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Productivity Hack

There are at least ten different things that I can list right now that I want to really work on and reach an assumed end goal in each of those. I put these down a couple of months ago and tried including a few steps to be achieved each week (a week is how long I plan for). But more often than not, I didn't hit the deadlines.

This week, I decided to change things a bit, in an attempt to improve my productivity.

I decided it is thoroughly unwise and counter-productive to treat all ten of them with near equal priorities. That was getting me nowhere.

From experience, I can get about 25 to 40 hours of deep work done in a week, the average being closer to 25 than to 40. I first came across the term 'deep work' in Cal Newport's blog and have since come to define it as anything that keeps me immersed with absolutely no interruptions (not on phone, browser, et al) for a period of time (ranging between 15 and 120 minutes), at the end of which I accomplish a target that I set out to. The target can be anything from publishing a blog post to writing a new product feature specification to running 5 kilometres.

This week, I decided to plan my deep work hours effectively as this is most instrumental in me reaching the said ten targets. Suddenly, my week now fell to about 30 hours from a previous 120 hours. This forces me to take up only one or two items from the ten in any given week. Hence, I might have to think about planning longer term if this yields better results.

From the ten, each week, I pick two items that involve me working on my laptop (my day job usually forces my hand in what one of those items will be) and another that keeps me away from the screen. I have realised I can push up the deep work hours if I split tasks this way.

The rest of the week is planned around immediate deliverables and unavoidable activities.

I will try this for the next two months and then try to optimize the time of day and day of week for picking the deep work slots from then on.

Fingers crossed to see this through.

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