Productivity Techniques Month: 30 days, 30 technicians and 259+ completed jobs

failed challenges productivity

Even before I wrote The Lazy Manifesto, I decided to try about 30 different productivity techniques and see which ones would work best for me.

Later I wrote "The Lazy Manifesto": his first book about minimalism, the necessity of laziness for our health and productive work.

That's basically what productivity techniques are designed for. Applicable at the factory of the car manufacturer "Toyota". Kanban job tracking system, and about magic words Lean and Agile probably heard by every startup today.

So this month I decided to have a good time and finish those long unfinished works.

ATTENTION: This challenge post is broken beyond repair. It should have 30 videos. Unfortunately, I lost them all. So the post definitely won't be what I had in mind at first.

Also keep in mind that this post was written in… Hmm… 2017, right? In short, this is a very old business.

But I just want to share this post because I want to share more than just successful challenges.

That month I did an additional experiment - I recorded my experiences in video format every day. This was the first time I've ever held a phone camera facing me, so consider yourself watching my first words here as well.

Here's how the first day went:

Day One: Revision.

I did a review today. Everywhere. At home, in the closet, in the car, in notebooks, in Gmail, on the computer... And I wrote down all the work I started that I still want to finish.
My hypothesis is that if I can see everything I need to do in one place,
I should be able to see better what is really important, what is urgent and so on.
As long as there are no jobs in one place, it can be said that they do not exist. I keep old promises as work, 1 unfinished, but started to implement ideas.

I wrote everything down on pieces of paper, 2 because for what Workflowy the list poured out would be endless and unfathomable! Leaflets can not only be visually arranged on the floor, but it is also fun to crumple them up and throw them away.

In the morning I thought I had about 20 tasks. Now there are... A little more.

Day Two: Sprint!

How to find motivation for work?

I recommend starting with the smallest jobs.

They often last only 10-20 minutes, but can drag on for soooo long. For example, "take a photo and upload an old sweater to Vinted for sale" or "damn, finally get that squeaky door dirty". As you finish one job after another, you may feel that, yes, it is possible to finish that mountain of work.

I felt that today. I started with short and small jobs!

Tomorrow - I will be interested in what the professionals say about productivity. What do they recommend to do and what not to do? Obviously, if there is THAT much backlog, then my methods aren't working. What works?

I can cut a tree without sharpening the saw. But it will take me much longer.

Third day: Techniques.

So here are a few things that productivity researchers repeat:

  1. There is no time for everything, you have to choose what is important;
  2. It's better not to work on what you don't like 3 - you will be more productive in your favorite activity;
  3. Do not devote the whole day (week, month) to work - limit yourself; 4
  4. No multitasking - do one job at a time, because that's the only way you'll be able to concentrate properly;
  5. Take breaks 5 and play

…It wasn't particularly big news. But now I know that my ideas were spot on. Tomorrow I will select the most important works from the rest!

Fourth day: Selection.

I would divide the work into:

  1. The 2 (only!) most important ones I am currently working on;
  2. Those waiting in line;
  3. The ones I will never (maybe);
  4. Those that don't last more than 30 minutes.

A little work and I just threw it away! 6

Day Five: The Pomodoro Technique.

Legendary Pomodoro technique! It is said that this technique 7 helps you use up your patience for work and not get too bogged down in the workflow.

It totally worked for me. Perhaps due to Parkinson's law (which I mentioned earlier) I was able to finish the work faster. Hmm!

Tomorrow is an information diet day. Niam!

Day six: Information diet.

Start following a diet and you will see - your life will become easier. Because you don't put everything in your head (or stomach), but what's best for you.

I recommend:

  1. to cancel all subscriptions;
  2. Timers like RescueTime or ManicTime;
  3. Check if you really need that media.

...And respect your mind - you don't need to know everything, we're not googles. We are the people!

Seventh day: Water + Fruits and vegetables.

It's... There's a theory that water + fruits and vegetables = productivity bomb. This is mostly told by gurus of all kinds of "spirituality" who have been brainwashed by that "spirituality".

Maintain fluids in the body. It's good.

But please, drink and eat what is delicious! So much knowledge. Not feeling productive… :'(

Eighth day: Meditation.

Another tool that TED speakers adore. And it totally worked! Instead of working on what I don't need, I focused on what was important. It can be considered the ideal productivity tool for the lazy. True, there are those who have made more breakthroughs. 😉

Day nine: Exercise.

What would happen if we exercised between work? Your productivity would rise! True, unless you already work standing or kneeling - then there may be less change. I, for example, had less.

Tenth day: Sleep.

how much sleep do you need How to sleep better? The answers are here.

Eleventh day: Outlines.

1) You write down your work in one notebook, 2) You write down in another, 3) You forget where you wrote down what. Greetings.

Do you keep notes, reminders about work, all kinds of other informational things in several places? If more than two (or one), then...

In a word, I summarized today. In the name of the future!

Day twelve: Letting go.

What do you do when you want to quit? Well, I am convinced that discipline does not exist. And I will not train her. Instead, you can observe your emerging desires and accept them. Accept. To love Hug. And run.

So why do you want to go to Facebook? OK, that's what you want. But you don't have to go to Facebook! You can simply let go of that desire. Like a plum over a fence.

Day Thirteen: Procrastination.

Why work for you when computers can work for you? I talk (much) more about this topic in "The Lazy Manifesto".

Fourteenth day: Cold shower.

Just read this.

PS Yeah, an ice shower frees the swearing voice.

Day Fifteen: Revision again!

It's going great! And it turns out that I won't even do some of the work. I put on those works - I didn't need them! Be-be-be!

Sixteenth day: Delegations.

  1. Find a job that you don't want to or can't do, but is important to you.
  2. Find someone who can do it better than you.
  3. Give money to the person.
  4. Do what you can do in your free time.

You don't have to do everything.

Day seventeen: Workplace.

Want to be productive? Create a workplace according to the architect Linas Matulis. And don't work like an idiot on a bed or other non-working place!

Days Nineteen and Twentieth: Walking and Changing the Workplace.

So. I started walking. And I went to Smiltynė for summer vacation. How will work go? It will be different. I will tell you about the specifics of the change of workplace later, but basically I worked: a) In a hotel, b) By the sea 8 c) In a cafe and d) While walking. I was thinking things as I walked. And it went quite well! (Get it? Went for a walk. Get it? Ha ha!) (…I'm so funny.)

Well, my thoughts flowed better when I was walking than when I was standing still. Similar to what happened to Immanuel Kant, Beethoven, Čiurlionis or a whole host of other creators. Probably, walking allows not only trigger creativity due to the break, but also activates blood flow in the macula.

I absolutely loved it! I feel better.

Days twenty-one and two: Introspection.

So, yes yes, productivity by the sea? Zero. Productivity in the coffee shop? All right. But by the sea - no! I watched what I was doing today.

…Anyway, to be honest, there isn't much use in watching it.

Day Twenty-Three: Parkinson's Rule.

If you spend LESS time on your work, will you get more done? …Apparently so! Parkinson's rule holds true.

Conclusion: Don't spend the whole day on work. Slow down, man!

Day Twenty-Four: Slowing Down.

What if you could focus on other activities during breaks between work, but NOT on work? What if you keep changing jobs?

Eh. It didn't work and was too distracting! 🙁

Day twenty-five: Music.

This is good! I recommend Also:

  1. Listen to music without words;
  2. Change music along with job changes;
  3. Match the music genre, style with works;
  4. Enjoy yourself. 9

Day Twenty-Six: Renunciation.

Giving up is a way to discover what is important to you.

Day Twenty-Six: Compliment yourself.

Maybe you should compliment yourself more often? Maybe you should thank yourself for your work? Do you save other people's compliments for you? Maybe. If you are not happy about your work - try to thank yourself more often!

Day Twenty-Eight: Bitute and Queen's Work.

Bitute works, the queen plans. Do not mix these working modes.

Day Twenty-Ninth: Rewards for Self.

  1. A distraction;
  2. It's fun.

If working is a pain for you - treat yourself! (Oh, it rhymes.) And if it's a pleasure to work - there's nothing to reward yourself with, just steal attention with that little thought "Is it time to reward yourself?".

Day 30: No communication.

What if you didn't communicate with anyone all day... And just worked? Aw. A little more productive, but also a little sadder.

Unfortunately: You lose the opportunity to exploit other people's minds. Because only through communication you can give your boring work to others or ask for a little help from the series "Hey, could you tell me which of these options you prefer?".


maybe i as he wrote "The Lazy Manifesto", I was corrupted by the idea that being lazy was okay. 10 But…

  1. It is not necessary to work on everything. After starting with the mountain of unfinished work, I got rid of about a third simply by checking with the question "Why". They didn't pass inspection!
  2. It doesn't have to work for you. I also simply gave away or sold some of the works 11 to others. Because I can't do everything myself, I don't want to do everything.
  3. Plan first, then act. Only a) Idiots and b) Workaholics rush to work from the very morning. 12 Because, after all, look at the first point - it is not necessary to do everything and it is healthy to think about everything first with your head, not with your working hands.
  4. Take a rest. This is the only way your brain will recover. After these experiments, I realized how important it is to take time to rest.
  5. Stay positive. Work, after all, is best when you enjoy it and see meaning in it. As long as you are sad, you simply will not use your potential. And I saw this during the days when I accepted unpleasant experiments for myself.

Lazy and productive!

After these experiments, I also changed my daily routine:

  1. I started asking myself "Why should I?" more often.
  2. Say "No" more often. Because not everything is important.
  3. Rest and do nothing on Sundays.

These experiments showed me how important it is to be lazy.

Later, after about a year, I published the book "The Lazy Manifesto", where these ideas have been repeated and persisted, but have already been proven by scientific research or the apt observations of ancient philosophers.

…And what do you think? What productivity techniques work for you?


  1. Big and small. The promise of sending a postcard is small, but it can take a long time…

  2. Take a sheet of A4 paper with at least one side blank. Tear in half three times. Ta-yeah!

  3. If it's possible.

  4. This Parkinson's law.

  5. Especially if you do creative work.

  6. According to River philosophy.

  7. Break the work into 25-minute work blocks and 5-minute rest blocks or similar proportions and repeat.

  8. Well, I didn't work. But I'll tell you about it another day.

  9. If classical music is not for you, listen to electronic music. And so on!

  10. Or rather I spoiled myself.

  11. I mean, I paid.

  12. Those who are afraid to think about the rest of their lives and run away from it not with alcohol, but with work.

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The point about the many notebooks made me laugh a lot. I love buying nice little notebooks and I have them, well too many, I've found 5 at the moment and they all have everything written in them…. How to choose the most beautiful one??? 🙂

The price helps me. When you buy one for 17 euros, it's somehow... Well, you want to use it already - why don't you leave it on the shelf!? And when this doesn't help, minimalism helps - I buy (everything) very rarely, so when you feel a lack, what you have is perfect. In my case - a notebook bought from Tiger :)) Having less is easier to choose, while buying an extremely expensive one (even if you're not strapped for money) - too. Did you try that, Luka?

It's great that I'm not the only one so wrapped up in promises and unfinished tasks - when all of them are quite substantial and don't last 15 minutes, but 4-6 hours, it's hard to force myself to at least start them.
But the beginning is the most important, isn't it? 🙂
Following you, good luck!

The beginning is not the most important thing. The most important thing is to finish! 😀

But, indeed, the beginning is also important - if you start with the most difficult tasks, it is likely that you will not accomplish anything. That's what I learned on the second day, starting with the sprint - to do the smallest tasks first. When the work became less, I started to believe in my future! :))

(Probably the same with the current #KaunasTvarkasi marketing campaign. The work is not big, but it is there and it gives the citizens confidence in the future. Hmm!)

Well, it's actually best to start with small jobs and try to improve. I think finding the right productivity technique for you is very important. I personally use the professional services of Iprocess and it saves me a lot of time. When you want to optimize processes, but you lack the necessary knowledge, professionals in that field come to the rescue.