33 Rules to Boost Your Productivity – Volume 2

May 2nd, 2007 by Steve Pavlina

My last article on 33 Rules to Boost Your Productivity got a positive reception, so I decided to come up with 33 more.

A few of these are similar to the ones already posted, but most are new.  Sometimes looking at the same idea from different angles can be beneficial.

So here are 33 more rules to boost your productivity:

  1. Super Slow.  Commit yourself to working on a particularly hideous project for just one session a week, 15-30 minutes total.  Declutter one small shelf.  Purge 10 clothing items you don’t need.  Write a few paragraphs.  Then stop.
  2. Dailies.  Schedule a specific time each day for working on a particular task or habit.  One hour a day could leave you with a finished book, or a profitable Internet business a year later.
  3. Add-ons.  Tack a task you want to habitualize onto one of your existing habits.  Water the plants after you eat lunch.  Send thank-you notes after you check email.
  4. Plug-ins.  Inject one task into the middle of another.  Read while eating lunch.  Return phone calls while commuting.  Listen to podcasts while grocery shopping.
  5. Gratitude.  When someone does you a good turn, send a thank-you card.  That’s a real card, not an e-card.  This is rare and memorable, and the people you thank will be eager to bring you more opportunities.
  6. Training.  Train up your skill in various productivity habits.  Get your typing speed to at least 60wpm, if not 90.  Learn to speed-read or PhotoRead.  Develop your communication skills.
  7. Software.  Take advantage of productivity software to boost your effectiveness.  Lifehacker recommends new items every week.
  8. Zone out.  Enter the zone of peak creativity, and watch your output soar.  See 7 Rules for Maximizing Your Creative Output.
  9. Denial.  Just say no to non-critical requests for your time.
  10. Recapture.  Reclaim other people’s poor time usage for yourself.  Visualize your goals during dull speeches.  Write out your grocery list during pointless meetings.
  11. Mastermind.  Run your problem past someone else, preferably a group of people.  Invite all the advice, feedback, and constructive criticism you can handle.
  12. Twenty.  Take a piece of paper, number 1-20, and don’t stop until you’ve listed 20 creative ideas for improving your productivity.  See 20 Ways to Improve.
  13. Challenger.  Deliberately make the task harder.  Challenging tasks are more engaging than boring ones.  Compose an original poem for your next blog post.  Create a Power Point presentation that doesn’t use words.
  14. Asylum.  Complete an otherwise tedious task in an unusual or crazy manner to keep it interesting.  Make phone calls using pretend foreign accents.  Fill out government paperwork in crayon.
  15. Music.  Experiment to discover how music may boost your productivity.  Try fast-paced music for email, classical or new age for project work, and total silence for high-concentration creative work.
  16. Scotty.  Estimate how long a task will take to complete.  Then start a timer, and push yourself to complete it in half that time.
  17. Pay it forward.  When an undesirable task is delegated to you, re-delegate it to someone else.
  18. Bouncer.  When a seemingly pointless task is delegated to you, bounce it back to the person who assigned it to you, and challenge them to justify its operational necessity.
  19. Opt-out.  Quit clubs, projects, and subscriptions that consume more of your time than they’re worth.
  20. Decaffeinate.  Say no to drugs, suffer through the withdrawal period, and let your natural creative self re-emerge.  See How to Give Up Coffee.
  21. Triage.  Save the lives of your important projects by killing those that are going to die anyway.
  22. Conscious procrastination.  Delay non-critical tasks as long as you possibly can.  Many of them will die on you and won’t need to be done at all.
  23. TV-free.  Turn off the TV, especially the news, and recapture many usable hours.
  24. Timer.  Time all your tasks for an entire day, preferably a week.  Even the act of measuring itself can boost your productivity, not to mention what you learn about your real time usage.  See Triple Your Personal Productivity.
  25. Valor.  Pick the one item on your task list that scares you the most.  Muster all the courage you can, and tackle it immediately.
  26. Nonconformist.  Run errands at unpopular times to avoid crowds.  Shop just before stores close or shortly after they open.  Take advantage of 24-hour outlets if you’re a vampire.
  27. Agoraphobia.  Shop online whenever possible.  Get the best selection, consult reviews, and purchase items within minutes.
  28. Reminder.  Add birthday and holiday reminders to your calendar a month or two ahead of their actual dates.  Buy gifts then instead of at the last minute.
  29. Do it now!  Recite this phrase over and over until you’re so sick of it that you cave in and get to work.
  30. Inspiration.  Read inspiring books and articles, listen to audio programs, and attend seminars to keep absorbing inspiring new ideas (as well as to refresh yourself on the old ones).
  31. Gym rat.  Exercise daily.  Boost your metabolism, concentration, and mental clarity in 30 minutes a day.
  32. Lovey dovey.  Romantic love will spur you on to greater heights, if for no other reason than to persuade your partner you aren’t such a loser after all.
  33. Troll hunt.  Banish the negative trolls from your life, and associate only with positive, happy, and successful people.  Mindsets are contagious.  Show loyalty to your potential, not to your pity posse.

Read the other two parts of this series here:  Volume 1 and Volume 3



Steve Recommends
Here are my recommendations for products and services I've reviewed that can improve your results. This is a short list since it only includes my top picks.

Lefkoe Method - Permanently eliminate a limiting belief in 20 minutes
Site Build It! - Use SBI to start your own money-making website
Getting Rich with Ebooks - Earn passive income from ebooks
PhotoReading - Read books 3 times faster
Paraliminals - Condition your mind for positive thinking and success
The Journal - Record your life lessons in a secure private journal
Sedona Method (FREE audios) - Release your blocks in a few minutes
Life on Purpose - A step-by-step process to discover your life purpose

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