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My Ultimate Guide to Productivity πŸ’»

Transforming your personal and professional life all starts with the creation of a simple, customised productivity system.

How to Create a Productivity System

Topics Discussed:

  1. Task Management (essentials)
  2. Digital & Physical File Organization
  3. How to Take Notes
  4. Email Tips + Tricks
  5. Long-Term Organization

βœ… Task Management

Before diving into “Task Management”…

What is a task and what isn’t

A task is anything that you have to get done and has a due date.

Here are some common problems people face with their task management:

  • Not 100% trusting the system

    β†’ You might write some tasks in the system but try to remember others in your brain (ineffective)

  • Chaos/Clutter.

    β†’ Often due to an improperly maintained productivity system

    β†’ ex: some tasks might get done but not crossed off/completed

  • It can feel OVERWHELMING

    β†’ Too many organized tasks and no sense of priority of due dates

What Makes a Great Task Management System?

  • Easy to Enter Tasks

    β†’ The more the friction to add a task the less you want to do it

  • Simple Sections

    β†’ Divide the tasks into different lists or buckets

  • Customizable Views

    β†’ A “Today View”, “This Week View” etc.

This is how Matthew Espinoza setups his tasks using Notion. If you want to get the template [CLICK HERE]

πŸ‘‰ App Recommendations: Todoist, TickTick, Notion (Get Template)

πŸ“… Setting Up A Calendar

Your calendar should only contain events and not tasks,

β†’ It is very important to separate tasks and events

Make a habit of checking and updating your calendar everyday (preferably in the mornings)

Setting up a Calendar for MAXIMUM Productivity

  1. Choose a Tool (Google Calendar)

  2. Start with Events

  • Long blocks of time in between events = Deep Work (Very in depth and mentally taxing work)
  • Short blocks of time in between events = Batch Work (5 minute tasks batched together)
  1. Use Life Buckets
  • Color-Coded calendar for each facet of life/projects that you can turn on and off to filter out events
  1. If you have events happening often, use Recurring Events function

  2. πŸ”” Add notifications/reminders

πŸ—’ Building an Effective Note-Taking System

Everybody needs a note-taking system. David Allen once said:

Your brain is for having ideas and not for storing them.

You need some sort of way to store all your ideas and important information.

Rules of Note-Taking

  • Stay Organized

    β†’ use folders and tags

  • Make it Simple

    β†’ it should be frictionless to start a new note

  • Use a Reliable System

    β†’ use a system that is cloud based so that you do not lose all your notes

    • e.g. Evernote, Microsoft OneNote, Notion, etc…

    β†’ Check out my note-taking system in notion

  • Create an Archive Folder for old notes and notebooks instead of deleting them

  • Copy any information you might want to reference later into your system

  • Create master reference docs for specific processes, skills, or topic areas

  • When titling notes, include general terms to help you search in the future

    β†’ e.g. “email” / “receipt” / “taxes”

  • Setup a time to process your inbox notebook later on

  • Create a blank version of recurring notes, such as meeting agendas, research docs, or brainstorming notes

  • Copy a template to create a new note each time you need it

If you want my proven note-taking system for just $9 buck you can snag it [HERE]

πŸ“‚ Organize Your Files

It doesn’t matter what productivity tips/tools you use if you can’t find the right file when you need it.

File management is a really important part of your productivity system.

Basically, file management consist of 2 parts:

  • Part 1 : Digital Files
  • Part 2 : Physical Files

Digital Files

  • Whenever possible use a cloud storage system
    • I recommend using:
      • Google Drive
      • Dropbox
  • Use a tree structure for organizing all your file
    • Everything should start with a “ROOT” folder

      β†’ All other sections should be inside of the root

Physical Files

  • Try to digitalize all the things which are possible to do so + include them in your digital file system. (e.g. invoices, receipts, user manual can all be scanned & stored in a digital system).
  • For files which can’t be digital (tax papers, identity proofs, legal stuff) you can use one of those smaller file cabinets for organization.

https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/secure.notion-static.com/0e9b3a3b-1df2-4abd-91dd-ceffcf485a16/Untitled.png

πŸ“­ Take Control Over Your Emails

Rules for Email

General

  • Schedule specific time to check and process all you emails
  • Create labels that group your emails into topics or themes, such as “Receipts” or “Taxes”

Inbox Zero method

  • Take action immediately (do not use your inbox as a task manager)
  • Delete all but essential email
  • Learn to archive emails

Create Filters & Rules

  • β†’ So that all the unnecessary emails gets either deleted or achieved automatically
  • Recommended Apps

https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/secure.notion-static.com/1129a921-d099-43db-94ab-294db4163c3c/Screen_Shot_2021-07-24_at_8.10.40_AM.png

πŸ”₯ Bonus Section

Quick Capture – reduce friction; process later

  1. Create one “scratch note” for jotting down thoughts and ideas throughout your day.
  2. Use an easily accessible section of your notes app for your daily note
  3. End your day by transferring your notes to the proper place within your system.

Review Day

THINGS TO DO ON A REVIEW DAY

Main Purpose: To keep the organization of your productivity system and eliminate eventual entropy (chaos) that is added to it during the week/month, ensuring you fully trust your system

That is achieved by some tasks like:

  1. Ticking off tasks that you completed but haven’t checked off, or updating tasks that need to be updated

  2. Updating quick-access notebooks and folders that match your current needs

  3. Archive emails that aren’t relevant anymore and update labels to other emails

  4. Take out lists or notebooks that you don’t need anymore (for example trips that happened already)

As a final note: Start small! Don’t get overwhelmed by all the systems available.