Trent Jackson (’09) is the founder and CEO of Tango Packaging, an L.A.-based company that serves consumer brands by providing premium and sustainable packaging.
Recently, we asked Trent for advice on how to be most productive in our work and day-to-day lives.
“The resource that has helped shape my thinking and practices toward productivity the most is the book ‘Redeeming Your Time,’ by Jordan Raynor. Here are tips culled from that and other publications on the topic:
To use your time wisely, you must start with God. Know Him, His purpose for His people, and what He has called us to do with the time He has given us. Hudson Taylor stressed this when he said, ‘Do not have your concert first, and then tune your instrument afterwards. Begin the day with the Word of God and prayer, and get first of all into harmony with Him.’ If you haven’t already, commit to starting each day by studying God’s Word.
You cannot submit to the tyranny of the urgent, letting other people’s priorities rule your life. To be highly productive and complete meaningful work, you must seek out solitude. Our world today has more noise and more distractions than ever before. C.S. Lewis calls this environment ‘the Kingdom of Noise’ in his book, ‘The Screwtape Letters.’ This noise blocks us from being silent, reflective, present, and productive. Practice working in 1.5-2 hour blocks and focus on establishing a state of deep work; don’t let external influences distract you.
We all have countless open loops in our lives. You receive an email, a friend texts you about an event, your boss assigns a task. To keep things from slipping through the cracks, you need to collect those open loops in one place — and track them until they are closed — with a single CTS. I use the task-managing app Todoist.
It may seem counterintuitive, but resting more will enable you to do more. Three practices will increase your productivity: 1) Take bi-hourly breaks; 15-30 minutes is all you need to recharge. 2) Sleep eight hours every night. Routinely sleeping less than six or seven hours will have a devastating impact on your energy and immune system. 3) Take a weekly sabbath rest. You will accomplish much more in the week if you take a full day to recharge away from routine work.”
Learn more about Tango Packaging at tangopackaging.com.
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