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Davide de Paolis
Davide de Paolis

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Do you really want to be more productive?

how to be more productive

Stop reading articles about being more productive
Go back to the stuff that is important and get shit done!

If I count all the time spent wasted reading articles about productivity I would realize I could have completed at least 2 pet projects...

But they are so interesting, so inspiring - and they make us believe we are or we will become soon super efficient. (10x developer anyone?).
Truth is that multitasking is a lie. Distractions are all over the place. And what we need is just a little bit of method and discipline:

  • Prioritize with Trello (or any other similar tool).
  • Use Kanban method, - limit the work in progress. always work on an available task from the rightest column ( excluding the "Done" - of course) and when it's completed shift something from first the column on left from the empty one.
  • Avoid interruptions until Pomodoro timer is over.

Isn't that just that simple?
(no. it's not. but I always try hard)

Top comments (3)

codingmindfully profile image
Daragh Byrne

It’s that simple!

perigk profile image
Periklis Gkolias

It is and it is not at the same time.

Yes, you need to prioritize but you have to do it correctly. Also you need to split the items into clear, concise and achievable subtasks to make it work. Trello is my favorite tool, but not necessary and a prerequisite. Some people were productive 50 years ago too, were trello was not even an idea.

Yes, you should work at one thing at a time. But not any "one thing". Only the "right thing". Start with your highest priority task. If you have many of top priority ones, maybe you need to prioritize again. Maybe against other factors, like urgency or time to completion. Or maybe it is not that urgent. Think, if you had the capacity to do one and only thing, what would you choose.

Interruptions suck. I have read studies that claim, the average (focused) person needs 20 minutes in order to refocus after a tiny interruption (even if it is just a hand-wave from a colleague). I have similar concerns on such issues, maybe a couple of old articles of mine prove useful, to you.

I would suggest, focusing on efficiency instead of productivity. Efficiency is about doing impactful things, whereas productivity is about doing many things. And challenge yourself. It might not do the job for everyone, but it is doing wonders to me. And helps you being persistent too.

Any questions, feel free to reply

dvddpl profile image
Davide de Paolis

thanx for the insightful reply. will definetly read your articles. I agree with you. Trello is a nice tool but it is just the digital version of something preexistent: be it post-it or any other prioritization board.

I agree with doing one thing at a time, and I take for granted that that thing must be the right one. I know that this is one of the hardest thing to do - because we tend to postpone things that we dont like or scare us or are too difficult - that's why "eat the frog" is one of the best approaches for me.
Also regarding the right thing to do first i'd like to add that rather than productivity - we should focus on efficiency, as you said, AND effectiveness: doing lots of things badly but fast is not good, but doing the wrong thing in the best way possible is also useless :-) (and unfortunately I see everyday collegues - some of them very very good at coding which come out with very smart performant algorithms for problems that were not required or that - if they made some more questions or took less assumptions - were not necessary...)
Of course there is a lot to read and learn and practice to become productive/efficient/effective. i just wanted to be provocative and to remind myself to get back to work (i often read such articles exactly when I dont want to eat the frog... :-) )