The Pmarca Guide to Personal Productivity
- Let's start with a bang: don't keep a schedule.
He's crazy, you say! I'm totally serious. If you pull it off -- and in many structured jobs, you simply can't -- this simple tip alone can make a huge difference in productivity. By not keeping a schedule, I mean: refuse to commit to meetings, appointments, or activities at any set time in any future day. As a result, you can always work on whatever is most important or most interesting, at any time.
This idea comes from a wonderful book called A Perfect Mess, which explains how not keeping a schedule has been key to Arnold Schwarzenegger's success as a movie star, politician, and businessman over the last 20 years.
Keep three and only three lists: a Todo List, a Watch List, and a Later List.
- Structured Procrastination.
This one is lifted straight from the genius mind of John Perry, a philosophy professor at Stanford.
- The other key two-word tactic: Strategic Incompetence.
- Hide in an IPod. One of the best and easiest ways to avoid distractions in the workplace is to be wearing those cute little IPod earbud headphones (or any other headphones of your choice). People, for some reason, feel much worse interrupting you if you are wearing headphones than if you're not.
- Do something you love.