Productivity Ninja Notes by Graham Allcott

Zen-like calm - Great decision-making comes from the ability to create the time and space to think rationally and intelligently about the issue at hand. Decisions made during periods of panic are likely to be the ones we want to forget about.

Ruthlessness - Ruthlessness isn’t just about how we process information, though; it’s also about our ability to protect our time and attention, focusing only on the things that add the greatest impact, even at the expense of other things that are ‘worth doing’.

Agility - Ninjas need to be light on their feet, able to respond with deftness to new opportunities or threats. Anything that requires a lot of shifting of thinking, quick reactions, and decisions will of course need our proactive attention.

Mindfulness - Our minds are our most important tool. Being emotionally intelligent and self-aware are important for so many reasons, not least because they equip you to take action.

Preparedness - zen-like calm in the heat of the battle is only possible if you’re well prepared. Agility is only possible if you’re starting from a position of being prepared and ready to react immediately, producing the right response. and you’re only ready to be ruthless if you’ve got the energy. being prepared is about practical preparation as well as mental preparation.

A ninja is very different from a superhero. A ninja is just a regular guy or girl but with tools and skills and a very special mindset. There are no superpowers and no kryptonite. You’ll develop a reputation as someone who delivers, someone who is reliable, makes good decisions, and takes their work seriously. Ninjas are passionate, indispensable, and calm under pressure. Ninjas get things done in a way that seems, magical.

Stress - behavioral - difficulty concentrating, lack of motivation, difficulty in making decisions, inability to finish one task before starting the next one, etc. By focusing on changing our behaviors, we can reduce the extent to which we experience physical stress, and that can only increase productivity

Here’s what we’re going to aim for: playful, productive momentum and control.

Attention is your currency. Time might be spent, but attention still needs to be paid. Look after this currency, as it’s the most valuable currency in the world.

Your goal in managing your attention is to create playful productive momentum and control, limiting stress, and being confident that you’re doing the best work you can possibly do.

  • Capture and collect: Collecting information wherever it lands. but also making a note of useful ideas as they show up in meetings or at your desk.
  • Organize: Taking all of this information and making sense of it. This is where you work out what’s doable, what’s important, and when you might want to do it.
  • Review: looking through the to-do list or your entire system with all your projects and commitments, you choose what it is you need to be working on and when.
  • Do: Completion. Putting cherries on cakes.

One of the best ways to increase your attention and energy is through eating well.

  • Don’t eat food with it’s own jingle. concentrate on eating food made from plants, not food made from plants.
  • Eat the rainbow. Brighten up green salads with yellow peppers, red tomatoes, and purple beetroots.
  • Drink more water.
  • Balance - consistency beats intensity.
  • Sleep

If you capture and collect well, it’s easier to organize. If you organize well, it’s easier to review. If you do all of those well, then doing becomes effortless and makes it easier to capture and collect, organize, and review.

Learning how to improve your good habits still further is harder if you’re contented with what you perceive as the pinnacle of unconscious competence. A ninja needs the mindfulness to regularly question what’s going well as well as competence, which in turn provides us with insights we need for regular self-improvement. Thinking about the process of your work as well as the work itself, hence seeing where those processes could be further improved, is difficult unless we build into our work some mechanisms to keep us questioning and learning.

  • Not enough - capture and collect - leads to - Feeling overwhelmed as new information inputs arrive and are not dealt with, feeling uncertain about what we should be doing, and feeling stressed that we might be missing things.
  • Not enough - organized - a lack of clarity about how long things might take, which tasks are the highest priority, and an unrealistic impression of what’s on our plate.
  • Not enough - Review - feeling unsure that we’re on top of our work, an inability to put things in perspective, a level of constant stress that leads us to inefficiency, a constant sense of panic, and a reactive rather than proactive working style.
  • Not enough - Do - Work piling up not done! there are times when we’re resisting the actual doing in favour of more organizing or tinkering. this might otherwise be labeled ‘procrastination’ and it’s crippling if it sets in.

I want to emphasize that capturing isn’t about committing; it’s about gaining clarity. We need to permit ourselves to have many more thoughts than turn into actions, and capturing even the most insane or inane ideas is an important part of this process. So don’t try to censor yourself and let the capture and collect phase do its job without interference. you are free to reject any of the ideas captured during the organizing phase, but not before then. It’s on your mind, capture it!

A nag is us realizing we need to give this anxiety some attention. If we subconsciously start to feel that we have the potential danger cleared, or at least under control, for now, the nag will go away.

There are 2 ways to get rid of our nags. We can use ninja decision-making to turn them quickly into actions, stored in our second brain to be revisited when we have some time. or we can simply just capture and collect the nag, knowing that our system will ensure we return to it later.

The 2-minute rule and short actions. the rule is simple: anything that you decide needs to be done and that you decide can probably be completed or moved forward in less than 2 minutes should be done straight away instead of a reminder being added to your master action list.

Are you a ninja

  • A ninja overcomes stress at work by being prepared and practicing ruthlessness in their approach to their work.
  • A ninja uses mindfulness to notice their main stressors and take action to combat them.
  • A ninja knows how to achieve Zen-like calm; it comes from being ruthless, prepared, and mindful.
  • A ninja is ruthless in choosing where to put their attention.
  • A ninja is prepared, and able to match the right levels of their attention to the right tasks.
  • A ninja is agile and move fluidly through their day, maximizing their attention levels to make magic happen.
  • A ninja takes a ruthless approach to email.
  • A ninja approaches email in an unorthodox way, separating out thinking from doing and the wheat from the chaff.
  • A ninja is weapon-savvy enough to know how to make tools do the work so that they don't have to.
  • A ninja's agility comes from being able to capture and collect ideas as they arrive, keeping their mind focused on the task at hand.
  • A ninja is prepared: by capturing and collecting everything on their mind, they ensure that they're ready to enter the organized phase. A ninja knows how to achieve Zen-like calm: it comes from being ruthless, prepared, and mindful.
  • A ninja achieves Zen-like calm through clear thinking. Everything is out of their mind and stored inside a second brain they can trust to deal with it.
  • A ninja is agile and eliminates stress to work in the present moment; their second brain is organized to tell them exactly what they could be doing at any point in time.
  • A ninja is prepared and knows exactly what they have on their plate.
  • Aninja achieves Zen-like calm and is relaxed and confident about what they can't do right now because their second brain is up to date and reassures them that what they're not doing is under control.
  • A ninja uses stealth and camouflage to create the space and thinking time needed to review.
  • Your weekly and daily checklists are your regular opportunity to remain agile and renegotiate your priorities.
  • Reviewing promotes mindfulness, preparedness, and Zen-like calm.
  • A ninja is ruthless with what they choose to do and takes an unorthodox approach to find the quickest, easiest, and most efficient ways to do their work.
  • A ninja does their work from a place of relaxed, Zen-like calm.
  • A ninja is agile and nimble because their well-prepared second brain allows them to do their work in the most efficient way possible.
  • A ninja's Zen-like calm comes from regularly reviewing every area of their work - treating everything as a project.
  • A ninja takes an unorthodox view of project management and meetings, focusing more on agility and responsiveness than on old-fashioned 'planning'.
  • A ninja uses projects and meetings to promote mindfulness and preparedness to create trust and develop group momentum.
  • A ninja is weapon-savvy enough to see their phone as a productivity tool, not a distraction machine.
  • A ninja takes a ruthless approach to self-management and recognizes that willpower on its own is no match for the app makers out to steal our souls.
  • A ninja is not afraid to be unorthodox, removing certain apps and not bowing to peer pressure.

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