• Productivity
  • How to increase your productivity in 33 minutes

    Early in my copywriting career someone in a copywriting forum mentioned how copywriter legend Eugene Schwartz recommended setting an egg timer and writing in 33 minute chunks.

    He wrote in six 33 minute blocks of time every morning and took 5 minute breaks in between.

    In my case, it also works when I do 2-3 blocks in the morning and the remaining in the afternoon or evening.

    I’ve since learned that the six 33 minute segments should be done in their order of priority.

    Do the most difficult task first,  or the thing that will most move forward your business today, whether it’s writing bullets for a sales letter, writing a blog post, prepping for an important phone call, etc.

    I reply to emails and dabble in social media and Google Reader outside of those 33 minute segments.

    33 minutes of concentrating solely on one particular task with pure concentration is always more productive for me than, say, three hours of writing a little, checking Facebook, writing a little more, checking email, doing some research, etc.

    It helps if you choose the 6 tasks the evening before and list them in their order of priority. I list mine in Gmail’s handy little task list.

    I use this free online egg timer when timing my 33 minute segments. It doesn’t have a pause button so it really keeps me on track. The buzzer is nice and loud.

    I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to stand up and take at least a 5 minute break doing something completely different when the buzzer goes off.

    Anyway, that’s my tip for the day.

    Free Email Updates
    My best content on email copywriting delivered to your inbox each week.
    100% Privacy. We don't spam.

  • Productivity
  • Give up on yourself

    A one sentence solution to procrastination from the late Japanese psychotherapist Shoma Morita:

    Give up on yourself. Begin taking action now, while being neurotic or imperfect, or a procrastinator, or unhealthy, or lazy, or any other label by which you inaccurately describe yourself. Go ahead and be the best imperfect person you can be and get started on those things you want to accomplish before you die.

    This applies to business, too, of course. Look at Google. They are masters of the search engine universe but can’t seem to get a foothold in the social media market (Buzz and Wave were duds). Yet they keep trying.

    How are you going to give up on yourself this year?