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My Best Short Productivity Tips

Maxi Contieri
Learn something new every day. - I am a senior software engineer working in industry, teaching and writing on software design, SOLID principles, DDD and TDD.
・3 min read

This is part of productivity series. You can read previous tips here and here

1- Lazy people automate πŸ€–

Try to avoid repetitive tasks.

Use scripts, programming, RPA, or anything suitable for you.

But never automate until you master the tasks.

This is procrastination monkey disguised! πŸ™ˆ

2- Schedule time on own calendar after setting goals πŸ“†

Put auto meetings to timebox your tasks.

This is especially important if your calendar is public and other people can book you meetings.

3- Schedule 50 minutes or 25 minutes meetings ⏱️

This way you can rest between meetings.

4- Don't be a slave to your calendar πŸ“…β˜οΈ

Plan but don't over plan or micromanage yourself.

The calendar is at your service. Not the way around.

5- Keep the information in a central placeπŸ“‘

Don't have multiple ToDos, lists, Trellos, Kanbans, bookmarks.

Use a single one. The way Marie Kondo manages her mess.

6- Sprint and pause like cycling 🚴

Sometimes you need to run a marathon, and the other time you will need to rush. Toggle tasks.

7- When browsing open a new window🌐

If you need to start a new subject (or procrastinate), do it on a new browser page, never a tab.

This way if you open multiple tabs they will be related, and you will close all of them together instead of keeping polluting the original window.

Don't use Chrome's tab grouping.

You can even save the whole web page for offline browsing.

8- Use Micro-rewards πŸ†

When doing Pomodoro short tasks, you can auto reward the completion with small games (like a Candy Crush level) or a short film. This will improve your focus coming back.

9- Silence the Noise πŸ”‡

Use hacks to avoid distractions and noise on social networks.

Use blockers like Focus.

10- Mind the Principles ✨

Read about how your mind works.

Don't buy fancy quick solutions.

The productivity techniques that work are built on principles. Not quick hacks. Or fancy tools.

11- Repeat until you create a habit. πŸ”

It takes about 21 repetition days to create a hardwired habit.

Use Savers Technique

12- Don't interrupt your tasks. 🚦

This advice is repeated in all my articles.

The flow process is hard to get back and multitasking is a big lie.


I'm sure there are plenty of productivity pieces of advice around. Which one does work for you?

Please leave me a comment.

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Discussion (4)

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ssimontis profile image
Scott Simontis

Some of my tips:

  • Never start a meeting without an agenda, it's a sure waste of time. Never leave a meeting without action steps, or you'll waste time in several more pointless meetings.
  • There's nothing wrong with setting up do-not-disturb times on your calendar so you can focus on deep work; just make sure you leave time for your coworkers outside of those blocks.
  • Don't confuse urgent tasks with important tasks...sometimes they are not the same. Most issues I have seen with productivity relate to people failing to categorize tasks on the 2D matrix that is importance vs urgency.
  • Similarly, strategy and tactics are different things. Tactics are your day-to-day maneuvers to make forward progress, strategy is a long-term goal or outcome. If you don't have both, you will not be an effective team.

I learned a ton about working effectively from family members who are military officers and I'd encourage anyone who is interested in learning more to read up on military history, I personally find it fascinating.

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mccurcio profile image
Matt Curcio

I like your points.

  • For me, one important item is to have a goal before I start the day OR a task.

I feel without the goal up front I can easily get carried away or loose track of my first intention.
But that is me. ;)

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