David Burkus Wants To Help You Work Smarter, Not Harder

Published on
February 20, 2017
Sara Saddington
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
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Who wouldn’t want to be more productive? Unfortunately, for so many of us, it’s so easy to fall back on old habits, to go through each day just trying to keep up with the to-do list, without questioning our routines.

David Burkus has compiled an ebook of productivity hacks to help you optimize your workday, and get more done without working longer hours. He surveyed a variety of experts and thought leaders for their top tips—and the result is a fantastic compilation of tactics to hack your productivity (it’s also a quick and easy read, so you won’t have to spend much time learning to save time).

Anyone reading this book will have different takeaways—it covers a wide range of working styles, and provides insights that will work differently for different people. Whether you prefer low tech solutions, or use apps and gadgets to stay on track, this ebook will help you shift your thinking about how you approach your day, and get more done (without working longer hours).

As I read through, there were a couple of ideas that jumped out to me as tactics that will have maximum impact on my day-to-day productivity.

Dr. Chris Bray talked about the benefits of exercise—though I often struggle to create effective exercise routines, I can say with certainty that working out ups my energy level, clears my mind, and makes me more productive (plus, I’ve had some pretty fantastic ideas on the treadmill). Seeing exercise described as a productivity tool has helped me shift my thinking—working out isn’t something that I have to do, it’s something that I can do to be the best, most productive version of myself.

Dorie Clark offered some insight into her process for rapid content creation. She recommends doing weekly homework: start out by brainstorming a long list of titles (30 in 30 minutes is a good goal), move on to selecting a few of the best ideas and brainstorm three to five things you want to say about those posts, and then select one to sit down and write. She recommends giving yourself a week in between each part of the process (and cycling through as necessary). This gives ideas maximum soak time, so that when it’s time to sit down and write, you have a clear picture of what you want to say.

A common theme that came up across many of the experts was designing your morning to include meditation and exercise, and not launching immediately into the workday. I have to confess that I’m terrible at this. When I wake up, I check my Slack messages before I even get out of bed, and by the time the coffee is ready, my mind is already racing with to-dos and ideas. After reading this book, I committed to changing my routine—no checking Slack or emails before I sit down to work, coffee in hand. I’m still working on designing a morning routine that includes journalling and exercise, but by delaying the start of my workday, I’m already finding myself more centered when I get to work.

This ebook is packed with productivity hacks, app recommendations, and other tricks to help you Work Smarter, Not Harder. The experts and thought leaders provide insight that will apply to just about any personality or style—there are low-tech hacks for those who like pen and paper, tech solutions for those who like to use apps to stay organized, and advice to help anyone work their calendar to be more productive. The best part? The ebook is free to download, and includes registration for the upcoming Work Smarter Summit, a fantastic online event with an exciting line-up of experts, thought leaders, and entrepreneurs, delivering their best insights into how to Work Smarter through daily interviews you can watch online. Act fast! The event runs from February 20 – 25th (and will feature Actionable founder Chris Taylor on Saturday, February the 25th!).

What productivity hacks are you adopting?