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CL #4 – Become 5x More Productive

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Productivity is something I enjoy quite a bit. Not only because I have limited time but also because I love systems and maximizing my time as an engineer.

Today, I will show you how to be 5x more productive.

Being productive not only allows you to have a more balanced life (which I am all about), but it also allows you to do more of the things you love.

I know family and volunteering are a massive part of my life.

Creating the systems and rules that allow me to have a successful career and a balanced life is essential.

Unfortunately, most people don’t know where to start.

They think productivity is all about the tools.

  • They get caught up on the optimizing hamster wheel and quit.
  • Most people think of productivity as something silly.
  • There are too many resources out there.
  • They feel the need to use someone else’s system.

If that is you, don’t worry. There is hope. Productivity is about optimizing 80% of the way and letting the other 20% fall into place.

Here’s how to step by step:

Step 1: Spend 3 hours of deep work on your most important task

We live in a distracted world constantly pulling us back and forth with new information. You are already ahead of most people if you can carve a few hours a day for your most important tasks.

Start slow if you have never spent three hours working on one task. This could mean making 20-minute sprints.

Most importantly, make sure you are free of distractions during this time and set a specific goal for your deep work session.

Step 2: Tackle 3 small tasks

More often than not, we set tasks that are way too complicated and would require large amounts of time.

Break up your tasks into smaller tasks. I try to aim for 1-hour max. This could mean writing an article or getting a portion of a calculation package done.

You will get a few small wins that will drive your momentum forward by breaking your tasks into smaller ones.

Step 3: Complete 3 maintenance tasks

End your day with low-brain power tasks.

Don’t leave the most complex tasks for the end. Instead, do maintenance tasks. You will be tired and ready to wrap up.

This could include clearing your inbox, planning for the next day, sending project updates, or cleaning your space.

That is it. No need to optimize every area of your day, but if you focus on the one thing that will drive your results, you will get more done.

I teach some of these principles in The Ultimate PE Exam Study Guide if you plan to take the PE Exam soon.

❤️ This Week’s Favorites

📚 Reading –

A World Without Email: Asynchronous communication can be hard to execute correctly. It can lead to miscommunication and missed deadlines. On the other hand, synchronous communication robs us of our deep work time. Cal Newport does a great job exploring what A World Without Email would look like and help you set up rules to maximize your deep work sessions.

⚙️ Tools –

Skillshare*: Learning new things should not be difficult; that is why Skillshare is one of the best platforms to learn new skills at a very affordable price. On Skillshare, you can find thousands of classes to learn anything from photography and videography to physics and math. As a listener of Engineering our Future, you can get a one-month free trial or 30% off an annual subscription. Go to to get started.

🤔 Pondering –

Now, center yourself. Instead of starting your day transfixed by whatever appears on your phone screen, put your hand on your heart and say, “I’m okay. I’m safe. I’m loved” as often as you need to hear it.

From The High 5 Habit by Mel Robbins resurfaced using Readwise


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