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14 Awesome Hacks Shared By A Startup CEO That Will Super Boost Your Productivity

14 Awesome Hacks Shared By A Startup CEO That Will Super Boost Your Productivity

Want to super boost your productivity? Read on to find out what Matt DeCelles, the co-founder/partner of William Painter, has shared his favorite productivity hacks and tools in Quora.

First off, it’s a 2 step process – prioritization stage and execution stage.

Prioritization Stage

1. Prioritize the most important tasks

Prioritize the most important tasks you need to get done (often the one you are putting off). It is critical to set objectives before working. A great book on this topic is Eat That Frog.

2. Use Trello.com to map out all of the tasks of the company

This gives a macro view of what’s going on and allows you to delegate tasks that may better be completed by another person. AgileZen.comAsana.com and kanbanflow.com are other great Task Management options. Delegation can be one of your best productivity tools!

trello

    3. Delegate (LIKE A BOSS)

    When you enjoy what you do, you will find yourself being much more productive. If you really suck at doing something, chances are there is someone out there that can probably do it for less than $5/hr. Check out Fiverr.comUpwork and ODesk.com etc etc… Slow clap it out for globalization.

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    fiverr

      4. Use a whiteboard to list all of the tasks that are yours to accomplish

      After looking at Trello and delegating out tasks, I put mine on a white board. Usually this is 10-15 tasks.

      *You could also use Evernote or a notepad, but i prefer the whiteboard.

      whiteboard

        5. Use a post-it note to record the 3 most important things

        Use a post-it note to record the 3 most important things you can do on that particular day. The post-it note is beneficial because it has a size constraint.

        post it

          Okay now it comes the fun part.

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          Execution Stage

          6. Set iPhone in Do Not Disturb Mode

          It’s a new feature in iOS 6 that turns off vibrate and all sounds.

          iphone

            6.5 Set Mac in Do Not Disturb Mode (OSX Mountain Lion)

            Pull out the Notification Center on the Mac and scroll up. There is a hidden switch that allows you to shut off Alerts and Banners.

            *Notifications resume automatically the next day in case you forget to turn it back on.

            alert

              7. Remove temptations with Self Control

              SelfControl is a tool that blocks websites you have listed as distracting for a set period of time. Once you set it, there is no way to shut it off until the time expires…which makes you feel like an addict going through withdrawals.  As you notice distractions, be sure to add them to your blacklist.

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              selfcontrol1
                self control

                  8. Use Rescue Time to track your productivity

                  Install RescueTime on your computer and it measures how much time you spend doing particular activities. You then designate whether those activities are productive or not.  It also emails you with a productivity summary for the week.  This will show how much time you spend on Facebook or Youtube per week.

                  *This only needs to be installed once.

                  rescue time

                    9. Use Toggl to track individual task time

                    Start a task and start the timer. It’s shocking to look back on your day and see that it took 10 minutes to send one email etc.
                    *Note* I am not recommending using Toggl all day everyday as it requires too much work and dedication. Use it occasionally to get a picture of where your day goes, both online and offline. It will be eye opening…I promise.

                    toggl

                      10. Take a break when you are not being productive anymore

                      For me I have a really short attention span, and I notice a significant fall off in productivity after about an hour or so of work. Take a break. Go for a walk, do something else. etc…. then get back to work!

                      take a break

                        11. Listen to music

                        Not all music is the same when it comes to being productive. Try out different genres of music and see what works for you. *For me I like music with very few lyrics and has a repetitive beat that gets me almost in a productive trance.

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                        music

                          12. Use VIP Inbox on iOS 6

                          Set up your VIPs (be very selective) and only check those emails. Batch the rest.

                          mailbox

                            13. Batch Your Email (When people are unlikely to respond right away)

                            Email is one of the biggest time wasters. Stay away unless it is absolutely critical to your previously set objectives.

                            Remember that the more emails you send throughout the day, the more you receive. It’s a vicious cycle. 

                            *I batch emails at night or early in the morning when people are less likely to respond right away. It is amazing how fast you can blow through a few hundred emails when you are not replying to instant responses and can move on to other tasks.

                            cycle

                              14. Add “sent from my iPhone” to all email accounts signatures.

                              This way people don’t get upset with you for keeping your emails brief and getting right to the point.

                              sent from iphone

                                Featured photo credit: Businessman adjusting his tie – closeup shot via shutterstock.com

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                                Anna Chui

                                Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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                                Last Updated on October 16, 2019

                                Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

                                Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

                                Do you like making mistakes?

                                I certainly don’t.

                                Making mistakes is inevitable. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be at ease with them?

                                Perhaps there is a way to think of them differently and see their benefits.

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                                Why Mistakes Feel Dangerous

                                Mistakes often feel dangerous. Throughout human history, our errors have often been treated as dangerous for a variety of reasons:

                                • Our vulnerability. We have limited and fragile support systems. When those systems fail, people often lose their lives.
                                • Real dangers. Nature can be dangerous, and making mistakes can put us at the mercy of nature and its animal residents seeking a meal.
                                • Ignorance. Many cultures scapegoats someone whenever there is a failure of some kind. Scapegoating can be serious and deadly.
                                • Order. Many societies punish those who do not conform to the prevailing orthodoxy and treat difference and non-conformity as a mistake. Even our brains flash an error message whenever we go against prevailing social norms.

                                We have a history of handling mistakes and failure in an unpleasant way. Since each of us carries our human history with us, it can be a challenge to overcome the fear of making mistakes.

                                If we can embrace the reality of mistakes, we can free ourselves to be more creative in our lives and dig up some interesting insights.

                                Why We Can’t Avoid Making Mistakes

                                Many people operate under the notion that making mistakes is an aberration, a mistake if you will. You can call it perfectionism but it is a more substantial problem. It is really a demand for order and continuity.

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                                When we think we can eliminate mistakes, we are often working from a perspective that sees the world as a fixed place. The world, however, is not so obliging. Like it or not, the world, and everything in it, is constantly changing.

                                Change is more constant and pervasive than we can see with our own eyes which is why we often miss it. Our bodies are constantly changing. The natural conditions of the earth change constantly as well. Everything, including economic and cultural systems have life cycles. Everything is in a constant state of flux.

                                We cannot see all of the changes going on around us since rates of change vary. Unfortunately, when we try to create a feeling of certainty and solidity in our lives or operate from the illusion of stability and order, we are fighting reality and our natural evolution which is built on adapting to change.

                                It is better to continually bend into this reality rather than fight every change we experience. Fighting it can cause us to make more mistakes. Finding the benefits in change can be useful and help us minimize unnecessary mistakes.

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                                Lessons Learned from Making Mistakes

                                Life has so many uncertainties and variables that mistakes are inevitable. Fortunately, there are many things you can learn from making mistakes.

                                Here is a list of ways to harness the mistakes you make for your benefit.

                                1. Point us to something we did not know.
                                2. Reveal a nuance we missed.
                                3. Deepen our knowledge.
                                4. Tell us something about our skill levels.
                                5. Help us see what matters and what does not.
                                6. Inform us more about our values.
                                7. Teach us more about others.
                                8. Let us recognize changing circumstances.
                                9. Show us when someone else has changed.
                                10. Keep us connected to what works and what doesn’t work.
                                11. Remind us of our humanity.
                                12. Spur us to want to better work which helps us all.
                                13. Promote compassion for ourselves and others.
                                14. Teach us to value forgiveness.
                                15. Help us to pace ourselves better.
                                16. Invite us to better choices.
                                17. Can teach us how to experiment.
                                18. Can reveal a new insight.
                                19. Can suggest new options we had not considered.
                                20. Can serve as a warning.
                                21. Show us hidden fault lines in our lives which can lead us to more productive arrangements.
                                22. Point out structural problems in our lives.
                                23. Prompt us to learn more about ourselves.
                                24. Remind us how we are like others.
                                25. Make us more humble.
                                26. Help us rectify injustices in our lives.
                                27. Show us where to create more balance in our lives.
                                28. Tell us when the time to move on has occurred.
                                29. Reveal where our passion is and where it is not.
                                30. Expose our true feelings.
                                31. Bring out problems in a relationship.
                                32. Can be a red flag for our misjudgments.
                                33. Point us in a more creative direction.
                                34. Show us when we are not listening.
                                35. Wake us up to our authentic selves.
                                36. Can create distance with someone else.
                                37. Slow us down when we need to.
                                38. Can hasten change.
                                39. Reveal our blind spots.
                                40. Are the invisible made visible.

                                Reframe Reality to Handle Mistakes More Easily

                                The secret to handling mistakes is to:

                                • Expect them as part of the process of growth and development.
                                • Have an experimental mindset.
                                • Think in evolutional rather than fixed terms.

                                When we accept change as the natural structure of the world, our vulnerability and humanness lets us work with the ebb and flow of life.

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                                When we recognize the inevitability of mistakes as part of the ongoing experiment which life is, then we can relax more. In doing so we may make fewer of them.

                                It also helps to keep in mind that trial and error is an organic natural way of living. It is how we have evolved over time. It is better to be with our natural evolution than to fight it and make life harder.

                                When we adopt an evolutional mindset and see ourselves as part of the ongoing human experiment, we can appreciate that all that has been built up over time which includes the many mistakes our ancestors have made over thousands of years. Each one of us today is a part of that human tradition of learning and experimenting,

                                Mistakes are part of the trial and error, experimental nature of life. The more you adopt the experimental, evolutional frame, the easier it becomes to handle mistakes.

                                Handling mistakes well can help you relax and enjoy all aspects of life more.

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                                Featured photo credit: Sarah Kilian via unsplash.com

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