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10 ways to master the art of productivity Bruce Lee style

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Close your eyes, grasshopper. And imagine a time when music came in cardboard sleeves, your “virtual communication tool” was a phone box, and nobody minded if the soundtrack of a movie didn’t sync with the characters’ lips.

This was the time of martial arts legend Bruce Lee.

Emerging from a 5,000 year old culture, he had great respect for the traditions of his ancestors. But when it came to productivity he was a thoroughly modern man. He built his skills using what later decades would call “life hacking” - short-cuts and best practices to get the job done.

Bruce wasn’t just a master of the five-point palm exploding heart technique; he was also a master of project scoping and effective execution. So if you’re ready to study with the master, let’s enter the temple of productivity … and turn Jeet-Kune-Do into Jeet-Kune-DONE.

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10 ways to master the art of productivity Bruce Lee style

  1. 1. JEET-KUNE-DONE: TEN PRODUCTIVITY EDICTS FROM BRUCE LEE
  2. 2. Edict #1 DIVIDE THE IMPORTANT FROM THE URGENT.
  3. 3. Email. Phone. Social. 1,000,000 things steal your focus from what needs doing.
  4. 4. Make a list, young apprentice, of what truly matters, vanquishing busywork by deprioritising it.
  5. 5. Edict #2 DISCARD THAT WHICH IS NOT USEFUL.
  6. 6. Only the unproductive man needs ten communication apps or fifteen collaboration ones.
  7. 7. Master Bruce tried everything, but kept only what added value. Make hacking away at the non-essential your habit.
  8. 8. Edict #3 GROUP THAT WHICH IS SIMILAR.
  9. 9. Bruce practiced kicks Monday, jabs Tuesday, and so on. Stretching himself in each.
  10. 10. Batch your workload into chunks to avoid the pick-up and put-down flitting around that steals time, and your work will flow like an eel in oil.
  11. 11. Edict #4 DISCERN WHERE YOUR DIFFERENCE LIES.
  12. 12. Bruce “feared not the man who practiced 10,000 kicks once, but he who practiced one kick 10,000 times.” (Others wondered why: surely that man would be so tired he’d be easy to beat?)
  13. 13. But the edict holds: find what actions have the biggest positive effect, and become so fluent in them that victory becomes effortless.
  14. 14. Edict #5 SHARE KNOWLEDGE FREELY.
  15. 15. Discrimination was not in Master Bruce’s dictionary. (Nor was “flibbertigibbet”, but that’s irrelevant.)
  16. 16. Collaborate with anyone who wants to learn, and they can share your workload. So seek them out on the mountain top. Or at least the office.
  17. 17. Edict #6 FOCUS ON THE TASK IN HAND.
  18. 18. When you begin a task, focus on it to the exclusion of all else, and the task will soon be complete. Existence is fleeting - and so are tasks, when you truly concentrate. Make the task your world.
  19. 19. Edict #7 BE WATER.
  20. 20. Be wet. Be cold. Steam when you get hot. Sorry - that’s not what Bruce meant to communicate.
  21. 21. What he meant was take on the shape of what you are thrown into, and you will understand it better. In short: be always learning, always adapting.
  22. 22. Edict #8 START WITH A VIEW OF THE FINISH.
  23. 23. Visualizing your goals makes them real. So when you begin a task, ask: what does success look like?
  24. 24. Imagine not the fearsome attacker, but the vanquished foe lying in a heap at your feet. Keep that image in your mind as you progress, for it will guide your path to productivity.
  25. 25. Edict #9 MIND AND BODY ARE ONE.
  26. 26. Many are the capable students who forget a basic fact: all starts with health.
  27. 27. Your mind is only as productive as the body that houses it. So make time for sleep, fresh air, exercise: these are investments, not costs.
  28. 28. As Bruce said, mens sana in corpore sano (a sound mind in a sound body). Or at least he would have done if he had spoken Latin.
  29. 29. Edict #10 FIND YOUR OWN PATH.
  30. 30. The most important of all. Find what works for you. Many and varied are the paths to productivity. Great teachers can provide guidance, but the solution must be yours alone.
  31. 31. Now, O student, you have the skills for perfect productivity.
  32. 32. And as you communicate and collaborate your way to enlightenment, always remember that you are surrounded by friends.
  33. 33. From collaborative project or screaming fist, Bruce Lee is the man to learn from. Singular focus and deliberate actions are the keys to greater productivity. Try everything, but be ruthless in discarding what doesn’t work. Takeaways
  34. 34. Are you ready for your next lesson, young grasshopper? Download The connected business: Informed and Involved Deadline Day Decisions and get started. Download Now Informed and involved deadline day decisionsThe connected business: Strategic Effective Flexible Informed and involved deadline day decisions The connected business: Strategic Effective Flexible

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