Recently I have had a chance to participate in a small workshop around productivity led by the founders of the company I work for. I already knew many of the things they presented (they didn’t invent them, they wrapped them into a nice presentation) but it was a good refresher, as well and it contained multiple nice metaphors and real-life use cases.

Here are a few takeaways from the workshop that I found interesting:

The power of tiny gains. If you keep making small improvements regularly, they will stack up.

80:20 rule. I liked the metaphor of cleaning up confetti in the apartment. It takes 20% of the time to clean up 80% of it, and 80% of the time to clean up the rest.

The only thing that matters is output. No one cares how much effort you’ve put into doing something. Ultimately they care about the results.

Use your day smart. You can start your day by working on an important project or “quickly” checking Slack (and find yourself super tired 6 hours later). Ask yourself a question: what is the cost of not working on the important project vs not answering the message?

The one thing. Try to focus on doing things that have the most impact. Keep asking yourself – am I working on the most important thing right now?

Especially the last one got me into thinking – it’s all about mindfulness. In therapy, I learned to monitor myself constantly, and continuously ask myself a question – “how am I feeling right now?“. It looks like this aspect of productivity is built on the same foundation. Throughout the day – stay mindful and keep asking the question “Am I working on the most important thing right now?

The challenge and the secret is to remember to do it. For me, it’s important to take regular breaks, to distance myself from work. Sometimes it also helps to go for a short walk to create space for thoughts to grow.

Of course, these are just tools that help us achieve goals better. We need to, however, know what our goals are.

And how to know if these things worked out? Not scientific evidence but – ask yourself a question – was this day productive? If the answer is yes, probably it was!


I'm a software engineer with 9 years of experience. I highly value team work and focus a lot on knowledge sharing aspects within teams. I also support companies with technical interview process. On top of that I read psychological books in my spare time and find other people fascinating.

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