An Advice for Your Vacation

Published on August 03, 2015 by Francisco Sáez

Do not miss this opportunity to improve your life.


Vacations are a fabulous and essential time to relax, to enjoy yourself and to renew your energies. I talked last year about the importance of vacations to restore the level of attention you need to live your life efficiently for the rest of the year. Studies show that most people have a better perspective on their life and are more motivated to achieve their goals after taking a vacation, no matter how short it is.

As I believe it’s no longer necessary to stress the importance of rest for productivity, I’m going to focus on another aspect of your vacation that you should take advantage of: your mental state.

When you go on vacation your mental state changes radically. You’ll probably spend your vacation in a place other than the one you’re used to. Your mind will work a bit differently during those few days. You’ll worry a lot less about doing and a lot more about thinking, but you won’t be doing this deliberately.


Does Music Help You Become More Productive?

Published on July 27, 2015 by Francisco Sáez

What science says about music and productivity.


When we are working usually there’s a background noise intermittently distracting us and hindering us from finishing the task at hand. Whenever a noise or an outside conversation distracts you, your brain suffers a small disconnection from the task at hand and you will need a few seconds—sometimes it can be minutes—to reconnect and continue the task from the point where you had stopped.

Depending on the mental effort required by the task at hand, the loss of productivity can be higher or lower. But clearly, over a week, the sum of all these small external interrupts add up to quite an amount of precious time. With that time you could have finished some things before—and enjoyed a quieter week, with everything under control—, or could have done more things during the week—thus increasing your effectiveness and personal productivity.

Sometimes, too quiet of an atmosphere does not help to get in the zone, flowing wih the job.


Loss Aversion as Motivation

Published on July 20, 2015 by Francisco Sáez

Use your natural instincts favorably to be motivated.

loss aversion

In 2010, a group of economists carried out a study in order to find a way to encourage teachers of the American educational system to make greater efforts, deliver more and better knowledge and, therefore, make students reach a higher level of academic performance.

The incentive was nothing new, since it was about giving the teachers an additional bonus based on the performance of their students. But the way to get that bonus was different, for at least half of the teachers on which the study was done. Half of the teachers received the full bonus early in the course, and so, in the end, they would have to return the part that did not belong to them. The other half, in the traditional manner, would receive the bonus at the end of the course depending on a job well done.

At the end of the course it became evident that students whose teachers received the premium in advance scored better than students whose teachers received the premium in the traditional way, at the end.


The “Not This Week” List

Published on July 13, 2015 by Francisco Sáez

The Not This Week list will help you make a shorter and more solid Weekly Review.

weekly review

Out of the fundamental habits of GTD, the Weekly Review is one of most difficult to establish. All organizational systems tend to go towards entropy and many people fail to realize how important it is to keep their system clean and updated so they can trust it unreservedly.

When you skip the review for one week, your system begins to move away from your reality. It contains actions and information that are no longer relevant, outdated projects, things that are not where they should be, and it becomes incomplete, as there are things that are in your head but not in your system. When you skip the review for three or four weeks, your system has no way to be run and therefore you abandon it, you fall off the wagon.

It is at this point that some say “GTD is too complicated” or “GTD is not for me.” The truth is that neither GTD or any other form of organization will work if you do not keep the information clean, clear, current and complete.


How to Manage Your Time if You Are a Self-Employed Worker

Published on July 06, 2015 by GesTron

Six tips to be a more productive self-employed worker.

self-employed worker

Time management is a challenge for anyone. However, if there is one type of professional that faces it as a challenge and an obligation at the same time, that is the independent one.

Self-employed people are businesses and as such, they have to manage all departments of those businesses: they run projects, manage their customers, seek new projects and customers and also can become the accountant and the marketing director. In short, they do so many things that time management is not just a challenge, it is something they are bound to do.

In order to facilitate this task, I will give you six tips that should help you “steal hours from the clock” so that your days won’t not a succession of eating, working and sleeping.


Why To-do Lists Do Not Work... And Calendars Either

Published on June 29, 2015 by Francisco Sáez

We need new methods, technologies, and work habits to help us get on top of our world.

to-do list

“Neither our standard education, nor traditional time-management models, nor the plethora of organizing tools available, has given us a viable means of meeting the new demands placed on us.” ~ David Allen

To-do lists were invented at the same time that time management started to become a problem for many people, especially for knowledge workers. There was too much to do, so at the beginning it was at least necessary to have a clear inventory of all that stuff.

Once we had those long lists in our hands, we saw that they could be improved. We could identify the tasks to be done at a specific time and put them in special task lists we called calendars. There are still many people who handle all their tasks with a calendar (what harm Google Calendar has done!)


Crises Are Opportunities

Published on June 22, 2015 by Francisco Sáez

Crises are situations in which everything can be improved. Get used to them and accept them.


“Through each crisis in my life, with acceptance and hope, in a single defining moment, I finally gained the courage to do things differently.” ~ Sharon E. Rainey

Personal productivity is mainly a matter of habits. That’s why when the wrong habits are installed in your brain for too much time, nothing works. No matter the method, tricks and support tools that you use. The first few weeks everything seems great, but old habits suddenly impose again and chaos reigns again.

If that happens to you, the good news is that at least you are on the right track. You may need to overstep the mark a little more and cause a bigger crisis.

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