April 29, 2019

Tell IH: My favourite productivity tip

Robin Vander Heyden @Vinrob

Hey guys,

I've been a long time "productivity chaser", tried to optimise my time, my day, my calendar, etc, etc. But this never really worked as I would sometimes procrastinate and eventually not get things done.

So instead of finding ways to become productive, I asked the question backwards (which is a great way to solve problems): "What usually makes me productive?"

I looked back at times where I was super productive and those times were when I was repeatedly doing the same actions. Repeat actions created a pattern that my brain could better process the next time I was doing the action.

It was like driving down a road I had driven 100 times, I would become faster, it would become easier, and painless.

So for me the answer was : Habits.

If you set up your calendar in advance (for example Every day between 8am and 10am you will work on finding customers and do X, Y or Z), this will create a habit and this makes it easier to do it every day.

I understand this is super oversimplified and that this does not encompass the whole spectrum of productivity but setting a routine and creating habits is a great way to achieve things. You can also schedule time for other things that work (example: Every Friday at 4pm you can schedule "time for yourself" to think about the bigger picture of your business etc, etc)

This is quite simple but this works well for me and wanted to share that with you guys!


  1. 1

    This is simple to understand but difficult to achieve. I have a whole set of habits I follow for more than 2 years now (see my profile to know more about that) and I can confirm: it's the only way I do what I really want to do.

    Thanks to my habits, I work on my side projects consistently, write blog posts and do a lot of other stuff I love doing.

    Procrastinating is painful: there is so much energy wasted trying to convince yourself, to then put yourself down. Both are toxic. When you don't achieve something, don't be hard on yourself. Stay positive, the next time you will act differently. If you built your habit correctly, this will help you a lot.

  2. 1

    Simple.. but sounds effective! Good introspective!

  3. 1

    Yes, very much so. I struggle with being too organised too. I think it starts to overwhelm me.

    I relate to this with my running. I used to hate the idea of running, but 5/6 years ago I started to change that just by running, small, frequently, then increased it over the years. I never use a calendar for this, but I use to tell myself the day before that the next day was a running day, I'd then mentally figure out how to fit it in. Now it's pretty much engrained in my life. I don't do long runs, I just aim to get out 2-3 times per week.

    I've started strength training with one of my boys too, for that we are committed to doing it on a Mon, Weds and Fri. It's nice (and helps) that we each nag/encourage each other to do it.

    James Clear who did an IH podcast a while back also talks about all these kind of habit building things.

Recommended Posts