Productivity Hacks + Apps | Part 1: The Hacks

Productivity is about the ability to manage your time wisely, while working efficiently, ideally producing quality results. Our productivity hacks originated from classics that still apply today. Part 2, is all about the apps which can make these time management tips become your new normal.



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I'm a Christian, and I'm a planner in that order these days. I love plans, and more than anything, I love to be the driving force behind the execution of said plans. I've been geeking on planners and productivity resources for over a decade now. I've put all of that knowledge into my own planner system. It incorporates a variety of principles and methods I've tried over the years, and aims to satisfy the needs of every season of life.


Planners can't work unless you work them so today we'll learn the principles of productivity and time management tips as taught by Steven Covey the author of the renowned book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.


A Productive Person is an Effective Person


The sentiment above warms my heart. Productivity is measured by the effectiveness of productive effort in terms of the rate of output per unit of input. In other words,


Effectiveness is a function of both production and the capacity to produce. The need for balance between production and production capability applies to physical, financial, and human assets. Summary of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People(pdf)

Productivity is about give and take, it plays a vital role in every part of our lives.



7 Habits to a More Productive You


The best things aren't accomplished in a vacuum, but introspection is how we gain clarity on what matters most. Stephen Covey's model touches on the same principle in the first three habits.


Habit 1: Be Proactive


Determine where the power lies. If you can regain control of the situation, do so, only then will you have the ability to become productive. In essence, know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em from the start. Choosing not to waste your time is time management. Highly effective people know this. Taking the time to think of future outcomes and the role you play in them both in the present and future will ultimately save you time you cannot get back if lost.

Habit 2: Begin With the End in Mind


So you know what could happen. Now it's about what you want to make happen. Before moving forward, your vision must be in accordance with the person you wish to become. Integrity is a hack. A superpower when streamlining a vision, knowing what you believe can eliminate more than half of our options in a single go if you're clear on who you are. How's that for time management?


Habit 3: Put First Things First


P r i o r i t i z e.

If it ain't a hell yeah, it's a NO.

Keep it moving.


Sometimes priorities are actually responsibilities and taking them on feels burdensome. This is when Habits 1 and 2 come in.


  • What role do you play in this situation?

  • Can you affect change?

  • Will that change enhance your vision of your future self if accomplished?


I wish it were different, but sometimes a duty just feels like...



Habit 4: Think Win-Win


Collaborative efforts are ideal given they are mutually beneficial. Highly effective people know how to master the human tendency toward a scarcity mindset, in which there is never enough to go around. Hear me when I say, there are only 24 hours in a day, by trying to do everything yourself, you're blatantly disregarding any commitment to time management or productivity goals.


Whenever you find yourself feeling stingy, greedy, treacherous, or fearful, remember the actual definition of productivity.


It's about production and the ability to produce. The capability to produce is greatly reduced when insist on doing everything yourself.


Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood


I'm sure you've caught on by now, these habits are snowballing into the foundations on which a Highly Effective person's character is built. Emotional Intelligence begins with receptivity. The people in your life will be much happier joining forces with you when you can alleviate some of their reservations in doing so. The only way to do that is by putting your ego away for a moment while you practice active listening. Active listening opens the door to empathy. Empathy becomes emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is said to be the greatest indicator of success in all areas of life. Seek to understand, then others will want to understand your perspective and help.


Habit 6: Synergize


Synergy is better than my way or your way. It's our way." -Dr. Stephen Covey

It's a new thing baby! Our world is constantly evolving. If you cannot find a way to maintain your integrity while staying open to new ideas you become a liability to the productivity of another. We don't want that to happen. Whenever possible compromise in the envisionment of a new plan of action, and work peacefully at reaching the goal. Understand that your teammates success is also your own.

If you are suffering from CPTSD please check out the Complex PTSD Symptoms Series for more specialized direction when implementing Habits 1-6. Complex PTSD Symptoms Part 1: Surviving Society will help you with Habits 3-6. The focus of Complex PTSD Symptoms Part 2: True Blues is introspection. I also have a list of of writing prompts in the CPTSD toolkit to help you further.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw


Coming full circle we end with a reminder all areas of life should be taken into consideration if we want to become Highly Effective people. Work to establish routines that support your spiritual, mental, physical, emotional and social wellness.


I aim to provide the tools to accomplish all of those things here on the site, and where I fall short I offer resources that are proving useful to the masses in the same pursuit as us.


Part two is a list of the best apps on the market for those of us looking to boost productivity and master time management.




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