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#SXSWi 2014 Recap: #Productivity: Effectively Scaling Yourself

Productivity: Effectively Scaling Yourself sxswi 2014 recap

On of the rooms on the Austin Convention Center’s 4th floor held a block of fifteen minute presentations called ¨Future 15.¨ These presentations varied widely, but mainly focused on self improvement and career advancement (author’s note: this was the case for the sessions I was in Monday).  One such presentation was given by Scott Hanselman and focused on tips to make yourself a better worker and more productive each day.

Because the session was a little rushed due to the time challenge, many of his tips were in bullet points, which are outlined below:

  • Reflect on Friday, Plan on Monday: This helps ease stress and lets you evaluate what you’ve accomplished and what you are going to accomplish for the coming week.
  • Do the rule of 3: list 3 things that you can accomplish each day. This gives you a sense of accomplishment.
  • Identify data streams: Social networking, online groups, websites you visit everyday…think about what can be dropped from your schedule that aren’t productive or of benefit to you.
  • Draw a line when things get stressful: Decide what is important and choose those first, always.
  • On TV: You don’t have to binge watch shows. It’s okay not to watch Scandal.  People binge watch then complain that they are too busy to do anything.
  • Streamline your email: See cc as FYI, not as to-do list items. Have emails you are cc’ed on go directly to another folder, and only read them every other day.
  • Don’t check email in the morning: You will get your entire day’s work done by 9-12 and then check your email after lunch. (author note: the audience gasped at this suggestion, but Hanselman says that ¨if the next 9/11 happens, someone will come and tell you.¨)
  • Responding to email gets you more email.
  • Don’t put your energy into things you don’t want more of.
  • You teach people how to treat you: If you direct them all to email instead of meetings, they learn that’s how to communicate with you, for example. If you are responding to emails at 1 or 2 am, then people get used to that routine and will always expect you to respond.
  • Schedule work sprints with the Pomodoro Technique
  • You aren’t doing actual multitasking: Hanselman claims that people think they are multitasking but are only harming themselves. A physical task and mental task are the only things that can truly be multitasked: e.g. email and walking treadmill desk (Hanselman walks 10 miles per day on his), listening to podcasts while exercising, etc.
  • Don’t set up ¨guilt systems¨ or monuments to your own failure: Stop trying to guilt yourself into doing something. Remove that stack of books on your nightstand that you haven’t read but you make yourself see every night.
  • If it’s not helping you make money, throw it out [of your life].

Overall, the session was jam-packed with so many tips in just fifteen minutes. For a longer version, you can view the 42 minute talk he gave on the same topic on his blog.

Image via Shutterstock. Used under license.

Category Careers
Kelsey Jones Marketing Consultant, Owner at Six Stories & StoryShout

Kelsey Jones is a marketing consultant, writer, and owner of and Kelsey has been in digital marketing since ...

#SXSWi 2014 Recap: #Productivity: Effectively Scaling Yourself

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