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After studying successful people and how they spend their time, Daniel Silvestre, founded to share their productivity hacks.

Daniel writes:

Last year, I felt stuck.

I worked twice the hours and produced half the output. It seemed everyone around me was smarter, more productive and adding more value.

It sucked so much that once I decided to invest 3 hours every day into finding the best ideas about Productivity, GettingThingsDone, Time and Energy Management, Personal and Professional Growth, and Living a Happy Life…

After a while, I started to understand the secrets of super-productive people. It literally saved my life and career. They helped me gain a joyful, productive and successful life with little or no effort.

I created a personal vault with my list of productivity hacks and made it an invite-only community.

Here are my 8 favorite hacks:

#1 100-Year-Old To-Do List Productivity Hack

The “Ivy Lee Method” is stupidly simple and the most effective to-do list format.

Here are the 5 simple steps:

1. At the end of each workday, write down the six most important things you need to accomplish tomorrow. Do not write down more than six tasks.
2. Order those six tasks by importance
3. The next day, concentrate only on the first task. Don‘t move to the second task until you finished the first one.
4. Repeat the process throughout the day. When the day is over, move unfinished items to a new list of six tasks for the next day.
5. Rinse and repeat.

This is the same to-do method I use.

Bonus tip: if you carry an item too many days in a row, get rid of it completely.

If you keep delaying something, it probably isn‘t that important anyway…

#2 How to Work 40 Hours in 16.7 (Simple Hack)

The Pomodoro Technique is one of the simplest (yet most effective) productivity systems.

Choose one task and one task ONLY. Set a timer for 25 minutes. Work on that task until the timer rings and then put a checkmark on a tracker. Take a 5-minute break. Repeat 1-4 three more times, followed by a 15-minute break

25 minutes doesn’t sound a lot but that’s 25 minutes of completely uninterrupted work.

#3 Simple Time Saving Hack (2 Minutes)

Fact: 9 out of 10 people never finish their daily to-do lists because they include a lot of mundane tasks.

That‘s where the 2-minute rules comes into play: it helps you get rid of a ton of unimportant things from your to-do list so you can focus your time on finishing the most important ones. It will teach your brain how to stop procrastinating and get things done instead.

There are two parts to the 2-minute rule:

Part 1: If something can be done in two minutes, just do it.

If a task takes less than two minutes of your time, do it right away. Don’t add it to your to-do list. Don’t put it aside for later. Don’t delegate it to someone else. Just do it.

Some examples: answer an email, retweet winning content, come up with a few blog ideas, and send an update to a colleague. There are a ton of tiny, seemingly trivial tasks that take less than two minutes yet need to be done EVERY DAY.

Part 2: If something takes more than two minutes, then start it.

Once you take an action on any 2-minute task, you will feel better equipped to work on even bigger tasks because of the sense of momentum you’ve built.

#4 Live on Airplane Mode

I get distracted all the time.

I go on YouTube to watch a TED Talk and then the “suggested videos” keep me on YouTube for the next hour. At some point (normally after the 100th funny cat video) I ask myself: “How did I end up here?”

Start putting your phone on airplane mode and get stuff done.

Subtract for innovation: you can become more innovative by having less technology in your life.

#5 Rule Your Phone, Not the Other Way Around

In our day and age, we are ruled by our phones.

We use them for everything: calls and text, social media, messenger apps, email, payments, etc. But it comes at a cost: your attention, time and focus.

Here are 10 simple rules to make sure you are using your phone (and not the other way around):

1. Stop checking your phone in the car
2. Stop checking your phone during TV commercials
3. Keep your phone across the room when you aren‘t using it
4. Turn off all notifications
5. Choose an endpoint for each random surfing session
6. Stop checking your phone while in line
7. Create a framework for your day with buffers at the beginning and end of it
8. Put your phone away after posting something on social media
9. Stop repeating the cycle of checking things
10. Recognize it’s a work in progress

Notifications keep sucking you back into your phone and once you realize that you are doing a loop at checking things – messenger apps, email, websites – you start using your phone with more intention.

#6 Easily Do Things You Hate (Backed by Science)

We all have tasks that are time-consuming or difficult chores we dread, procrastinate about and drag out until the last minute – if we complete them at all.

But what if we could tempt ourselves into those dreary tasks by pairing them with something we really enjoy?

Here is one way I use this simple hack:

I hate running. I know it‘s great for your body but I just couldn‘t bring myself to do it.

Now I put my favorite playlist to go running: the level of enjoyment I get from the music helps me keep running.

What tasks do you dread that you can pair with something you love?

#7 Start Your Week at the Weekend

I plan my upcoming work week on Mondays.

Capture your plan in an email and sends it to yourself so that you have access to it daily. This planning can take a long time; almost always longer than an hour (for me it takes around 30-45 minutes).

But the return on investment is phenomenal.

To visualize your whole week at once allows you to spread out, batch, and prioritize work in a manner that significantly increases what you accomplish and goes a long way toward eliminating work pile-ups and late nights.

The style or format of your plan should match the challenges of the specific week ahead.

I do it on Sundays. Here are the steps I follow:
1. I list all the important projects I am working on. I then look at my OKRs for the quarter and see how I am doing in each one
2. I list everything that I need to have achieved at the end of the week in each project
2. Finally, I start allocating work for each day of the week, following my priorities

When it comes to my schedule, I’m in charge. Start being in charge of your week as well.

#8 Reduce Your Workweek from 80 to 40 Hours

Here are 7 things that you should stop doing to become more productive:

1. Stop working overtime and increase your productivity
2. Don’t say “yes” too often
3. Stop doing everything yourself and start letting people help you
4. Stop being a perfectionist
5. Stop doing repetitive tasks and start automating it
6. Stop guessing and start backing up your decisions with data
7. Stop working, and have do-nothing time

The hardest one for me is #4 because I am a perfectionist by nature.

My new motto? “Done is better than perfect!”.

Daniel originally published this post at Quora

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