Three holiday tips for happiness and productivity

There’s been a lot of productivity and happiness in my feeds this morning. I guess it might be because we are heading into the holidays and a lot of people are looking forward to spending time with their families. Certainly I’m thinking about how we can all work smarter at Forward Partners next year.

Here are three tips that struck a chord with me:

  1. Effective prioritisation – focusing time on the most important things is so important. That can’t be overstated. There are lots of hacks to help. The one I use is to be clear on the two or three priorities that I’m working on at any given time and pay attention to progressing each of them every day. That means not filling my schedule with too many meetings and being prepared to let email go to hell from time to time (although that does increase my stress – see 2.). Some people find it helpful to write the 2-3 priorities on a piece of paper every morning. Another hack from Warren Buffet is to list your top 25 priorities, identify the top five and force focus by doing absolutely nothing on items 6-25.
  2. Calm your mind – the goal is to not get irritated by or worrying about things that are outside our control. Again there are lots of techniques. Meditation works for me but I know lots of people find that difficult. I read a tip from Tim Metz this morning which is to focus exclusively on what you can change (emotions, judgments, creativity, attitude, perspective, desires, decisions, determination) and not be sidetracked by the weather, what other people want or say (including on email), circumstances etc.
  3. Choose the right people to work with – StartupLJackson put it like this: “Focus on good people/culture. Above all else, my observation is that when you find good people (high-integrity, smart, hard working, etc) and a compatible culture, you end up happy, even if the company fails. When you ignore suboptimal people fit because you think the product is sexy or you’ll make money, you end up sad.”

None of these are easy, particularly 1 and 2, but then we have to work for many of the best things in life. The magic comes in the reward when you get it right.

Happy Holidays everyone, and thanks for reading!