5 Great Articles on Productivity That Will Actually Help You Get More Done
Everybody wants to be more productive, and there are thousands of articles all promising to help you run faster, jump higher, and somehow cram even more into your already-packed schedule.
However, very few people want to be more productive for its own sake. Most people want to improve their productivity so they can accomplish a specific, tangible goal, from creating more productive internal workflows across your company to rapid product prototyping.
In this post, we’ve compiled five of the best productivity articles we’ve come across in recent months. Each of these five articles focuses on a different aspect of productivity and how it pertains to the most important objective of all—growing your business.
Whether you’re a true believer in Getting Things Done or just trying to make sense of the chaos, these five articles will all help you rethink your current approach and actually get more done.
Jeff Bezos’ Peculiar Management Tool for Self-Discipline
This article about the value of writing things down published at the I Done This blog explores Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’ uniquely old-school approach to developing managerial moxie and developing better products.
Bezos doesn’t ask his teams to write everything down because he’s a sadist, but because writing forces us to slow down, really think about what we’re proposing, and structure our thoughts in a logical, organized way. It also allows Amazon’s product teams to essentially “reverse engineer” a brand-new product before it even exists. This approach can yield invaluable insights into the individual steps necessary to design, create, and launch new products—not to mention head off potential problems before they arise.
If you need to clarify your thinking or get the rest of your team on the same page about an upcoming product release, check out this article and see if Bezos’ technique can help. (Spoiler alert: it will.)
How to Build Your Company’s Custom Agile Workflow
For better or worse, “agile” has become one of the most misused buzzwords in tech. Despite this, agile methodologies can be immensely helpful to product teams, which is why this article on building a custom agile workflow published at the Airtable blog is such an important and valuable read.
There are dozens of reasons why agile workflows have become the go-to in product development. Agile workflows help us develop features that users actually want and need, learn from our mistakes much faster, and actually take user feedback into account. Put another way, agile workflows help us learn faster, ship faster, and waste a lot less time getting there.
Check out the article to learn more about how companies like Asana, Basecamp, and Wistia leverage agile workflows to get more done, faster, and build better products into the bargain. Essential reading for stressed-out product managers everywhere.
Build Fast: Why Speed Matters When You’re Building Product
In recent years, there has been a small but vocal rejection of the “move fast and break things” mindset pioneered by Facebook and other Silicon Valley heavyweights. However, when it comes to building products, speed most definitely matters—and this article on building products fast published at the Appcues blog is a fantastic primer on why it’s so important.
Rapid prototyping and racing to reach minimum viable product are still crucial in today’s intensely competitive markets, particularly SaaS. Why? Because users expect tech companies to iterate on products quickly and respond to user feedback even more quickly. It’s also a vital element in establishing—and maintaining—a competitive advantage, which becomes even more important if you’re working in a crowded or competitive space.
If you’re tempted to take your foot off the gas, this article might just make you reconsider.
We Need A Slower, More Thoughtful Approach to Content Marketing
Including a post on deliberately slowing down in a collection of articles about productivity might seem counterintuitive. On the contrary, this post on the need for a slower, more thoughtful approach to content published by Animalz highlights how slowing down can actually boost productivity—or, at the very least, reduce the amount of time you’re wasting by going too fast.
Although the advice in this post focuses on content and content marketing, the core underlying concepts get right to the heart of why so much work is ultimately useless. Put another way, waste—whether of time, money, or effort—is one of the most costly expenses for any business. Slowing down and adopting a more intentional mindset when it comes to our work is one of the best ways to reduce wasted time and effort, which can help increase your actual productivity.
Remember—we should strive to be productive, but never busy.
The 28 Best Productivity Software of 2018
Of course, even the best productivity tips and tricks in the world will only take you so far before you need to start relying on at least some software tools to get the job done. That’s why this article on the 28 best productivity software of 2018 published at the I Done This blog is our final recommendation for this round-up.
Regardless of what you want to get done, this comprehensive list of productivity software has got you covered. Sure, there are the usual suspects you’d expect to find in an article like this, such as RescueTime and Trello, but there are plenty more specialized tools—many of which are available for free—that can help you accomplish routine tasks much more effectively.
The chances are pretty good that you’re already using at least one or two of these tools, but check out the full list to see if any of these applications can help you get more done in less time. After all, isn’t that what everybody wants?