Ben Elijah (@inkandben) is a consultant in the productivity sector and author of the book The Productivity Habits. In this conversation, we dig into the productivity sector as a whole, and discuss his origins as an author and as a not-very-productive person.

The Productivity Habits, by Ben Elijah

The Productivity Habits, by Ben Elijah

This episode is oddly self-referential, as we, two productivity nerds, talk about how bad we are with our own habits, and about how we continually struggle to stay productive — at least in our own eyes. Ben writes and speaks about the topic, which is an ongoing struggle for all of us. You’ll learn some of Ben’s tested habits and techniques you can use to get started down the road toward better effectiveness.

Catch up with Ben via his site, InkAndBen.com

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Show Notes & Links

  • In case you’ve forgotten, The Busy Creator discusses Tools, Techniques, and Habits
  • Ben admits that he came to focus on productivity because he’s “very bad at it”
  • Getting Things Done by David Allen on Amazon and on Audible
    Getting Things Done by David Allen
  • The Productivity Habits by Ben Elijah on Amazon
    The Productivity Habits by Ben Elijah
  • Ben observes some of the same routines everyday in creative pros
  • Ben and Prescott are prone to “depressive cycles of thought”

“Really creative people care about things ... but do they deploy passion the right way?”

—Ben Elijah

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“Education is serial; in work, things come in parallel”

—Ben Elijah

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“Who am I going to disappoint today?”

—Merlin Mann

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  • Merlin Mann, productivity writer
  • According to Ben, there are no “high habits” to which we should all aspire to

“There isn't anybody talking about this that isn't also a student.”

—Ben Elijah

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  • Kaizen, the Japanese philosophy of continuous small improvements

“It takes a certain amount of self-awareness just to begin.”

—Prescott Perez-Fox

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“The world that the human brain has created is very ill-suited to the human brain.”

—Ben Elijah

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“Your brain is for having ideas, not for holding them.”

—David Allen

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“For me to become even moderately effective has taken nearly 10 years of blood, sweat, tears, and constant failure.”

—Ben Elijah

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“A context is a function of space, time, and thought.”

—Ben Elijah

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“Switching between tasks has overhead.”

—Ben Elijah

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Tools

Techniques

  • Experiment with a “system” for recording ideas, thoughts
  • Build a habit by using the Trigger/Reward/Routine approach
  • Observe your situation — mood, energy, time, equipment
  • Work out of order, depending on what’s appropriate to the situation
  • Create tasks that are “granular”, and cannot be broken down further

Habits

  • Carry a notebook and record ideas
  • Build the routine of reviewing your notes
  • Wake up at 5:30 to write, prepare, workout
  • Eat a high protein breakfast

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Get The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg as a free audiobook
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg on Audible

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About the author: Prescott Perez-Fox

Prescott Perez-Fox is a New York-based graphic designer and brand developer with 17+ years experience in branding, packaging, graphic design, and web design. He runs The Busy Creator.

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