6 Lesser-Known Productivity Tips

Lessons from a productivity obsessive

Buy the most powerful computer you can afford

I learned this years ago. I’ve been a Mac user since 1997, and in my early days, I would always buy the entry-level Mac — usually the iMac. The problem with purchasing the entry-level is you get the smallest memory (RAM) and slowest processor — typically the previous generation’s.

It’s not about how early you wake up. It’s how much sleep you get.

A few years ago, I began waking up at 5 AM and followed a version of Robin Sharma’s 5 AM Club. That is, for the first hour of your day, you spend 20 minutes exercising, 20 minutes planning and 20 minutes studying. I loved the quiet I got at that time of the morning, and it felt great.

Learn keyboard shortcuts

This act alone will save you so much time each day. You will do some activities on your computer that you unconsciously reach for your mouse, move the arrow to the File menu, click, scroll down, and click again to achieve a particular result. On its own, that action may not seem much — perhaps two or three seconds — but when you add those two or three seconds up each day, you soon have two or three minutes, and then it’s just a matter of multiplication before we are talking hours.

Learn to search your computer

Search has come a long way over the last few years. Apple’s Spotlight is incredible, bringing your results in fractions of a second. Windows also has a robust system-wide search function. Learn to use them.

Take a ten-minute break between sessions of work

What I mean by this one is if you have spent an hour clearing your email backlog, get up and go for a ten-minute walk around your office or home. I play with our puppy or clean up something in my studio or home.

Take a thirty-minute power-nap in the afternoon

This one trick will do so much for your energy levels and concentration. Winston Churchill, a power-napper, believed his afternoon naps enabled him to do a day and a half’s worth of work each day. And as a napper myself, I can confirm this is the case.

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Carl Pullein

I help people learn to manage their lives and time better so they can experience joy and build a life they are truly proud of. www.carlpullein.com