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Financial Fundamentals

How to Stay Productive and Accomplish More in a Day

Alexandra Ardelean

My Approach to Productivity

I'm a very productive person. I know this because I've been told by many people that I'm the most productive person they know. I don't say this to brag, but rather to set the stage for what you're about to read.

I'm not saying this to brag, but rather to set the stage for what you're about to read.

The Power of Minimizing

If there's one thing that's key to productivity, it's minimizing. This is true in all aspects of life, not just business. Think about minimalism in physical space. It's the same concept, but with mental clutter.

There's a meme that goes something like this: "You can organize your stuff with Apple Notes or you can use 10 different software and spend 10 hours a day organizing your stuff."

This is exactly what I mean by minimizing. The more you have, the more you have to manage. And the more you have to manage, the less time you have for actual work.

Tactic 1: Minimize Distractions

The first tactic is making it difficult for people to contact me. This might sound counterintuitive, but hear me out.

I don't give out my phone number. If someone wants to talk to me, they have to email me first. Then I'll decide if it's worth my time.

This might sound harsh, but it's necessary if you want to be productive. If you make yourself too available, people will take advantage of it.

This is especially true in business. If you're always available, people will assume that you have nothing better to do than talk to them. And they'll keep coming back for more.

So don't be afraid to say no. And don't be afraid to minimize distractions from others.

Tactic 2: Focus with an Egg Timer

The second tactic is using an egg timer. This might sound old school, but it works wonders.

I set my egg timer for 55 minutes and then take a 15-minute break when it goes off. During those 55 minutes, I'm completely focused on whatever task I'm working on.

This is especially useful for studying or business tasks that require deep concentration. It's amazing how much you can get done in 55 minutes when you're not distracted by anything else.

Tactic 3: Eat the Frog

The third tactic is what I like to call "eating the frog." This means tackling the most difficult task first thing in the morning.

I know this might sound gross, but bear with me. The idea is that if you eat a live frog first thing in the morning, everything else will seem easy by comparison.

In other words, if you get the most difficult task out of the way early on, everything else will be a breeze.

Some people might find this concept off-putting, but I think it's a great way to increase productivity. By consciously choosing to do the most difficult task first, you set yourself up for success for the rest of the day.

Tactic 4: Batch Meetings

The fourth tactic is batching meetings. This is something I learned from Roadrunner Ventures and it has been a game changer for me.

Instead of having scattered meetings throughout the week, I now only have meetings on Tuesdays and possibly Thursdays (if necessary). This leaves Monday, Wednesday and Friday meeting-free so I can focus on deep work without interruptions.

If you've ever had a chaotic calendar with scattered meetings throughout the week, then you know how frustrating it can be. It's hard to get into a flow state when your day is constantly being interrupted by other people's schedules.

By batching meetings into one or two days per week, you free up the rest of your week for focused work. This has been a game changer for me and I highly recommend it if you're looking to increase your productivity.

Tool 1: Pen and Paper

The first tool I use is pen and paper. This might sound old school, but it works wonders for me.

Every morning, I write down three primary tasks that I need to accomplish that day. These are usually important and difficult tasks that require deep concentration.

Then I write down three secondary tasks that need to get done at some point during the day. These are less crucial than the primary tasks, but still need to be completed eventually.

By keeping my task list short and sweet, I avoid feeling overwhelmed and ensure that I stay productive throughout the day.

Tool 2: Notion

The second tool I use is Notion. Notion is an all-in-one workspace where you can write, plan, collaborate and get organized.

I use Notion as my second brain. It's where I store all of my thoughts and ideas for my businesses and projects.

For example, I have a page dedicated to Incorpo.ro where I keep track of all of my article ideas and drafts. I also have a page dedicated to Roadrunner Ventures where I keep track of all of my investment opportunities and due diligence notes.

Notion allows me to categorize my thoughts and ideas in a way that makes sense for me. It's like having an external brain that I can access at any time.

Additional Tips

In addition to pen and paper and Notion, there are countless other tools out there that can help you manage your workflow effectively.

For example:

  • Trello is great for managing projects with multiple team members
  • Asana is great for tracking tasks and deadlines
  • Slack is great for communicating with team members in real time
  • Google Calendar is great for scheduling meetings and events

There are countless other tools out there that can help you stay organized and productive throughout the day. The key is finding what works best for you and sticking with it.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, everyone has their own motivation for being productive. For me personally, my motivation is having free time on weekends (or any other day) so that I can do whatever I want without feeling guilty about not working on something else!