· 4 min read

Productive use of time


There are a few rules I discovered that helps.

See the reality as it is

Like previously, being able to see to truth of how we spend our time is very important. Since we have digital devices, this tracking is relatively easy.

We need to create slots of MED. Minimum Effective Dose. For example: For sleep MED is 8 hours. For POMODORO, MED is 2 hours.

Going beyond MED doesn’t help. For example, you cannot work more than 35 hours per week and expect your productivity to rise. 35 hours is fixed.

The lucky thing for us is we have structured week, Sunday to Saturday, structured weekdays and structured day, 24 hours and structures hours and minutes. So we can utilize them at our best.

For example, given a human attention span, you can only focus for 25 minutes (the size of a sitcom). And then you should take break because without it, your attention will dwindle. And by taking pause and starting again, you;ll have higher focus.

Like MED, standard recommendations are also useful, like for exercise 75 hours per week distributed over a period of time.

For Piano, this could be 30 minutes of structured practice every day.

Structure is important here. Look at systems section on structured training. You should look at every work opportunity and challenge as a structured training exercice.

Do your current work well. Till completion and produce no backlog.

Like with life, a software development project get’s delayed the more technical debt is there is the system. When half done features are released, then problems arise.

This is taking shortcuts. Like not doing TDD or skipping a feature thinking oh we’ll ship this and then do this later.

It doesn’t work. You want your mind to be as clear as possible to focus on the present and future. How do you do it, by producing no backlog.

This also applies to studies, someone who has studies maths or some other subject well is school doesn’t have to worry re-learning the basics when they grow old and prepare for their MBA entrance exam. Because the work was already done well.

Doing your present work well also means you gain new capabilities and avoid many other tasks that were in the backlog.

For instance, you decided to read 4 books on the productivity.

If you have read the first book properly and slowly, implemented the details, you may not even need to read the rest of the books.

But suppose you haven’t read the book properly and slowly and failed to implement the lessons, then you’ll go on to read another book on the same topic. Then another and another. THis produced more backlog.

If you do your work properly, you produce no backlog for the future.

Do it now.

You can’t wait for the future to arrive. Things won’t sort out in the future. They’ll sort out in the present. in this moment if you take action.

Talking about your problems doesn’t fix it. Taking action will definitely fix it.

How to layer your work?

What tasks should you pick up first assuming you consumed your vitamin N and said no. Here’s my guidelines.

You can divide your tasks in the following and pick these in order.

  1. Do the task first that makes things easy for your future self. This could be learning or planning or writing a note for your future self.
  2. Do the task that brings you more clarity first. This can creating to do list or planning
  3. Then task that’s you don’t want to do. Because your brain has a blindspot that makes important things appear harder. Slay that dragon and eat that frog first.
  4. Then the task you would love to do. This you won’t have done automatically anyway. Enjoy the task and feel fulfilled that you did rest of your tasks well.
  5. Then other tasks that are low quality and time.

You’ll also have to slot delegation to team members somewhere here.

Remember, you only have 35 hours per week. or 7 hour per day or work time.

For personal you have 7 hours per weekend combined assuming you also want to live your life well. Use them wisely.

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