This is a free book by Timo Kiander. Below are the main points.


  1. Let mindset grow.
  2. Physically exercise regularly.
  3. Eat healthy foods.
  4. Sleep well:
    1. First find out how much sleep is needed by wake up without alarm


  1. Powerful start of the day
    1. Get up early (and get to bed earlier), and spend the morning time to reach goals
  2. Optimize working rhythm
    1. e.g. work 25 min & rest 5 min; or work 90 min & rest 20 min; or work 52 min & rest 17 min.
  3. Avoid distractions
    1. Set up 2~3 time windows to handle emails and other communications; go to office early (because it is quiet);
    2. Write down ideas and thoughts on a paper for later review
  4. Plan the day in advance
    1. Write down 3 important tasks (and some lower-priority tasks); do not add new tasks

  1. Drinking water is good for brain performance
  2. First do the most important tasks (also see Tip 4)
    1. Consider both long-term and short-term effects of the tasks
  3. Optimize meetings
    1. Need to attend? Attend virtually? Shorter duration?
  4. Batch similar tasks
    1. e.g. check emails at fixed times (morning, mid-afternoon, evening), and combine short meetings together.
  5. Process emails effectively
    1. Avoid checking emails first thing in the morning
    2. Close email client, unless when checking it. And turn-off auto-notification
    3. Try to reply emails at once, or add it to tasks; if too time-consuming, call that person; if the email contains tasks, add it to task list
  6. Delegate tasks to other people
    1. Document the work steps with details for the other person to follow
    2. Test drive the instructions by yourself and the other person
    3. Set a specific deadline, and do regular follow-up (by phone or emails)
  7. Take breaks (also see Tip 2)
    1. Coffee, socialize, eat healthy snack, fresh air
  8. Eat the frog: do the most challenging task first
    1. Prepare mentally, try to do it in the morning, imagine afterwards
  9. Use checklists to make sure a task is finished while meeting the requirements
    1. Use READ-DO or DO-CONFIRM check lists
  10. Record statuses of tasks before vacation
    1. Let colleagues know before leaving, share the vacation on calendar, auto-reply emails
  11. Focus on one thing at a time
    1. Help to decrease errors
    2. Split the task, create execution plan, avoid distractions, and use time blocking
  12. Control the busywork
    1. Learn to say no, set the right expectations, recognize the most important task, delegate some tasks, use check list (see Tip 13), understand the true cost if a task is delayed
  13. Know the tools
    1. Use keyboard shortcuts (instead of mouses)
    2. Learn the applications to automate some tasks
  14. Know how time is spent on computer
    1. Limit the time of web browsing, and make it more like a reward after finishing tasks

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