Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Marc Andreesen on Productivity P0rn

While he was an undergraduate the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Marc Andreesen co-wrote the first widely used WWW browser - Mosaic. He later went on to found Netscape, sending seismic waves through Microsoft and resulting in a far reaching reorganization overseen by Bill Gates himself.

These days he works at social networking startup Ning and writes an excellent blog - pmarca - which I've been enjoying since its inception this month.

In a particularly interesting post, Andreesen dwells on productivity p0rn.

His most important tip? Don't keep a schedule. "...refuse to commit to meetings, appointments, or activities at any set time in any future day."

Another that will give pause to your intuition is what is called Structured Procrastination: "never fight the tendency to procrastinate -- instead, you should use it to your advantage in order to get other things done."

The rest of the list:

  • Keep three and only three lists: a Todo List, a Watch List, and a Later List

  • Each night before you go to bed, prepare a 3x5 index card with a short list of 3 to 5 things that you will do the next day

  • Use the back of that 3x5 card as your Anti-Todo List

  • Do email exactly twice a day

  • Optimize email processing

  • Don't answer the phone

  • Hide in an IPod

  • Start the day with a real, sit-down breakfast

  • Only agree to new commitments when both your head and your heart say yes

  • Do something you love


Anonymous said...

How can I entice Marc to present his ideas to my boss, esp. on the importance of not committing to meetings?
Oh, wait, he can't commit to a presentation time and venue...

amitscorpio said...

thanx for drawing attention to that post!!

Unknown said...

I've found that the best way to defuse meetings is to do all the legwork before the meeting. This way the meeting is over in 10 minutes and someone will wonder how useless these meetings are. That should begin the slide.