Notes from a Floating Life Thoughts about productivity, digital living, and leading a simpler life

What Do You Need To Be Productive?

Some people may find this hard to believe, but folks actually got things done before the advent of the internet, mobile devices, and the myriad apps we have at our fingertips. In fact, they got a lot done.

As seemingly inefficient as items like day planners, desk calendars, paper journals, and PDAs are, they were the productivity tools of choice in a time not so long ago. They demonstrate a simple, yet powerful point: that productivity can be boiled down to the basics.

Sticking to the basics works even today. You don’t need fancy apps and complex systems to be productive. You don’t need personal analytics. You don’t need folders or tabs for everything. You don’t need to hack systems or shoehorn the way that you do things into someone else’s framework. You just need to:

  • Capture what you need to do or where you need to be.
  • Sort those tasks and appointments according to their priority.
  • Log them somewhere.
  • Add any notes that will help you complete those tasks.
  • Get to work.

OK, that’s not quite as easy as it sounds. You’ll need to focus on what you need to do and on which tasks you need to tackle first. Sometimes, you’ll have to be brutal and sweep some of those tasks into the dustbin.

It just goes to show you that you don’t need anything special, or anything especially high tech, to become and remain productive. Stick to the basics and you’ll be able to do what you need to get done with the least amount of overhead.

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