What Michael Jordan Can Teach You About Productivity

Who are your productivity heroes? If Michael Jordan isn’t up there, he should be.

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Most people know Michael Jordan for his phenomenal scoring ability, superhuman dunks, or his starring role in Space Jam. Over a 20-year span, he scored more than 32,000 points, won six NBA titles and was named the league’s most valuable player five times. But to his teammates and coaches, he was notorious for his diligent work ethic.

Jordan’s longtime coach Phil Jackson once wrote that Michael “takes nothing about his game for granted.” He spent so much time preparing for competition that when it was game-time, he didn’t have to think about what to do next. He relied on instinct and muscle memory to dominate his opponents.

Professional athletes have to squeeze as much as they can out of their prime years, making them perfect productivity case studies. Here’s what some of our most famous athletes have to say about getting stuff done.

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Why You Should Scrap Your Analog To-Do List

Bullet Journaling is the new trend piquing the interest of stationary lovers, productivity seekers, and the wanna-be-organized. Faced with an often overwhelming selection of digital tools in their workplaces, people are turning back to the traditional to-do list: a list of tasks on a piece of paper.

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The fascination is in its simplicity. Visit the original Bullet Journal website and you’ll find instructions for how to use a system of dots, arrows, and crosses to organize to-do items.

People are now used to downloading apps for work and learning to use them, synching them with a collection of other tools. To see a tool that simply tells you to “go buy a notebook” is such a blast from the past, it’s grabbing people’s attention.

It’s like the rise of vintage clothing and traditional teaching methods. In the quest for perfect productivity, people are tempted by the idea of a simpler time. Could going back to pen and paper really make us more productive than ever?

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The Hawthorne Effect is the Simplest Productivity Hack You Never Heard of

Something as simple as asking your team how their day’s going can deliver a huge lift to productivity in the workplace. Sound too good to be true? Science backs it up.

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This is something psychologist Elton Mayo, pioneer of organizational theory, discovered by studying American factory workers in the ’30s.

The experiment was initially set up to see which factory conditions make workers most productive. The researchers began by brightening the factory light, which increased productivity. But once they dimmed the light, productivity rose again. They soon realized that it didn’t matter what the change was—productivity would rise when any change would be made to the work environment. Employees felt like the managers cared about them and their work environments, so they worked harder.

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I Done This: Short Post, Best Post?

The more you write on your “Done List,” the less likely your co-workers are to read what you write. 81% of educated people don’t even read what they see—they skim.

I Done This 2.0 automatically sets the default length of a Done List post at about 12 words. We’ll never limit the amount of words you post, but the default setting encourages you to fit your post on one line, like this:

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Zapier Brings a Chrome Extension to I Done This

Most SaaS companies use upwards of 20 productivity tools on a daily basis, some hitting as many as 50. We have so many tools that productivity boosters—such as Trello, Slack, email— ironically become productivity blockers. There’s only one tool that can fix that.

Zapier is a tool that lets you automate interactions between your favorite apps.You can auto-create spreadsheets, based on Salesforce data, or have Google calendar meetings automatically appear as “dones” on I Done This. You can even use it as a product management tool.

Now they’ve launched Push, a new Chrome extension that lets you access your favorite apps, without having to logging into the dashboard. You can now add “dones,” “goals,” and “blockers” to your done list without ever leaving your browser window. Here’s how.
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How to Burst Through Road Blocks To Maximize Your Team’s Productivity

Naming every minute road block—and then taking the time to fix them—makes your team more efficient and helps with team productivity.

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It sounds cumbersome, but resolving issues as they arise means faster problem-solving overall. Agile developers do this. They call road blocks “blockers,” and their teams grow revenue 37% faster, and their profits are 30% higher than non-agile teams.

Put simply, encountering blockers is great for teams. It’s a simple idea that any team can borrow from, but you need a process and tool to do it.

That’s why we’re adding “blockers” to our “done lists” here at I Done This. Putting all blockers in one place means that team leaders can help those who need it quickly. It also means that individuals can reflect on their own blockers, and see if they point to a greater issue that needs resolving.

All teams can benefit from using blockers to their advantage. Here’s what it can do for your team.

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The 16 Best Productivity Software of 2016

With apps popping up left, right and center, it often feels like you waste more time looking for the perfect productivity software than actually working efficiently. At I Done This, we’ve worked to improve our done lists and integrations to eliminate the need for meetings—but we realize that there are dozens more ways you can get more done in less time.

To spare you hours of internet sifting, here’s a collection of the best productivity software tools of 2016 to double output with minimal effort.

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3 Hidden Productivity Killers You Can Beat With I Done This 2.0

Your startup is on the rise. You’ve added four great developers, six customers have signed on, and you’ve reached a revenue milestone of $2.4 million ARR. But just as things are getting peachy, you notice the company isn’t shipping as much code as before.

What makes productivity problems so hard to deal with is that they’re hard to detect. They’re often so entrenched in culture and old systems that they seem invisible. At $2.4 million ARR, you are now far removed from the day-to-day routine of team members, making it difficult to spot inefficiencies on the ground.

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We built I Done This 2.0 to help teams bring lurking productivity killers to light. We want to help our customers spot the most common production killers out there. I Done This empowers you to find out what’s going wrong with productivity and address the problem at its source. Here’s how your startup can track down invisible productivity killers and solve them with I Done This 2.0.

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How to Use an Amazon Echo for Your Startup Office

This week’s post is a guest article by Vinay Patankar, CEO and co-founder of Process Street.

If you’re running a startup, you can use every little bit of help you can get.

But to justify an administrative assistant or office manager, you’ll probably need to have raised a big seed round of over $1 million or have bootstrapped your company past 10 employees. Otherwise, that extra help getting stuff done is just a luxury you can’t quite afford yet.

Enter Alexa via the Amazon Echo. In the same way Alexa can help you and your family out around the home, it can also make your office and your startup just that little bit easier to manage, so that you can keep your sanity and focus on what’s important.

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To get the most out of Alexa, you’ll need to set her up specifically for the office. Here’s how.

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Why Every Company Should Work as If They Were a Remote Company

When you work in an office with a small team, it’s easy to cultivate a culture of co-dependence. After all, the email, the document, or the customer name that you need is just a shoulder tap away.

But relying on other people for information causes unnecessary friction in your workflow and directly hinders everyone’s productivity. Every time you tap someone on the shoulder you assume that what you need is more important than what they’re doing. It creates an entire culture around disruptiveness, where no one hesitates to interrupt their peers for their own needs.

Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to ask anyone for information? If it were just readily available, right at your fingertips? For remote companies, it has to be this way.

Because remote companies tend to have employees scattered across the world, they are forced to put truly strong systems in place. As a result, everyone in a remote company is as productive as possible, because no one has to rely on other people to get the information they need.

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