What Ideas Have Increased Your Productivity the Most?

More deadlines and more responsibilities combined with less time has driven us all to look for more ways to increase our productivity and efficiency. In short, every second counts. In this post I share the top ideas that have increased my productivity dramatically.

Finding a Mentor (or two, or three … )

Seeking out mentors that have already attained goals that I’m after has saved countless amounts of time. The key is to listen, think, then apply. I do not advocate skipping the thinking part. In many cases, special cases exist and certain advice could actually be detrimental. Focus on the fundamentals and verify with your own research, then apply to your particular situation.


Of all the ideas in GTD, the next action concept has been most valuable. While I learned this concept previously, it is within the GTD framework its application has been most effective for me. The idea of the next action is to break down any task or project into the actual next physical action that you can execute and place that into a trusted system.

Time Tracking

If you don’t measure, you can not improve. We spend a great deal of time managing and tracking our money, but fail to manage and track our most important non-renewable asset. Track your time with the same vigor as your budget and you find great value. Every week I evaluate my time and look at ways to optimize. Yes it is tedious, but if your going to be anal about something, why not the thing you can never replace.


Even after doing something hundreds of times, there is always the slight chance that you will forget that one critical step that will cause you hours of pain. Anything you will do more than once is worth creating a checklist for. This will help you 1) not forget critical steps, 2) make it easier to outsource and 3) make it easier to automate. To take it one step further, group the checklists into routines that occur at certain times such as each morning or night.


Delegating comes very hard for me. I always feel like I need to do everything on my plate. The first step is to determine what you time is worth per hour. Then when an item comes up, ask “Can I hire someone else to do this at a cheaper rate than my hourly rate?”. Be sure to factor in the time you will need to manage. After all, you are still the one responsible for completing the task. I find it useful to keep a database of people that I can delegate to for certain tasks.

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