-for-profit part time, and multiple other things, I've been exhausted with e-mails, whatsapps and phone calls and going through my month without accomplishing a thing (or feeling so)

So that's that. Here are my 3 personal productivity hacks, which I hope you can incorporate in your corporate lives.
1. No No
2. Go Go
3. Re Re

Do comment with a tiny thanks if something helps you


1. No Notifications

Step 1: Turn them off.

Let's face it. If there's a fire, nobody will E-mail/Whatsapp/WeChat you.So instead of letting the typical Whatsapp whistle or phone vibration distract you (you know, your first reaction is whether it's a reply from your crush, second is if it's your boss/client asking for the update, and when you open up you see it's an inspirational video forward by your mom)

Step 2: Set specific calendar times

Mine is thrice a day, see below, the grey ones are for e-mail.
Bonus tip: Use unroll.me for personal e-mail ID. All your weekly pocket hits and flipboard digest picks at one place.

Step 3: Try for two different phones

One, a smart phone, the other, a smarter phone.
I carry a Samsung Guru (battery life: infinite), and an LG Nexus. At least over heated out-of-power power banks are not my problem. Even if I gobble up my battery while whatsapping in the metro, or using maps while navigation, or multiple calls from work, I'm still reachable via call for any urgency.

Step 4: Try to disconnect

I don't know how valid this may sound for different people have different preferences, but I leave my smart phone at work. Yes, I disconnect from all apps when at home. My schedule after coming back? Exercise, dinner and books. Sweetest sleep you'll ever get.

2. Go Google

You can run, you can hide, but you can't escape it's love. Use all that Google has to offer.Yes, it has all our information already. Befriend it, and share some more. Make it your confidante. Become emotionally invested in it. Marry it. Believe me, just live google.

1. Calendar

a. Events

First up, add everything in your calendar, pre and post course of the events.
Plan your day by mapping events, and review your day by checking how it happened versus your planned.
Color code the events, like you must have seen in the image above. My color code is usually like
-Green: Sacred, do not miss, can only adjust the time
-Peach: Deep dive/flow; to be done for the feeling of accomplishment.
(Like if someone asks you what did you do today, you have an answer better than BAU)
-Purple: Travel time, I usually pre-define what I'm going to do, whether listen to an audiobook, podcast, art of charm, or just plain sweet 94.3

b. Reminders

This is a beauty. Anything someone asks you to do, or you get off from a call and there's a lot on your mind, put it all in the reminders. Synced with desktop and mobile, it can help a great deal in following up (that's what management is all about right?)

c. Goals

The new feature of adding goals made me want to go and kiss Google if only I could. You add goals, and it re-schedules them in your preferred time of the day adjusting if any other event is scheduled. Not only that, it shows you a week wise summary of achieved versus planned.

Image source: medium.com

2. Inbox

If you haven't used the google's inbox app/site yet, it's best you start doing it. It has gamified the whole concept of e-mails. you mark emails as done, or can snooze them for a later date. Bundle them up for tags. It also shows you cute automatic replies (by reading your e-mails)
Image source: dnaindia.com

Totally out of the world feeling is when you clear out your inbox of all emails, and you can see the sun shine out of the clouds. Pure visual treat I tell you. Now every day I try to make my inbox zero, just to have a glimpse of this.

Image source: www.ostricher.com

3. Keep

Better (? to each his own) than Evernote. Why? Location based reminders. Like I had to visit 2 suppliers, 1 client, and 1 friend if I were to visit Hyderabad. Voila, I put it in Google Keep and the moment I landed in Hyderabad it reminds me who all to meet up! Cool huh?
All other features match those of evernote.
But I like the smooth arrangement of all the notes in the form of a tile cascade
Image source: www.hongkiat.com

3. Record & Revisit

1. Write down your goals

I simply cannot stress this enough. Make your goals SMART (google the acronym) and write them every morning. Make sure you give enough time to goal setting, almost like 10 hours. I've personally seen them work like magic, simply by maintaining this consistency.

2. Use an awesome diary

I recommend something like the Goal Tiger or I Can/ I will. It may seem overpriced at first, but believe me, it's worth it. Essential items include
- A quote on each page
- Yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly planning page
-Demarcated areas for important/urgent, deferred, delegated items

If some how these diaries don't have 'em, you can always add some sections by yourself. Like a typical page from my diary will include the following sections which I've added by myself.
-Eisenhower matrix for important and urgent items
-Department/Person wise follow up 
-Learning for tomorrow
-What to improve 1% better.

3.  Find a coach/mentor/partner in crime
A coach, a mentor, a partner in crime, can be any one- a friend, a family member, a reference, or a life coach. Me and my friend have created these whatsapp groups where we share one idea per day, something new that we learned today, and what we did to realize our goals. This helps you boost yourself up tremendously and get your brain thinking.
(psst, to maintain consistency, use google calendar reminders)


Nupur Agrawal said...

Thanks Vishesh for this blog post :)

Unknown said...

This is really cool vishesh!!

Unknown said...

Hi Vishesh,

Thanks for sharing your experiences on boosting the productivity.
I am reading Deep Work by Cal Newport as of now and getting long span of undistracted time to focus on work is an immediate requirement to produce great value :)

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