How To Be More Productive, Part 1

How To Be More Productive, Part 1

I sat in on a call with Helen Raptoplous recently and she did a good job of extending Robert Plank’s productivity philosophy. Plank is a prodigious producer of content on the web so he has learned a thing or two about how to do more in as short a time as possible. Thought I’d share my notes from the call with you.

This Part 1 on How To Be More Productive is Helen’s take on the Plank 4 Things Theory, with her own enhancements.


  1. Be really clear on what you need to work on. Focus on only one priority project at a time
  2. Start each day knowing what things need to be done. Have a list of four things that you can actually complete in one day. One of those things should relate to your highest priority project. The other three things are tasks that move you forward on your business (or job)
  3. All actions and tasks need to be ‘bite-size’. Each one may take from 30-90 minutes to complete in order to move you forward. there may be smaller actions that only take 5-25 minutes – you can do these after you complete your 4 tasks
  4. Don’t start a new project or entertain a new idea or get distracted while you’re doing one of your 4 tasks. Finish what you start – work on one thing to completion before starting the next thing. According to Jack Canfield, the average person has some 300 hours worth of projects in their head at any one time. We can’t achieve them all at once so advance one, then the next. Too many distractions are unproductive
  5. if you feel you’re distracted by other things that need ot be done, take a short 5-10 minute break between your four tasks to catch up on things like checking email, making a phone call, grabbing a coffee etc.If an idea pops up while you’re doing one of your 4 things, just jot it down so it’s out of your head and you won’t forget it, then come back to it later.
  6. Once you’ve finished your 4 tasks, you can call it a day and go play, or do some of the other things you want to get done.

In my next post, I’ll share the next plank in Helen’s productivity approach.

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