10 Lessons I Learned from a Year of Productivity Experiments

9. The Three Most Effective Tips Are Also the Most Boring

I think that behind every cliché is a truth that’s so powerful that people feel compelled to repeat the phrase over and over and over. This holds true for productivity advice, as well.

Over the last year I experimented with integrating countless habits and productivity techniques into my life, but at the end of the day, the three productivity techniques that worked the best for me were:

Eating well
Getting enough sleep


Motivation Time

This Habit Will Put You in the Top 1% of Experts and Money-Makers – Early To Rise

According to Brian Tracy:

“If you read only one book per month, that will put you into the top 1% of income earners in our society. But if you read one book per week, 50 books per year, that will make you one of the best educated, smartest, most capable and highest paid people in your field. Regular reading will transform your life completely.”

What have we learned so far?

Most people don’t read
If you read 1 hour per day, you can quickly become an expert
If you read 1 book per month, you can be in the top 1% of income earners


Strategic And Decisive Pursuit Of Your Dreams – Frugalwoods

We spent years going to open houses and investigating the market before we bought our home; adopting Frugal Hound happened only after years of holding off for the right moment to own a dog; we waited to get pregnant until we felt adequately prepared for the challenges of parenthood; I didn’t go to grad school until I secured a way to attend for free; and we postpone every major purchase until we’ve had ample time to explore all of our options.

via Strategic And Decisive Pursuit Of Your Dreams – Frugalwoods.

Finances Goals

Guilt Is A Wasted Emotion – Frugalwoods

Abandon Guilt, Embrace Your Truth

While there’s certainly merit in learning from others and sharing our stories, I find that blatant comparison almost always yields frustration or guilt. We only have incomplete understandings of other people’s lives and trying to model our choices off of theirs is naturally flawed.

Hiding her face in shame: not very productive, Frugal Hound
In many ways, I think our culture doesn’t encourage the value of charting one’s own unique path. Although rugged individualism is a tenet of our American ethos, it seems to play out quite rarely. Far too often, we’re all shuttled into the same boxes of expectation and taught to desire the same things (usually material goods) and achieve them in the same way (usually working jobs we may or may not like for our entire lives).

via Guilt Is A Wasted Emotion – Frugalwoods.


Daily Challenges To Improve Your Life – Daily Challenge List – Making Sense Of Cents

8. Eliminate/cut back on social media and/or TV.

Our minds are greatly influenced by what we see on TV and on social media. Plus, it can be a huge waste of time.

Instead of turning on the TV or looking at social media the next time you are bored, you may want to try to do something more worthwhile such as working out, spending time with friends and family, reading a book, and so on.

Daily challenge: Every so often, try to completely cut out TV and/or social media for the day or even longer if you prefer.

9. Keep a journal.

While I don’t have a journal, I do have this blog, which acts as a journal in a way.

via Daily Challenges To Improve Your Life – Daily Challenge List – Making Sense Of Cents.


You May Be Wasting Money On These 7 Things – Making Sense Of Cents

7. Debt.

You are wasting your money if you have high interest rate debt. This is due to interest charges you are paying that will just keep building up until you are able to pay it off.

If you have never done so, I want you to add up how much in interest you are paying each day and each month towards all of your debt. I bet you will be shocked!

What you can do: Yes, there are strategic reasons to keep debt, but if you do not have a strategic reason, then paying it off is most likely your best bet as interest charges can be a waste of money.

via You May Be Wasting Money On These 7 Things – Making Sense Of Cents.

Fitness Motivation

A Strength Tradition: Stone Lifting | StrongFirst

When lifting a stone, you first need the requisite mobility to pull yourself into a deep squat while having your hands on a fixed object. There are two places you can optimally stabilize your spine and trunk: one is while standing, and the other is in the bottom of a deep squat with an upright torso. (It can be done in other positions, but it is not nearly as effective.)

This is exactly what children do when trying to lift a heavy object. They will first explore the best way to lift the object in the deep squat and figure out how to grip it. If they feel comfortable, they will set spinal position and then come up into the hinge (deadlift position) to lift the object. If they cannot get a good grip, they will not pick it up. This will quickly expose any holes in your breathing and bracing strategies and your ability to effectively stabilize your trunk.

via A Strength Tradition: Stone Lifting | StrongFirst.

Finances Time

20 Life Hacks that Increase your Wealth – Early To Rise


If all you ever do is focus on how much you get paid per hour, you’ll be working long hours for the rest of your life. Take a lesson from Tim Ferriss’ “4-Hour Workweek” and start thinking about how you can get paid for results instead of time. You’ll be motivated to work smarter, not longer.


You’ll never establish a customer base if you never tell anyone about your product. Promotion can sometimes feel pushy, but it’s a crucial part of business. Use social media, local advertising and other marketing methods to get your name out there.


via 20 Life Hacks that Increase your Wealth – Early To Rise.


10 Reasons Your Progress is Stalling | StrongFirst

you are one of those sincere people who read all manner of training articles and get motivated from one thing to the other (program, system, product, tool, guru, etc.) and, yet, surprisingly fail to progress much in any of them, then this article is for you.

So what is it that’s getting in the way? Consider the 10 possibilities below.


via 10 Reasons Your Progress is Stalling | StrongFirst.

Goals Time

Avoid “Hedonic Adaptation” by Breaking Routines to Stay Happy

Novelty, variety and surprise can prevent or slow down adaptation. So, with relationships, let’s say you get married and you get a happiness boost. Studies show that it takes about two years for people’s happiness levels to go back to what they were before the wedding. That doesn’t mean that you’re not happy with your marriage, but we get used to it to some extent. So we want to introduce some variety and novelty and surprise to the marriage in a positive way. Don’t watch Netflix every Friday night; mix it up. Do different things with your partner. The kind of things that can lead to more surprises, again in a positive way. Same thing with a job. Open yourself up to new opportunities, challenges, taking risks, learning new things, and meeting new people.

via Avoid “Hedonic Adaptation” by Breaking Routines to Stay Happy.