The Single Most Useful Productivity Hack You Can Use In Less Than 2 Minutes Everyday

Okay, I hate “hacks.”

I’ll be honest.

They’re usually taken out of context, oversimplified to suit every scenario, and don’t actually move the needle.

This one feels different, to me.

It’s a little weird, so stick with me for a sec.

Gerunds.

So, gerunds are those verbs that end in “-ing.”

  • Working.
  • Planning.
  • Compiling.
  • Visioning.
  • Assessing.

Etc. etc.

I see people use these works in their task list all the time.

“I’m going to be working on the report for our Atlanta warehouse, today.”

This is no good!

What does “working on” mean?

It has no clear beginning or end.

It doesn’t explain how much work will get done or when the whole task will be done.

It just says “I’m busy.”

We want to avoid being busy. We want to be productive.

A better task description would be:

“I’m going to input the McKinsey report into our database so I can decide if we need to close the warehouse in Atlanta this week.”

Focus on what you will actually achieve, today. This is a core principle of the Agile Framework and it will keep you focused on discrete deliverables.

And that’s what productivity is all about.

Small, incremental deliverables.

2 Minute Action

Review your task list for today.

Use these 3 Questions to avoid the gerund trap.

  • What did you achieve/finish yesterday?
  • What will you achieve/finish today?
  • Do you have any impediments or dependencies that might stop you from finishing, today?

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