33 Rules to Boost Your Productivity – Volume 3

May 3rd, 2007 by Steve Pavlina

Here’s the third installment of 33 Rules to Boost Your Productivity (see Volume 1 and Volume 2).

These are a bit sillier and less politically correct than the first two volumes — I had to stretch to come up with more ideas — but many are still valid in certain situations.  Just be sure to take them with a grain of salt.  I assume no liability for anyone who actually tries to apply these.

Here are 33 more rules to boost your productivity:

  1. Halliburton.  Cut corners to save time and money when the outcome is mainly for show anyway.  If it looks good, it is good.  It’s easier to manufacture excuses than results.
  2. Nuke.XML.  Split your RSS feeds into two lists:  those that help boost your productivity vs. those that taketh it away.  Force yourself to unsubscribe from all the feeds in the second list.  You won’t miss them.  Just be sure this blog makes the first list.
  3. Evil eye.  Practice your best evil eye in a mirror, and use it liberally on anyone who enters your space to interrupt you.
  4. Vulcan logic.  Ask for a part-time assistant by explaining to your boss that you’re being paid $25/hour to do $10/hour tasks, which is costing your employer a lot of money.
  5. Voodoo.  Display voodoo replicas of your boss and co-workers on your desk, labeled with their names.  Whenever you overhear someone complaining of health problems (headache, upset stomach, runny nose, etc), stick a pin into the corresponding part of their doll.  Then call them over to your workspace for some unrelated reason.
  6. Scooby snacks.  Grab a bowl of your favorite snacks, such as grapes, tamari almonds, or Trader Joe’s Oriental Rice Crackers.  Eat one piece for each microbial piece of work you complete.  One bite per sentence.  One bite per line of code.  One bite per email.  Ranks, Raggy.
  7. Iraqi Freedom.  When you’re bleeding time and money on a project that’s spiraling out of control, when morale is in the toilet, and when you can’t even get yourself to believe your own lies anymore, that’s the best time to go on vacation.
  8. WoW.die.die.die.  Give online gaming a rest, and re-invest that energy into your real life, which is probably suffocating beneath a pile of dead, smelly orcs.
  9. Politician.  Throw money at your problems until they succumb.  Either this will work, or you’ll put your successor in such a crippled position that they can’t do any better.
  10. Upgrade.  Modernize your tools — a faster computer, a better PDA, a hotter girlfriend.
  11. Coach.  Hire a personal coach to keep yourself motivated, focused, and accountable.  After several months of pep talks, you’ll be qualified to start your own coaching practice.
  12. Proactive.  Just do it, and deal with the consequences later.  It’s easier to request forgiveness than permission.
  13. Polyphasic.  Six naps a day keeps your laziness at bay.  You can catch up on sleep when you’re dead.  See Polyphasic Sleep for details.
  14. Captain Kirk.  If you boldly and brazenly act like you know what you’re doing, people will assume it’s true.  Use this strategy to get promoted to the point where you can delegate all your work to those who really know what they’re doing.  Orion slave girls are standing by.
  15. Hyundai.  Lower your standards, and just get it done anyway you can.
  16. Saturn.  Dictate the terms you want as totally non-negotiable, and make them sound as generous as you can.  But at the first sign of resistance, cave in immediately and agree to re-negotiate everything.
  17. Blockade.  Slide a heavy piece of furniture in front of your office door.  When drop-in visitors complain they can’t get in, tell them you’re refactoring your office for greater productivity.
  18. Eye for an eye.  Punish those who add tasks to your plate by filling their plates with even more.
  19. Bait.  Put candy dishes on everyone’s desk but your own.
  20. Quagmire.  Fill out and mail a generous assortment of business reply cards in your boss’ name, checking the “bill me later” boxes.  A few dozen magazine subscriptions and some Franklin Mint collections ought to slow him down a bit.  A new Civil War chess piece every month means he’ll be playing chess in under 3 years.
  21. End run.  Suggest to your boss’ boss that your boss is overworked and needs more help.  If you implement the previous tip, this will likely be true.
  22. Fasting.  Digest information, not food.
  23. Toddler.  Throw a tantrum until someone finally solves the problem for you.
  24. Armageddon.  Use Overwhelming Force to totally dominate your problem.  Treat your molehill like a mountain.  Use a bazooka to kill a cockroach.  Send a real human being to serve in Congress.
  25. Model.  Find people who are already getting the results you want, interview them, and model their attitudes, beliefs, and behavior.  Then you’ll have someone to blame when things go wrong.
  26. The Secret.  Use the Law of Attraction to manifest the done-ness of your project.
  27. Illuminati.  Form a secret society to ensure that things always go your way.  Eventually take over the planet to guarantee you’ll never have to work again.
  28. PMS.  Accept the fact that you can still get your work done even when you’re pissed at everything.
  29. Anakin.  Would your problems be easier to solve if you turned evil?  The dark side beckons…
  30. Spammer.  Sign up for a free email account, and subscribe to every e-zine, e-newsletter, and mailing list you can find.  The shadier the better.  Once you’ve completed all the double opt-in processes, set that account to forward to your boss’ email.
  31. Steve Jobs.  On the rare occasions you actually do manage to get something done, talk it up like a madman.  Say “This is huge!” to everyone you meet.  People will assume you’re 10x as productive as you are.
  32. Guru.  Instead of doing your actual work, spend most of your time reading productivity blogs.  Within a few months, you’ll have acquired enough knowledge to start your own.  Eventually you’ll realize that 50% of the web consists of productivity tips written by chronic procrastinators.  The other 50% is porn.
  33. Uber-Guru.  Stick with the first 50%.

Read the first two parts of this series here:  Volume 1 and Volume 2



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