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  • Productivity is effective movement.

  • It's running in the right direction for the longest distance.

  • It's about making the greatest progress towards your goals in the shortest amount

  • of time.

  • And the key to productivity can be boiled down to a simple equation: distance equals

  • velocity multiplied by time, which equals another set of variables.

  • In this video, I'll explain all of the variables, giving you the ultimate guide to productivity.

  • Let's start by analyzing you.

  • You're an organism with a limited amount of energy that you can spend each day.

  • As you go about your daymoving, thinking, actingthis energy bar is slowly draining.

  • And if you're mindless of how you spend this energy, you'll end each day with nothing

  • left to show for it.

  • So learning to use your own internal energy is critical to being productive, and the best

  • way to leverage your energy is by performing what I call Sprints.

  • Sprints are time-bounded work sessions that require intense focus, active participation

  • in an activity, and pushing yourself beyond your current limits.

  • Working sprints, the ones I'm talking about in this video, are just like real sprints:

  • a strenuous and intentional use of your energy.

  • If you're a student, sprints are when you study at your desk with no distractions, and

  • you're actively working on homework problems, recalling flashcards, deconstructing a text,

  • writing an essay, or doing practice examsnot reading over your notes or highlighting.

  • If you're a hockey player, it's intentional and strenuous practice on your conditioning,

  • puck handling, passing, or shooting, not idly skating around and shooting on the net for

  • fun.

  • If you're a writer, it's hammering out your words and performing surgical revisions.

  • The purpose of a sprint is to make effective progress towards your goals by focusing your

  • energy on a singular task that challenges you, and this brings us back to the key formula:

  • d= vT.

  • Every sprint has 3 key components: distance, velocity, and time, and I'm going to break

  • down each one, starting with distance.

  • Distance is the measure of your productive output.

  • If we're running, it's the literal miles or kilometres we've travelled.

  • If we're writing, it's the number of words or pages we've written.

  • If we're studying fluid dynamics, it's the number of practice problems we've solved.

  • Distance is the measurable fruits of our labour, and it shows us if what we're doing is effective.

  • Our goal is to increase the distance we run with each Sprint, and there are two ways to

  • do this: increase our velocity or increase the time we work for.

  • Let's start by analyzing time.

  • Time, with a big T, can be broken down into two smaller components: time (with a little

  • t) and N. N is the number of sprints we decide to do in a day, and t is the length of each

  • sprint.

  • For example, when I write, N is four and t is thirty minutes.

  • That means I do four Sprints a day that last thirty minutes each.

  • Thirty minutes is how long I can successfully stay intensely focused in a single Sprint,

  • and after four sprints a day, I'm pretty mentally exhausted.

  • You can experiment with the number of sprints you do in a day and how long you do them for

  • until you find a mix that works for you.

  • The goal is to get both variables, N and t, as high as possible but in a way where you

  • can stay consistent.

  • Going back to my writing example, I can consistently do four sprints a day for thirty minutes each

  • without fail.

  • Keyword: consistently.

  • Consistency depends on discipline, not motivation.

  • Here's what happens if you work off motivation.

  • You'll get excited and do four sprints for one hour each on the first day and exhaust

  • yourself.

  • You'll probably do one sprint for one hour the next day, fifteen the next, and then you'll

  • give up altogether.

  • But here's what it looks like if you work off discipline.

  • On the first day you work for fifteen minutes, and you still feel like you have energy in

  • the tank, but you wait.

  • The next day you do two sprints, and you still have more energy in the tank, but you wait

  • again.

  • On the third day you do three fifteen minute sprints, and on the fourth you do four, slowly

  • ramping it up.

  • But on the fifth day, you try working twenty minutes each sprint instead of fifteen, and

  • you still have some energy left over.

  • So on the sixth day, you try working for thirty minutes, and you realize that you're a little

  • tired this time.

  • And in fact, that tiredness spills over into the next day, so you only do ten minute sprints

  • now.

  • Now you've successfully found your limit, and on the eight day, you revert back to twenty

  • minute sprintswhich you consistently maintain going forward.

  • Discipline, not motivation, leads to consistent results, and discipline depends on thoughtful

  • experimentation, self-awareness, and self-respect.

  • We have to discover how much we can push ourselves, finding a healthy balance between being too

  • hard and too lenient.

  • When it comes to productively managing your time and energy, one of my favourite pieces

  • of advice comes from Hemingway: You write until you come to a place where you still

  • have your juice and know what will happen next and you stop and try to live through

  • until the next day when you hit it again.

  • Hemingway didn't work until his tank was empty, like many overly-motivated, eager beginners

  • tend to do.

  • He kept a consistent regimen, and he always ended his work day with some energy left in

  • his tank, when he knew how he would continue his story the next day.

  • By ending in a place where you know what step to take next, you'll build anticipation

  • that will let you hit the ground running on the next day.

  • Productivity, when it comes to the things that matter, is always a long-term marathon,

  • and to run the marathon, you have to learn to manage your time in a way where you can

  • make consistent daily progress, and managing your time comes back to two factors: the number

  • of sprints you do (n) and how long they are (t).

  • But time is not the most critical factor for being productive for 3 reasons.

  • (1) Your upsides are limited.

  • Once you're working around 60-80 hours a week, you're reaching the maximum of what's

  • probably possible for the average person.

  • The rest of your gains in productivity will come from your velocity, not your time.

  • (2) The returns are diminishing.

  • Once you're working 80 hours a week, you'll probably burnout and become tired, reducing

  • your long-term productivity.

  • (3) And the final reason, time is an imprecise metric.

  • When some people say they worked for sixty hours, what they really mean is they sat in

  • an office for sixty hours, doing a little work here and there.

  • Or think about a college kid who says he was studying at the library all day, when really

  • he was just sitting in the library with his books open, chatting to a friend.

  • Time passes regardless of what you do, so it becomes a very easy metric to fool yourself

  • with.

  • Now let's move on to the more critical factor when trying to be productive: velocity.

  • Your sprint velocity is made up of two key components: direction (D) and stride (R).

  • Let's start with direction.

  • Obviously, before you get moving, you have to decide which way you want to sprint.

  • The direction you run in is often more important than how hard you run.

  • Consider this example.

  • Two mechanical engineers take jobs in different industries, one in the oil industry and one

  • in HVAC.

  • Assuming they work with the same intensity, the engineer in the oil industry will likely

  • make more money based purely on the direction he chose.

  • Or consider this.

  • If you invested $100 in apple on January 1, 2002, you would have $34000 today.

  • But if you invested $100 in Netflix on January 1, 2002, you would have $48000.

  • I pulled these numbers off an online calculator, so they might be inaccurate, but the underlying

  • point remains true: where you invest your energy is more important than how much you

  • invest.

  • But how do we decide which direction to run in?

  • The direction we choose is based on our values.

  • The HVAC engineer, for example, might value environmentalism more than money, where as

  • the oil engineer values money more than environmentalism, which is why they chose their specific directions.

  • Of course, this is just an example, I'm not saying all oil or HVAC engineers have

  • these values.

  • So how do we find our values?

  • If you ask people what they value, they'll say things likelove, kindness, honesty,

  • and service,”

  • then they'll rage the next time someone cuts them off in traffic.

  • Values are what we act out, not what we say, and often times, we're not even aware of

  • our own true values.

  • But you might be able to discover some of your values by reflecting on your past experiences.

  • Think about a time someone made you very envious or angry.

  • That probably gives some insight into your values.

  • Or think about your idols.

  • Who do you admire?

  • That might give you insight into your values.

  • And don't lie to yourself.

  • Ask yourself if you would trade places with your idol.

  • Paparazzi and business man.

  • Would you rather be Kim Kardashian or Mother Theresa?

  • Jeff Bezos or Gandhi?

  • This might give you some insight into your values.

  • But our values aren't set in stone.

  • As we collect more varied life experiences, our values can change.

  • We discover our values through experiences and reflection.

  • Reflect on what experiences you truly want, don't want, and what values will take you

  • there.

  • Once you determine your values and direction, it's time to work on the next part of velocity:

  • your stride.

  • Your stride is the actual action you take to make effective progress towards your goal.

  • You have to identify it for yourself.

  • If your goal is to write a book, then your stride is actually sitting at your desk and

  • writing the words.

  • If your goal is to become a pianist, then your stride is sitting down to play the piano.

  • Your stride is the next action you can take to move towards your goal.

  • Your stride is made up of two components: stride length (L) and rhythm (Y).

  • Stride length is the distance between each step, and rhythm is how often you take each

  • step.

  • To improve your stride, you can work on either of these two components.

  • What does it mean to improve your stride length?

  • Stride length is a measure of how effective the action you take is with respect to your

  • goal.

  • In other words, it's a measure of your skill level.

  • What's the difference between me sitting down to write and Hemingway?

  • Stride length.

  • Give us both the same amount of time to write and you'll notice a disparity between the

  • quality of our work.

  • If you give me and Steph Curry the same amount of time to shoot hoops, he's going to sink

  • a lot more in.

  • So how do you improve your stride length?

  • Through deliberate practice.

  • How does deliberate practice work?

  • It's pretty simple.

  • There are two components to deliberate practice: action and feedback.

  • If you wanted to improve your weight lifting form, you could film yourself lifting and

  • then compare it to the footage of a professional.

  • The goal is to take action and then get feedback by comparing your action to the ideal action.

  • Or in other words, take action and compare your action to those of someone who's more

  • skilled at what you do.

  • Alternatively, instead of filming yourself, you could hire a coach, and the coach has

  • an understanding of the ideal, and so he or she gives you feedback to help you move closer

  • to it.

  • If you wanted to learn how to produce music, you might try to recreate your favourite beats

  • or music that you hear on the radio.

  • Again, your taking action and comparing it to an ideal to correct your action.

  • When we start something new, the ideal is often way beyond us.

  • Comparing ourselves to the best pianist, for example, may be discouraging and unhelpful,

  • so we might compare ourselves to lesser versions of the ideal instead.

  • We can imitate people who are just beyond us in skill level, slowly inching ourselves

  • towards the ideal.

  • Deliberate practice usually begins with imitation, but as your skills grow, you develop a stronger

  • relationship to the ideal archetype or idea itself, and you shed the need to imitate.

  • You learn to act on your own instead.

  • Now, after stride length, the final component is rhythm: how often you take a stride.

  • The key to rhythm is creating the right conditions to allow yourself to enter a state of flow.

  • Flow is a state where your focus is pointed, singular, and unbroken.

  • The key to creating a state of flow is to remove things that break your focus.

  • There are two ways to do this.

  • (1) Remove all external distractions from your environment.

  • For example, your phone, the internet, music, other people, so on and so forth.

  • Remove whatever might create sudden and unexpected distractions.

  • (2) Work on something in alignment with your highest value.

  • The more meaningful you find the work you do, the more important you feel it is, the

  • less likely you are to let things pull your attention away from it.

  • Its very hard to ever live a life free of distractions and obligations to others, especially

  • if you have kids or a large family.

  • But if you can work on things you find deeply meaningful, you'll be less likely to have

  • your attention suddenly pulled away from the task at hand.

  • For example, when people play video games or watch TV, they can keep their focus glued

  • to their screens if they really need to, even if there are other distractions.

  • That's because they find the activity more meaningful than everything else going on.

  • The same thing can happen when you're reading a gripping book or sending an important message.

  • So, let me summarize everything.

  • Productivity is movement, and one of the most effective ways to make successful movements

  • is by performing Sprints.

  • A Sprint is a highly-focused, intentional, engaged, and time-bounded work session that

  • pushes you beyond your current limits.

  • The goal of each Sprint is to travel the greatest distance towards your goal as possible.

  • Distance is equal to velocity multiplied by time.

  • The total time you Sprint for each day is dependent on how many times you Sprint a day

  • and how long you Sprint for.

  • Velocity is a function of the direction you choose and your stride.

  • Your direction is based on your values or goals.

  • Your stride depends on your stride length and your rhythm.

  • Use deliberate practice to enhance your skills, and subsequently, your stride length.

  • Learn to keep imitating people better than you until you surpass them, developing a direct

  • relationship with the ideal itself.

  • Remove distractions and create the optimal conditions for flow

  • to maximize your rhythm.

Productivity is effective movement.

Subtitles and vocabulary

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B1 stride sprint velocity energy productivity length

How To Be 10x More Productive | The Ultimate Guide to Productivity

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