How to Double Your Productivity

I’m reading Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success by Kerry Patterson, Al Switzler, Ron McMillan and Joseph Grenny. So far it’s an encouraging book. Much of it appears to me as common sense, but it’s always good to reinforce concepts you think you know. I’m hoping to test these theories with some change in my own life.

Here’s an excerpt from Change Anything:

Consider the following rather startling discovery. A team of researchers from New York University worked with students whose grades suffered because they procrastinated studying. They gave half of the procrastinators information on how to improve their study habits. The other half were given the same information—plus pencil and paper. They were told, “Decide now where and at what times you will study in the next week, and write it down.” Those who recorded their plan studied more than twice as many hours as those who didn’t.”

Did you catch that? How do you double your chance of being productive? Apparently you write it down. Schedule it. Make a plan.

I love it when the experts agree with me. :)

I suggest to people all the time that they should schedule everything. For years people have asked how I accomplish as much as I do. One “secret” is that I schedule my week. If you want more specifics, I wrote about it HERE.

Start the week off right. Calendar the things you want to accomplish.

Working the plan is much easier when you have one.

What tips do you have for being more productive?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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13 thoughts on “How to Double Your Productivity

  1. Bitter experience tells me that writing down a plan is a waste of paper.

    What worked – and then some – when I was studying for my final exams, was that I found a friend in a similar position. We agreed to sit together in the same room, she revising her stuff and I mine. We allowed ourselves one morning break and half an hour for lunch. It was the most productive studying I ever did.

  2. Hi Ron good post, and I agree that scheduling and planning are a good combination on being productive. It is better being ready and prepared when you start to work for it prevents time wasting. I am working as a freelancer and I do it more often. I admit that it is very hard to stay focus and be productive if you have so many things to do and don't know where to start. Another that I consider to be productive is using some tools that can help me do work a lot easier. Time management is very crucial for me because there are deadlines that I should meet. There are so many tools that can be use like Toggl or Freshbooks that has also an invoicing feature and a good time tracking tools. Here is a blog that helps me manage my time effectively. http://www.timedoctor.com/blog/2010/07/25/how-is-… Without this tool I don’t know how to manage my task anymore.

  3. Great post, Ron! I love a short, but powerful post that reminds me to get back to basics!

    I have learned this lesson before and actually put together an in-depth LIFE plan. I have put it in writing and I even review it and update it weekly! This is an incredible tool and I highly recommend it!

    At the same time, I committed to writing a "net-out" after every non-fiction book I read (leadership, faith, growth, biography, history, etc.) for the purpose of writing down my plan for whatever "take-aways" I got from the book. Sounds like a good plan and fits with the "knowledge vs. knowledge + written plan" message of your post, right?

    The problem is that I am three or four books behind right now and blowing off the net-outs. This was the first thing to come to mind when I read your post.

    While I hate having to learn lessons over and over, I guess that is better than not learning them at all!

    Thanks for the reminder!

  4. I am a teacher. I should teach my students to do this. Why haven't I done this yet? Oh, yeah, it's probably because I'm a procrastinator myself. =)

    Thanks for the tip!