Being more productive

thumbnail of hbrproductivity Original by Dan McGinn, 2016 

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Notes from Harvard Business Review:  Interview of David Allen (“Getting things done”) and Tony Schwartz (“Be Excellent at anything”), Harward Business Review

“Your head is for having ideas, not holding them. Dumping everything out into a list can have a significant effect.” —David Allen

“We encourage people to work intensely for 90 minutes and then take a break. We believe napping drives productivity.” —Tony Schwartz

  • We focus on the four primary dimensions of energy that we all need to perform at our best. The ground level is physical—fitness, sleep, nutrition, and rest
  • Always do the most important task of the day first thing in the morning, when I’m most rested and least distracted. Ninety percent of people check their e-mail as soon as they get to work. That turns their agenda over to someone else.
  • Make lists, write down things. People don’t capture stuff that has their attention. They don’t acknowledge it or objectify it. And it keeps rolling around in the organizational psyche as well as the personal psyche, draining energy and creating incredible psychic residue.
  • Break big tasks down and focus on smaller “next actions,” which can seem more manageable
  • Eat small, energy-rich meals every few hours, rather than three big meals a day. We believe napping drives productivity
  • Create rituals to create discipline