Johnny T. Nguyen


4 More Productivity Tips

You came here looking for productivity tips and you got it!

1. Make a Better Decision

Ever hear of Y Combinator? It’s well-known for, “creat[ing] a new model for funding early stage startups. Twice a year [they] invest in a large number of startups.” They also have a site called Hacker News, devoted to, “anything that gratifies one’s intellectual curiosity.” That’s where we find today’s tip from, along with a whole community of people interested in improvement. did a summary of a really, really long thread on trading favorite productivity tricks. Simon Swords, a startup guru, states:

“One is the 10/10/10 rule: Before making a decision, he considers how he’ll feel about this decision in 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years. This, says Simon, helps the chairman look past present circumstances and consider long-term consequences.”

2. Make the Morning Start at 5AM

You know how I know I’m getting old? I’ve been waking up early. Early, like the same time my parents wake up.

They probably did it because of us kids, but I do it on my own accord because i just want to get more stuff done. I ride my bike a whopping 1 mile to my Starbucks by 7AM, buy one drink and then sit and sip on free refills for a few hours. By the time I get home, it feels like I still have the rest of the day and yet I’ve knocked out a lot on my to-do list already.

Came across this article by Edith Zimmerman titled, “It’s Astounding How Many Problems Can Be Solved Just by Waking Up Early.” Inside the linkbait title, I found it to articulate what most of us would be thinking if you got the advice to wake up by 5AM. From the article:

“First of all, almost no one is awake then, so you can quietly and without being judged just get a bunch of stuff done. Also, no one is trying to get in touch with you. You can do all the little tasks that are otherwise not crucial but that weigh over you like a nuisance cloud all day as they build up, such as getting to in-box zero, scanning feeds…”

3. Make a Better To-Do List

If you’re receiving the Venture Out, chances are you already like making list of things to-do. We all got lots to do, so making a list is just the simplest way to capture it all and not miss anything. My problem is I don’t get to them all. In fact, there are some I just don’t want to do and I’ll instead tackle the easier or fun ones first.

Besides self-discipline, here’s an easy tip to solve our list conundrum, courtesy of Y Combinator News.

From the Y Combinator News thread on productivity tips, one that stands out is how to keep those to-do lists doable.

“Never ever write down a ‘task’ that cannot realistically be done in a single sitting of work. If you can’t do it in an afternoon at worst, it’s not a task, and needs [to be] broken down further.”

That’s literally it. So when you are jotting down a new to-do today, make sure it’s doable in one sitting of no more than 1 hour. If you can’t do it in one hour, then break down the task into multiple tasks.

4. Make the Tiny Moments Count


First off, I’m not saying we have to be uber productive with every single minute of our day. Yet, there are probably moments throughout our day that can be used more efficiently rather than checking on social feeds or playing Clash Royale (my weakness!).

Just don’t forget to also get some mindfulness to enjoy the moment (such as right now).

“13 hidden pockets of daily free time you didn’t know you had (and how to make the most of them)” isn’t just another linkbait that I fell for, the article walks through a typical day and highlights where and how we can be more productive. Here’s my favorite tip:

“Quit the snooze button: Get up right away. Thirty minutes of margin gives you enough time to run on a treadmill (or outside!) for 20 minutes. Do this four times per week and you’ll meet the CDC’s “vigorous exercise” guidelines–and feel more energized than you will from that extra half hour of snoozing.”

Founder of Venture Out, employed by NASA, and wannabe adventurer. More at