Being Productive

Embracing procrastination

For years I tried many things on being productive but after a while I reached a plateau. My body just didn’t want to leave procrastination.

But I think now I have successfully found a combination of techniques that work out great for me.

Optimise life for flow

Long uninterrupted work sprints do wonders. All studies point we can do more+better work in flow states - hence be ruthless about rejecting meetings. If we can get into flow more often, we can get more done in less time - which gives us time to explore more.

The enemy of flow is procrastination

Fill your agenda with only important&urgent things. Suppose you have 10 things to do but now you got this another idea which seems to be more important than 5 things in the stack, put the new activity at 6th position.

The above technique is called structured procrastination

You can procrastinate something for a more important thing but not a less important one - this idea defies procrastination because procrastination is essential leaving something important for a less important one. The image above shows most of my activities are urgent&important and I keep switching when I get bored with one. (I was introduced to this idea by an interview of Marc Andreessen)

30 minute rule

There is a 5 minute rule which advices to do something immediately if it takes <5 minute. I have a modified version of it - Do something immediately if the activity is urgent&imp and can be done within 30 minutes. If I get an idea for writing but it takes more than 30 minutes, I will at least jot down the ideas.

This idea is taken from Naval - “Inspiration is perishable - act on it immediately.”

Don’t eat the frog

Start day with something that excites you rather than eating the frog. To me a frog is an urgent&unexciting thing. Ideally there shouldn’t be any frog in our life if we follow structured procrastination.

Life follows Pareto

Some days are just super-productive. We plan ideas for days and nothing happens. We execute the plan one day and feel why didn’t we do this earlier.

This is normal and I think it’s ok to have unproductive days. Although such regrets will reduce with structured procrastination. You will start doing only urgent&important.

A major part of this routine is possible because I have a remote job which gives me complete freedom of time. Absence of time constraints and minimal meetings allow me to go in flow more often.

Once you have recurring flow states, everything gets easier.