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008. Get Productive! 15 Ideas That Really Work! (As featured on lifehack)
Ash RoyMar 14, 2015 10:43:59 PM8 min read

008. Get Productive! 15 Ideas That Really Work! (As featured on lifehack)

008. 15 Productivity Ideas That Really Work!

(As featured on lifehack)

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Welcome to the Productive Insights podcast, where entrepreneurs and professionals gather to unlock the secrets of peak performance. Join us on a journey to amplify your productivity and skyrocket your profits. Today, we delve into the essence of efficiency, narrating an enlightening article featured on

In this episode, Ash Roy presents "Get Productive: 15 Ideas That Really Work." Delve into the art of working smarter, not harder, as we dissect the core principles of productivity. But first, a word from our sponsor,, your go-to resource for over 100 free tips, articles, videos, and podcasts designed to elevate your efficiency and enhance your success.

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00:00 Introduction to Productive Insights Podcast
00:35 Unveiling the Secret to Working Smart
01:10 15 Game-Changing Productivity Ideas
07:52 Concluding Thoughts and Next Steps


Ash Roy: 

Welcome to the Productive Insights podcast for entrepreneurs and professionals.

Head over to for over 100 free tips, articles, videos and podcasts that help you increase your productivity and and maximize your profits to fund the perfect lifestyle.

In this podcast, I'm going to narrate an article of mine that was featured on

The article is called Get Productive 15 Ideas That Really Work, written by Ash Roy, narrated by Ash Roy and featured on

Can I tell you a little secret? Working smart isn't about doing more in less time. It's about doing less and more time. Confused? Let me explain. Being truly productive maybe effective is a better word is not about rushing mindlessly through your todo list. It's about first being prudent with task selection and then doing the tasks that make the biggest difference. Once you've decided on your most important tasks, you can use one of these productivity tricks to work through your targeted todo list.

1. The Pomodoro Technique - Essentially, this is breaking your tasks down into 25 minutes, increments and attacking your work with intense focus for those time slices. After each 25 minutes slice, you take a three to five minute break, and every four Pomodoros, you take a 15 to 30 minutes break. That's it. The idea here is that frequent breaks can improve mental agility.

2. The Getting Things Done Approach - also known as the Gtd approach. This approach categorizes tasks in two ways by projects, which we're all familiar with, and by context, which is a set of conditions necessary to execute on the tasks. Imagine this you need to make an appointment to see the doctor, call the plumber to fix the bathroom, and call back your accountant. These tasks will probably fall into the health, home, maintenance and finance projects, respectively, but they will all be executed from one context your phone. One of the benefits of the Gtd method is that it allows you to club tasks by context and keep several projects moving forward using the context handle.

3. Process your email in batches - If you're not careful, email can be a black hole when it comes to productivity. It can really hijack your day. Don't check your email too often. That's a recipe for disaster. When it comes to productivity, train your stakeholders to expect replies from you at 10:00 A.m., 12:00 P.m. And 03:00 P.m., using an out of office message or a message in your email signature. And then stick to these times. You'll be amazed at how many urgent tasks resolve themselves.

4. Reserve your creative work for the morning - If your day involves work that's creative or requires critical thinking, schedule this for your mornings. For most people, mornings are their prime time. This is when you're likely to get the best breakthroughs and maximum output on creative pursuits. Save the admin tasks for later in the day.

5. Plan your day the night before using Timeboxing - Planning your tasks the night before gives you emotional distance from the overwhelm that inevitably creeps into your busy workday. Plan your tasks on your calendar using timeboxing, and stick to the plan only. Make exceptions for emergencies.

6. Learn the Art of Saying No - Know what makes Apple so successful? They know how to say no. They say no to hundreds of possible design features that they could cram into their devices and distill it down to the bare essentials. They are masters of illumination. The end result? Simplicity, inform, and functionality. This is the approach you need to take to your to-do list. Distill it down to the bare essentials, and then go to town on those tasks first.

7. Use a Timer - I like vitamin R for the mac. Here's another very powerful secret time yourself while you're working, set yourself aggressive timelines too. Think it'll take you an hour to write that article? Try and do it in 45 minutes. You'll find it will sharpen your focus, if nothing else.

8. Consume Audio Content while Running or Exercising - Use audiobooks wherever possible. Check out the Amazon Matchmaker offering, which allows you to swap between reading the ebook and listening to the audiobook version while still keeping your BOOKMARKS intact. It's an awesome product and often offers complimentary audiobooks to go with your existing ebooks at prices as low as $1.99.

9. Develop Rhythms of Focus and rest in keeping with the Pomodoro technique - Make sure you figure out a rhythm of focus and rest. I tend to keep the longer work sessions and shorter rest sessions towards the beginning of the day. As the day wears on, I tend to shorten the work sessions and take longer breaks. Work out the rhythm that's right for you, and then go for it.

10. Do a Productivity Audit on Yourself - While I find the act of writing tasks motivates me to stay focused, the best way for me to measure and track my productivity is to use rescue time on my Mac. It automatically tracks my activities while I'm online. If you decide to upgrade to the professional version, currently around $10 a month, you can even track your activities offline. You only need to track your activities for a month to do a productivity audit on yourself. That's enough to get an understanding of how you're spending your time and compare it to how you think you're spending your time. Trust me, you'll be surprised.

11. Don't Multitask Uni-task - Let's bust one of the biggest prevailing myths around productivity multitasking does not work. Several studies have revealed the myth of multitasking. Multitasking causes more distractions, dulls your focus, and increases stress levels. Its costs far outweigh its benefits.

12. Use your Mornings as a Springboard for Success - Know the secret of the highest achievers? They use Mornings to get a jump on their day. By the time they've reached their afternoon, they've completed most of their important tasks. They even get a workout done, read or listen to inspiring material, often while working out before they start their day. This increases their energy levels and sets them up for success. The first few hours of the day sets the tone. What do you do to get yourself into gear when you wake up?

13. Identify your Prime Time and Eliminate Distractions during those Hours - Get very clear about the times when you're most productive. Most people hit their stride at about 10:00 A.m.. Also, eliminate distractions to take full advantage of your primetime hours. For example, if you find that your prime time is at 10:00 A.m., then make sure that you don't check your email and avoid meetings at around that time. Block out that time in your calendar and use it to become laser focused.

14. Develop Rituals that you associate with high performance - Have you seen Rafael Nadal arrange his drink bottles obsessively in between sets at Wimbledon? That's an example of a high performance ritual. Rituals are great because they don't involve a lot of thinking and they automatically get you into the mindset. For high performance work, I find this one of the best ways to achieve flow.

15. Stop Procrastination Dead in its tracks once and for all - One of the biggest drains on your productivity is procrastination. Procrastination affects your productivity in two ways. First, you lose time when you're procrastinating. Second, and more importantly, delaying tasks often comes with a cost. For example, if you don't exercise regularly, you're more likely to end up with heart disease or a stroke. If you let important tasks build up, you're going to spend a lot of time putting out fires that you would never have had in the first place if you had completed your tasks ahead of time or on time. To overcome procrastination, become aware of your mental patterns around procrastination.

There's a great article on about overcoming procrastination using mindfulness. Check it out.

In closing, what you achieve is more important than how much you achieve at the end of the day. It's not how many tasks you get through, but how many strategically important moves you've made in your day. It's about identifying the most important items on your todo list and then applying one of these 15 tools to get them done.

First, blindly applying productivity tools to your todo list is like using a blunt instrument to cut through steel. You're wasting your time. How you prioritize your tasks is one of the most important secrets to being productive. Thanks for listening and I'll talk to you in the next podcast episode.

Head over to for over 100 free tips, articles, videos, and podcasts that help you increase your productivity and maximize your profits to fund the perfect lifestyle.


Ash Roy

Ash Roy has spent over 15 years working in the corporate world as a financial and strategic analyst and advisor to large multinational banks and telecommunications companies. He suffered through a CPA in 1997 and completed it despite not liking it at all because he believed it was a valuable skill to have. He sacrificed his personality in the process. In 2004 he finished his MBA (Masters In Business Administration) from the Australian Graduate School of Management and loved it! He scored a distinction (average) and got his personality back too!