How I am Creating a Productivity System

14 May, 2020 | 3 min read

For a while now, I've been considering revising how I approach my workflow.

I wanted a system that would allow me to easily connect the dots between what I do on a daily basis, and what I aim for in the long-term.

What did I do? I started from the bottom.

The Pillars

The very first thing to consider was which areas I worked on regularly. This is something August Bradley calls Pillars - that which supports your life. Things like Health & Fitness, Learning, and so on.

Now, these pillars are being supported by various things. Habits & Routines being one of them. These are basically the things that let your pillars stand.

For example, my Health & Fitness pillar is being supported by daily exercise, set bedtimes, a healthy diet, and regular fasting.

Now, these pillars need to support something. That's next.

Values & Goals

The first thing was to define my values - or, at least some of them. Fitness, Knowledge, and Excellence in Academics, Entrepreneurship, and Wealth Building came to mind.

These values are connected to some goals. If we're speaking knowledge, that might be to read 52 books in 2020. The sky's the limit. But the important thing is to always have a goal connected to your values. If you value it, why not do something about it?

Reading a specific amount of books is pretty easy to approach. But what about something like getting an A on all exams this semester? That'll require a bit more than just reading a book - although that is one of the steps.

Because some goals are tough to 'just complete', we define smaller projects.

Projects & Tasks

Continuing the example of getting good grades on my exams, a good project would be to prepare for each of those exams. In this project, I'd define the exact tasks which would help me achieve the goal. And that's really all a project is - a collection of tasks required to achieve a smaller 'sub-goal' of some larger goal.

In almost all cases, you'd have at least one project connected to your goal(s). I have only one case where it doesn't make much sense - and that's my goal of reading 52 books in 2020. Then each book read would have to be a project filled with tasks of reading each chapter, but I'd rather it just be one book = one task.

The Daily Habits

Remember those Habits & Routines I wrote about earlier? Those are being tracked. I track these in my Daily Journal. I also track something like my weight, performance, and dietary 'adherence'. This is very important, because it helps me realize if something isn't going as planned. Weight not going the way it's supposed to? Not getting enough done? Look at the data.

Everything gets reviewed. But that's for another post.

Note: A lot of this system is heavily inspired by August Bradley. I am still in the process of completing it, so things are due to change. But that's one of the most important features of such a system - it improves with you.

Thank you for reading.

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