Sign up FAST! Login

7 Simple productivity tips you can apply today, backed by science - The Buffer Blog

Stashed in: Practice, Focus!, Productivity, @bakadesuyo, Awesome, Favors!, NO., Give and Take, Do MOAR

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:


Schedule a few minutes to review the day:

My favorite part of this blog post was the Give and Take part:

Eric Barker recently interviewed Wharton Business School professor Adam Grant about his new book called “Give and Take”. What struck me the most was that the people who help others out consistently not only feel happier, but are actually more successful:

“Then I looked at the other end of the spectrum and said if Givers are at the bottom, who’s at the top? Actually, I was really surprised to discover, it’s the Givers again. The people who consistently are looking for ways to help others are over-represented not only at the bottom, but also at the top of most success metrics.” 

2 great tips for giving:

  • The “Five-Minute Favor”: The best tip Adam asks you to do something for a friend or even stranger, if it takes less than 5 minutes every day. “What if I just took a couple minutes every day to try to help someone in a way that it’s sort of a small commitment to me, but could be of large benefit to them?” That is a great way of thinking. Retweeting someone, helping them vote on something or similar takes virtually no time, but helps them a great deal.
  • The 100 hour rule:  In one year, Eric writes, we should be able to get to 100 hours that we’ve helped people. That’s roughly 2 hours per week. This “magical number of giving” helps you to both not be stressed and overloaded with helping, and yet giving a lot of your time to others.

“Deal with something once. Do it now. Then it’s off your mind, and you can fully focus on the next matter.” ~Leo Babauta,

Learn how to say no by using the word DON'T:

Being able to say “no” in an effective way, that doesn’t take up too much of our will-power is crucial. In an incredibly interesting study about saying no, they had this experiment:

One group was told that each time they were faced with a temptation, they would tell themselves “I can’t do X.” For example, when tempted with ice cream, they would say, “I can’t eat ice cream.” When the second group was faced with a temptation, they were told to say “I don’t do X.” For example, when tempted with ice cream, they would say, “I don’t eat ice cream.”

And here is what happened:

The students who told themselves “I can’t eat X” chose to eat the chocolate candy bar 61% of the time. Meanwhile, the students who told themselves “I don’t eat X” chose to eat the chocolate candy bars only 36% of the time. This simple change in terminology significantly improved the odds that each person would make a more healthy food choice.

Switching to “I don’t” whenever you want to say no, has shown to be one of the best ways to say no. Two of the most important things when it comes to saying no:

  • Decide a lot of things beforehand on whether you do them or not. Some examples include: “I don’t drink”, “I don’t check email in the morning”, “I don’t go to bed after 11pm”. This makes any potential temptations much easier to avoid.
  • Hold yourself accountable with these points. Write them down, share them with your family and friends or put them over your bed on a poster. Being held accountable has worked wonders for me.

You May Also Like: