How to Finally Pop Your Productivity 🍒 in 2021

According to Forbes, Elon Musk is now the richest person in the world with his net worth estimated to be approximately $180 billion. It appears to be a tight tussle at the top between Musk and Jeff Bezos, with less than one billion separating them.

Musk is best known for being the CEO and Founder of Tesla, but he spreads his time and energy across many different roles. Based on his current responsibilities, it appears as though he is doing the work of ten people:

CEO and Founder:



Founder, Inventor or Adviser:


Future of Life



The Boring Company



Musk has 24 hours in the day just like the rest of us, but what he is able to accomplish is astounding. He clearly values his time and maximises his output. Time is the one thing that puts every person in the world on the same playing field.

Looking to increase your productivity and get more done in your day? Here are eight hacks you can implement quickly and see instant results.

1. The Three Minute Rule

If you have a task or to-do item that pops up and it will take you less than 180 seconds to complete —just do it straight away! Do not add it to your ever-increasing to-do list. An increasing to-do list just creates additional stress.

For instance, if you are going through your emails and it will take you less than three minutes to respond, do it then and there. What if you don’t want to send the email straight away? Use one of the many tools available (like Gmass) that allow you to schedule completed emails.

2. Multichannel Multitasking

Nir Eyal penned the term ‘multichannel multitasking’ in his latest book titled, Indistractable. With the traditional multitasking model, 98 percent of people who try to multitask actually impair their productivity more than help it.

The term ‘multichannel multitasking’ focuses on doing multiple things at the same time but things that will not impede each other. One of the best examples of this is to go for a walk while you have a meeting. This allows you to exercise at the same time as getting sh*t done.

3. Calendar Entries

There are 2.5 billion calendar users in the world, but whether these users are maximising their calendars is a different question. Start using your calendar the way it is meant to be used — block out all tasks/activities you want to do otherwise people will take advantage of the free time in your calendar.

If you want to go to the gym at 12pm on Mondays, put it in your calendar so no one else can take that time. If you want to spend 2 hours focused on blogging, put it in your calendar to ensure you can get in the zone.

To help, here are 18 ways to more effectively use your google calendar.

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4. Flight Mode

Removing distractions works wonders. According to a recent study, it can take us about 23 minutes to get back to the task at hand after a notification has forced us to switch between tasks.

It has been found that people generally spend an average of three hours and 15 minutes on their phones every day, with the top 20% of smartphone users spending upwards of four and a half hours.

Put your phone on flight mode for one hour in the day or put your phone in another room (if you don’t want to miss important calls). You can actually focus during this hour and be more effective with your time. Start with one hour and then you might find you can do it multiple times across the day.

5. Say “NO”

“It’s only by saying “NO” that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.” Steve Jobs

If you don’t value your own time, then no one else will.

There is a reason influencers such as Naval Ravikant, Tim Ferriss, Paul Graham and James Clear are successful. They have mastered how to say ‘NO’ to requests. Try saying “NO” to the next person that requests a pointless meeting or use the logic below from Naval Ratikant:

“Meetings should really be phone calls, phone call should be emails, and phone calls should just be texts

You can see some of their “NO” email templates here.

6. Music for the brain

I love having my headphones on while I work — it allows me to get in the zone and subtly let others know that I don’t want to be disturbed. However, I sometimes fall into the trap of nodding along to my music. I have found that productivity music is more effective and less distracting.

You can actually get the best of both worlds — I personally love hip hop music and get my fix with BEATstrumentals on apple music.

7. Plan Ahead

Plan your day/week ahead of time.

If you know what you are trying to do, then it allows you to keep track and measure. As Peter Drucker once said,

“You can’t manage what you can’t measure”

How many times have you got to the end of the week and realised you have barely achieved the things you were hoping to for the week.

Spend 15mins planning your upcoming week and see how it improves your outcomes for the week.

8. Block your day

I have found structuring my day into 30min blocks allows me to get so much more done. Ideally, on a piece of paper, list out 30min increments between 9–5 (depends on your workday), then just put the tasks you want to achieve in each block. Something like the below:

900— Team Standup, Check and reply to starred emails

930 — Blog writing

1000 — Blog writing

1030 — Meeting with John S

Final Thoughts

Everyone seems to want to put 2020 behind them and to be honest most people probably failed to achieve their goals and objectives in 2020.

New year, new approach. Pop that productivity cherry.

February 16, 2021




Shay Namdarian


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