Brief Notes of Productivity Masterclass (with Takeaway Questions)

  • Productivity Equation

    • What is the Equation?

      Productivity = Useful Output / Time x F (fun factor)

    • Understanding the Equation
    • Brief Notes of Productivity Masterclass (with Takeaway Questions) - image 1 - student project
    • Fun Factor

      • If what you're doing is not fun, then you're just screwing yourself, you're the mug here
      • Whatever situation you are in, just try to make it more fun because you signed up for it and now you have to pull yourself together and enjoy it to the fullest
      • If studying with a group increases the fun factor but reduces the productivity a bit, it is worth it
      • Change your mindset from "I have" to do this to "I get" to do this
      • Design your environment by cleaning your desk, getting a hot cup of coffee, play some soothing music, etc.
      • Happiness leads to success, not the other way around. Similarly, smiling makes us happy not the other way around.
      • Implementation
        • What do I have to do in my days that I'm currently not enjoying?
          • Studying
          • Walking
          • Waking up early
          • Reading (when compared to Netflix)
          • Cooking
        • If I had to, how would I make this stuff more fun?
          • Make studying more fun by mindset shift and designing the environment correctly
          • Going for a walk in the morning more fun by listening to an interesting podcast or audiobook
          • Waking up early and doing something interesting like reading with coffee to get me out of my bed
          • Make reading more fun by having some nice background music
          • Make cooking more fun by listening to positive and fun songs while cooking
    • Implementation


      Which Do i struggle the most of all? The Pilot, The Plane, or The Engineer? In What (Specific) Ways?


      Major Component: The Pilot


      • I never take out the time to think what I want to do in that day
      • Even when I do, I set impossible goals which I do not achieve and then become even more demotivated
      • At times I really feel like I do not know what I am doing in my life
  • 3 Myths of Productivity

    • I don't have time

      It's not a case of being limited by time, it's a case of being limited by the choices that we make with our time.


      1. Remove this phrase from your vocabulary
      2. Jot down how exactly you spend your time in a week to realise where your time is going
      3. Time is a muscle. The more you squeeze it and use it, the more it grows and the more you realise you can actually fit in with your time
      • Implementation
        • What am I avoiding with the phrase "I don't have time?"
          1. Learning guitar
          2. Learning new languages
          3. Learning skills like graphic designing and coding
          4. Learning dance
          5. Start Running
          6. Become a more voracious reader
    • Motivation myth

      • We feel that motivation is the factor that connects a thought(I should workout) to an action(working out)
      • However, in an ideal world, the thought should directly connect the to the action because motivation is an emotion and emotions are temporary and unreliable
      • The connector which directly connects a thought to an action is "Discipline"

      Recognise that motivation is a myth. All we need is Discipline in order to connect the thought to the action.

    • How to hack Motivation?
    • Brief Notes of Productivity Masterclass (with Takeaway Questions) - image 2 - student project


      • Implementation

        • What's a goal I want to achieve?

          Working out everyday and eating healthy

        • How can I make the process more pleasurable?

          1. By doing different types of workout everyday
          2. By challenging myself to do better than yesterday in working out
          3. By getting up early in the morning everyday and wearing my favourite workout clothes
          4. By treating myself with something every month if I regularly worked out that month
        • Can I increase the odds of hitting the goal by putting money on the line?

          1. Realising that I've paid to get the access to Cult fit and I need to exercise to make the purchase worth it
          2. Telling my mother that I do not deserve the treat if I do not work out
        • How can I make the outcomes more tangible and desirable?

          1. Comparing myself to yesterday
          2. Watching more fitness related content
    • Multi-tasking myth

      • Humans do not multi-task, we simply shift our attention from one thing to another really quickly which decreases our focus. Instead, we need to be completely engrossed in one thing to increase focus.

      • Flow State: An optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform at our best.

      • We need to enjoy while being productive and for that we have to enter the flow state.

      • How to enter the Flow State?

        1. When we voluntarily engaged in a task that is using up all of our attention that is difficult enough to be interesting but not so difficult that it feels frustrating. (the stretch zone between comfort zone and panic zone)
        2. Once you reach the flow state, you should not allow yourself to deviate. For example, put your phone away when you're studying because if you get distracted by your phone's notifications, you're allowing yourself to get distracted.
      • Implementation

        • What's one (or more) situations when I was in my 'Flow State'?
          1. When I am understanding the thing I'm doing
          2. When I keep my phone aside and put on a study with me video
          3. When I incentivise myself for working or there is a deadline approaching
        • What circumstances and mindsets led to that?
          1. Understanding the Concept- If I can understand the thing I am trying to learn, I immediately derive happiness by mastering it.
          2. Removing Distractions- By using Zen Mode and Study With Me videos, I do not allow anything to disrupt my flow state
          3. Efficiency- When I attach a reward or penalty with completion of that task, I am motivated to finish it on time and that requires my full attention
        • Can i manufacture those conditions for other stuff I need or want to do?
          1. Always try to understand whatever I am trying to learn in life (For example - By using youtube)
          2. Always keep my phone away when I'm studying or play a study with me video. Also, make sure that I have everything I require on my table to reduce any friction from working
          3. Always set a goal to work or study for a limited time and reward myself with a small treat when it's done
  • 3 Laws of Productivity

    • Parkinson's Law

      Meaning: Work expands to fill the time that we allocate to it

      Thought: How to execute a 10 year plan in 6 months?

      How to Use it: Set artificial deadlines for the things for which we actually have longer deadlines for

      • Implementation
        • Make a list of 3-4 long term tasks you want to do
          1. Read a lot of books on behavioural science
          2. Learn guitar
          3. Start running
          4. Adopt a healthy lifestyle and exercise regularly
        • What would you do if you only had half as long to do them?
          1. I would start reading books on behavioural science immediately
          2. I would take out time from my day for running and exercising
          3. I would take an hour every week to learn guitar
          4. I would be extremely meticulous with my diet
        • What about if you had to do them in the next 24 hours?
          1. Would start reading a behavioural science book
          2. Would start running or at least start working towards it
          3. Would exercise today
          4. Will probably drop the idea of learning guitar since its only 24 hours
    • Pareto Principle

      Meaning: 80% of the results(output) will come from 20% of the effort(input)

      Understanding: Usually, 80% of the exam paper is from 20% of the syllabus which is key to understand. So, the rest of the syllabus will give you diminishing returns, its just like icing on the cake

      • Implementation
        • What 20% of my work is driving 80% of my 'useful output'?

          Studying a day before exam with the basic knowledge I have accumulated by listening to few lectures

        • What's taking up 80% of my time but not actually contributing much to my outcomes?

          Trying to record and trying to make the perfect notes. Understanding the topic matters, makes notes is secondary and at times unnecessary.

    • Newton's First Law of Motion

      Meaning: An object is at rest or traveling at a constant velocity unless its acted on by an external imbalanced force.

      Understanding: It's so much harder to start something, but it's easy to keep it going once we have started it and gained momentum

      • 2 minute rule

        If something takes less than 2 minutes to do, its better to do it right now instead of putting it on the to-do list.

      • 5 minute rule

        If we are struggling to get started with any type of task, just do it for 5 minutes. Just think that I only have to do it for 5 minutes, that 5 minutes will put you in momentum and it will be effortless for you to continue doing that action after 5 minutes. The friction to start the task is eliminated.

  • 3 Powers of Productivity

    • Power of Habit or Power of Consistency
      • Habits are atomic (small fundamental units of self-development)
      • If you improve 1% everyday, you will be 37x better at the end of an year
      • Biggest failing of the human mind if the inability to understand the exponential function (compounding effect)
      • Once something becomes a habit, you no longer require the willpower or motivation to do the thing
      • Changing a habit is not about achieving a particular goal, it's about changing the person internally to become the person we really want to be
      • In order to develop a habit, link it to a keystone habit which will make the process of implementing that habit really easy. For example, if i can get up early every morning, I can easily workout every morning.
      • Implementation
        • What 3 things would boost my productivity if I made them a habit?
          1. Getting up on time
          2. Reading books instead of watching Netflix
          3. Exercising everyday and eating good food
        • How can I help make those habits stick?
          • Prioritising my sleep at night
          • Deliberately devoting time to read instead of chilling by watching Netflix
          • Developing my identity that I am a fitness freak who loves to exercise and eat healthy food
    • Power of Productive Downtime
      • Utilise the gap time in between of your tasks instead of wasting it on things like Instagram.
      • For example, instead of checking Instagram while commuting, try listening to an audiobook or do flashcards on the phone.
      • Basically, use your downtime(time you would've otherwise wasted) on some productive activity.
      • Everyday, maintain the habit of writing HLG (Highlight of the day, what you want to let go of today and what you are grateful for today). When you have a highlight, you can use all your downtime towards that highlight.
      • Implementation
        • What are some chunks of the day in which I find myself wasting time in ways I'd rather not?
          • Whenever I take a shower
          • When I am in the toilet
          • When I am trying to sleep
          • When I am using my phone to keep myself distracted in boring environment
          • When I take Ace for a walk
          • When I am cleaning my room
        • What useful (small) things could I do with that time instead?
          • Read more often
          • Do more Anki flashcards
          • Go through Deepstash
          • Use Duolingo
    • Productive Procrastination
      • Spend your procrastination time in a productive way
      • For example, when you get bored of studying, instead of opening your Instagram, take your guitar and start practicing
      • Product procrastination is spending your 'rest' time by doing something that you really enjoy which will enrich your life and give you a break from the task you were supposed to do
      • Implementation
        • What items on my bucket list can I procrastinate my way to progress on?

          • Learning guitar
          • Learning new languages with Duolingo
          • Learning new ideas with Deepstash
          • Watching youtube videos on self improvement
          • Reading news articles and economic times
          • Listen to useful podcasts
        • How So?

          I can do all of the items mentioned above in the 5 or 10 minute breaks between working