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Crowdsourced Productivity Tips: 13 Ways to Live Smarter, Not Harder

Jun 2, 2014 4 min readOpen
Photo of Kevan Lee
Kevan Lee

Former VP of Marketing @ Buffer

spinning tire

Live smarter, not harder.

This principle is one of the 10 Buffer values that form the backbone of our company culture. We love experimenting with new ways to live out this value, and we’ve found productivity tips to be instrumental in this equation.

What are some of our best productivity discoveries so far? We’ve written about a few before on the Buffer blog.

• Ultradian rhythm and the 90-minute work cycle

• How we’ve turned a 2-day writing process into a 4-hour process

• The value of marginal gains: How improving everything by 1 percent makes a world of difference

We thought we’d turn the topic over to you. We’ve been inspired time and again by the abilities and talents of our community, and your productivity expertise is no exception. We asked on Twitter. You answered.

13 of your top productivity tips

The full comment thread is up on Twitter, if you’d like to check in or share your own reply. We’ve also collected these tips onto a Pinterest board. We’d love to have you follow us there, too!

P.S. Turns out Buffer readers and Buffer Content Crafters think a lot alike! Each of the 13 answers has a link to another article on the Buffer blog for deeper reading on that topic.

The question: What is your number one productivity tip?


Get outside and play! Spending some time in nature is the best way to recharge your batteries and stay productive. – @RockCreek

Related Reading: 5 Unusual Ways to Start Working Smarter, Not Harder, Backed by Science


Take time each day to reflect. Identify those things that were most valuable to you and do more of those in the future. – @Crp1000

Related Reading: The Power of Meditation and How It Affects Our Brains


Slay your dragons, a.k.a., eat the frog, and do so before breakfast (or the first minute you get into the office). – @JasonSWoodrow

Related Reading: You’ve Got 25,000 Mornings as an Adult: 8 Ways to Improve Your Morning Routine


Board an airplane. (One without wifi.) – @jslandau

Related Reading: Why Procrastination Doesn’t Need a Cure: A Guide to Structured Distraction


Lists, lists, and more lists. Wunderlist makes my life 100% more productive! – @MBCrissman

Related Reading: The Big List of The 61 Best Social Media Tools for Small Business


Get a good night’s sleep. @Quintweeter

Related Reading: How Much Sleep Do We Really Need to Work Productively?


Take a nap when you feel the need for it. – @BjornSennbrink

Related Reading: How Naps Affect Your Brain and Why You Should Have One Every Day


Break projects and tasks into small actionable bites. Small daily progress is way better than overwhelming/vague goals. – @ElephantBites

Related Reading: The Science of New Year’s Resolutions: Why 88% Fail and How to Make Them Work


Engage completely with only one thing at a time. – @brentkallmer

Related Reading: What Multitasking Does to Our Brains


Realize that you have 24 hours in a day like everyone else. Small steps, don’t overanalyze, and focus on the task at hand. Take your time. – @Ivankapullca

Related Reading: A Simple Guide to Better Focus and Concentration: Lessons From a Lion Tamer


Start your day with completing the must-do task of that day. You can’t go wrong from there. – @nellswmurray

Related Reading: The Surprising History of the To-Do List and How to Design One That Actually Works


Politely and firmly say “no” to anything that matters less than the stuff that really matters. – @cherlbaker

Related Reading: A Scientific Guide to Saying “No”: How to Avoid Temptation and Distraction

For even more crowdsourced tips …

We hope you’ll stay tuned on Twitter. We’re eager to hear from you about the ways you work smarter, and we’re excited to keep the conversation going! Keep an eye out for more questions like these.

Do you have a favorite tip we didn’t mention here? Reply with your best productivity tips in the comments!

P.S. If you liked this post, why not sign up for Buffer: Open posts via email? You’ll never miss a thing.

Image source: Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious

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