The 8 Most Important Productivity Hacks in My Life

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a laptop computer sitting on top of a body of water

I run 5+ businesses and manage a team that spans 4 continents. Here are my most important productivity hacks to maximize output and minimize distractions. If you enjoy this post, you’ll likely also enjoy my post about travel hacks.

As a result of these hacks, my productivity and creativity have soared over the last four years.

1. Keeping my phone in do not disturb mode at all times
My only notifications are calendar alerts. Every other notification is silent so that deep thinking and deep work are never interrupted.

2. Eliminating all daily news
I’ve found the outrage-driven news coverage to be distressing. So unless my current work focus is news-related, avoiding the news helps me keep a level head.

3. Blocking distracting websites and social media news feeds
I use BlockSite to block distracting websites. I use News Feed Eradicator to hide Facebook’s newsfeed. And I use Unhook to hide all suggested videos on YouTube.

4. Writing down the five most important things I need to do each day
Every night before I go to sleep, I write down the five most important things to do the next day, in a notepad. I keep my notepad with me throughout the day so I never lose sight of what’s important.

5. Using a project management system for work and personal life
The book Getting Things Done by David Allen is my productivity bible. I highly recommend reading it if you haven’t dialed in your project management system. I’ve built my own GTD inspired project management system within Notion (which is a fantastic tool).

6. Doing (almost) no phone calls or meetings
I spent most of 2017-2020 doing 2-3 calls/meetings per month. I’ve since shifted to doing 5-8 calls per week. But I still try hard to keep my schedule clear so that I can do deep work and deep thinking.

7. Using Calendly to schedule all calls
I save myself a huge amount of time and mind space by never coordinating schedules with people. Instead, I just send them my Calendly link and then show up for our call.

8. Doing key habits first thing in the morning
I do ~20 minutes of habits before I leave my bedroom each morning. I’ve tried lots of habit apps and different systems, but this is the only thing that has worked for me.

Bonus: Journaling in Roam Research
Getting my thoughts out of my head and into a journaling system has been critical for me. I recently switched from Evernote to Roam Research because its note interlinking is superior.

That’s all for today. Leave a comment with your productivity hacks – I’d love to hear them! 🤙

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I've been building digital businesses, wandering the world, and writing about optimizing life for freedom since early 2017. My mission is to lower the barrier for people who want to live with more freedom: whether that be as an entrepreneur, a digital nomad, an early retiree, or just as someone who wants to live a happiness-driven life.