How to Actually Use Productivity Tips and Improve Your Life (Ep. 176)

Gurus, gurus, everywhere, but not a spot to think.

If you’ve ever tried to find productivity advice on the internet, including from us, you may have noticed that there are a million different pathways to becoming the new, improved, successful you.

Unfortunately, neither you nor I have the time to read 10 books, implement 13 new habits by next week, finish our projects on time, and get those 19-pack abs.

Productivity tips are a great tool, but just like every other tool, you need to know how to use them.

If I hand you an onion ask you to slice it kushigatagiri style, the tool you need is a knife. But what’s going to happen if I just hand you a knife and walk away? If you don’t know how to use the tool, it’s just not going to cut it (I’m so sorry).

With that in mind, today we’re talking about how to sort through the infinite podcasts, blog posts, and book recommendations of the internet, so you can get something better than a few points toward your Goodreads challenge.

If that means you ignore the next thing we recommend so you can focus on succeeding elsewhere, then so be it.

Things mentioned in this episode:

FreshbooksThis week’s episode is sponsored by FreshBooks.

FreshBooks is an online accounting software that takes some of the headaches out of the freelancing process, allowing you to spend more time doing what you were actually paid to do and less time doing paperwork and waiting for checks in the mail. If you’re an entrepreneurial spirit looking to step things up a notch, you can get a free, unrestricted 30-day trial of FreshBooks here.

Want more cool stuff? You can find all sorts of great tools at my Resources page.


  • 0:02:25 – Putting productivity tips into practice
  • 0:03:33 – Drinking tea and good old mold
  • 0:05:28 – The 3 stages of skill building and how they affect your progress
  • 0:09:38 – Don’t tell others about your goals
  • 0:11:01 – Prioritizing specific problems, interests and activities
  • 0:15:38 – Structuring and optimizing certain aspects of your life
  • 0:23:05 – Taking into account all the optimizable variables of your system
  • 0:28:46 – Sponsor: FreshBooks (Working as a freelancer)
  • 0:31:49 – Building habits slowly and consistently
  • 0:38:16 – Using external motivators to make sure you do stuff
  • 0:43:25 – Knowing yourself and not taking people’s advice at face value
  • 0:51:00 – Handling possible failures in your habit building
  • 0:55:20 – Following someone else’s advice when you’re clueless
  • 0:57:18 – Reviewing your progress on the goals you’ve set
  • 0:58:42 – Recap and conclusion

If you enjoyed this episode, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! It’s easy, you’ll get new episodes automatically, and it also helps the show gain exposure 🙂 You can also leave a review!

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How to Actually Use Productivity Tips and Improve Your Life

Martin Boehme is a web developer, language nerd, and Nintendo fanboy. Talk to him in English, Spanish, French, or basic Japanese on Twitter.

Hey there! Please note that some links in the article may be referral links, meaning that if you buy something through them, I'll earn a commission (at no extra cost to you). This helps to support CIG, but please don't buy anything unless you truly believe it'll benefit you! You can learn more here. Thank you :)

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4 Comments on "How to Actually Use Productivity Tips and Improve Your Life (Ep. 176)"

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Satya Nagisetty

It would be amazing if you could make the podcasts available on Spotify so we could turn the screen off while listening, follow the updates etc etc


Yes this is a fantastic idea!!

Thomas Frank

I’ve submitted a request to Spotify, so it’s up to them to decide whether or not they want to distribute the show on their platform. In the mean time, though, you can easily listen with the screen off by subscribing to the podcast in Google Play or Apple Podcasts!

joaquin iglesias muniz
joaquin iglesias muniz

thanks to the two guys, you are amazing!!! keep working hard like this!.

PD: hola,soy el puto amo de las letras en español! pero soy italiano jajaja. paz y amor para ambos dude!.

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