S3E6: How to Work Smarter

Doug McKenna |
October 5, 2020

How to Work Smarter

In today’s environment of constrained resources, we are all expected to be more productive. While strategic planning is important, strategic doing is where the rubber meets the road. In this episode we will talk about tools, methods, and approaches to help you focus and operate more efficiently. We’ll discuss resources for individual experimentation within the broad category of “productivity.”

Guest: Heather Abbott, Deputy Registrar, Yale Law School Email: heather.abbott@yale.edu

Key Takeaways:

  • There isn’t only one way to work efficiently and productively. Each of us operates within a different work environment or culture, and each of us responds to different approaches differently. Experiment and find what works best for you.
  • Don’t hesitate to stop using a productivity method if it isn’t working for you.
  • The production calendar within a registrar’s office is the annual To Do list that if you don’t consult on a regular basis you might miss something. If you don’t have a production calendar, start today! If you have one, review it regularly.
  • Doug is bad at e-mail.


Getting Things Done (via Toodledo)
Eisenhower Matrix (via Todoist)
Designing Your Life
Laura Vanderkam Before Breakfast podcast

Tools for Focusing:
Pomodoro method (via LifeHacker)
Strict Workflow

Building Habits:
The Power of Habit
The Checklist Manifesto

Swallow the frog
The Now Habit

Using Technology Thoughtfully:
Hurry Slowly podcast
Privacy Paradox

Honorable mentions:
Remember the Milk
Meanwhile episode on A people (give you energy) and B people (drain your energy)
The Sunday Meeting and Zero Inbox via Kerry Ann Rockquemore
After action reviews via Mindtools or Toggl