Do these 9 things to make this week your most productive week ever

by | Jan 13, 2014 | General Productivity

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes, 20s.


Here are 9 incredible ways to kick even more ass than you regularly do this week.

1. Define 3 outcomes you want to get out of this week. Not to-dos; outcomes. The rule of 3 is one of my favorite productivity rituals, and its power lies in its simplicity. Define three outcomes you want to make happen this week. Not things you have to do–actual results you want to get done. This will get you thinking about what you want to get out of the week. Don’t create more than three outcomes. A good tip: ask yourself, if today were Friday, what three things do you want to have accomplished?

2. Define 3 outcomes for every day this week. Many of these will contribute to your three weekly outcomes, but they don’t have to. It helps to define these outcomes at the beginning of the week, particularly if you can predict your schedule of ahead of time. Again, keep it to only three outcomes every day.

3. Say ‘no’ to three things. Here’s a challenge for you: this week say ‘no’ to three commitments that might zap you of your energy, time, or motivation. One of the easiest ways to get more time, energy, and motivation is to say no to to bullshit commitments that weigh you down.

4. Find one activity that gives you more energy, and schedule doing it. This one seems almost too obvious to put on the list, but no one takes the time to do it. Are there certain people that provide you a ton of energy and motivation after you talk to them? Schedule a lunch with them. Are there certain things you do that give you a ton of energy, like hitting the gym before work, meditating, or spending time with your kids? Schedule time for that too.

5. Work on Pomodoro time. The Pomodoro Technique is a simple time management technique that breaks your time down into chunks. For 25 minutes you turn off all possible distractions, and then work on only one thing for that time. After your first “pomodoro”, you take a five-minute break, then wash, rinse, and repeat two more times. After that, you work for another 25 minutes and take a 15-minute (or longer) break. This technique reduces the ugly, ambiguous tasks on your to-do list down into something you do in a series of easy-to-manage, 25-minute chunks of time.

6. Take more breaks. It might sound counterintuitive, but taking more breaks is one of my favorite ways to become more productive. Breaks prevent you from becoming fatigued and tired, and they help you slow down, step back from your work, reflect, and come up with better ideas.

7. Drink 16oz of water every morning, right after you wake up. One of my favorite habits is drinking 16oz (.5L) of water after I wake up. Water hydrates you after you wake up (you just went 8 hours without drinking a single drop), gives you more energy, fires up your metabolism, helps you focus, and will even help you eat less. Flavor it if you have to, but drink water every morning.

8. Capture all of the open loops you have floating around in your head. I recently interviewed David Allen, the originator of the GTD productivity system, and he continually stressed the importance of emptying your head of all of the open loops you have floating around in it. Take out a notepad, and begin to empty your head of all of your to-dos, things you’re waiting on, and other ideas, commitments, or open loops that are weighing you down. Once you get them out of your head, you’ll be free to think about bigger and better things.

9. Do 60 seconds of intense exercise, right now. The more you think about this one, the less likely you are to do it. Right now, sit up and do a minute of jumping jacks, push ups, lunges, or simply walk up and down a nearby staircase. You can do pretty much anything for 60 seconds.


Good luck!

Superman image source. Superhero image source.

Written by Chris Bailey

Chris Bailey has written hundreds of articles on the subject of productivity and is the author of three books: How to Calm Your Mind, Hyperfocus, and The Productivity Project. His books have been published in more than 40 languages. Chris writes about productivity on this site and speaks to organizations around the globe on how they can become more productive without hating the process.

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