Ali Abdaal

Ali Abdaal



In 5 years of YouTube, the most common question I still get from my viewers is “how are you so productive?” So here’s a thread of 15 actionable tips that help me do more of the things that matter to me, without burning out. 🧵

1 - Set a Daily Highlight. Each morning, ask yourself “what’s the most important thing I want to do today?” and then make sure you just do that thing. When you do this everyday (or even most days) for a whole year, you make an incredible amount of progress.

2 - Have an Hourglass on your Desk - This is a simple reminder to make the most of your time. I use a sand timer, but you could also use an hourglass app on your phone or computer.

3 - Set a “No-Internet” Day Once a Week - This has been a game-changer for me. On Wednesdays, I don’t allow myself to go on the Internet until 5pm. This means no social media, no email, no news, no nothing.

4 - Make a “To-Don’t” List - This is a list of things that you shouldn’t do, no matter what. For me, this list includes things like checking my email first thing in the morning, working on the weekends, and checking social media frequently throughout the day.

5 - The Pomodoro Technique - This is a time management technique that involves working for 25 minutes and then taking a 5 minute break. I’ve found that this helps me stay focused and avoid burnout.

6 - Batch Similar Tasks Together - This means doing all of your similar tasks at the same time. For example, I like to batch all of my writing tasks together. So, if I have to write a blog post, record a video, and write an email, I’ll do all of those things one after the other.

7 - Get in a Flow State - This is when you’re so focused on a task that you lose track of time. When you’re in a flow state, you’re usually in “the zone” and you’re extremely productive.

8 - Take Breaks Regularly - It’s important to take breaks throughout the day, even if you’re in a flow state. I like to take a 5-10 minute break every hour or so. During my break, I’ll usually walk around, get a drink of water, or do something else to relax.

9 - Have a Set Schedule - I’ve found that it’s helpful to have a set schedule for my day. I know that I’ll work from 9am-5pm Monday through Friday and I know that I’ll take a break at 12pm for lunch. Having a set schedule helps me stay on track and avoid getting sidetracked.

10 - Get Rid of Distractions - This is a big one. If you want to be productive, you need to get rid of anything that’s going to distract you. For me, this means putting my phone on silent, turning off all notifications, and working in a quiet environment.

11 - Set Goals - Having goals is important because it gives you something to strive for. I like to set both long-term and short-term goals. For example, my long-term goal might be to write a book and my short-term goal might be to write 1000 words per day.

12 - Use a Task Manager - I use a task manager to keep track of all of the things I need to do. This helps me stay organized and make sure that I’m doing the most important tasks. I use the app Todoist, but there are a ton of other great options out there.

13 - Follow the 80/20 Rule - The 80/20 rule is the principle that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. This means that you should focus on the things that are giving you the most results.

14 - Delegate and Outsource - Delegate and outsource the things that you don’t need to do yourself. For example, I outsource my bookkeeping / accounting. This frees up my time so that I can focus on the things that I’m good at and that I enjoy.

15 - Take Time for Yourself - This is probably the most important tip of all. You can’t be productive if you’re not taking care of yourself. Take time for things like exercise, relaxation, and hobbies. This will help you avoid burnout and will make you more productive 😀

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