The Secret To Being Productive

Um…how should I know?

Luckily, I don’t have to know all the answers. All I had to do was ask everyone else for their productivity tips and let the magic happen.

On Tuesday, April 24th I launched the Ultimate Guide to Productivity Group Writing Project. The idea is simple (and on-going, so feel free to participate):

  1. Write a blog post about your best productivity tips. Challenge yourself to pick one.
  2. Tell me about it, either by linking to my blog and/or emailing me.
  3. Link to other productivity posts that would be worthwhile to your audience. (Spread the link love!)
  4. Tag others by linking to them, and encourage them to participate as well.

The goal is to compile the ultimate list of blog posts on productivity, and give people a great resource for finding new blogs, new content and useful stuff.

So far 28 people have linked back to me. I’m sure others have written tips after being tagged and haven’t linked back — which is totally fine — so this group writing project / meme is spreading wonderfully. And I hope more and more people participate. Even if you haven’t been tagged, write a post anyway and let others know about it!

I’ll eventually create a permanent list of posts, but for now, here’s a list of the first 28 people who participated either through being tagged or out of their own initiative. What’s always the most fascinating with projects like this is to see where people take it. Some people write about big life issues, others tackle nitty gritty details. Some run off on tangents, others stick precisely to the task-at-hand. It’s incredibly interesting and enlightening to watch others take something like this and make it their own.

  1. Up Your Productivity and Profits too! by Andrew Wee
  2. Meme Tagged, Meme Slayer…I Give In by Wayne Porter
  3. Ultimate Guide to Productivity by Janet Barclay
  4. Ultimate Guide to Productivity by Lorraine Pirihi
  5. Ultimate Guide to Productivity by Kathie Thomas
  6. 14 Tips to Get More Done in Less Time by engtech
  7. Work-Life Balance and Productivity by David Bohl
  8. My Contribution to the Ultimate Guide to Productivity by Harrison
  9. The Ultimate Guide to Productivity by Wendy Piersall
  10. How Productivity Comes From Clarity by Adam Kayce
  11. How To Stay Focused For Greater Productivity by Dawud Miracle
  12. The Ultimate Guide to Productivity – Wanna Share One Big Secret? by Ponn Sabra
  13. My Productivity Secret – The Joy of Flow State by Chris Garrett
  14. The Ultimate Guide to Productivity – MomGadget Style by Gayla McCord
  15. If you don’t have passion and purpose, greater productivity won’t help you! by Alister Cameron
  16. Building a Home Business One Weekend At a Time by Tony Clark
  17. Ultimate Guide to Productivity Group Writing Project by Jennifer Louden
  18. Be Aware, Make Choices by Alex Fayle
  19. The Ultimate Guide to Productivity by Digging into the Blogpond
  20. The Ultimate Guide to Productivity meme by Doris
  21. Ultimate Guide to Productivity by KM
  22. Ultimate Guide to Productivity for Adult ADD Sufferers by Deborah Petersen
  23. How to become a Productivity Super Hero who Rights Wrongs, Saves the Environment, and Rescues Cats from Trees by Aaron Potts
  24. Zugunruhe Ultimate Guide to Productivity: Time Budgets by Tara Robinson
  25. What Are Your Secrets For Personal Productivity by Lisa Mills
  26. Blogging Productivity & Criticizing Goals by Andy Beard
  27. The Ultimate Guide to Productivity – what’s your secret? by The Kiss Business
  28. Secrets to Personal Productivity by The Practical Chick

What’s your secret to being productive?

In the spirit of keeping this going, I’m tagging a few more people: Dave Olson, Daniel, Tony Hung, Pamela Slim and Robyn Tippins.

April 30, 2007 Posted in Productivity by

  • http://workathomemomrevolution.blogspot.com/ Lisa

    I would love to see some sort of compilation of all this information also. A free e-book would be great.

  • http://www.whoisandrewwee.com andrew wee

    Ben,
    I think if you want to put a quality product, you could aim for a 10-20 page report, and a suggested structure could be:

    1) cover page (1 page)
    2) intro – instigator blog, ben – bio (1 page)
    3) meme intro – why you start it, what it’s supposed to achieve, how viral was it, did it meet your expectations (1 page)
    4) edit and repro the content – (include a bio or one or two of the author’s preferred link – sign up to the feedburner/bloglines link or mailing list. (as many pages as you have content for).
    5) conclusion by yourself. (can give away a goodie if you have one), or include a list of your favourite blogs, etc. (1 page).

    simple, yes?

  • http://www.energiesofcreation.com/ Lexi Sundell

    I really like the idea of having an ebook as described of these interesting and informative posts. If you want mine I will be happy to give copyright permission to do so.

  • http://www.whoisandrewwee.com andrew wee

    Ben,
    I think if you want to put a quality product, you could aim for a 10-20 page report, and a suggested structure could be:

    1) cover page (1 page)
    2) intro – instigator blog, ben – bio (1 page)
    3) meme intro – why you start it, what it's supposed to achieve, how viral was it, did it meet your expectations (1 page)
    4) edit and repro the content – (include a bio or one or two of the author's preferred link – sign up to the feedburner/bloglines link or mailing list. (as many pages as you have content for).
    5) conclusion by yourself. (can give away a goodie if you have one), or include a list of your favourite blogs, etc. (1 page).

    simple, yes?

  • http://www.energiesofcreation.com/ Lexi Sundell

    I really like the idea of having an ebook as described of these interesting and informative posts. If you want mine I will be happy to give copyright permission to do so.

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  • http://www.fastlanetransport.ca/blog Deborah

    I think a free e-book is an excellent idea, I’m all for it.

    As for editing out content it’s difficult to say what to edit or not, but I would definitely edit out the intro for where the idea originated (which could be written in a cover page), and removing the lists of those who’ve been tagged. It’s irrelevant to the reader.

  • http://www.instigatorblog.com Ben Yoskovitz

    Andrew – I like your approach to the e-book, much along the lines of what I was thinking.

    Of course the next step is to bring on some volunteers to help me…cause suddenly I just agreed to a big project! *laugh*

    I’ll probably let the group writing project meme spread some more, gather more links, and then start putting together the content as well as soliciting bios from people.

    In future posts I make about the project I’ll make sure to reference the e-book and also ask people to send me bios.

    If you’ve already written a post – email me your bio information to be included. If you have a picture, send that too.

  • http://www.fastlanetransport.ca/blog Deborah

    I think a free e-book is an excellent idea, I'm all for it.

    As for editing out content it's difficult to say what to edit or not, but I would definitely edit out the intro for where the idea originated (which could be written in a cover page), and removing the lists of those who've been tagged. It's irrelevant to the reader.

  • http://www.instigatorblog.com Ben Yoskovitz

    Andrew – I like your approach to the e-book, much along the lines of what I was thinking.

    Of course the next step is to bring on some volunteers to help me…cause suddenly I just agreed to a big project! *laugh*

    I'll probably let the group writing project meme spread some more, gather more links, and then start putting together the content as well as soliciting bios from people.

    In future posts I make about the project I'll make sure to reference the e-book and also ask people to send me bios.

    If you've already written a post – email me your bio information to be included. If you have a picture, send that too.

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  • http://www.RebeccaMorgan.com Rebecca Morgan, CSP, CMC

    Hi Ben:

    Colleen Wainwright tagged me to contribute to this productivity guide.

    When I was retained by Microsoft to be their workplace effectiveness spokesperson, I was asked to come up with some of my best quick productivity tips. The article, “Accomplish More at Work So You Can Spend More Time With Your Family” was created because they wanted me to show people how to leave work at a reasonable time. (The article is at http://www.rebeccamorgan.com/articles1.html)

    But the one that I’ll contribute to your guide is one I think many people don’t take full advantage of:

    • Redeploy the Troops (Your Past Work)
    Don’t start from scratch if you’ve already created work you can reuse, even if it’s just a part. If you need to write a memo, start with the email you wrote to your boss on this topic. You’ve already invested time to compose and craft your message, and spell check. Tweak that work so can save your time.

    I can’t wait to see what you’ve created!

    Rebecca Morgan, CSP, CMC
    Bestselling author, consultant, speaker
    Featured on Oprah, 60 Minutes and NPR and in the Wall Street Journal
    http://www.RebeccaMorgan.com

  • http://www.RebeccaMorgan.com Rebecca Morgan, CSP, CMC

    Hi Ben:

    Colleen Wainwright tagged me to contribute to this productivity guide.

    When I was retained by Microsoft to be their workplace effectiveness spokesperson, I was asked to come up with some of my best quick productivity tips. The article, “Accomplish More at Work So You Can Spend More Time With Your Family” was created because they wanted me to show people how to leave work at a reasonable time. (The article is at http://www.rebeccamorgan.com/articles1.html)

    But the one that I'll contribute to your guide is one I think many people don't take full advantage of:

    • Redeploy the Troops (Your Past Work)
    Don’t start from scratch if you’ve already created work you can reuse, even if it’s just a part. If you need to write a memo, start with the email you wrote to your boss on this topic. You’ve already invested time to compose and craft your message, and spell check. Tweak that work so can save your time.

    I can't wait to see what you've created!

    Rebecca Morgan, CSP, CMC
    Bestselling author, consultant, speaker
    Featured on Oprah, 60 Minutes and NPR and in the Wall Street Journal
    http://www.RebeccaMorgan.com

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  • http://paulenderson.com Paul Enderson

    I’m sure you’re not going to be short of volunteers for the job, but I’m happy to do cover artwork for the project. :)

  • http://paulenderson.com Paul Enderson

    I'm sure you're not going to be short of volunteers for the job, but I'm happy to do cover artwork for the project. :)

  • http://www.instigatorblog.com Ben Yoskovitz

    Paul – I hadn’t thought of cover art, but I’m totally into that. What did you have in mind?

  • http://www.instigatorblog.com Ben Yoskovitz

    Paul – I hadn't thought of cover art, but I'm totally into that. What did you have in mind?

  • http://paulenderson.com Paul Enderson

    Not totally sure yet!

    One thought I’ve had is to create something myself, perhaps using images that represent each of the writers who’ve taken part in the meme.

    The other idea would result in a selection of ‘illustrations’ to choose from – all created by bloggers… I’d then do any postwork required.

    Drop me a mail if you like, and I’ll explain the second in a little more detail!

  • http://paulenderson.com Paul Enderson

    Not totally sure yet!

    One thought I've had is to create something myself, perhaps using images that represent each of the writers who've taken part in the meme.

    The other idea would result in a selection of 'illustrations' to choose from – all created by bloggers… I'd then do any postwork required.

    Drop me a mail if you like, and I'll explain the second in a little more detail!

  • http://www.instigatorblog.com Ben Yoskovitz

    Paul – I’m emailing you now…

  • http://www.instigatorblog.com Ben Yoskovitz

    Paul – I'm emailing you now…

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  • http://www.whoisandrewwee.com andrew wee

    Ben,
    How’s the project coming along?
    Drop me an email if you need help.

  • http://www.whoisandrewwee.com andrew wee

    Ben,
    How's the project coming along?
    Drop me an email if you need help.

  • http://www.instigatorblog.com Ben Yoskovitz

    Hi Andrew – I’m still collecting submissions and haven’t moved forward on the e-book itself. But I will be soon – probably sometime in June when submissions slow down even further and then I’ll be soliciting more help.

    Thanks!

  • http://www.instigatorblog.com Ben Yoskovitz

    Hi Andrew – I'm still collecting submissions and haven't moved forward on the e-book itself. But I will be soon – probably sometime in June when submissions slow down even further and then I'll be soliciting more help.

    Thanks!

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  • http://2time.wordpress.com Francis Wade

    I have a contrary view… and a reason why the book should be carefully considered before it is written.

    I think productivity tips are similar to pieces of bright coloured candy.

    They taste nice, but they aren’t a good substitute for meat and potatoes (or, here in Jamaica, for jerk chicken and hard-do bread!)

    They are hardly the building blocks that one needs for a healthy lifestyle, and too much of a focus on them is, well, unhealthy.

    Not to pour too much cold water on the idea… I WILL read it once it’s completed, but you may do well to have a “Warning” sign at the beginning saying that someone should not expect to implement these 100+ tips and, by itself, become more productive.

    Please don’t take this as damning criticism…

  • http://www.instigatorblog.com Ben Yoskovitz

    Francis – Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I don’t disagree. It’s impossible to implement 100 tips or ideas on productivity. The variety is significant – some are for specific types of jobs (consultants, freelancers, etc.), some are for specific technologies, which you might not use, and some you might not like.

    The goal of a project like this is to aggregate everyone’s ideas on productivity so that hopefully a reader finds a handful of worthwhile ideas to implement.

    Of course, I haven’t had the time to make progress on this, but I’ve thought a lot about trying to push it forward.

  • http://2time.wordpress.com Francis Wade

    I have a contrary view… and a reason why the book should be carefully considered before it is written.

    I think productivity tips are similar to pieces of bright coloured candy.

    They taste nice, but they aren't a good substitute for meat and potatoes (or, here in Jamaica, for jerk chicken and hard-do bread!)

    They are hardly the building blocks that one needs for a healthy lifestyle, and too much of a focus on them is, well, unhealthy.

    Not to pour too much cold water on the idea… I WILL read it once it's completed, but you may do well to have a “Warning” sign at the beginning saying that someone should not expect to implement these 100+ tips and, by itself, become more productive.

    Please don't take this as damning criticism…

  • http://www.instigatorblog.com Ben Yoskovitz

    Francis – Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I don't disagree. It's impossible to implement 100 tips or ideas on productivity. The variety is significant – some are for specific types of jobs (consultants, freelancers, etc.), some are for specific technologies, which you might not use, and some you might not like.

    The goal of a project like this is to aggregate everyone's ideas on productivity so that hopefully a reader finds a handful of worthwhile ideas to implement.

    Of course, I haven't had the time to make progress on this, but I've thought a lot about trying to push it forward.

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  • http://www.entrepreneur.com.sg Singapore Entrepreneur

    I enjoyed reading this post on productivity and look forward to your ebook. Hopefully I don't just end up reading :D and doing nothing afterwards which is what happens with all those Lifestyle magazines that get lapped up by women.

  • http://www.entrepreneur.com.sg Singapore Entrepreneur

    I enjoyed reading this post on productivity and look forward to your ebook. Hopefully I don’t just end up reading :D and doing nothing afterwards which is what happens with all those Lifestyle magazines that get lapped up by women.

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Ben Yoskovitz
I'm VP Product at GoInstant (acq. by Salesforce).

I'm also a Founding Partner at Year One Labs, an early stage accelerator in Montreal. Previously I founded Standout Jobs (and sold it).

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