How I built my ideal productivity system

Getting twice the work done in half the time

6 min readJun 16, 2023

I used to be much less productive when I was in college. I was unaware that there were tools that I can use to help me focus or there were techniques like pomodoro that can fasten my working process. As I started my job and my side hustle, I realised that there has to be a way I can manage both the work.

I work full time as a Product Analyst and it takes 75% of my day. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. I love the people there and even the work is exciting but by the end I used to get very little time for myself and my business. That is when I started digging deep into becoming much more efficient.

Before I dive into what my productivity system is let me break down why it is important. You ought to know if the weight of having a proper working system holds for you.

  1. Efficient Time Management: A good productivity system enables you to have more time. Earlier I used to wonder how the 24 hours in my day pass. I used to wake up, go to work, come back home, work more and then boom it used to be 2 am. I was not happy with the way my days were going. Having a proper system helps you prioritise tasks, allocate time for important activities, and avoid wasting time on unproductive tasks. With a well-structured system, you can make the most of your time, accomplish more, and reduce stress.
  2. Goal Achievement: A productivity system keeps you focused on your goals. It allows you to break down big goals into smaller, actionable tasks, making them more attainable. By consistently working towards these tasks, you make progress and increase your chances of achieving your desired outcomes. Goal achievement makes one more vital effect — it keeps you motivated. I swear, the day I started creating a checklist of things I need to do and sticking them off once I got them done — that was AMAZING. It got me motivated to complete all my tasks and even left me with a sense of accomplishment.
  3. Improved Organisation: A productivity system promotes better organisation of tasks, projects, and information. It helps you categorise, track, and manage your work efficiently. By keeping everything in order, you can locate information quickly, avoid duplication of effort, and maintain a clear overview of your responsibilities. You start seeing things with much more clarity and in a more organised manner.
  4. Enhanced Focus and Concentration: A well-designed productivity system supports your ability to concentrate on important tasks. It includes techniques such as time blocking, Pomodoro Technique, or eliminating distractions. By creating an environment conducive to focused work, you can increase productivity, accomplish tasks faster, and maintain a higher quality of output.
  5. Work-Life Balance: A good productivity system helps you strike a balance between work and personal life. By managing your time effectively and completing tasks efficiently, you can free up more time for leisure, hobbies, self-care, and spending quality time with loved ones. It promotes a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle.

Now that we have covered why the productivity system is important. Let me share the system I built for myself. It includes using various techniques and software too!

The first I do is plan my week before it starts. Now it might sound very robotic — that you’re not living your best life if you have everything planned or that you don’t get many things gone. But my idea of time blocking is different. I don’t time block each and every hour, I block the time that I deem necessary.

I won’t add things like 9 pm — 10 pm dinner , 4 pm — 5 pm rest. These are the things that I will do according to my will. I block time for two things Meetings and Deep work. These are the things that I want to be prepared for mentally and have ample time for each.

Deep work is where I keep myself away from distractions and focus only on the task in from of me.

So the number one thing I do it Time Blocking-> By having a fixed time for focused work I minimise distractions. Through creating blocks for deep work, leisure, learning, exercise, and more, individuals can cultivate a sense of control over their schedules and enhance productivity.

Next thing is -> Define Clear Goals and Priorities: Start by defining clear and specific goals, both short-term and long-term. Break down these goals into actionable tasks, and prioritise them based on importance and deadlines.

For example, I used to decide what tasks I want to get done with by this week. They don’t have to be major things but something small like organise the fridge, complete 25% of my course, go for a walk at least twice.

I would take my goals and divide them into actionable tasks because it is better to divide them into smaller, achievable goals.

  • Organise the fridge becomes
    - Buy vegetables
    - Restock beverages
    - Clean the shelves
  • Complete 25% of my course becomes
    - Read 10 pages a day
    - Practise 5 problem statements
    - Do 2 mocktests

This way you can divide the bigger daunting tasks into smaller goals.

Now to the next step, you take these goals and add them somewhere where you can track them. It can be in a notebook, or any software. I use Notion for it.

Notion remains a reliable task management app for me, offering a seamless and minimal space. I create projects, set due dates, assign labels, and establish task prioritise right there. While getting my work done I need a place to take notes, for that I rely on Obsidian . I use Obsidian quite often for minor note taking and creating canvas. It is very easy to use and I can keep a track of all my notes right at one place.

To get my work done I make use of the Pomodoro Technique. It is where I study for 30 min and set 5 min as a break time. In those 30 minutes I don’t use my phone and stray away from all distractions. Post that I get up for 5 minutes, roam around, get a breath of fresh air, drink water and just chill. This helps to enhance focus. Your brain does not get tired by focusing for too long and the break serves well.

Some people don’t like this technique as they say they like to work in flow and getting up after every 30 minutes hinders with their process. I agree with them. I don’t use pomodoro 100% of times. I use it when I don’t feel like work but I still have work to do. It helps me build rhythm and once I am in that zone I get more work done. I use Forest app for my pomodoro.

It has helped me so much. It is an app where you can add your working time and while you’re working a plant will grow. Once the time is over and the plant would have fully grown and you can see that in a forest.

It is such a fresh idea. You can see the result of your deep work as many plants grow there. The forest represent your work and it feels very accomplishing to look at it. I highly recommend you to use Forest.

My productivity dashboard

Above is my productivity dashboard. I time block, make projects and take notes here itself.

One additional thing I’ve started doing is use Habitica. It turns productivity into a game by transforming tasks and habits into virtual quests. It looks so cool and very fun to use. Earn experience points, level up, and unlock rewards as you complete tasks and build positive habits. This gamification can be a game changer (pun intended). It helps me stay true to my goals and work towards them.

Thank you for reading my article. I am a Notion creator who help businesses and individuals become more organised.

Get me productivity dashboard from here: Bento




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