What are the best tips and tricks for increasing productivity and time management?

Here are a few off the top of my head. I am glad you’ve asked because it’s good to go through the list every once in a while.

1. Always have a plan. Thinking before doing requires some time and internal discipline but gives you an edge over the “doers” who act without thinking.

2. Plans must always have dates and times. Plans without dates are dreams.

3. Prioritize what’s planned. “Did not have time” means the person can’t plan – or does not care. Don’t be one of them.

4. Get yourself a “Tasks” or “To-Do List” app and write down everything you need to have done, big or small. The app allows to set reminders and recurring tasks. Write down and forget, release your brainpower.

5. To start being productive, get started. Sometimes it helps to kill a few small tasks on your list and cross them out. Feels good and helps to get going.

6. Do not multitask. Avoid switching between different jobs. Control your ADT (attention deficit trait).

7. Be on time. Start on time. Finish on time. Meetings over 1 hr long are rarely productive.

8. Use the 80:20 rule. Focus on tasks that will bring 80% of the result in 20% of the time.

9. Figure out what food is good for you – and never think again about what or where to eat.

10. Same about clothes: Ever thought about Steve Jobs’s black turtleneck and Mark Zuckerberg’s gray t-shirt?

11. Sleep well. Eat well. Play with your kids. Call your parents daily.

12. Adopt a zero-based approach to life in general. Do not lament the time or effort already spent: Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

13. Help others to be productive: share these tips and add yours.

Originally answered on Quora.

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