He created a site to share his findings, eventually coming up with his top 100 productivity tips.
I’ve selected the tips I liked, and also shortened some a bit. Here they are:
8. Make emails five sentences or less, and note it in your signature. People appreciate emails that are short and to the point.
26. Someone saying, “I don’t have time for that.” isn’t referring to the amount of time they have, but how important that task is to them.
27. Wait a bit before sending important emails/messages. Giving your mind time makes what you say more complete, valuable, and creative.
36. Get enough sleep, even if that means sleeping in. Also, there’s “no difference in socioeconomic standing” between early risers and night owls.
38. An office temperature of 71ºF (21.5ºC) makes you the most productive, and setting your home thermostat at night to 65ºF (18.5ºC) helps you sleep better.
45. Too much blue light (from a smartphone, tablet, or computer) before bed hurts your sleep.
46. Getting more natural light helps you sleep better, reduces your stress levels, increases your energy, and helps your focus.
51. A key to becoming more productive is making one small change at a time. The smaller the change you try to make, the more likely you’ll actually stick with it.
52. Be mindful of when you’re needlessly hard on yourself, 80% of what you say to yourself is negative. Don’t be needlessly hard on yourself.
53. Make more friends at work. It’ll increase job satisfaction by an average of 50%, make you seven times more engaged at work, and you’ll be 40% more likely to get a promotion.
54.Over the last few months, which meetings gave you the most energy, motivation, happiness, and drive afterward? Schedule more meetings with those people.
55. Lower your expectations to make yourself more confident, relaxed, have more fun, and to lessen worry about proving yourself to others.
56. Realize that nobody cares. By realizing most people don’t care about your success, money, clothes, house, or car you’ll understand you’re freer than you originally thought.
60. Download Coffitivity, it’s the ambient hum of a coffee shop, proven to boost your productivity and creativity.
61. Every day, recall three things you’re grateful for. This trains your brain to “retain a pattern of scanning the world not for the negative, but for the positive first.”
64. Meditate. It’s the act of continually bringing your attention back to a single object. It calms your mind and increases blood flow to your brain.
65. Quit multitasking. It’s terrible for your focus and productivity, making you more prone to errors, affects your memory, and adds stress.
74. Use your smartphone less. It sucks up your attention, distracts you a lot more than you think, dilutes your interactions with people, and is a very low-leverage activity.
77. Do less. When you spread your attention, energy, and time over fewer activities, you bring more to everything you do, and achieve a lot more.
92. When you meet with someone, shut off your phone – showing them that they’re important to you, and you’re giving them all your attention. By focusing on what someone is saying, you’ll develop deeper relationships and avoid misunderstandings.
94. Make a pact with a friend that introduces a financial penalty for a bad habit you both have. This helps you focus on the cost of your bad habit, instead of its rewards.