1 Simple rule I learned from Microsoft that got my to-do list under control | Summary and Q&A

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January 27, 2024
by
Vicky Zhao [BEEAMP]
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1 Simple rule I learned from Microsoft that got my to-do list under control

TL;DR

Implementing a rule where any task that hasn't been acted upon in 30 days is removed from the to-do list can improve productivity and decision-making.

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Key Insights

  • 🧑‍🏫 Microsoft's rule of removing unfilled job openings after 6 months teaches the importance of assessing tasks' necessity.
  • 🥳 Removing tasks from the to-do list after 30 days of inaction can reduce cognitive load and enhance productivity.
  • 🤩 Loss aversion and intentional decision-making are key motivators for taking action and saying no to non-essential tasks.
  • 💦 Being intentional about task selection helps individuals prioritize and align their work with their long-term goals.
  • 👻 Implementing this productivity framework allows individuals to become better managers for themselves, fostering growth and purposeful task management.
  • 🥅 The framework emphasizes the importance of avoiding random tasks and focusing on those that contribute to personal growth and strategic goals.
  • 🥳 Assessing tasks based on their importance and potential for action within 30 days helps individuals reduce overwhelm and improve decision-making.

Transcript

1 simple rule I learned from Microsoft It finally all clicked together why my   productivity system wasn't working, why I had a to-do list that was basically a   graveyard. This changed everything. A friend working at Microsoft told me a   few years back that when there's a job opening at Microsoft and it's not filled   within 6 months, they actua... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How does the 6-month job opening rule at Microsoft relate to personal task management?

The rule demonstrates the importance of assessing tasks and removing those that are deemed unnecessary after a certain period of time. This can be applied to personal task management by implementing a rule to remove tasks from the to-do list after 30 days of inaction.

Q: How does loss aversion contribute to improved productivity?

Loss aversion is the cognitive bias where individuals are more averse to losing something than gaining something. By applying the rule of removing tasks after 30 days of inaction, individuals are motivated to take action to avoid losing the opportunity to complete the task.

Q: How does intentional decision-making play a role in this productivity framework?

Intentional decision-making involves assessing the importance of tasks and only adding those that will be acted upon within 30 days to the to-do list. By being intentional about task selection, individuals can reduce overwhelm and focus on tasks that align with their long-term goals.

Q: How can this productivity framework help individuals become better managers for themselves?

By implementing this productivity framework, individuals can become better managers for themselves by being intentional about the tasks they assign to themselves. They can prioritize tasks that align with their goals and provide clarity and purpose, similar to a good boss who helps employees grow and align their work to strategic goals.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • If a job opening at Microsoft remains unfilled for 6 months, it is deemed unnecessary, teaching a valuable lesson about assessing the importance of tasks.

  • Implementing a rule to remove tasks from the to-do list after 30 days of inaction can enhance productivity by reducing cognitive load.

  • Loss aversion and intentional decision-making are key aspects of this productivity framework, helping individuals take more action and say no to non-essential tasks.

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