Maximizing Efficiency

In my effort to become ever more productive throughout the day, I’ve done several more things:

For starters, if I need to concentrate for a prolonged period of time and start to drift, I’ve found these things work pretty well:

Ear plugs. Blocking all audible input greatly reduces the amount of things to concentrate on, therefore helping concentration. I use them time to time if I have a large amount of “boring” work to do.


When I work out now, I bring a checklist of exercises to do. I wish I had started this years ago!

There’s a quote I like by Brian Tracy that says: “At the age of 24 I began setting clear, written goals for each area of my life. I accomplished more in the following year than I had in the previous 24.”

Setting goals and creating plans helps accomplish more in any field, so I don’t know why it took me so long to apply it in the gym. Instead of simply stopping when I get tired or unmotivated, I now finish long workouts, and I can see my progress in visual form on the checklist.

I got the initial checklist from this workout plan post at, then slightly modified it to be one workout with more sets.

My latest motivational addition to my room comes in the form of a large poster I had printed out at Kinkos on foam board. It’s a quote I stole from Stephen Stephanian’s website.

I put this board right in front of my desk so I can’t ignore it.

Blog posted on: February 22, 2006

11 comments on “Maximizing Efficiency

  1. How To Be Poor

    Great ideas. Any way to write up your entire day into a PDA and have reminders go off when the next task should begin?

    A person on the midnight shift at work kept forgetting to do two simple tasks. I made an audio recording of one of the girls reminding about those two tasks in a nice “smooth operator” voice. Around midnight when the tasks should be completed, Task Scheduler plays the audio files on the loud speaker. It worked.

    I think it would be neat to have these reminders go off during the day about some important daily tasks you have to achieve. I don’t like paper schedules, that’s all.

  2. Anonymous

    too many isolation exercises, go for more compounds – bench press, deadlifts, squats, rows, dips.
    less time, and more efficient

    my 2 cents

  3. Anonymous

    Good grief…you are the king of motivational phrases.

    I always wondered who they sold all those silly posters to….

  4. Erik

    Hey Nev, I used to use ear plugs back in college all the time to study. It creates an extremely distraction free environment to work in.
    Great tip!

  5. Katie

    Nev, Sweetie
    Your financial site is loosing it’s core and becoming a productivity blog or an observation blog.

    Might I suggest a long break to allow you time to get yourself back to the theme of your blog or… change the name

  6. Anonymous

    I couldn’t agree more with the comment above.

    BTW: May I suggest working as an Administrative Assistant? You have excellent qualifications!

  7. collegesaver

    It’s taken awhile but I’ve finally finished reading all of your posts.

    It’s very inspiring to see what you have done. You’ve taken a lot of risks, worked hard, and have been successful so far. And you’re a college student! It’s usually hard to be believe that people can be doing that much while still being a full-time student. Keep it up!

    And the ideas on this post are good. I’m planning to turn my dorm room into an inspirational mecca.

  8. a java servlet

    Whenever I study a topic I have no clue what i will find. I’m so thrilled to have found your complete writing since it properly covers the issues I have under consideration and also the unmentioned issues which i would’ve checked for later on.


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