One of the most obvious ways to increase your productivity is to do everyday tasks faster, and this Ridiculously Efficient speed drill will help you do so. Set aside 30 minutes a day for this drill, and watch how much faster you become at doing routine tasks like scanning headlines, writing articles, editing your own work or responding to emails.
Ridiculously Efficient Speed Drill: Phase 1
- Select a task that typically takes you around 10 minutes to complete. In this example, we'll write a short blog post of six sentences.
- Set a timer for 5 minutes and start it. Write your post as quickly as possible. Don't worry about self-editing at this point -- just write.
- When the timer goes off, set it for 2 minutes and start it. Use this period to go over your work, fixing typos and editing as necessary.
- Celebrate. You've passed Phase 1. Now move on to Phase 2.
Ridiculously Efficient Speed Drill: Phase 2
- Start with the same task as Phase 1. Now it's time to shift into fifth gear.
- Set a timer for 2 minutes and start it. You don't have time to do anything else but write. Go, go, go!
- When the timer goes off, set it for 5 minutes and start it. Take a breath and revise your work. You have more time than in Phase 1, but not enough time to dilly-dally.
- Celebrate. You've now passed Phase 2. Now move on to Phase 3.
Ridiculously Efficient Speed Drill: Phase 3
- Start with the same task as Phases 1 and 2. Now we drop it into sixth gear and step on the gas.
- Set a timer for 2 minutes and start it. You know the drill -- just write.
- When the timer goes off, set it for 4 minutes and start it. Now your editing becomes more selective: fix typos, obvious mistakes and formatting errors.
- Repeat, but reduce your edit time by 1 minute. Train your eye to identify and isolate common mistakes you make while writing.
With enough practice, you'll get to a point where you only need a minute or so to check your work. I've used a straightforward task -- writing the text of a short blog post -- for illustrative purposes, but the drill scales nicely to other tasks. If whipping out two scannable paragraphs used to take you 10 minutes, it will now take you just 3.