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Eight’s Guide To Personal Productivity

By Carlie Dobkin
December 22, 2017
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Here at Eight, we’re a small team with big plans for the future. In order to optimize sleep, we need to maximize our productivity. This means we need to be efficient, effective, and ambitious when setting and achieving our goals. As a startup, we need to move fast and execute well. We’ve grown exponentially in the past year, and can attest our growth to our hard working team at Eight HQ.

At Eight, we believe good sleep is a mean to better health, happiness, energy, and productivity. Today’s post is going to focus on the latter. These are our 5 favorite tips for increasing workplace productivity.

1. The Two Priority Rule

This rule was invented by the CEO of Eight, Matteo Franceschetti, and we all use it in our daily work routine. The right way to prioritize is to work on only 2 tasks, projects, or goals per day. Once you understand what’s most important, focus only on that. Don’t get distracted with smaller tasks and learn how to say no to requests. The way you choose these priorities is by determining which ones will bring the most improvement and value to the company. You shouldn’t try to do more than two, because a third is not manageable. Peter Thiel is famous for pushing each of his team members to focus only on one priority at a time. Matteo believes we can stretch that to two.


2. Follow A Schedule
In order to be productive, you need to be organized. Following a schedule is the best way to stay on top of all the things you need to do. At Eight, we use Google Calendar to keep track of meetings, deadlines, and reminders. Many of us also block off a chunk of time for a specific task. Our Growth Lead does market research every Friday from 3-5 PM. Our Social Media Manager monitors Facebook notifications every morning at 11 AM. And our Engineering Team plans weekly sprints every Tuesday at 10:30 AM. Having these tasks on the calendar helps us maintain focus throughout the workweek. Following a schedule is important in all aspects of life, not just work. The world’s best CEOs claim a consistent schedule is the key to success. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day will leave you feeling refreshed each day, even on Monday mornings. Forming a daily routine will help you maximize your waking hours, develop discipline, and make you feel better.


3. Make To-Do Lists

You can’t be productive without making to-do lists. Create a daily or weekly to-do list and check the list every day to make sure you’re doing everything you need to be doing. And remember, you don’t need to have a million things on your to-do list. Keep it simple and prioritize your tasks. Try to be strategic about your energy. Don’t waste energy on small, menial tasks. Apply your energy to the two most important tasks that move your business forward. Also, be cognizant as to when you write these to-do lists. Alexandra Zatarain, Co-Founder and CMO of Eight, writes out her list every Sunday afternoon. She says writing it out on Sunday reduces the stress and anxiety of Monday morning. It also helps start the day with clarity. You’ll know exactly which item you need to complete by 10 AM the next morning.


4. Manage Your Time

A highly-efficient way to manage time is to make a chart based on urgency and importance. This is called the time management matrix, and it’s divided into four sections (Important + Urgent, Important + Not Urgent, Not Important + Urgent, Not Important + Not Urgent). The idea is to focus on quadrant 2. This is where you’ll add the most value to your company. It requires more high-level thinking and strategizing.


5. Sleep Well

Last but certainly not least, pay attention to your sleep. Insufficient sleep can compromise output and hold you back professionally, resulting in reduced efficiency and overall poor productivity. When you don’t sleep enough, you’ll get distracted more easily, you’ll make more mistakes, and your memory will falter. A Harvard research study found that, for the average worker, insomnia leads to the loss of 11.3 days’ worth of productivity each calendar year. In order to get better sleep and perform at your best, you need to identify a healthy sleep routine. This means first creating an ideal sleeping environment - quality mattress, cool bedroom temperature, and little to night. Once your environment is conducive for sleep, try to go to bed earlier and limit the use of electronics at night. Finally, don’t forget to wake up at the same time every morning - even on weekends. This will keep you well-rested and energized throughout the work week.