Rounding out our ultimate Productivity Playbook is Part III of our series (here’s Part I and Part II if you missed them.) If you already know the basic rules of productivity but know you can take it even further, then this guide is for you. 

PART III: Mastering The Art Of Productivity

Our third and final part brings us to advanced hacks for people who want to be their best selves (or, productivity junkies as we like to call ourselves.) Once you feel you’ve mastered Part I and II, come here for a deeper level of productivity tools that will complement the more practical tips we’ve shared so far.

Mind Matters

Meditate – Keep it simple or take it all the way. Even 20 minutes in the morning can reduce anxiety, boost creativity, and improve memory.

Make it more challenging – There may be an item on your task list that you crawl through, thinking it’s too difficult or tedious to execute, but its more likely that you’re just not being challenged. Take that to do on your task list and find a way to make it more challenging. You’ll be surprised at how making someone harder can actually lead to greater productivity.

Feel like life is passing you by? – Trying new things makes time appear to pass by slower. Sometimes being super productive can make you feel like life is flying by. Make time to try something new on your task list like surfing or painting classes, and force yourself to live in the moment.

Pro Tips

Mind your ego – Ego Depletion is a concept that says your willpower is limited, so treat it like a precious resource and get started on the things in your task list that matter first. You’re more likely to complete those tasks that have already been started. User Tip: @KeithHelfrich: create folders for “To READ” and “To WATCH”, where you collect the URLs of articles & videos. Dip in when you have time.

Add images – Vision is your strongest memory-building sense. Focus on images when doing research – it will improve your recall and save you time.

Make meeting and group goals extremely clear – When people know exactly what is expected of them, they feel a greater sense of trust and are considerably more productive. Make sure meeting and group goals are crystal clear, possibly by sharing a task list with the entire group.

Snooze – Short naps during the day can significantly improve your memory and performance. Turn off the lights and rest. User Tip: Mike Jones: Use reminders sparingly – too many too close together and you end up snoozing them.

Taking It To The Next Level

5 More Rule – Do just 5 more things on your task list: read 5 more pages, or work 5 more minutes. You’ll build mental strength and learn to power through plateaus. User Tip@thewheelexists: I have folders for different times e.g. 5 mins, 25 mins so I can easily see what to do when using #pomodoro technique

5 Minute Rule – Giving leads to happiness, and happiness leads to productivity. Remember that helping someone doesn’t have to be a big deal. Just spend 5 minutes a day helping a coworker, friend, or stranger – these small gestures will add up and leave you feeling better. Better yet, add it to your task list so it’s part of your daily routine. User Tip: Joey Hill: Determine where and/or the means by which you complete most of your tasks. Use folders to organize and complete tasks accordingly. Completing all tasks in the “On the telephone” folder before leaping to tasks in the folders “At the copier” or “In the library” (I’m a teacher by the way), for example, increases focus, produces a satisfying sense of closure, and saves time by reducing time and steps wasted during transitions.

Get an accountability partner – You can break promises to yourself, but it’s not so easy with an audience. Get a partner and check in weekly to review the major items on your task list.

Stay realistic. So you’ve had a great morning and you’re tempted to double your productivity by 5pm. Don’t do it. Overestimating what you can actually do may backfire, killing your motivation and clarity for the rest of the day. User Tip: @Andy_Timm: Put your bucket list into the “Someday” category, then find ways to move them to “Upcoming”.


That does it for our 3-part series! Let us know if you have any tried and true tips you think should be a part of this guide by tweeting us @AnyDo.


Sources: Buffer Blog, Buffer Blog (2)Science Daily, Alt Medicine, Fast Company, Psychology Today