How I combine 3 productivity techniques together
I’m lazy by nature. We probably all are.
There is one side of me that wants to procrastinate and go party.
Two years ago I started to use some popular productivity techniques to boost my day.
I currently use three productivity techniques together and I like all three.
What I really like is that they aren’t mutually exclusive.
3 productivity techniques I use
- Getting Results the Agile Way
- The Pomodoro Technique
- Don’t Break The Chain
Getting Results the Agile Way
This technique I use to plan my daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals.
I also use this technique to review my day, week, month or year and track my progress.
This technique is created by J.D. Meier, who works at Microsoft for more than 13 years.
Getting Results the Agile Way is created by collecting productivity tips and advices from lots of different employees inside Microsoft.
The Core of this technique is to use The Rule of 3 : define 3 daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals.
You can jump start with Getting Results the Agile Way on this site http://www.30daysofgettingresults.com/
For even more info I can recommend a book from J.D.Meier
Getting Results the Agile Way
The Pomodoro Technique
After I define my 3 daily outcomes I pull tasks from my backlog into Today column.
The Idea behind The Pomodoro Technique is simple. You do your work in 25 minute intervals.
After 25 minutes you take a break for 5 minutes and start again.
After 4 Pomodoros (intervals of 25 min) you take a longer break 10-20 minutes.
I use Trello to manage my tasks.
I have modified my Trello board to look the same as the board John Sonmez recommended.
On beginning of the week I create all the tasks I can think of.
Then I start to categorize each task with Card Color that represents how many Pomodoros I think the task will take.
If the task will take longer than 3 Pomodoros than it needs to be split into multiple tasks.
I also have one card to plan and review my 3 daily goals.
This card has a checklist. When I am done with some daily goal I check this goal in this checklist.
I also have a similar checklist card for reviewing my week.
I usually try to plan tasks for around 8 Pomodoros per day.
Don’t Break The Chain
This technique was created by famous comedian Jerry Seinfeld.
The Idea is to draw a big red X on calendar for every day you accomplished your goals.
After a few days you will have a chain you don’t want to break.
If all three daily goals are completed I draw a red X on my calendar.
I use Evernote functionality called “Annotate” for this.
I found an appropriate yearly calendar picture on Google and put it into my note called “Don’t Break The Chain”.
When I mouse over this picture a small annotate button appear. I then just choose a pen and draw a nice X over day completed successfully.
Don’t forget to save your changes on the picture to Evernote.
This is how I use these 3 powerful productivity techniques together to accomplish my life goals.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask and I am happy to answer them in the comments below.
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AymericOctober 21, 2014 at 9:59 pm (8 years ago)
Hi there, I am the creator of WeekPlan (http://weekplan.net) that combines the two first points together (doesn’t do: don’t break the chain). Maybe it will work for you? The benefit to use it over Trello in your case is that the tasks automatically roll over to the next day if they haven’t been completed (and plenty more things targeted at being effective).Reply
Radenko ZecOctober 22, 2014 at 6:00 am (8 years ago)
Actually Trello is working for me nicely.I have just looked at your WeekPlan.
What I miss in Trello is:
1) Duplicate task with drag and drop. Sometimes I do have repeating tasks. What I want is to check duplicate task and then drag and drop into another column to duplicate that task.
2) I do need reporting that I don’t have in Trello. How many tasks / pomodoros I have done per day/week and similar.
AymericOctober 22, 2014 at 9:08 pm (8 years ago)
With WeekPlan you can duplicate tasks by pressing CTRL when dragging. Also, you can set up repetitions like you would in a calendar.
There is a reporting module in WeekPlan but it doesn’t report the metrics you mentioned.
GTDNext.comOctober 22, 2014 at 5:26 am (8 years ago)
Very nice! I really like your approach. As the creator of GTDNext (http://GTDNext.com) I’m always looking for new ideas that we can incorporate into our app. We utilize a outline model, which makes our system very flexible. Anyway, very cool, glad to see this system is working for you!Reply
Kirill SofronovJuly 19, 2015 at 3:28 pm (8 years ago)
Hey, just stumbled upon this article. Do you still use the same system? Any update since the post came out?:)Reply
Radenko ZecAugust 6, 2015 at 12:32 pm (8 years ago)
Hi Kirill. I have updated system a little bit. Now I have 1 board for Daily plan without any additional notes and task -just things needs to be done. I have another board for weekly planning with backlog and important notes without day to day plans. I find it much more easier. I cannot give you more info because it requires a entire blog post 🙂
Kirill SofronovDecember 23, 2015 at 9:24 pm (7 years ago)
Well, maybe its time for an update?:) I am sure many people would appreciate to see what is even more efficient than this!