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The Secret Weapon: A No BS Approach to Productivity

The Secret Weapon: A No BS Approach to Productivity


    I’ve always known the folks behind Brain Toniq were into getting things done, but I had no idea that they were going to build a secret weapon to create a “no BS” approach to do so. But they have, and it’s a pretty compelling system.

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    Here’s what The Secret Weapon is, as described by its creators:

    The Secret Weapon is a free organizational methodology for both professional and personal aspects of life that re-organizes emails, ideas, and every to-do big and small into one system that stays synchronized across a person’s computers as well as their smart phones.

    The power behind The Secret Weapon comes from the way it takes the best aspects of David Allen’s popular GTD methodology and bringing them together with what is perhaps the most popular productivity application in the world, Evernote.

    It’s really quite brilliant because Evernote is one of the best tools for capturing ideas, notes and the like because of its ubiquity. It is available on virtually every platofrm, and syncs across all of them. That means you can be literally anywhere and Evernote can capture everything you throw at it, locking it down for you to access when you want – whether that is now, soon, or later on.

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    The Secret Weapon is a system that allows you to better sort out your tasks wherever you want within Evernote (largely based on notebook orientation and tags) and lets you focus your attention on the long-term aspects of your work and life in a much more visible way. And since all aspects of The Secret Weapon are free, the barrier to entry is much lower than other systems that profess to accomplish the same mandate.

    Video walkthroughs are available on The Secret Weapon website that outline the approach and the front-end work you’ll need to do within Evernote to make The Secret Weapon take shape. And once you’ve fully implemented it, all of the ideas and tasks in your life await you in a better (and safer) organized manner — and are put into the proper contexts as well. You control The Secret Weapon, which allows you choose when and where you will focus on your ideas and tasks. With The Secret Weapon, the idea is that you’ll achieve that ever-elusive Inbox Zero as a result – and you’ll wind up reaching your long-term ambitions at a far more or efficient and effective way.

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    Well, I’m going to put that theory to the test.

    I’ll be putting The Secret Weapon approach through the paces over the next 30 days, so watch for a follow-up on this in our “30 Days With” series at Lifehack sometime next month. Hopefully after reading that, you’ll know if this is a weapon worth having in your arsenal.

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    Photo credit: The Secret Weapon

    More by this author

    Mike Vardy

    A productivity specialist who shows you how to define your day, funnel your focus, and make every moment matter.

    Get What Matters Done by Scheduling Time Blocks What Everyone Is Wrong About Achieving Inbox Zero 4 Simple Steps to Brain Dump for a Smarter Brain Why Is Productivity Important? 10 Reasons to Become More Productive How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

    Trending in Lifehack

    1 How to Become an Early Riser and Stay Energetic 2 20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity 3 A Review of “The Art of Learning” 4 The Lifehack Show Episode 11: Mindfulness and the Authentic Self 5 What Everyone Is Wrong About Achieving Inbox Zero

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    Last Updated on November 19, 2019

    How to Become an Early Riser and Stay Energetic

    How to Become an Early Riser and Stay Energetic

    When you become an early riser, you’ll experience a lot of benefits including feeling more energized and having more time to do what you want.

    If you’d like to become an early riser, there are some things you should know before you run off to set your oft-ignored alarm clock.

    So how to become an early riser?

    Here are five tips I’ve discovered to be most helpful in making the transition from erratic sleeper to early morning wizard:

    1. Choose to Get up Before You Go to Sleep

    You’re not very good at making decisions when you’ve just woken up. You were in the middle of a dream in which [insert celebrity crush of choice here] is serving you breakfast in bed only to be rudely awakened by the harsh tones of your alarm clock. You’re frustrated, angry, confused, and surprised. This is not the time to be making decisions about whether or not you should stay in bed! And yet, most of us leave the first decision of our day to be made in a blur of partial wakefulness.

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    No more!

    If you want to be a consistently early riser, try making your decision to rise at a specific time before you go to sleep the night before. This frees you from making the decision in the morning when you’ve just woken up. Instead of making a decision, you have only to follow through on your decision from the night before.

    Easier said than done? Of course. But only for the first few times. Eventually, your need for raw willpower to get out of bed will diminish and you’ll be the proud parent of a new habit!

    Steve Pavlina suggests you practice getting out of bed during the day[1] to get a few of the “practice sessions” out of the way without the early morning fog in your head.

    2. Have a Plan for Your Extra Time

    Let’s say you’ve actually made it out of bed 2 hours before you normally would. Now what? What are you going to do with all this time you’ve discovered in your day?

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    If you don’t have something planned to do with your extra time, you risk falling for the temptation of a “morning nap” that wipes out all the work you put into getting up.

    What to do? Before you go to bed, make a quick note of what you’d like to get done during your extra hours the following day. Do you have a book to write, paper to read, or garage to clean? Make a plan for your early hours and you’ll do more than protect yourself from backsliding into bed.

    You’ll get things done and those results will fuel your desire to build rising early into a habit!

    3. Make Rising Early a Social Activity

    Your internet or social media buddies just don’t have enough pull to make your new habit stick in the long term. The same cannot be said for the people you spend time with as part of your early morning routine.

    Sure, you could choose to read blogs for two hours every morning. But wouldn’t it be great to join an early breakfast club, running group, or play chess in the park at 5am?

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    The more people you get involved in making your new habit a daily part of your life, the easier it’ll be to succeed.

    4. Don’t Use an Alarm That Makes You Angry

    If we’re all wired differently, why do we all insist on torturing ourselves with the same sort of alarm each morning?

    I spent years trying to wake up before my alarm went off so I wouldn’t have to hear it. I got pretty good, too. Then I started using a cellphone as my alarm clock and quickly realized that different ring tones irritated me less but worked just as well to wake me up. I now use the ring tone alarm as a back up for my bedside lamp plugged in to a timer.

    When the bright light doesn’t work, the cellphone picks up the slack and I wake up on time. The lesson learned? Experiment a bit and see what works best for you. Light, sound, smells, temperature, or even some contraption that dumps water on you might be more pleasant than your old alarm clock. Give something new a try!

    5. Get Your Blood Flowing Right After Waking

    If you don’t have a neighbor, you can pick fights with at 5am, you’ll have to settle with a more mundane exercise. It doesn’t take much to get your blood flowing and chase the sleep from your head.

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    Just pick something you don’t mind doing and go through the motions until your heart rate is up. Jumping rope, push-ups, crunches, or a few minutes of yoga are typically enough to do the trick. (Just don’t do anything your doctor hasn’t approved.)

    If you live in a beautiful part of the world like me, you might want to use a bit of your early morning to go for a walk and enjoy the beauty of the world around you.

    If you have a coffee shop open within walking distance, dragging yourself out of bed for a cup of coffee to savor on your walk home as the world wakes around you is a wonderful experience. Try it!

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    Featured photo credit: Nomadic Julien via unsplash.com

    Reference

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