Your Productivity Guide for 2021: Mindset, Setup, Action

Alexandra Martin

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Alexandra Martin

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19 minutes

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It’s the beginning of the year and people want to revise their unaccomplished goals from 2020 and make the most of their time, energy, and skill. Hence, there’s no hotter buzzword right now than productivity. The overflow of information on productivity can confuse you to the degree that you wouldn’t even know where to start.

For this reason, we have compiled and compressed a hefty amount of information (links and resources) into a quick and easy guide. It touches on three core elements – mindset, setup, and action. It will give you a bird’s-eye view on productivity so you can jumpstart your personal and professional growth in 2021 without much fret.

How to approach this guide on productivity:

  1. Understand that people have different standards and opinions of what “personal productivity” or “success” should look like.
  2. Trial and error. Try and see what works best for you. Adopt and adapt productivity systems and techniques to suit your needs.
  3. Take action. For it is better to be productive for 10 minutes than to think for 10 hours about being productive. Use the productivity apps and resources mentioned below.

What is productivity?

Productivity is twofold:

There is workforce productivity, namely, the total amount of goods and services workers produce in a certain period of time. It refers to how a business can become more productive in the least time-consuming way to achieve a profitable goal (read up on how to calculate workforce productivity here). For example, it’s how a fast food joint can make more profit as workers make and sell more burgers per hour. The emphasis is on quantity.

As Paul Krugman famously put it:

Productivity isn’t everything, but in the long run it is almost everything. A country’s ability to improve its standard of living over time depends almost entirely on its ability to raise its output per worker. – Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize Winner in Economic Sciences

Then there is personal productivity, namely the relevant output of an individual in a certain period of time. It refers to how an individual can become more productive in the least time-consuming way to achieve a (personal) goal. Indeed, personal productivity may be applied to the workplace, yet its focus is on the individual rather than the business.

This type of productivity encourages a workplace culture of outstanding productivity. Basically, how a fast food joint can make more profit as workers make and sell burgers per hour by serving the customers better, by making fewer mistakes, by wasting fewer ingredients, by improving the burger-making process, etc. The emphasis is on quality.

Dan Kennedy defines productivity as:
“The deliberate, strategic investment of your time, talent, intelligence, energy, resources, and opportunities in a manner calculated to move you measurably closer to meaningful goals.”

The most common factors that influence personal productivity are motivation, personality, natural talent, training, education, environment, support, time management, luck, and good health. In addition, this article describes productivity factors you’ve never even considered. This guide will focus on personal productivity from here on.

10 simple ways to be more productive

Here are several actionable steps for beginners we will touch on our guide, so keep an eye out for further explanation:

  1. Track your time.
  2. Take regular breaks.
  3. Turn off notifications.
  4. Implement Olenski’s 2-minute rule.
  5. Use a Pomodoro to tackle procrastination.
  6. Quit multitasking.
  7. Setup your workspace.
  8. Plan your day.
  9. Minimize interruptions.
  10. Give up perfectionism (lol, this is incredibly difficult).

Basic concepts for outstanding productivity

Efficiency

Efficiency means doing things quickly, while effectiveness is doing the right things. Outstanding productivity occurs when besides the simple output per unit of time (e.g. Bob making 20 burgers per hour) you focus on efficiency too (e.g. Bob making 15 burgers per hour at the same time not getting orders mixed up, using the right amount of ingredients, being nice to the customers, etc). If you read the numbers only, you’d think the simple output is enough, but those customers might not come back again for another burger. Ultimately, quality trumps quantity.

Extrapolate this to the team level, and you can see how effective (team) communication makes or breaks a project. Miscommunication, a blunt email, a misunderstood direction can add unnecessary hours to a project. If you’re interested to read more about effective communication, here are a few articles:

TIP: The best productivity framework to help you increase your performance, in the long run, is the OKR methodology.

Objectives productivity method

An example of Team and Individual OKRs

Focus

The brain’s focused state consumes 25% of your body’s energy, yet it takes a toll on your mental stamina. Excessive focus tires the brain, making you lose control, become more impulsive, irritable, and less willing to collaborate. This occurs because the brain is wired to alternate between focused and unfocused states.

Contrary to popular belief, an unfocused brain is good for your cognitive and social processing. The “default mode network” (DMN) is a network of interacting brain regions that is active when a person is not focused on the outside world. It takes up 20% of the body’s energy while at rest, which is why it is called an “unfocused” brain. The DMN helps the individual retrieve memories, make connections, link ideas, be more creative, and be able to predict things more accurately. You can train the DMN through positive-constructive daydreaming, walking and aerobic exercises, or napping. Read other research articles on the DMN for more tips. 

TIP: The best productivity strategy to improve your focus is the Pomodoro technique. If you’re one of the students on the lookout for free software of this kind, test our built-in Pomodoro timer and best Pomodoro apps recommended.

pomodoro process

The Pomodoro cycle at a glance

Prioritization

The best productivity strategy regarding your prioritization processes is the Eisenhower Matrix. This methodology covers just about everything you need to know about when to tackle AND juggle between urgent and important tasks. In addition, you need to establish your productivity curve. There are certain times during the day in which you are naturally more productive. Don’t fight against your natural highs and lows, but focus and plan your most important tasks then.

Another useful tip that applies to prioritization is to challenge your thinking and discard the sunk cost fallacy. Just because you’ve poured in dozens of hours into a project, it doesn’t mean you need to prioritize it over what truly matters. The best thing you can do is to stop, reschedule, and refocus on what’s meaningful. This is how you can stay truly productive. Busyness does not mean engagement, nor deep work. 

Planning

In order to be truly productive, you must have a clear path to success. Be patient, write down your goals, objectives, and initiatives. Take the time to research and break down the project into actionable tasks. Review them monthly or weekly.

For teamwork, a great way to plan and visualize tasks and activities is to use Gantt charts. You can create dependencies to understand how tasks relate to each other, spot the most critical tasks, and share the project progress. If you are not familiar with Gantt charts, read this comprehensive guide on how to make a Gantt chart and this article on how to use it to plan your projects.

In addition, this Beginner’s Guide to Using Project Planning Software will help you save time, be more productive, and learn the ropes of project planning. Ask yourself these seven questions before starting or taking on a new project, so you don’t fall into common project management fallacies. If you want to take this to the next level, study A Very Practical Guide to Start Managing Your Projects

TIP: The best productivity strategy to plan better is the Getting Things Done® (GTD) Method.

diagram for good work habits

GTD Diagram to get you started

Habit building

Gamify habit-building. Apps like Habitica, Epic Win (iOS only) and Loop Habit Tracker help you achieve your goals, be more productive, and have fun while at it. If you want a simple habit tracker for your daily routine, try out Nomie, an open-source app that prides itself on taking privacy matters seriously – no accounts, no Google login, no user tracking.

Another great habit-building example comes from a famous… comedian. Jerry Seinfield swears by his productivity secret: consistency. Set a recurring task you know is crucial for your growth and do it daily. Get a physical calendar, a marker, and mark every successful day. The gist is to keep going and to quote Jerry’s advice: “Don’t break the chain!” Like compounding interest, daily finished tasks become daily habits.

TIP: Best productivity strategy to build the habit of deep work: the Eat the Frog technique.

Organization

You’re enthusiastic about your tasks, but when it comes to execution, you can’t cross a single task off even though you’ve worked hard the whole day. This could mean two things: the tasks were too vague (e.g. “eat healthier”) or too ambitious (e.g. “write a bestseller”). Try these tips to write better to-do lists:

  • Turn every task into actionable subtasks. Even better, write them as tasks you could each complete in a sitting/timebox (1.5–2 hours).
  • Definitely implement the Eisenhower Matrix to create master lists and to-do lists in terms of importance and urgency.
  • Try an “if-then” approach. Decide in advance when, where, and how you will tackle a task. Write them down: “If X happens, then I will Y” or “When X, then Y”. “If language class gets canceled, then I will call my language partner for a 30-minute study session at the library”. “When my 5 p.m. alarm goes off, I will stop everything and do 10 squats outside”.
  • Create a “Done” list. If you feel like you’re not doing enough, and that the to-do list is too daunting, write things you managed to pull off these past days. It could inspire you and the memory of having succeeded can you give you extra motivation.
  • Use Kanban boards that are simple, visible, and accessible to keep track of your tasks. If you are not familiar with Kanban methodology, check out 12 Kanban Board Examples for Beginners and What Are Kanban Boards and Rules to Use Them

TIP: The best productivity methodology for good organization is the Eisenhower Matrix.

Eisenhower Decision Matrix

The Eisenhower Decision Matrix at a glance

Time management

Time management is crucial to great productivity, which comes as no surprise since productivity is not measured in terms of money, but time. You can be productive but not make money, yet you cannot be productive by spending money alone unless it’s a financial goal. But if you invest any given time in an endeavor, depending on your skillset and efficiency, you will eventually create something of value. But I’m digressing. If you want to find out more on this topic, read an in-depth analysis of time management: Time Management: Where Your Time Goes and How to Control It.

Also, you would be surprised to analyze people’s perception of time. They believe they’ve been working for hours to complete their tasks, but if they were to check their timer, it would be significantly less. What’s worse, their 5-minute water cooler break could as well substitute their lunch break. To boost your productivity, time tracking is crucial for task management. Test a few productivity apps.

TIP: Here are the best 5 employee time tracking software you can check out for simple employee monitoring, along with a detailed report on the best time-tracking software of 2021, tested and reviewed.

Paymo time tracker

Time tracking in Paymo mobile app

Environment

Besides the basics of ergonomy, your work environment/workspace – be it digital or analog, remote or not – needs a certain degree of order. The excuse that a messy desk is a sign of genius should no longer be tolerated because the messiness can get out of hand. A study in the field of neuroscience shows that our brain likes order and tidiness, and that “constant visual reminders of disorganization drain our cognitive resources and reduce our ability to focus”.

Clutter makes workers feel stressed, anxious, or depressed. It creates a mental picture of your daunting tasks and projects. It’s a constant reminder that you’re behind work or that you’re swamped. Research on stress and emotional exhaustion shows that clutter cripples workers from making decisions, thus keeping more material for all their ongoing tasks within easy reach, which results in even messier workspaces.

Clutter is caused usually not by poor organizational skills, but poor time management. What can you do? Roll up your sleeves and apply some of these tips:

  • Just take 5 minutes per workspace a day to keep it reasonably tidy.
  • If you are working remotely, maintain designated spaces for work and personal work.
  • As for your desk clutter, keep only the files for your ongoing project. Put the rest neatly ordered in folders or boxes so you can grab them as soon as your project is finished. Read more paperwork sorting tips according to Marie Kondo.
  • Only touch things once” rule. Similar to the GTD Method, the idea is that you shouldn’t move files around thinking you’d deal with them later since that increases the clutter and you waste time and mental space. If you touch it (email or paper) decide to start working on it or to make it more granular – decide on smaller actionable steps for a later date.
  • Olenski’s 2-minute rule. If you can do a task in under 2 minutes, do it at once.
  • As for your email clutter, try the (almost) Inbox Zero method. First, reduce the flow of emails entering your inbox by massively unsubscribing to newsletters. I used to hoard newsletters that were of interest telling myself I’d be reading them one day. That day hasn’t come and it never will. You can use a third-party app to roll your newsletters, like Unroll or Clean Email. Second, you can create rules to automatically filter your emails (Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo) and sort them into groups, or trash them. Third, process emails at a dedicated time in the day, usually during your energy dip when you are not engaged in deep work. Fourth, turn off email notifications. Fifth, use features such as “Snooze” and “Schedule” to keep your inbox close to zero.

Toolbox

A good productivity tip is to know your equipment – in our case, your computer and software. Ask for tech advice, take a crash course, watch tutorials, read tips and hacks. Though not everyone is tech-savvy, there is no excuse for not keeping up to date about the technology you’re using.

Technology has come a long way, so freshen up your computer skills. Try out Gmail’s smart features, Microsoft’s Office latest products, and your awesome project management software’s latest features. Automate your workflow and facilitate the way you manage projects and your business through third-party apps and integrations. This article summarizes the top 44 project management tools that are efficient, user-friendly, and affordable. If you are using Paymo, the Paymo Knowledge Base is a must if you’ve just started out using a project management tool.  To take it up a notch, this article teaches you how to get the most out of your project management software. These are practical tips on how to boost your team’s efficiency at least twofold.

To improve your time estimates and identify non-essential tasks, use a time tracker. Automation can handle up to 45% of repetitive work, so an automated time-tracker is even better to boost productivity.

TIP: Paymo Plus (download versions available for Mac and Windows) is insanely efficient: it runs in the background as you work, and you can pair recorded time for each activity with tasks or you can set rules to automatically link them for you. You can then review your daily logs and see where your time is spent and make adjustments to improve your performance.

paymo plus time tracker

Automatic time tracking with Paymo Plus

A good productivity routine for beginners

Tim Ferriss, American entrepreneur, podcaster, and author of The 4-hour Workweek,  shared his daily productivity routine during the time when he was trying to fix, in his words, his “dysfunctional” regimen:

  1. “Wake up at least 1 hour before you have to be at a computer screen. E-mail is the mind-killer.
  2. Make a cup of tea (I like Pu’er) and sit down with a pen/pencil and paper.
  3. Write down the 3-5 things — and not more — that are making you most anxious or uncomfortable. They’re often things that have been punted from one day’s to-do list to the next, to the next, to the next, and so on. Most important usually equal most uncomfortable, with some chance of rejection or conflict.
  4. For each item, ask yourself: “If this were the only thing I accomplished today, would I be satisfied with my day?” “Will moving this forward make all the other to-do’s unimportant or easier to knock off later?”
  5. Look only at the items you’ve answered “yes” to for at least one of these questions.
  6. Block out at 2-3 hours to focus on ONE of them for today. Let the rest of the urgent but less important stuff slide. It will still be there tomorrow.
  7. TO BE CLEAR: Block out at 2-3 HOURS to focus on ONE of them for today. This is ONE BLOCK OF TIME. Piecing together 10 minutes here and there to add up to 120 minutes does not work.
  8. If you get distracted or start procrastinating, don’t freak out and spiral; just gently come back to your ONE to-do.”

Challenges and productivity issues

Procrastination

Solution: accountability.

The simplicity of this next tip to nip procrastination in the bud is mind-blowing: just start. A lot has been said about procrastination. It generally occurs due to two causes: you’re either incredibly bored or too overwhelmed.

If you’re incredibly bored, you’ll want to focus on irrelevant, unimportant tasks to at least feel that you’re “working” when you are not. Your brain lulls you into a false sense of security, that you’re at least doing something “productive” instead of lazing around – it’s what’s called “structured procrastination”. When you want to “procrastiwork” (“putting off the work you’re supposed to do by working on something else”), combine one menial task (e.g. doing paperwork) with something pleasurable (e.g. listening to your favorite podcast) to get that task done. Bundling highly pleasurable activities with distasteful ones is a strategy called “temptation bundling”.

If you’re overwhelmed by a task that you can’t even start, you’ll want to binge on dopamine-filled content, foods, or activities. You’ll make your fifth cup of tea while watching yet another cat compilation, thinking about ordering some delicious food because you’re stressed out. First, make your task as granular as possible. Second, make a realistic timeline. If I have a writing task due soon, I take a pen and paper and sketch out exactly how much I think I will be writing every hour during my work schedule. I’m charting out countless mini-milestones because this system somehow works for me. As a writer, I use pacemaker.net as my online accountability buddy and goal planner. Of course, my awesome coworkers have the foresight to know when to nudge me here and there. Don’t be afraid to be accountable to your coworkers.

TIP: Accountability in the workplace sounds daunting at first, but it is liberating and healthy, increasing your productivity in the long run.

When you feel overwhelmed, observe the patterns of avoidance. Why are you constantly avoiding that dreaded task? Are you a perfectionist and know for a fact your project won’t come out flawless so why even try? Are you afraid of failure? Do you feel like an impostor? These are emotional reactions that are detrimental to your performance. Ask for help, cooperate, forgive yourself, and just start.

If you’ve been rescheduling some tasks for months now and can’t find the time or the energy to work on them, see if the tasks are really worth it. Do those tasks align with your values or goals? Ask yourself, “Do I actually need to be doing this?”. If you’ve been dreading menial tasks, see if you can delegate or assign them to a subordinate, a personal assistant, or if you can teach someone to do them.

This hilarious video provides valuable insight into how the mind of a procrastinator works regarding instant gratification and urgency.

Multitasking

Solution: monotasking.

A productivity myth people believe is thinking that they are good at multitasking. Granted, some of you manage to juggle between tasks, but doing that day in day out is tiring, leaving you exhausted and always feeling like you’re forgetting something. Deep work requires focus and depth. I wholeheartedly believe in Csikszentmihalyi’s flow state. Never have I written something I was proud of in a state of hurry or in the hustle and bustle of multitasking. It’s always been in solitude, in a quiet place (my definition of quiet – noise-canceling earphones and music), and during nighttime, because oddly the dim light calms me and my brain gets tunnel-vision for the task at hand. That’s when monotasking and the flow state fuse together – and it’s marvelous.

See what works for you. To some, multitasking can be countered by eliminating distractions, by locking themselves in a room with nothing but their craft or task. Others might monotask by writing one task on their to-do list only or by eating their frog first.   

Stress and burnout

Solution: proper rest.

Burnout can be physical or psychological and it cannot be treated lightly. Seek professional help. This article, How to Recover From Burnout: 5 Steps to Get Back on Track, helps you identify burnout, giving you invaluable advice on how to get back on your feet. A dead giveaway of burnout is when you’re exhausted yet your brain is fully active and you can’t fall asleep. So, work from a place of rest and relaxation in order to be at peak performance. 

If you feel stressed out or have too much on your plate, consider doing a commitment inventory. Apply Warren Buffett’s 25/5 Rule and cut down on your endeavors. Exhausted and burnout people don’t perform well, let alone be truly productive. Don’t sacrifice your day of rest, leisure time, or downtime thinking others will thank you. “Karoshi”, i.e. death by overworking, is a sad reality – don’t be a statistic. Sleep properly, eat well, lean on your friends and family. Mental stamina, mental energy, willpower, resilience, motivation, and morale are emotional resources that get depleted throughout the day. Here are 7 ways to boost morale while working remotely. We also recommend this article on how to overcome mental fatigue. Take long breaks, exercise, allow your brain to unfocus, do something fun. Believe you can stop overthinking and ruminating. Talk to a close friend or see a specialist. Hang in there! 😊 

Little personal growth

Solution: flexibility.

A sloppy or uninterested worker may be characterized by little (or lack of) training, clear goals, and discipline. Set a goal you want to achieve, then discipline yourself and make serious strides towards it. Thanks to neuroplasticity, it’s never too late to start learning a skill or hone a craft. Find your “ikigai”, your reason for being. If it involves project management, here are some of our recommendations to read up:

Distractions – and how to manage them

Solution: elimination/reduction.

Distraction is the result of overstimulation. So, to be less distracted, you’ll have to allocate less time for information overload. Tips on how to reduce distractions brought by your frenemy, a.k.a. your smartphone:

  • Turn off push notifications.
  • Gamify focus. Use Forest to limit phone usage. Disclaimer: I swore by this app back in college when my phone was packed with time-consuming apps and games (I’m talking about you, Candy Crush). By the time I started working, I had cleaned out ⅔ of my phone’s apps, rendering Forest less useful.
  • App minimalism. I used to keep both “just-in-case apps” that I rarely used and addictive apps. Decide to uninstall ⅔ of apps that make you distracted. Disable all the bloatware or gather them in a hidden folder. Use a Pomodoro app that has a DND function, like Brain Focus, for your work and study sessions. Use standalone apps like Moment (iOS) or Offtime (Android, iOS) to limit screen time. Some phones have features of their own. Back when I owned a Sony Xperia, I used the Ultra Stamina Mode feature which downsized to less than ten basic apps. Instagram allows you to set an in-app timer to block you out of the app when the time’s up. 
  • Disconnect from social media for longer stretches of time. I use Samsung’s Digital Wellbeing feature to block social media and communication apps (unless it’s a good ol’ text – since hardly anyone sends them). If you can’t fully disconnect from social media, use the No Scroll Method. Tell yourself you’re not allowed to scroll or swipe. Be very intentional about the time you spend on a certain social media app and be strict with yourself, e.g. “I will only send those quick DMs on Instagram and be done in 10 minutes”. Be ruthless! 💪🏼
  • Limit phone usage before breakfast and bedtime. At night, I turn on Samsung’s Wind Down feature – similar to the Do Not Disturb feature – that makes my smartphone’s UI design less appealing (the screen turns grayscale and it automatically switches to DND mode). I turn off the automatic DND after breakfast or at 10 a.m. 
  • If you find yourself fidgeting with the phone even if most apps are blocked, leave it in another room. You’ll want to inform your loved ones or workmates you will be out of touch a few hours a day. Better yet, combine this tip with time-blocking to engage in deep work.
  • But if you want to take it to the next level, take a technology Sabbath every week. May your Sunday be truly a day of rest. Decide that you won’t turn on your laptop or device. It’s as if we excuse our laptop addiction because of this pandemic. Granted, back in pre-COVID days you could have made the most out of the outdoors and big social gatherings, but be creative and do something that doesn’t involve your device. Explore, and let your creativity skyrocket. If you can’t disengage with your laptop on your rest day, charge it once. Imagine you forgot your charger and you can only use the laptop until the battery runs out, which will give you a few hours at least.
  • You can improve your focus muscles by employing mindfulness and prayer. A 10-minute session a day improves attention span, working memory, and fluid intelligence. Channel your creative juices before everything else. Most people start with menial tasks to warm up and build-up to the most difficult task, but oftentimes that leaves them tired and mentally drained.

What to do when you feel like you haven’t done anything meaningful throughout the day:

My takeaway – decide whether today is “achievement day” or “gratitude & appreciation day”.

What productivity experts practice 

Read what the productivity experts recommend on how to be productive at work for more top strategies on productivity. Here are some for starters:

  1. James Clear’s 3-2-1 Thursday newsletter (honestly, it’s the only newsletter I read)
  2. Thomas FrankHow to create your ultimate productivity system.
  3. Tim FerrisBatching to maximize productivity
  4. Brian Tracy – Useful tips on how to structure your day.
  5. Robin Sharma explaining his 90/90/1 Rule, a method for exponential productivity.
  6. Chris Bailey’s Ted Talk on hyperfocus.
  7. Nate Green’s Nuclear Mode that restricts phone usage.
  8. Matt D’Avella’s fun challenges/experiments on habits and productivity. 

The dark side of “super-productivity”

elon musk quote burnout

Elon Musk’s idea of productivity

Here’s friendly advice to the hustlers, overachievers, go-getters, and super productivity gurus – pace yourselves. Have a healthy work-life balance. Research shows that exaggerated focus on productivity indirectly harms quality performance and job satisfaction. Alexis Ohanian took a stand against “hustle porn”, this addiction to productivity which is detrimental in so many respects:

“This idea that unless you are suffering, grinding, working every hour of every day, you’re not working hard enough … this is one of the most toxic, dangerous things in tech right now […] It’s such b******t, such utter b******t. It has deleterious effects not just on your business but on your wellbeing.”

Elon Musk’s insane work schedule (timeboxing) is romanticized and touted as a dream work ethic. Gary Vaynerchuk’s hustle mantras are chanted by adepts without much thought. It’s a new form of religion for the aspiring and unadvised.

Resources on productivity

To start off 2021 productively, here are:

7 essential reads:

6 productivity blogs

5 productivity content creators

4 productivity podcasts

3 productivity courses

2 fresh articles on productivity

1 project management and time tracking software

Check out this ultimate list of resources if we’ve left you wanting for more.

Super Paymo

Take action now – productivity boosts confidence, reduces anxiety, and improves wellbeing.

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To sum up, productivity leads to growth (personally, professionally, academically, financially, creatively, artistically, etc). Outstanding productivity leads to innovation, which generates a sense of achievement, of usefulness. Plus, you also optimize your resources, mostly time and mental energy. Also, productivity boosts one’s confidence and self-esteem reduces burnout and work-related anxiety, and improves wellbeing. But the best benefit of all, it creates engagement with like-minded individuals and opens up the possibility to collaborate on even greater projects. 

Having said all this, I’ll say it again – It is better to be productive for 10 minutes than to think for 10 hours about being productive. If I could sum up this article in one nugget of wisdom, productivity is the synergy between mindset, setup, and action.

Have a vision, make use of your tools and environment, and take small consistent steps towards your goals. Even though there is nothing new under the sun, I hope this guide has been helpful. Refer to it as often as you need. Access its resources and go through the basic concepts of outstanding productivity, strategies, frameworks, routines, and simple ways to be more productive, along with challenges, issues, and lastly, the downside of productivity. Achieving your goals takes time and effort… and the sky is not even the limit! I’ll leave you with an insight from Seneca’s Hercules:

“Non est ad astra mollis e terris via” –– “There is no easy way from earth to the stars”

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