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How to Double Your Productivity

I’m reading Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success by Kerry Patterson, Al Switzler, Ron McMillan and Joseph Grenny. So far it’s an encouraging book. Much of it appears to me as common sense, but it’s always good to reinforce concepts you think you know. I’m hoping to test these theories with some change in my own life.

Here’s an excerpt from Change Anything:

Consider the following rather startling discovery. A team of researchers from New York University worked with students whose grades suffered because they procrastinated studying. They gave half of the procrastinators information on how to improve their study habits. The other half were given the same information—plus pencil and paper. They were told, “Decide now where and at what times you will study in the next week, and write it down.” Those who recorded their plan studied more than twice as many hours as those who didn’t.”

Did you catch that? How do you double your chance of being productive? Apparently you write it down. Schedule it. Make a plan.

I love it when the experts agree with me. 🙂

I suggest to people all the time that they should schedule everything. For years people have asked how I accomplish as much as I do. One “secret” is that I schedule my week. If you want more specifics, I wrote about it HERE.

Start the week off right. Calendar the things you want to accomplish.

Working the plan is much easier when you have one.

What tips do you have for being more productive?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 12 Comments

  • James says:

    Bitter experience tells me that writing down a plan is a waste of paper.

    What worked – and then some – when I was studying for my final exams, was that I found a friend in a similar position. We agreed to sit together in the same room, she revising her stuff and I mine. We allowed ourselves one morning break and half an hour for lunch. It was the most productive studying I ever did.

  • @bdentzy says:

    That's exactly what I do too. It not only helps with discipline but it also blocks my calendar so that I don't get meeting requests during those times. Good stuff.

  • Chris Patton says:

    Great post, Ron! I love a short, but powerful post that reminds me to get back to basics!

    I have learned this lesson before and actually put together an in-depth LIFE plan. I have put it in writing and I even review it and update it weekly! This is an incredible tool and I highly recommend it!

    At the same time, I committed to writing a "net-out" after every non-fiction book I read (leadership, faith, growth, biography, history, etc.) for the purpose of writing down my plan for whatever "take-aways" I got from the book. Sounds like a good plan and fits with the "knowledge vs. knowledge + written plan" message of your post, right?

    The problem is that I am three or four books behind right now and blowing off the net-outs. This was the first thing to come to mind when I read your post.

    While I hate having to learn lessons over and over, I guess that is better than not learning them at all!

    Thanks for the reminder!

  • I may have to give this a shot. One of my goals for the next few weeks is to figure out a good daily rhythm outside of work. This may help me to do it at work as well.

  • Kyle Reed says:

    That is some good stuff. I try and keep that list in front of me at all times so I am reminded to keep working

  • TJ says:

    I am a teacher. I should teach my students to do this. Why haven't I done this yet? Oh, yeah, it's probably because I'm a procrastinator myself. =)

    Thanks for the tip!