Dumitriu Robert

@dumitriurobert

How To Get Faster at Doing Things

And Maximize Your Daily Input

Photo by Tomas Yates on Unsplash

Here’s my personal and proven approach on how to get faster on doing things in a digital era.

In no particular order, here we go:

  • If something crosses your mind while you are working or studying, especially a negative bugging piece of thought, just make a quick note of that something and record it in a notebook. Just get it out of your system!
  • Install Papier (Chrome) or Board (Firefox) — if you want your note-taking to be digital. You can also do a brain dump on Google Keep or Evernote.
  • Experiment with the 30 + 5 method — sprint hard for 30 minutes (like writing this Medium post) and then take a 5-minute break (go to the bathroom, brush your teeth, do a stretch, drink water, read an article, do 10 push-ups, clean your desk etc.)
  • Learn to scan read — titles, intros & outros, summaries, blurbs etc. so that you can decide if it warrants a full read
  • Learn keyboard shortcuts both for your computer (Mac/Windows/Linux) and browser (ChromeFirefox)
  • Learn to type faster — double your typing speed, double your output. Assuming you are typing the right stuff. (via Noah Kagan)
  • Make your PC/Mac machine as fast as possible so there is no dead time waiting for things to load
  • Install Chrome/Firefox plugins: Pocket, LastPass, Pablo, AdBlock, Tab Scissors, Sexy Undo Close, Buffer, YSlow, Clipboard History, OneTab, Awesome Screenshot
  • Bookmark your main websites and remove their names
  • Make use of sharing functions and shortcuts when using Outlook, Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets, Dropbox, Google Drive
  • Install Alfred (Mac) or Launchy (Windows). Tweak them up!
  • Speed up your mouse/touchpad
  • Use a Pomodoro Timer. I have mine as a Chrome extension.
  • Automate some parts of your writing process. Use TextExpander for MAC or TextExpander for Windows.
  • Templetize email responses. One of my folder contains email templates for different scenarios.
  • Always single task! Remember: the conscious mind has a processing capacity of 120 bits per second. It’s hard for us to understand two people talking at the same time. Don’t get cocky.
  • Use automation software such as IFTT and Buffer (for Social Media)
  • Always ask this question: What would this look like if it were easy? (borrowed from Tim Ferriss)
  • Give yourself 5 minutes to do a morning e-mail check, if you really have to. Do it fast.
  • Schedule everything so you won’t forget it. Adjust along the way.
  • Create a pattern with your Pomodoros. Start small with a cycle of 2–3 Pomodoros followed by a 10– 15-minute break
  • Use gamification for daily value-adding tasks — e.g. 1000 written words gets you X reward. Switch the rewards.

Environmental design

  • Have a distraction-free office/desk.
  • Keep an organized junk drawer for keys, duct tape, lantern, batteries etc.
  • Have some sort of a stress ball. Play with it in your Pomodoro break. Ideas Doctor Gregory House has one too!
  • Work without your laptop charger as it will make you get things done quicker.
  • Invest in a big screen monitor. It’s easier to split your screen when needed.
  • Use music to get yourself in the zone. I prefer something without lyrics like the classics or some chillstep mixes. Here’s one I like.
  • Jog everywhere you go. Stop walking.
  • Take a fast cold shower. I prefer doing it in the morning. It can also be a huge reset button for your afternoon!
  • Set an alarm clock.
  • Go to bed at the same time every night.
  • Wake up at the same time every morning. Try getting to sleep at the same time.
  • Get up at your fixed time the next morning even if you have to stay late at night — the consistency of your cycles is more important than the amount of sleep.
  • Sleep in a cool, dark room. Preferably somewhere around 19 degrees Celsius.
  • Cover your windows to keep out the light.
  • Stretch in the morning.

Drink (and eat) up!

  • Green tea
  • Black coffee
  • Mushroom coffee
  • Camomile tea (if you feel the need to calm your nerves)
  • Dark chocolate
  • Experiment with intermittent fasting. This is not only for the health benefits but for the time you are going to save as well!

Conclusion

Things will add up. A minute here. An hour there. You will adjust.
A good night sleep can lead to a good waking up experience which can lead to a calm mindset which can lead to a good workout which can lead to a good and productive work day which can lead to a good day which can lead to a happy life.

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