Advertising
Advertising

12 Productivity Blogs Smart People Read

12 Productivity Blogs Smart People Read

Smart is smart. That’s obvious. But how exactly do you become smart? And how do you turn yourself into a productivity ninja? Generally, smart people are productive. Question – how do you become smart and productive? There are many ways, but one of the best is education. Teach yourself techniques and strategies to become bright and productive. Well, if you want to be cleverer than what you are now, you need to start by not spending too much. One of the best ways to do this is to read websites. Numerous sites offer free content to reach your goals of turning yourself into someone wiser and more intelligent. Numerous sites offer free content to reach your goals of turning yourself into someone wiser and more intelligent.

In this post, we’ll cover 12 smart productivity blogs you should be reading. I love these blogs. I have invested time reading them, and I don’t have any regrets. They’ve helped me learn more about personal finance, productivity, setting goals, forming good habits, GTD, time management, and other invaluable subjects.

Steve Pavlina

Steve_Pavlina_10

    Steve Pavlina’s blog is recommended by many personal development freaks like me. If there’s what we call a well-rounded personality, his is a well-rounded blog. He writes about productivity, relationships, money, career, health, personal development, habits, and spirituality. What strikes me the most about Steve’s style is he writes about the lessons and tips based from his own experiences, and to me, that is powerful.

    Lifehack.org

    Advertising

    Lifehack_10

      One of the biggest productivity blogs and one of the smartest. Lifehack covers Lifestyle, communication, money, productivity, tech, and work. Those are the major topics, but it has more under each of those topics. One of the dominant characteristics of the site’s posts is their being shareable-centric. Writer contributors love the fact that the audience share what they think is valuable and doable. Personally I’ve benefited from Lifehack’s ability to capture the fancy of its readers and its capability to motivate them to share content. I have to point out, though, that if the audience doesn’t find the content excellent, they won’t share it online. Like you need telling!

      Lifehacker

      Lifehacker-30

        The owners summarize Lifehacker like this: Tips, tricks, and downloads for getting things done. I’m pretty sure you got the point! It’s where you can find any kind of tips, and tricks, and downloads that can help you do whatever you want to do. The website’s team categorized topics this way: Downloads (or more specifically, Windows Downloads, Mac Downloads, iOS Downloads, and Android Downloads), Windows, OS X, Linux, Android, iOS, and Windows Phone, How To, DIY, and more.

        Dumb Little Man

        DLM

          In the words of the owner, Jay White, “the site is about productivity, exceeding goals, automation, and, well, finding a simpler way for everything.” Categories include happiness, success, money, how to, life hacks, health. You will surely enjoy reading more about the site. Start with the Dumb little Man’s about page. And just one look at the homepage, you’ll see that DLM has a well-balanced group of niches. For me, because I’m a tech-challenged blogger, I find the how-tos covering technology helpful. Go, check, if you haven’t yet. You’ll not waste your time.

          Advertising

          Get Rich Slowly

          Get Rich Slowly

            If you want to learn how to manage your personal finances well your site is Get Rich Slowly. The site is named a best blog by Time magazine and most inspiring money blog by Money magazine. It’s devoted to sensible personal finance. Topics covered are Bank Reviews, The Basics, Money Hacks, Investing, Being Frugal, Enterpreneurship, Savings, Budgeting, Cars, Retirement, and Debt. There are more, but you’ll have to jump over to the site to appreciate it better.

            Zen habits

            ZenHabits_10

              If you are looking for a blog that can teach you to develop simple habits to change your life for the better, I recommend Leo Babauta’s famous blog, Zen Habits. Time Magazine voted it as one of the Best Blogs of 2010. That’s a good reason for you to check his blog. What I like about this blog is that it uses a simple way to explain ways to acquire habits that can result to you becoming a more productive person and generally a better individual.

              Wise Bread Personal Finance Forum

              Advertising

              Wise Bread

                The about page of a site sort of sets the initial mood of the reader during the first visit. Checking Wise Bread’s about page you’ll read this: Wise Bread is a community of bloggers here to help you live large on a small budget. Despite what you may have heard, you don’t have to sacrifice your financial independence to enjoy life. Upon reading this short introduction, I was convinced and encouraged to patronize the blog. The site got me on “Living large on a small budget.” Who wouldn’t desire that? Topics covered are Credit cards, Personal finance, Frugal living, Career, Life hacks, Best deals, (and believe or not, they even feature other Personal Finance blogs).

                LifeDev

                LiveDev_10

                  The first time I visited this wonderful blog, I was caught unaware I was being drawn in closer and closer to check everything about it,immediately. Not only because it’s part of my research, but because it has something I can’t ignore: honesty. What’s more, it’s sincere in helping people in the business of creating and finishing projects no matter how big or small they are.

                  Productivity501

                  Productivity501

                    Productivity501 is a blog focused on serving tips and tricks to help you increase your personal productivity. Since it genuinely wants to do that, originality is it’s priority, so it’s generally slower than other sites with postings; it concentrates on original content only. The blog does its best to come up with one original post every week. However, the blog’s focus is on featuring something that will surely benefit the audience. One thing that distinguishes it from other productivity websites is that it has its own Youtube Channel featuring tips and tricks. The blog also frequently include tech tips on their featured posts. This way, tech challenged guys like me can have a field day every time they visit Productivity501.

                    Advertising

                    The Daily Saint

                    TheDailySaint

                      Focused on helping professionals to organize and improve time management so they can get more things done and create a greater impact. It’s also set to help them experience more satisfaction, and to transform their organization for the better. This blog separates itself from the rest by catering to organizations too, instead of limiting itself to helping only individuals. An added feature is the topic, leadership. Many productivity blogs cover leadership but The Daily Saint incorporates it into its main fiber.

                      Ian’s Messy Desk

                      IansMessyDesk

                        Looking for a blog that’s focused on time management and personal development has never been easier. Just click the name of the blog above and you’ll get in, pronto. Once inside, you’ll know you’ll never have a messy desk again. Well, that is if you follow the tips offered there. Right on its About Page, you’re assured you’ll not only get self-help tips but also be a beneficiary of teaching, coaching, sharing, and mentoring. So, if you feel you’re stuck somewhere you’re not comfortable in, or you need a little push to left you up where you’re at, feel free to navigate to IMD. It’s a smart move. Take it from your friend, Anthony (me).

                        Open Loops

                        OpenLoops

                          Among the sites here, this one has a different angle. It’s from an educator’s viewpoint. Bert Webb, the owner, has spent about 19 years of his life in academia enabling him to come up with wise advice regarding time management, productivity, and self development. Drop by the site and you’ll see such topics as developing writing skills, effective communication, powerful presentations, improving resumes, and so much more. It’s quite different from the rest of the productivity blogs because subjects are discussed with the wisdom of a teacher. I and my friends who are productivity experts highly recommend these blogs.

                          Featured photo credit: VIKTOR HANACEK via picjumbo.com

                          More by this author

                          Anthony Dejolde

                          TV/Radio personality who educates his audience on entrepreneurship, productivity, and leadership.

                          Feeling Scattered? How to Organize Notes to Stay on Top of Things Drink Water At The Correct Time To Stay Healthy The Art of Tucking in Shirts every Gentleman Needs to Practice 10 Ways to Lace Up Your Shoes Creatively 25 Odd Jobs That Make Good Money

                          Trending in Productivity

                          1 How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work 2 Better Alternatives to New Year’s Resolutions to Reduce Your Stress 3 How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money 4 7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It 5 How to Concentrate and Train Your Brain to Focus Better

                          Read Next

                          Advertising
                          Advertising
                          Advertising

                          Published on January 16, 2019

                          How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

                          How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

                          We’re all busy, but sometimes we go through periods where the work piles up and it seems like it might never end.

                          You might have such a heavy workload that it feels too intimidating to even start.

                          You may have said yes to some or too many projects, and now you’re afraid you won’t be able to deliver.

                          That’s when you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and start looking at what’s working and what’s not working.

                          Here’re 13 strategies you can use to get out from under your overwhelming workload:

                          1. Acknowledge You Can’t Do It All

                          Many of us have a tendency to think we can do more than we actually can. We take on more and more projects and responsibility and wear numerous hats.

                          We all have the opportunity to have and take on more work than we can reasonably expect to get done. Unfortunately, our workload is not static. Even now, while you are reading this article, I’m guessing that your inbox is filling up with fresh new tasks.

                          To make real, effective progress, you have to have both the courage and resourcefulness to say, “This is not working”. Acknowledge that you can’t do it all and look for better solutions.

                          At any given time in your life, there are likely many things that aren’t going according to plan. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and those around you about what’s not working for you, both personally and professionally.

                          The more you exercise your ability to tell the truth about what’s working and what’s not working, the faster you’ll make progress.

                          2. Focus on Your Unique Strengths

                          Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader or working as part of a team, every individual has unique strengths they can bring to the table.

                          The challenge is that many people end up doing things that they’re simply not very good at.

                          In the pursuit of reaching your goals or delivering a project, people end up doing everything themselves or taking on things that don’t play to their unique strengths. This can result in frustration, overwhelm and overwork.

                          It can mean projects taking a lot longer to complete because of knowledge gaps, or simply not utilizing the unique strengths of other people you work with.

                          It is often not about how to complete this project more effectively but who can help deliver this project.

                          Advertising

                          So, what are your unique strengths that will ensure your workload is delivered more effectively? Here’re some questions to help you reflect:

                          • Are you a great strategist?
                          • Are you an effective planner?
                          • Is Project Management your strength?
                          • Is communication and bringing people together your strength?
                          • Are you the ideas person?
                          • Is Implementation your strength?

                          Think about how you can bring the biggest value to your work and the projects you undertake.

                          3. Use the Strengths of Your Team

                          One of the simplest ways to manage your workload effectively is to free up your time so you bring your highest level of energy, focus and strengths to each project.

                          Delegation or better teamwork is the solution.

                          Everyone has unique strengths. It’s essential to think teamwork rather than working in isolation to ensure projects can be completed effectively. Besides, every time you give away a task or project that doesn’t play to your unique strengths, you open up an opportunity to do something you’re more talented at. This will empower both yourself and those around you.

                          Rather than taking on all the responsibilities yourself, look at who you can work with to deliver the best results possible.

                          4. Take Time for Planning

                          “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. – Abraham Lincoln

                          One hour of effective planning could save hours of time. Rather than just rushing in and getting started on projects, take the time to map everything in.

                          You can take the time to think about:

                          • What’s the purpose of the project?
                          • How Important is it?
                          • When does it need to be delivered by?
                          • What is the best result and worst result for this project?
                          • What are the KPIs?
                          • What does the project plan and key milestones look like?
                          • Who is working on this project?
                          • What is everyone’s responsibilities?
                          • What tolerances can I add in?
                          • What are the review stages?
                          • What are the challenges we may face and the solutions for these challenges?

                          Having absolute clarity on the project, the project deliverables and the result you want can save a lot of time. It also gets you clear on the priorities and timelines, so you can block out the required amount of time to focus and concentrate.

                          5. Focus on Priorities

                          Not everything is a priority, although it can often feel, in the moment, that it is.

                          Whatever you’re working on, there is always the Most Urgent, Important or Most Valuable projects or tasks.

                          One tool you can use to maximize your productivity and focus on your biggest priorities is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. This strategic tool for taking action on the things that matter most is simple. You separate your actions based on four possibilities:

                          1. Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
                          2. Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
                          3. Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
                          4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).

                          James Clear has a great description on how to use the Eisenhower Matrix: How to be More Productive By Using the Eisenhower Box

                          Advertising

                            The method I use with my coaching clients is to ask them to lay out their Top Five priorities for the day. Then to start with the most important priority first. At the end of the day, you review performance against these priorities.

                            If you didn’t get everything accomplished, start the next day with your number one priority.

                            If you are given additional task/projects during the day, then you will need to gauge their importance V the other priorities.

                            6. Take Time Out

                            To stay on top of a heavy workload, it’s important to take time out to rest and recuperate.

                            If your energy levels are high and your mind and body is refreshed and alert, you are in more of a peak state to handle a heavy workload.

                            Take time out of your day to go for a walk or get some exercise in. Leave early when possible and spend time with people who give you a lot of energy.

                            In the background, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep and eat healthily to sharpen the mind.

                            Take a look at this article learn about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

                            7. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

                            Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough. The balance we all crave is very different from one another.

                            I’ve written before about 13 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life. Working longer and harder doesn’t mean achieving more, especially if you have no time to spend with the people that matter most. The quality of who you are as a person, the relationships you have, the time you spend in work, deciding on what matters most is completely within your control.

                            Work-life balance is about finding peace within yourself to be fully present, wherever you are, whether that be in the office or at home, right now. It’s about choosing what matters most and creating your own balanced life.

                            If you feel there is not enough balance, then it may be time to make a change.

                            8. Stop Multitasking

                            Multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain simply can’t work effectively by doing more than one thing at a time—at least more than one thing that requires focused attention.

                            So get your list of priorities (see earlier point), do the most important thing first, then move to the next item and work down your list.

                            When you split your focus over a multitude of different areas, you can’t consistently deliver a high performance. You won’t be fully present on the one task or project at hand.

                            Advertising

                            If you allocate blocked time and create firm boundaries for specific activities and commitments, you won’t feel so overwhelmed or overworked with everything you have to do.

                            9. Work in Blocks of Time

                            To keep your energy up to produce your best results it’s essential to take regular breaks.

                            I use the 60-60-30 method myself and teach it to my coaching clients.

                            Work on a project for a sustained period of 50 minutes.

                            Then take a 10-minute break. This could be taking a walk, having a healthy snack or just having a conversation with someone.

                            Then continue to work on the project for a further 50 minutes.

                            Then take another 10-minute break.

                            Then take a complete 30-minute break to unplug from the work. This could be time for a proper lunch, a quick bit of exercise, reading or having a walk.

                            By simply taking some time out, your energy levels stay up, the quality of your work improves and you reduce the risk of becoming burned out.

                            10. Get Rid of Distractions

                            Make an estimation on how many times you are distracted during an average working day. Now take that number and multiply it by 25. According to Gloria Mark in her study on The Cost of Interrupted Work, it takes us an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after interruption.[1]

                            “Our research has shown that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity.”

                            Distractions don’t just take up your time during the distraction, they can derail your mental progress and focus for almost 25 minutes. So, if you are distracted 5 times per day, you could be losing almost 2 hours every day of productive work and almost 10 hours every week.

                            If you have an important project to work on, find a space where you won’t be distracted, or try doing this.

                            11. Commit Focused Time to Smaller Tasks

                            You know sometimes, you need to simply tackle these tasks and take action on them. But there’s always something more pressing.

                            Small tasks can often get in the way of your most important projects. They sit there on your daily To Do list but are often forgotten about because of more important priorities or because they hold no interest for you. But they take up mental energy. They clutter your mind.

                            Advertising

                            Commit to spending a specific period of time completing all the small tasks you have on your To Do list. It will give you peace of mind and the space to focus more on your bigger priorities.

                            12. Take a Time Audit

                            Do you know exactly where your time is going each day? Are you spending too long on certain projects and tasks to the detriment of bigger opportunities?

                            Spend a bit of time to analyze where you are spending your time. This insight will amaze you and give you the clarity to start adjusting where you focus your time and on what projects.

                            You can start by taking a piece of paper and creating three columns:

                            Column A is Priority Work. Column B is Good Work. Column C is low value work or stuff.

                            Each day, write down the project or task and the time spent on each. Allocate that time to one of the columns.

                            At the end of the week, record the total time spent in each column.

                            If you are spending far too much time on certain types of work, look to change things so your focused time is in Column B and C.

                            13. Protect Your Confidence

                            It is essential to protect our confidence to ensure we don’t get overwhelmed, stressed and lose belief.

                            When you have confidence as a daily resource, you are in a better position to problem solve, learn quicker, respond to anything, adjust to anything, and achieve your biggest opportunities.

                            Confidence gives you the ability to transform fear into focused and relaxed thinking, communication, and action. This is key to put your mind into a productive state.

                            When confidence is high, you can clearly see the possibilities at hand and create strategies to take advantage of them, or to solve the challenges you face each day.

                            Final Words

                            A heavy workload can be tough to deal with and can cause stress, burnout and ongoing frustration.

                            The key is to tackle it head on, rather than let it go on and compound the long-term effects. Hopefully, you can take action on at least one of these tips.

                            If it gets too much, and negatively affects your physical and mental health, it may be time to talk to someone. Instead of dealing with it alone and staying unhappier, resentful and getting to a point where you simply can’t cope, you have to make a change for your own sanity.

                            Featured photo credit: Hannah Wei via unsplash.com

                            Reference

                            Read Next