This post originally appeared on Quora in response to the question “What are the things that you do or use in order to make yourself more productive and smarter?”
I find I get the biggest boosts in productivity (and ‘smarts’) when I improve how I think. Here are the top 10 ways I do it:
- Keep your mind clear – have a system for recording every thought, idea and task (including emails you need to respond to) so your mind is clear to focus on the bigger things. I use the Things App synced across devices via the Cloud.
- Get inspired – I find the biggest leaps in productivity (and growth) happen when I’m inspired by someone or something outside of myself. That’s when I get the biggest things done. For me personally, I listen to podcasts and Audible books when I’m on the go.
- Put the Kindle App on your phone – and open the Kindle App instead of your social media apps. I learnt this from Charles Chu about a year ago and I’ve read more than 20 books since then.
- Get at least 8 hours sleep – it helps you more than you know.
- Exercise – it makes you stronger, in and out.
- Have a morning routine – it primes you for the day.
- Meditate every morning – it keeps your mind clear and centred throughout the day.
- Work on things you love first – when you wake up in the morning, work on your most exciting project first. You’ll kick-start the momentum for the rest of the day.
- Work somewhere different – I find that working at a cafe keeps me focused because there are no distractions, it’s more fun, and I can get coffee and food without interrupting the ‘work’.
- Schedule ‘thinking time’ – I take 2 hours whenever I can to sit down with priming questions and a large piece of paper (or mind mapping software) and ‘think’ about every part of my life. I often tell my team that conscious ‘thinking’ is the most under-utilised tool we have, and this is a way to consciously use your mind to improve your life.
And when you put all of these together, well, that’s when you get the best results.
Director of Strategy + Innovation | Co-Founder at Webprofits
I co-founded Webprofits in 2006 with the belief that there's always a smarter and better
way to do things. We're now a digital growth consultancy with offices in Australia, Singapore, and the
United States. I'm passionate about personal and professional growth, and I like to surround myself
with people who are as well. I have substantial private board experience, and have successfully launched an