Most Productive Version of Yourself
11 June, 2021
Engineering Manager at Hinterview
For many people, motivation is a cornerstone of productivity. It may come as a surprise to some people, but I don’t believe that motivation as such exists. Realizing that was an eye-opening moment that made my whole world go upside down. I didn’t have to wait anymore to become motivated to be productive. I was onto collecting small wins, one by one. By completing small, even unimportant tasks, I would get a sense of accomplishment which would drive motivation.
I started to avidly read anything even remotely related to productivity. I learned a great deal about different methods and frameworks. For example, I practiced this approach for a while: I would single out one thing on my To-Do list, which, when completed, would give me a sense of accomplishment. Regardless of how many things there were on the list, my day would look fulfilled and productive if I would complete that one.
I also tried out a number of To-Do apps but, in the end, had to find my own way of writing down things I want to accomplish. Currently, I am using post-it notes on my desk that I organize and re-shuffle around and two online apps -- Notion and ToDoist.
The most powerful framework I came across was 4DX (The Four Disciplines of Execution) by Franklin Covey, a method based on the principles of focus, leverage, engagement, and accountability. It gives four disciplines to help focus efforts towards the strategic aims (Focusing on the Wildly Important, Acting on Lead Measures, Keeping a Compelling Scoreboard, Creating a Cadence of Accountability). I was particularly inspired by the concept of WIG (Wildly important goal) that is often sidelined by the whirlwind which is our day-to-day work.
Moreover, I try to automate some of my productivity-related activities. If I would find a Slack message important enough to become a task, I would create integration and save it on Slack and Zapier, another third-party tool that would extract my Slack message and put it into my ToDoist app. This is how I try to stay organized since Slack is my main communication tool.
Notion is an app I use both for private and work-related tasks. Right now I am managing both the engineering and product side and have to stay on top of everything we deliver, and we need to scope out. My mind is often oversaturated with information from two different areas, and to focus better, I need to take care of my mental clutter. I clean up that clutter by writing things down either on paper or in the app.
I made a long way in my efforts to streamline my productivity. Reading, trying out different approaches, revisiting the existing routines -- all of those helped me barrel forward. However, I also learned about inherent constraints or limitations to productivity that are making me more conscious of how I will direct my efforts.
Scale your coaching effort for your engineering and product teams
Develop yourself to become a stronger engineering / product leader
Jord Sips, Senior Product Manager at Mews, shares his expertise on a common challenge for product managers – finding root causes and solutions.
Senior Product Manager at Mews
Jonathan Belcher, Engineering Manager at Curative, explains how to balance team cohesion and individual focus time, tapping into his experiences of working remotely for seven years.
Engineering Manager - Patient Experience at Curative
David Kormushoff, Director at Koho, recalls how he galvanized his team to tackle a time-sensitive problem, sharing his tips on how to shift chaos into calm.
Director at Koho
Jay Dave, Sr Director Of Engineering at Synack, shares how he has learned to identify team members for promotion by observing their interactions with non-engineering leaders and how they handle stress.
Sr Director Of Engineering at Synack
Suryakant Mutnal, Engineering Manager at PayPal, discusses the importance of time management and the necessary structures in order to create internal consistency.
Engineering manager at PayPal
You're a great engineer.
Become a great engineering leader.
Plato (platohq.com) is the world's biggest mentorship platform for engineering managers & product managers. We've curated a community of mentors who are the tech industry's best engineering & product leaders from companies like Facebook, Lyft, Slack, Airbnb, Gusto, and more.