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Productivity sucks.

It’s supposed to help us get more in less time.

But ironically, people spend MORE time on productivity, than working on the things that needs to be done.

Me included.

Because there’s nothing more distracting than to jump from one tool to another before giving the time it needs to unleash its full power.

That’s why below are some of the “rules” of my productivity system. Treat it like the 8020 of getting more things done in less time.

But why should you listen to me? Well, I’ve used these strategies to:

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Are you working from home…but finding it difficult to focus?

Me too. But after working from home for more than a year, I realized that the key is to mimic the office environment so that your mind and body are “primed” for work.

I’ve worked in an office environment for about 7 years before I transitioned to a copywriter in The Motley Fool Singapore in 2018.

Since then, I’ve been a huge fan of working from home. There are lots of advantages to doing that, but that’s not the focus of today’s article.

Instead, I want to share 5 tips…

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I’m a huge believer in consistent practice for learning any skill. It’s how I learn faster, instead of burying myself in theory.

Of course, learning theory is important, but taking action to do the work improves my knowledge retention.

That’s why I’m always refining my practice sessions as a copywriter. If you’re a beginner, practice prepares for a real assignment. You don’t want to over-promise just to win a client…then fall flat when it’s time to deliver the goods.

The most basic form of practice is hand-copying, which I’m sure you have at least tried it or heard of it…

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Everyone says that starting a task is the hardest part of productivity. That’s why there are so many tips to overcome procrastination.

I’m sure you’ve heard of tips like the 2-minute rule. Or breaking down tasks into an “unfailable” first step. But I think that once you overcome the inertia of starting, then knowing when to stop becomes the next challenge.

Yet, learning when to stop is a skill not many people talk about. For those who struggle with procrastination, learning when to stop is equally important, if not as important as getting started!


Because knowing when to stop…

Today’s article is a little unusual. It came up because I found myself switching between Singlish and English every day. So I thought, “Is there a link between Singlish and copywriting?”

Now, before I go on, what exactly is Singlish? It’s simple. Combine “English” and “Singapore” and you get Singlish. If you’ve ever been to Singapore, you’ll hear locals speak English…But not exactly the kind of English you’re used to.

Here are two images to quickly sum up what I mean:

Aiyo…so confusing.

My setup for working effectively

“Whatever, I’ll have time to do this tomorrow.”

That was the biggest lie I told myself whenever I postponed tasks in Things 3 — my favourite task manager app.

I tried almost everything. Setting deadlines, using start dates…but I still procrastinated. Eventually, Things 3 simply became a task depository app.

Then, I decided to dig deep into the reasons as to why I was constantly procrastinating.

The answer?

I wasn’t respecting my to-do list.

As a freelance copywriter, I am my own boss. I create my roles and responsibilities. …

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“This Productivity System Will Save Your Life.”

That was the bold promise in one of Matt D’Avella’s video.

Note: For context, Matt is a prolific YouTuber who is known for his videos on productivity.

With a title like this and me being a productivity nerd…I HAD to click to find out what that was.

Then just 25 seconds into the video, he gave the big reveal about this mystical system.

What was it? Checklists.

To be honest, I was disappointed because I’m always hopeful for some new tips…Even though I’ve been experimenting with productivity for over 7 years!

Time blocking

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Unlike most people, I love to keep marketing flyers.

But I keep them for a reason that may surprise you. As a copywriter, it’s a good opportunity for me to study what’s going on in the offline marketing world.

I often find myself scrutinising the copy, the images and the call to action. I rack my brain for ways to improve it.

And I’ll tell you this: I have a feeling that most flyers I see aren’t getting a positive return on their investment.


Because if you’re like most people, your first instinct is to throw it away.mYou’re …

Alex Ko

Freelance copywriter and a productive gamer.

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