I recently finished [[Ali Abdaal]]'s productivity SkillShare class, Productivity Masterclass - Principles and Tools to Boost Your Productivity.

It nicely laid out productivity principles in an easily digestible format and I highly recommend you check it out if you're looking for foundational productivity principles. What follows are my notes from the class.

• Categories:: #Class
• Author:: [[Ali Abdaal]]
• Source:: Skillshare - Class Link
• How found:: Free trial offer from Ali's video:
• "A Productive Day on Vacation in the Canary Islands"
• Status:: #[[Completed]]
• Keywords:: #productivity #class #course #[[productivity equation]] #[[pilot plane engineer]]
• # Course Notes

• Good skills
• Communication
• Empathy
• Teamwork
• Handling problems
• Reflective writing
• The way to improve soft skills, the good skills above, is to actively reflect on what we're doing. What we did, how we can improve, how we did well. These move the needle.
• ## The productivity equation

• $$productivity = \frac{useful output}{time}*f (fun factor)$$
• No point being productive if we're not being productive about the right things.
• When stuff is fun,
• doesn't feel like work
• increases consistency
• Pilot (spend 10% - 15% of time here)
• Sets the course
• Gives instructions to the plane
• Plane (spend 80% of time here)
• Follows the set course
• Follows the instructions provided by the pilot
• Engineer (spend 5% - 10% of time here)
• Make sure the plane is efficient
• Make sure the plane is fueled efficiently
• Keep entire system organized
• to do list
• quick capture
• #### [[Writing Prompt]]

• Which do I struggle with most of all? The Pilot, Plane, or Engineer? In what specific ways?
• ## 3 myths of productivity

• ### MYTH 1. I don't have time

• Remove "I don't have time" from your vocabulary
• Quote "Time is what we want most, but what we use worst." – [[William Penn]]
• It's not that you don't have the time, it's that you're actively choosing not to use your time on that thing.
• Time is entirely within your control.
• Don't use time as an excuse for not doing something that you actually want to do.
• Exercise - Track how you're using your time for one to two weeks. Can be surprising.
• #### [[Writing Prompt]]

• What am I avoiding doing with the phrase, "I don't have time"?
• ### MYTH 2. #motivation is a myth

• Thought: "I should study"
• Middle Man: #motivation (motivation is a feeling)
• "I feel like studying right now"
• Action: Studying
• We often think we have to feel like doing the thing to do the thing.
• Ideal world - have thought, do thing regardless of how you're feeling
• Discipline
• Relying on feelings as a way of setting course in life is a recipe for disaster
• Feelings are temporary and unreliable
• A three year old, does what it feels like
• An adult does what it needs to do
• We usually only need #motivation to do things that are short term painful and long term helpful.
• Working out, etc
• Success leads to #motivation, repeat
• Long feedback loops make us think we need motivation to get things done. If the feedback loop is quicker, we don't feel we need motivation.
• How to improve #discipline
• Make the action more fun or pleasurable
• Example: Going to the gym
• Track workout and try to beat your last one
• Example: Studying
• Take the small hit to efficacy and list to music
• Change location you're working
• Give yourself coffee budget to spend when studying
• Take nice pics for Instagram
• Make consequences of inaction more painful
• In school and work we'll usually get the thing done because the consequences of not doing the thing usually outweigh the pain of doing the thing.
• Replicate that for your own thing
• Put money on the line!
• beeminder.com
• Shorten the feedback loop
• Turn things you need to do but don't want to do into a game
• Have I lifted more than last week?
• Make the outcome more salient
• Look to someone else who is experiencing what you're aiming for
• Treat your own interests with as much respect and attention as you do other people's
• #### [[Writing Prompt]]

• What's a goal I want to achieve?
• How can I make the process more pleasurable?
• Can I increase my odds of hitting the goal by putting money on the line?
• How can I make the outcomes more tangible and desirable?

• Task switching impacts our attention
• Much better to focus on a single task at one time and not task switch
• Get into [[flow state]]
• More productive, fun, happier - choose to avoid distractions
• So engaged with a task that it consumes our attention and it is tough enough to keep us engaged but not so tough that it's a huge slog. The "stretch zone"
• Examples
• For studying - if the exam were tomorrow, what would I be least happy about? Then do that thing.
• For business - What's the highest leverage thing I can be doing right now?
• Avoid distractions when in the #[[flow state]]
• Set devices to do not disturb
• #### [[Writing Prompt]]

• What's one or more situations when I was in my flow state?
• What circumstances & mindsets led to that?
• Can I manufacture those conditions for other stuff I need or want to do?
• ## 3 laws of productivity

• ### Parkinson's Law

• Work expands to fill the time that we allocate to it.
• What is your 10 year plan? Now let's say you have 6 months to achieve it.
• Hold yourself to these deadlines by:
• "Put money on the line!"
• #### [[Writing Prompt]]

• Make a list of 3-4 long-term tasks you want do.
• What would you do if you only had half as long to do them?
• What about if you had to do them in the next 24 hours?

• ### Pareto's Law

• 20% of input results in 80% of results
• Want to #learn #guitar? Free guitar lessons on justinguitar.com
• What does your Pilot want you to achieve?
• Now figure out the 20% of things you can do to accomplish 80% of that
• The broad brush strokes and filling in the picture is far more important than worrying about the detail.
• #### [[Writing Prompt]]

• What 20% of my work is driving 80% of my 'useful output'?
• What's taking up 80% of my time but not actually contributing much to my outcomes?
• ### Newton's First Law Of Motion

• If something is still, it will stay still. If something is moving, it will keep moving unless an external force acts upon it.
• If we're still, it requires an external force to get us going.
• If we're moving, we'll keep moving.
• Two minute rule
• #### [[Book Recommendation]] Getting Things Done by [[David Allen]]

• If something is going to take less than 2 minutes, just do it now rather than putting it on your todo list.
• Five minute rule
• If we are struggling to get started on a task all we have to do is do 5 minutes of that task. It becomes much easier to get started.
• #### [[Book Recommendation]]: Atomic Habits by [[James Clear]]

• Best book I've ever read on habits
• Keystone habit - when you get home from work, change into your gym clothes
• ## 3 Powers of Productivity

• ### 1. The Powers of Habits

• Once something becomes a habit, it becomes so much easier to maintain
• Identify yourself as a productive person
• Power of the mind - tell yourself what you are
• "I am a very productive person"
• You'll reinforce this identity and feel off when you're doing something not aligned with it
• If you can improve at a thing by 1% every day for a year, at the end of a year you'll be 37x better at that thing.
• The biggest failing of the human mind is the inability to understand the exponential function #verify (attribution) #Einstein
• Make tiny changes in your life to compound massively over time
• When something becomes a habit it no longer takes willpower to do it
• Habits aren't born in a single day
• Power of social contracts
• Publicly make your intentions or plan known or committed to
• Schedule a meeting or a call, you'll go to it. If you leave yourself open, you'll waste the time.
• #### [[Writing Prompt]]

• What three things would boost my productivity if I made them a habit?
• How can I help make those habits stick?
• Keep them front of mind and write about them daily. The writing component isn't a habit at this time so that could be a weak link in this chain of success but I have the interest to write and write more and I've seen the value of doing it in the past that I think I should be able to sustain this. By writing about these daily and keeping them front of mind, I will be closer tied to them, won't forget them and work against myself. I think a large component in doing reflections like this is you can know what's right for you to do and say you'll do it but when it comes time to follow thruogh to yourself, you easily forget about what you planned and do something that is against it. You disrespect yourself. You need to do better for you. By doing better for you, you can do better for those around you.
• ### 2. The Power of Productive Downtime

• Every day we have downtime we don't do anything with.
• Use that downtime to be productive, not waste of time things
• Pick one thing that will be your highlight for the day
• In the morning, brain dump a to do list for the day
• refer to it throughout the day and during down time to make progress
• ### 3. The Power of Productive Procrastination

• Procrastination that is productive and fun
• If you're going to procrastinate from what you should be working on, at least spend it productively
• Environmental design
• Structure your environment in a way that makes it easier to procrastinate doing productive things rather than non-productive things.
• ## The Fun Factor

• Enjoy what you're doing.
• You choose to participate in these things, choose to enjoy them.
• If you're not enjoying something, figure out ways to make it more fun.
• At times it's better to increase the fun factor even if it decreases the productivity
• Instead of thinking, "I have to do xyz..." we should think, "I get to do xyz..."