3 Things To Make You More Effective Right Meow
No Fluff - Just 1% Improvements that compound starting today
You’re probably reading this to avoid doing your actual work so I’ll get to the point.
We’re dumb meat sacks with lizard brains and it’s a constant struggle to maintain the discipline to do the Hard Things we want to do.
Deep Work is hard enough to do and Flow States are so god dang elusive even when the conditions are perfect.
So make things a bit easier on yourself.
1. Turn your phone on Greyscale (right now).
Look at this screen.
Now look at this screen.
Our brains are no match for those pretty colors. If you want even a fighting chance of controlling the frenetic pace of push notifications (turn those off too) sinking their teeth into your brain, then get rid of those vivid hues.
You can’t win against the root access they have to your subconscious mind.
Make greyscale your default - turn it off if you want to watch that cat video in full color or if you want a normal phone screen on the weekend (remember to backstop your watch time!), but turn it back off again when it’s time to work.
You’ll be glad you did.
For Blue Texters (iPhones):
Open Settings →
then Accessibility →
then Display & Text Size →
then Color Filters → Turn on the Color Filter with Greyscale
For the dreaded Green Texters (Androids) it seems to require a workaround?
Open Settings →
then Digital Wellbeing →
tap Wind Down →
use Wind Down and toggle Greyscale in the Wind Down Settings
I’m not an Android user so please let me know if there’s a better way!
Anyway, first Effectiveness Step 1 completed. Congratulations.
2. Stop Checking Your Email (right now)
Look - we’re all liars when we say we don’t check email during the day.
Checking email is a zero effort To Do list and let’s us feel busy and productive even when we’re not. The reality is that very few of us actually need to be tethered 100% of the time to our inbox.
Batching your email workload is seriously such a better way of triaging this effectiveness nightmare.
Turn off email notifications on your phone. You’ll still compulsively open your email app, but you’ll just be dealing with your own personal neurosis rather than the full weight of the push and pull from those tantalizing little icons. Combined with a greyscale phone you’ll basically be un-distractable (your results may vary).
30 minutes at the beginning of the day. 30 minutes at the end of the day.
You’ve heard this before, but you haven’t started doing it yet.
Add more time if you need it, but you almost for sure don’t.
3. Schedule the Last 30 Minutes of Your Day to create your Plan of Attack for Tomorrow
You also know this one, but you probably don’t do it. It helps I swear.
Write the 1 Most Important Thing for tomorrow
Write the rest of your To Do List
If it has more than 10 items, it’s too long
Put them in importance order
Anything that doesn’t fit, put into a backlog list somewhere (don’t worry you’ll probably never think about that task again because it wasn’t important in the first place)
Define the Time Buckets for those tasks
State in one sentence what “completed” looks like
I’m giving you permission to optimize (just barely), but not over optimize.
Your Plan of Attack is the centering point from which to deviate tomorrow when the something dumb happens and your schedule is now all screwed up except you have your Plan of Attack that’s already prioritized so just keep working on the things in the right order.
Without one you’re deciding to let the winds of fate control your destiny, Captain.
Do these things or don’t (I’m not your dad), but they might help keep your lizard brain at bay. Cheers!
I hope this added value to your day.
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