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My Favorite Productivity Trick

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The “50/10 Focus” Habit

I recently read a great article over at Dawud Miracle’s Blog. He wrote a blog post called How to Stay Focused for Greater Productivity. In his article he gave his most powerful tip for productivity and this is it:

“My productivity tip is focus. For every 60 minutes of the workday, I stay micro focused for 50 minutes. Then I get out of my chair, away from my computer and out of my office for 8 minutes (give or take). The remaining two minutes I settle back down in my chair, look over my next todos and look at what I can accomplish in the next 50 minutes. Then I’m off to the races again.”

This has been something I aspire to do daily, but sometimes I forget. I now have a reminder on my computer that simply says “50/10 Focus.” I’d like to thank Dawud for helping me get back into this awesome productivity habit.

Dawud’s article links to other bloggers who also chimed in on this topic. You can read the rest of his article here.

Planning for Success.

The companion habit to make the most of the “50/10 Focus” habit is to plan your day and plan your week. Your daily plan is the blueprint for knowing what you should be doing at any given time during the day.

Here’s how I plan my day. I take a piece of paper, often scrap paper or a page in my capture notebook and write the date at the top of the page. I draw a line down the center. In the right column I write “To-Do” and on the left I write “Plan.” I write out all my to-do’s first. Then I plan out my day by inserting those to-do items into time slots.

Often some things will have to wait until the next day because I’m very liberal with building in transition and buffer time. I know that things always take longer than expected so I allot for that. The main thing when planning things is to schedule the most important things first.

Please Share!

What’s your favorite time management trick? Let’s hear your ideas! All comments big and small are very welcomed!

If you found this post valuable, perhaps you’ll be kind enough to vote for this with a Stumble or Delicious bookmark. Votes are always appreciated!

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12 Responses to My Favorite Productivity Trick

  1. Mainframe Encryption January 15, 2008 at 2:25 pm #

    Great tips, I am a plan and organizing freak! I am going to try the 50/10 and I am also going to modify my To-Do list like the one you explain. I like how you have the items listed & the time when they are to be done. Finally, I agree, the most important stuff has to go 1st or else it is too easy to side track.

    Here is what I have to add: I have found that I have to start the next day, by how I close out the previous one. If I review my day, do my to do list and then get to bed based upon my day’s events I am taking steps for success!

    Michael Rowles
    SMB Security
    CopiaTECH

  2. Etavitom January 15, 2008 at 5:44 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom! That’s why your blog is so phenomenal….

  3. idm music January 16, 2008 at 1:05 am #

    I could definitely stand to increase my productivity :)

  4. Online Money January 16, 2008 at 2:31 am #

    Planning is very important in every sort of life. All the best to your blog and a very nice post :)

  5. Karl Staib - Your Happiness Matters January 16, 2008 at 11:21 pm #

    Not staying strapped to our chairs will help us spread our mental wings, loosen our joints, and bring fresh air to our souls.

  6. Bill January 18, 2008 at 4:56 am #

    I enjoyed the 50/20 rule and will try it out.
    I was intruigued by the photo of your to-do list.
    Would you explain the two columns? I realize the right column is a simple to-do list. The column on the left, which you call “Plan” seems to be a daily calendar. Question How do the two columns relate to one another. One probability seems to be that the to-dos are things you want to do along with or in conjunction with the event scheduled on the “Plan” calendar.
    Thanks.
    Keep up the good work

    Also, could you give a little more direction for voting for your efforts that: “If you found this post valuable, perhaps you’ll be kind enough to vote for this with a Stumble or Delicious bookmark. Votes are always appreciated!”

  7. Law of attaction guy January 18, 2008 at 9:23 am #

    Great tip. I will implement this from now on. The only problem, in my mind, is to keep at it once the initial enthusiasm is gone.

    Olivier.

  8. vegas January 21, 2008 at 1:30 am #

    Great Tip. Taking small breaks throughout the day does wonders for your productivity. Also, it is helpful to do a little bit of meditation . Have a relaxation cd or some classical music and take a little breather every couple hours.

  9. agentsully January 21, 2008 at 4:10 pm #

    @Bill – the “ToDo” list is where you write everything you’d like to do on that day without regard for prioritization or realistic time frames. The “planning” side is where you take your to-do’s and organize them by time slots.

    “Voting” refers to bookmarking any of my blog posts on your favorite social media sites such as Digg.com, del.icio.us, stumbleupon.com, reddit.com, etc. When you bookmark my post it helps bring more people to see my work. I thank you.

    And thanks every else for your comments!

  10. web design bristol February 1, 2008 at 9:36 am #

    I use todoist for managing tasks and time.onrails.org for tracking amount of time on tasks.

    Recommended for web designers and develpers, as you can export a spreadsheet and show your clients how long you have been working on a particular task!

    todoist also integrates into twitter, gmail and your phone!

  11. burton snowboard boots February 2, 2008 at 12:10 pm #

    Great tips – I use todolist too and I find it works wonders. I used to leave a load of post-it notes around my computer screen telling me what I needed to do that day, but it’s easy to just ignore them sometimes, or forget that they’re there. I’ll definitely be giving your little trick a go. Thanks!

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  1. My Get Things Done List » Blog Archive » Gotta get me a timer [Lifemuncher] - December 10, 2009

    […] My Favorite Productivity Trick: “Here’s how I plan my day. I take a piece of paper, often scrap paper or a page in my capture notebook and write the date at the top of the page. I draw a line down the center. In the right column I write ‘To-Do’ and on the left I write ‘Plan.’ I write out all my to-do’s first. Then I plan out my day by inserting those to-do items into time slots.” […]

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  1. […] My Favorite Productivity Trick: “Here’s how I plan my day. I take a piece of paper, often scrap paper or a page in my capture notebook and write the date at the top of the page. I draw a line down the center. In the right column I write ‘To-Do’ and on the left I write ‘Plan.’ I write out all my to-do’s first. Then I plan out my day by inserting those to-do items into time slots.” […]

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