My personal top 10 productivity hacks

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My entire adult life I have always worked well over the average. While others had a job, I have still wanted a second or third job, each of which probably deserved the name fulltime job. This is still like that. I can not and will not only do one single thing. It would quickly get too boring.

I’m more the type of person, who for some reason has a lot of ideas and just gives them a try to see if there is more potential, while others would deal with dry analysis first. My claim, however, is always a high one, I always want to achieve the maximum – even if that does not always work.

Anyone who knows me knows that I cannot do otherwise. Who doesn’t know me, asks me often how I can get all the things under one roof and apparently still have enough free time to enjoy my life. This article is for all who asked me – since it actually isn’t rocket science.

Who wants to do many different things, who wants to achieve much and wants to bring oneself to the limits, must follow a few rules. Rules that are really important if you want to be successful. Just working a lot does not help at all – not at all. To the desultory workaholics out there: Just doing a lot / working a lot, does not help, believe me.

So here are my personal rules that allow me my workload, which, incidentally, do not decide whether what you’re doing will be really successful – which is a different matter altogether:

  • Who works hard, needs to take a lot of breaks. True pauses in which your head gets transferred into another world. For me, the combination of travel and photography works best for that – because you’re distracted, drawn from everyday life to do something completely different, which also inspires creativity. And there’s another plus: Traveling and especially other cultures are the main points for generating new ideas – the ones who always sit in their own home, also always only have the same ideas.
  • E-mails can be a real killer. Learn therefore to deal with your inbox. Anyone who has seen my iPhone home screen ever, knows that this usually indicates nearly 10,000 unread emails. Nevertheless, many wonder why they get an answer from me almost any time of day within minutes. The reason is simple: Inbox Zero is ridiculous, costs far too much time. It is important that all e-mails that are personally addressed to me will be answered directly and immediately. The only exception: No emails during breaks.
  • Working more does not bring more. Productivity is limited and a precious commodity. Everyone should try to find out how long they can work productively – which is different for each person. Who covers his productivity account for several days in a row, for every other day, has less credit available. This indeed is a vicious circle, to which one should pay attention very well. Therefore: Call it a day, when your productivity reaches its end – no matter what is actually left to be done.
  • Nobody dies, if something is not perfect. Perfection is something for beginners who have no idea of how the real life is going. “Done is better than perfect” is not just a phrase but it is generally very applicable. You can still make targeted adjustments if needed.
  • Nobody dies when deadlines are not met. In my opinion, 95% of all deadlines are like virtually throwing dice, therefore only defined, because you just wanted to specify a date. So you do not always have to keep every utopian appointment – most of them are pure fantasy products.
  • Clear announcements do not always ensure new friends, but cause less stress. I have long stopped trying to add me to everything. I speak my mind and do that usually without mincing my words. This ensures short decision-making processes and increased productivity at the end.
  • I am not always right. Just as important as a clear opinion, is that one has to admit that others can be right too. Respect for the opinions of others and a good dose of self-reflection helps and avoids long discussions that cost too much time. Put arguments on the table and look at them as objectively as possible!
  • Just because someone says something does not work, that’s far from the truth. The one that is intimidated when an idea gets meet by critics and skeptics, will achieve nothing. As long as you believe in it and can convince yourself – with factual arguments – that it should work, you should give it a try. Important: Be always brutally honest and as objective as possible towards yourself- which is not always the easiest exercise.
  • The one that came up with a rule, was not necessarily right. Rules are good and important. They somehow hold our societies together. But honestly: Who doesn’t dare to break one of these rules of society here and there, can’t create anything new.
  • Who says that these lists always have to have 10 points? Nine are in this case completely sufficient.

And one thing that is very important, but self-evident: Work can be done everywhere – see it as flexible and do not bind yourself to a desk all the time.

the author

Daniel Fürg

Daniel Fürg is Managing Partner at FÜRG MEDIA and initiator of 48forward. He writes about many different innovation and culture topics he cares about.

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