6 Favorite Productivity Tips by Daniel Pink

In the newsletter published on the 22 November 2014, Dan Pink proposed his 6 favorite productivity tips. They are small steps that he took to make him work smarter, faster and better.

6 Favorite Productivity Tips by Daniel Pink

1. Honor the 2-Minute rule.
This one comes from the great David Allen, whose Getting Things Done methodology I’ve used for 15 years. In short, if you’ve got something to do that takes less than two minutes, do it right now. 

2. Don’t waste your most productive hours.
A growing stack of research shows that each day, we reach our peak productivity a few hours after waking.  Don’t devote that window of time to checking email or playing around on social media. Use it to do your most important work.

3. When in doubt, resort to the Pomodoro Technique.
I’m never proud when I pull out this trick, but I’m always glad I did. Pomodoro is a method for breaking large tasks into small chunks. Set a timer for 25 minutes and work nonstop without doing anything else. Then take 5 minutes to do whatever you want. Then do another 25-5 cycle. Lather, rinse, repeat.

4. Take a systems approach to email.
We could spend all day answering email — but we shouldn’t. So instead of being drip-tortured by your inbox, find a way to deal with all at once — in large batches during non-productive hours. I also use AwayFind.

5. Mark your progress.
Teresa Amabile’s research has shown that the single largest day-to-day motivator is making progress in meaningful work. But sometimes it’s tough to see the progress we’re making. That’s why I use the brilliant tool, IDoneThis. (Disclosure: This tool was so valuable to me that I invested in the company).

6. To make a good decision, ask the right question.
The Heath Brothers taught me this technique. If I’m faced with a decision, and I’m not sure what to do, I ask myself, “What would you tell your best friend to do in this situation?” Usually, the answer is clear. 

Who is Daniel Pink?

I first heard about his name in EduTech Conference in 2013. He was one of the keynote speakers at that conference. His keynote about “What motivates people?” was really interesting that I decided to follow his self-described irregular and irreverent newsletter.

6 Favorite Productivity Tips by Daniel Pink

My Commentary on the 6 Favorite Productivity Tips

It is quite obvious that these tips are worth sharing that I decided to write a post about them.

1. The first tip was spot-on. I have done this almost regularly, except maybe if it’s a request from people that I want them to wait for it (some people has the tendency to shoot out 100 emails for every things that concern them).

2. Maybe it’s true after my daily dose of coffee. However, I found that I work equally (if not better) towards the end of the day.

3. This is the first time I heard about ‘pomodoro’ method. It’s actually quite an interesting method to follow as you get short bursts of energy every time you engage on the new 25-minute window.

4. Luckily I am not at the CEO and/or famous writer stage of life and I don’t get hundreds of emails. However, this is quite an interesting technique to follow. The alert for important emails definitely helps in this instance!

5. People sometimes are too bogged down in their day-to-day work that they cannot see the bigger picture of what they are currently doing. Having a reminder what progress we are making can actually motivate us to do our job!

6. In my opinion, this is the most useful tip. Asking the right question is quite crucial to make a good decision. Great data obviously helps, however it might be of little meaning if it doesn’t answer your question!

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