There are three laws that generally help you understand productivity a bit better. The first law, the parkinson’s law is about when you put the deadline. If you know that your exam is in a few weeks you are less likely to start studying right now, but if your exam is tomorrow you will start right now, right? The Pareto Principle is about how you can get 80% achieved by investing 20% work. And the last, but now least law, the Newton’s first law of motion says that once you are in motion it’s easy to get things done, you just have to get started.
This article is also available in German: Die 3 Gesetze der Produktivität und wie sie dir helfen können
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This one is about how work always seems to fill the time we have time for it.
For example, if your project is due tomorrow, you will get it done by tomorrow, but if it’s due in 3 months, it will take you 3 months to do it.
Think about what you want to achieve in the next 10 years and try to achieve it within the next 6 months. We have to give ourselves an imaginary deadline, so we can achieve our goals in shorter period of time.
Make a list of 3-4 long-term tasks you want to achieve. If you give yourself a shorter deadline, I’m sure you can achieve it sooner.
What would you do, if you only have half as long to do them?
What about if you had to do them in the next 24 hours?
This principle is about how 80% of the results come from the 20% of output. For studying, the tests are usually about 20% of the content and the rest we can kind of figure out once we understood the core 20% of the subject.
Here is more about the Pareto Principle: Pareto Principle Definition.
What 20% of my work is driving 80% of my useful output?
What is taking up 80% of my time but not actually contributing much of my outcomes?
Newton’s first law of motion
An object is at rest or travelling at a constant velocity unless it’s acted on by an external, imbalanced force. I bet some of you had that in physics, the famous three laws of Newton.
It’s much harder to start something, but it’s easy to just keep going.
But there is the 2 minute rule: If something will take less than 2 minutes, just do it right now.
And the 5 minute rule states: if we are struggling to get started with something, just do 5 minutes of it. Eventually most of the time you will just keep going because it doesn’t take a lot of effort to keep doing it.
To develop a keystone habit is important here because this will make you do your tasks. For example, if you want to exercise more, you can lay out your exercising clothes before you leave in the morning. When you come home, you see the clothes and then you can put them on.
This way you will exercise and because you are already in motion it is easier to keep going and study after (or do whatever you need/want to do).
I bet there is something that you have been putting off, like bringing the cup to your kitchen. Do something right now, that you have been putting off for some time 🙂