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Remarkable Productivity Tips, Hacks, Books, and Resources

 

by Successful Professionals, Investors, and Entrepreneurs

 
 

Do things that truly matter

 
For me, it’s always been about focusing on doing those things that will make the biggest difference.

Jo-Ann McArthur, President and Chief Strategist at Nourish Food Marketing

 
Focus on doing things that truly contribute to your goals.

Clint Liang, Founder & CEO, Lopif

Meditate first thing in the morning, visualize your day and attack it with a plan.

Stanley C Shang, Account Executive, Testforce Systems

List the 6 most important things to do for the day.

Nizar Kawar, Engineering Sales Associate, EFI Concepts.

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 Master your thinking

Ask yourself “What is the one thing I could do that would make everything else easier or unnecessary?”

Rob AttwellFOUNDER & COO, Care Team

The most important thing I learned in sales is “Qualify. Qualify! Qualify!!”. This also applies to tasks

Ean JacksonPresident, Analytics Marketing Inc.

Understand the value of your time. Prioritize high value, high return activities. Outsource lower value activities.

Sean Sheppard, Founder, GrowthX & GrowthX Academy

Do not open emails first thing in the morning. In fact, never open an email at a time when you are not in a position to reply.

Rajeev Gupta, Project Manager, Inforica

 
 

Learn How to be more productive

 
 

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

by James Clear

Recommended by Ekam Dhaliwal, Student at Simon Fraser University

The Fifth Discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization

by Peter Senge

Recommended by Cindy Gordon, CEO SalesChoice Inc.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

by Greg McKeown

Recommended by Manny Bahia, CRO | Co-founder DailyHive



The 1% Solution: How Small Daily Improvements Produce Massive Long-Term Results

by Eamonn J. Percy, CEO, The Percy Group

I wrote down 100 of my best productivities tips, put it into a book, self published it and it has become an Amazon Best Seller.

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Schedule things

 
If it’s not in my calendar, it’s not happening.
Meetings, coffee with new business opportunities, dinner with friends, workouts, and - most importantly - blocks of time to work on specific projects, they are all blocked in my calendar.
 

Kasey Bayne, Marketing Strategy & Consultant, KB Consulting

Take mandatory rest time 1 hour before bed -no phone, TV, or internet

Derek Disanjh, Principle Engineer, MistyWest

Block time on your schedule, and build in time for open networking

Joshua Tiong, Partner, Advisory Services, BDC

Work in increments of 25 minutes then take a 5 minutes break

Judy Kieu, Legal Assistant & Project Manager at Ink LLP

How Timeboxing Works and Why It Will Make You More Productive

by Marc Zao-Sanders

Recommended by Adam Dipinto, Software Developer at Agreement Express

I'm currently using a technique called timeboxing where I will block slots of my day into specific tasks. These tasks are color coordinated (Exercise - blue, Personal - red, Tech - orange, Project - Purple) and allows me to better designate my time to different tasks I'd like to take care of.

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The 1-3-5 System

For prioritizing work, I take my list of To-Do’s for the day and prioritize it according to the 1-3-5 system.

Recommended by Georgiy Sekretaryuk, Communications & Marketing Manager at BC Chamber of Commerce

 

1 Key Task

This is the 1 single task that MUST be completed to drive forward the vision and personal goals. This 1 task is the key task that is most important and has the most drastic effect.

3 Medium Tasks

After completing the 1 key task, I have 3 tasks of secondary importance that need to get done for the day. If a task is left incomplete, it is re-assessed the following day relative to other To-Dos, and is either moved up to become the Key Task or remains as the Medium Task.

5 Minor Tasks

Finally, these are the 5 minor tasks that are the "final victory run" for the day, or can be pushed up a day if I cannot get them done. The following day these are re-assessed and either adjusted/removed from the list, or moved up to medium importance.

How to Actually, Truly Focus on What You’re Doing

by Tim Herrera

Recommended by James Raymond, Manager - Research & Analysis at Vancouver Economic Commission

Here’s what my browser generally looks like: work email in the left-most tab, always open. TweetDeck in the next one, always open. A few Google Docs tabs with projects I’m working on, followed by my calendar, Facebook, YouTube, this publication’s website and about 10 stories I want to read — along with whatever random shiny thing comes across my desktop. (Not to mention my iPhone constantly nagging me, though I’ve mostly fixed that problem.)

This is no way to work! It’s awful, and my attention is divided across a dozen different things. My situation is far from unique, and most people who do most of their work on a computer know it all too well.

Enter “deep work,” a concept coined by one of my favorite thinkers in this space, Cal Newport. He published a book in 2016 by that name, and in it he details his philosophy and strategy for actually focusing on the things we can do and accomplish.

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Time is an Investment

Memento Mori, the daily practice of embracing mortality. Nothing is more motivating and focusing for me than this.

Jordan Kallman, Partner at The Social Concierge

It’s all about having guiding principles and themes for how I invest my time during different periods of life, and then being ruthlessly protective of my time for the period.

Joshua Tiong, Partner, Advisory Services, BDC

My personal go-to for productivity approach is time blocking. I allocate time for certain tasks, usually in 15 minutes to an hour, rather than trying to fit in an endless list of my tasks to my day.

Elaine Lee, Business Travel Coordinator, Reservations at Fairmont Waterfront

I found having a Minimalist lifestyle impactful. It means I have less simple daily decision to make and more time for creative thinking.

Linson Chen, Financial Advisor & Associate Portfolio Manager, RGF Wealth Management Ltd

 
 

1. Choose a task you'd like to get done

Something big, something small, something you’ve been putting off for a million years: it doesn’t matter. What matters is that it’s something that deserves your full, undivided attention.

2. Set the Pomodoro for 25 minutes

Make a small oath to yourself: I will spend 25 minutes on this task and I will not interrupt myself. You can do it! After all, it’s just 25 minutes.

3. Work on the task until the Pomodoro rings

Immerse yourself in the task for the next 25 minutes. If you suddenly realize you have something else you need to do, write the task down on a sheet of paper.

4. When the Pomodoro rings, put a checkmark on a paper

Congratulations! You’ve spent an entire, interruption-less Pomodoro on a task.

5. Take a short break on a paper

Breathe, meditate, grab a cup of coffee, go for a short walk or do something else relaxing (i.e., not work-related). Your brain will thank you later.

6. Every 4 pomodoros, take a longer break on a paper

Once you’ve completed four pomodoros, you can take a longer break. 20 minutes is good. Or 30. Your brain will use this time to assimilate new information and rest before the next round of Pomodoros.

Recommended by Roger Patterson, CEO, Co-Founder, Later.com

 
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You only have one life

We only have one life to live and life is too short so take the opportunity to live.

Don’t miss out

We get too caught up on the daily grind, too caught up on trying to figure out things like productivity or purpose that one misses the most beautiful aspects of being human - life and death.

Live

For me best approach to productivity - don't worry about it so much and just live.

Do Good

Live your truth, be of service to others, do good in the world - do what makes you most happy and do the best you can.

Laugh

Laughter goes a long way.

If life, wellness, and death, are not going to increase your productivity - I really don't know what else could!

Meharoona Ghani, Community Engagement & Diversity Specialist. Public Speaker & Spoken Word Artist, TEDxEastVan Speaker

 

Take care of yourself

Great sleep is one of the most important unlocks to high productivity. I use an Oura ring to track my deep sleep cycles (for focus) and my REM sleep cycles (for creative thinking)

Jordan Kallman, Partner at The Social Concierge

Live a healthy lifestyle. Sleep. No Alcohol. Exercise. Low glycemic index diet.

Maureen McGrath, Sexpert, Speaker, Radio Host, Nurse, Consultant, Author, Thought Leader, Blogger, TEDx

The quality of sleep you choose to provide yourself the night before dictates your energy/productivity levels for the coming day.

Nizar Kawar, Engineering Sales Associate, EFI Concepts.

20-25 mins of living room yoga in the morning gets the body moving, clears the mind, and makes you stronger.

Michael Smit, CCO at Ziva Dynamics.

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Work well with others

Make a plan and commit to it in a team (of 2 or more) - that keeps everyone involved accountable and the commitment is harder to break.

Tereza Omabuwa, Director of Business Development, The Sketch Effect

To manage projects, tasks, and workload, create priorities, assign tasks to people and keep track of progress.

Ahmad Zahran, Managing Principal Consultant, AXX Technologies

Mutual understanding, lived empathy, collegial affection and kindness are in my experience the prerequisites for high productivity!

Michael Rausch, C—CEO CyberForum

 

Optimize

Picking things up once is an old rule that has stuck with me; when doing chores around the house, and as a guide electronically too.

Jeanine Lassaline-Berglund, Vice President Operations, 48North.

Set an email rule to send all emails in which you’re bcc:’ed to trash. If you really need to be on the email, you wouldn’t be bcc:’ed.

Dennis Pang, Principal & Agency Director, Popcorn

It’s all about understanding when my brain is optimized for productivity and scheduling my task time around that.

Sean Sheppard, Founder, GrowthX & GrowthX Academy

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Measure Results

Create a Daily Dashboard

Create a daily dashboard that summarizes key clients, pursuits, deals, and training all on one sheet.

Review

Review it daily usually 2 – 4 times a day, to keeps you on task and reminds you what is important

Measure

Measure results in key areas such as biz dev calls, meeting, mandates and transactions.

Stay Focused

This keeps you productive discouraging any activities that are not productive and keeps you accountable.

Perry Gorgounis, Sales Associate, CBRE Limited

Top 10 Elon Musk Productivity Secrets for Insane Success

by Dan Silvestre

Recommended by Elaine Lee, Business Travel Coordinator, Reservations at Fairmont Waterfront

I read Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future over the summer. It’s a fantastic read and a detailed account of the ups and downs of one of the biggest visionaries of our time.

It also gives you a sneak peek into Musk’s work ethic and productivity secrets he uses to run multiple companies.

Now, Elon Musk is a smarter than average individual with an enormous ambition and drive. But I think that us–mere mortals–can incorporate some of his productivity secrets into our daily lives.

 

Productivity Tools

Slack

When your team needs to kick off a project, hire a new employee, deploy some code, review a sales contract, finalize next year's budget, measure an A/B test, plan your next office opening, and more, Slack has you covered.

Dave Brutus Brown, Founder & CEO at QiiQ Healthcare

SaneBox

SaneBox is your secret weapon to beat email. It will learn where emails from certain people should go, it will send it to that folder on its own, and you will never again have to tell it what to do.

Hussein Hallak, Co-founder & CEO, Next Decentrum

Mailbutler

I use Mailbutler to make dealing with email 10 times easier. With visual recognition of senders, ability to write now send later, and reminders of forgotten attachments, it's my secret to managing 100's of emails a day.

Hussein Hallak, Co-founder & CEO, Next Decentrum

Trello

I use Trello to physically see what tasks I have queuing and move cards around based on priority. It also helps me keep track of the next steps that I need to take once the previous step is completed.

Judy Kieu, Legal Assistant & Project Manager at Ink LLP

 

11 Keys to Increasing Your Productivity

Recommended by Greg Kular, Director Global Sales at BlockCerts.com

Top Contributors

 

Productivity Unleashed is made possible thanks to the contribution of many amazing individuals 

 

CEO SalesChoice Inc.

Sean Sheppard

Founder @ GrowthX & GrowthX Academy

President, Analytics Marketing

Joshua Tiong

Partner, Advisory Services, BDC

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Clint Liang

Founder & CEO, Lopif

Jordan Kallman

Partner at The Social Concierge

Jo-Ann McArthur

President and Chief Strategist at Nourish Food Marketing

Ekam Dhaliwal

Student at SFU

Perry Gorgounis

Sales Associate, CBRE Limited

Meharoona Ghani

Community Engagement & Diversity Specialist

Georgiy Sekretaryuk

MindReader, Communications & Marketing Manager, BC Chamber of Commerce

Dennis Pang

Principal & Agency Director | Popcorn

Manny Bahia

CRO & Co-Founder, Daily Hive

Adam Dipinto

Software Developer at Agreement Express

Greg Kular

Director Global Sales at BlockCerts.com

Kasey Bayne

Marketing Strategy & Consultant, KB Consulting