18 Tricks To Dramatically Increase Your Productivity

Sometimes it seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.

In his book “Extreme Productivity,” Harvard lecturer Dr. Robert Pozen outlines the keys to achieving more, and better, results.

Read on to see 18 of Pozen’s best tips, so you can learn how to do exactly that.

Thanks to Dr. Pozen for permission to feature his work.

Carolyn Cutrone contributed to this article.

Ignore 80% of the emails and requests you receive during the day.

The amount of time you devote to a project has to vary based on the importance of your project. Pozen says that doing B+ work on your low-priority tasks is usually good enough.

There's no need to put in the extra time and effort and focus on all the minute details of these tasks. Pozen even suggests discarding or ignoring 80% of the emails and requests you receive, as they're usually not important anyway, and answering the other 20% right away.

Source: 'Extreme Productivity'

Create a travel to-do list that you can use for each trip.

Don't leave anything up to chance when you travel. Make a to-do list that you can recycle for future trips so you know what to pack, what transportation to book, and anything else you may need to prepare.

Know what your goals are for the trip so there is no time wasted before you have to leave. And Pozen warns NEVER to check luggage if you're travelling for less than a week. Take a large carry-on instead to cut time waiting at the baggage claim.

Source: 'Extreme Productivity'

When reading anything, start with the conclusion.

Make sure you're reading with a purpose. Ask yourself why you're reading what you're reading, and what you're getting out of it that you can't get anywhere else.

That includes knowing what you're looking to find when you read, be it news, advice, tips, or information relevant to your work. Pozen also suggests reading the conclusion and introduction to a piece of work first so that you know where the author is heading, and so you know what main points to hit.

Source: 'Extreme Productivity'

Use short sentences, and always proofread for great writing.

Writing skills are increasingly more important because emails often now take the place of phone calls. Pozen recommends creating an outline when you start writing that shows a logical progression in your piece. If you're writing a long, dense document, create an executive summary so the reader can see the big picture.

Be sure to use effective language like short sentences and clear relationships between clauses, and always make sure to proofread more than once. Your writing will never be perfect the first time.

Source: 'Extreme Productivity'

Learn how to effectively run a meeting.

When nothing gets accomplished in an office meeting, it's because it's not being conducted in a manner that leads to progress. Pozen highlights three points that must be met to get the most out of a meeting:

First, the meeting leader should write a clear agenda and send it out at least a day in advance for those attending the meeting to review. At the meeting, the introduction should be short so that the most time can be allocated to serious discussion. Finally, the meeting should close with all attendees having a clear idea of what they need to do when they leave.

Source: 'Extreme Productivity'

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