One of the internet’s favorite minimalists, Matt D’Avella, owns one of my favorite YouTube channels. Focused mainly on the aforementioned topic of minimalism, D’Avella also gets into productivity, mental health, and his insights into being a YouTuber. One of his latest videos really clicked with some simple takeaways on how to increase your productivity.
Things Take Longer Than You Expect
I love how Matt describes things here. He says how productivity ebbs and flows. We’re on our game at moments and at times we struggle. That’s natural.
He explains how there are many unexpected things that happen. The unexpected will happen, but there is nothing we can do to actually prepare for them. And, no, if you are planning for an unexpected thing to happen, odds are it’s more expected than you realize.
We’re bad at planning how long something will take. It goes both ways too. Something we think will take hours, might take a few minutes and something that might take a few minutes its finally wrapped up a few days later.
Matt’s suggestion to double the length of time you think it will take is a great starting point. It’s better to get something done quicker than expected, than always push back the deadline.
Process Similar Tasks at the Same Time
Multitasking sucks. Your brain can’t read something, write something, and watch something all at the same time.
Keeping tasks organized can help keep the flavor consistent while also allowing you the flow to go from one task to the next, but one at a time.
I also enjoy Matt’s idea about building all those phone calls together on one day. The first one might not be great, but then you get into a rhythm.
Increase Uninterrupted Work Hours
Yes! This is another great take on the concept of time blocking.
Distractions can ruin all momentum and building a bit of a structure to allow you to focus can make a huge difference.
I also enjoy his description of having a dedicated place to focus on work and ensuring that place is not where you spend all your non-work hours. Don’t work from home on the couch. Your mind can’t shift gears.
Eat the Frog
Matt phrased it as “don’t put off your most difficult tasks.” It’s the same concept as eating the frog. No one wants to eat a frog, but you know you have to do it. The more you wait, the harder it becomes. It’s a giant mental hurdle. If you eat the frog as the first thing in the day, the hardest part is over, and it might not be as bad as you think.
Listen to Yourself
Matt ends this video with a great takeaway. No one has a perfect system. They may claim to have one, but they will struggle too. We’re humans, not machines.
Plan for a little stillness and a chance to reflect. Be honest with yourself if you need a break or if you need to kick yourself in the butt if you are slacking a bit.