Josh Brammer

Josh Brammer

Helping teams supercharge their workflow & build better habits.

Tough Jobs

"Managing change is one of the toughest jobs in the world."

Harvest: Being a people of the word

Nehemiah 8
Spiritual revival depends on the Word taking root in our lives - we must be a people of the Word!

There was a desire for the Word (v1)
There was a proclaimation of the Word! (V2-3,6-8) there is no relationship with God without the one who fulfills the law
There was a purpose for the Word
There was an attention to the Word (v3-5,6-7)

Illustration = application

To be saturated with knowledge, without action is useless

Saturated people characteristics:

They have a desire to hear God's Word. Plus a desire for others to hear God's Word.
They choose to set themselves under the Proclaimation (You choose to submit). They come and serve... When you are not hear, listen to others (Podcast)
They strive for an understanding of God's Word. Accept help and ask others.
They purposefully devote their time and attention to God's Word.
They respond to God's Word in obedience and worship.

20 Tips on Productivity

The Problem With Work:

Limited Time
Increased Options

Imagine your Brain is a whiteboard. It can’t keep all the information, remember, and be creative at the same time.

Instead use lists for remembering. Review lists as often as needed to keep your head clear.

Write it down! Read what you wrote.


What is productivity?
Definition: A measure of the efficiency of a person or system in converting inputs into useful outputs.

More Productive = Increasing Output

Keys to Productivity:

  1. Decide what “Done" looks like
  2. Focus Your Time
  3. Limit Your Options

Natural Planning:

  1. Vision (What?)
    Vision provides the blueprint of the final result.
  2. Purpose / Values (Why?)

Purpose keeps you motivated. Values define the boundaries.

  1. Brainstorm (How Big?)
    Don’t judge or analyze. Go for the quantity not quality.

  2. Organize and Plan (How Really?)
    Create a realistic plan and write it down.

  3. Next Action (What Next?)
    Capture the next thing you need to do. Get to work.
    Sometimes the Next Action is to plan more.

Think in Loops

Learn to Finish the Loop - QUICKLY.

Putting it to Work:

Brain Dump
Learn to Process
Trust a System
The Fuel: Habits or Passion

“Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials."
Lin Yutang, The Importance Of Living

“If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live"
Lin Yutang

20 Tips:
1. Batch your work.
(Work in Time Chunks)

  1. Make better todo lists.
    Use action words to anchor your tasks.
    Think in terms of "what is the next action."
    When it's time for Action, you should have already thought of what needs to be done.

  2. Grow your checklists.
    Keep a simple list that gets better every time you make a mistake.

  3. Make habits easier with Habit Stacking.

Only three things will change behavior in the long term.
Option A. Have an epiphanyOption B. Change your environment (what surrounds you)Option C. Take baby steps
5. Work in Context.
Separate your to do lists by tools and places, or modes.

Examples of actions and their contexts


Buy more rainbow-coloured dog food
@target or @errands

@computer or @home

Smile to a Ian

  1. Turn on your reticular filter.
    Give yourself a cue, trigger the right filter.
  2. Brainstorm the Vision before you Plan
    Only plan when you know "Why?"
  3. Remind people about your event quickly.
  4. How to email yourself on a specific day
    (Never Miss a Cancelation)

  5. How to invite people to a Google calendar the right way

  6. How to edit events for all people

  7. How to block your calendar

  8. How to create tasks in Gmail

  9. How to create events in Gmail

  10. How to track emails in gmail (Boomerang)

  11. Learn Inbox Zero

  12. How to set up a vacation email system so that you can take a vacation.

  13. How to subscribe to newsletters so you don't have to read them.

  14. How to filter other emails so you have them if you need them.

  15. How to use canned responses and Gmail.

  16. How do you use Evernote to stop using losing your notes

  17. How to use a text or text expander for Mac.

  18. Use a clipboard program to make yourself stickier.

  19. Use Alfred to work faster.

  20. Learn to do math like algebra class

  21. When is my next meeting with ____?

  22. Remind me to talk to __ about ___

  23. How to keep reminder on you Mac

  24. Build new Triggers
    Change your environment, Change your patterns
    Build a routine based hassle-less

  25. Eliminate, Eliminate, Eliminate
    Fewer options makes decisions faster.
  26. Don't Say Don’t?

  27. Give yourself a clean and happy work environment

How to search PDFs
How to remember more Books on Kindle.
how to send your Kindle highlights to Evernote
How to read blogs without getting distracted.
How to shop on Amazon save money and stop buying toilet paper.
The best time to work is when you have energy and are feeling inspired.
Sometimes you need to inspire yourself with a fake deadline.
Use the word draft to get things done faster.
Separate your activities with planning and doing thinking.
Is the Pomodoro technique to build breaks in as rewards
Disconnect so you have focus.
Turn off/put down the phone.
Track your time to make yourself aware of when you're wasting it.
Writing things down gets them off your mind.
The main cause of stress is broken commitments. Learn how to renegotiate and forgive yourself.

Borrow ideas from this list:

10 Tips on creating more mental focus
Block off time on your calendar (an appointment with your self). Alone Zone. You have a commitment with yourself. “I have another commitment."
Isolate yourself in a quite place / focus zone.
Turn the room temperature down (Warm = sleepy)
Get comfortable (dress comfortably)
Go offline (Email, Chat, Phone). Don’t fool yourself into thinking available = working
Put on Music that facilitates focus (instrumental, without words, trigger for getting in the zone). Pandora is great for this.
Have something on hand to drink (caffeine in moderation gives a mental focus boost, hydration improves brain function).
Avoid white carbs (converts to sugar fast, get sleepy).
Set Mini-goals (break things into smaller goals). Make less than 1 hour goals.
Set a timer. Set pre-determined breaks. Pomodoro Technique.
In a world of distraction and competing demands = FOCUS is the key.
Tools should help with:
1. Speed
2. Organizing
3. Focus

Create a Vision
The first step to creating a goal is to figure out what you want. If you don’t know what you want, you don’t know what you need to achieve to get there. This is actually the fun part. You get to dream. Take fifteen minutes and document your vision. Take note of the details. What does your day look like? Where are you living? Try to incorporate all senses in your vision to make it most effective. What do you see, hear, smell, taste and feel throughout this ideal day?

Make it Measurable
Take your vision and turn it into a written list of concrete goals.
Set Checkpoints
Most of our goals are a build-up of small achievements, sometimes even years of many small successes. Break your goals into small actionable steps and assign realistic time frames to each.
Celebrate Your Success

How to have good ideas

Think of the last time you had a really good idea. Did that idea change your plans for moving forward?

Having good ideas is great. So the question is... Why did you have the idea NOW? Could you have somehow triggered that good idea before this moment?

Let's get cosmic for a minute...I believe that great ideas are readily available in the universe. The reason you had it at that moment has to do with something changed... What was it?

Your environment...
Who you were with...
The way you were involved in the conversation...

Most often what changed is simply your focus. Your perspective changed. It's not because the universe changed. Your changed your mind, and therefore your focus.

You changed. Something unlocked - and the idea came through.

So, what good idea is waiting to get through today? Let's make it happen.

Why a crappy first draft is a great start

I'm a recovering perfectionist. I like things to be great, awesome, and inspiring. I also like Oxford commas, but that's a whole different topic.
Being a perfectionist holds me back from getting started and shipping my first draft. Because I don't like crap.

I researched the history of breakfast cereal recently (really). It lead me down an interesting path and found this great story about the first Cereal, Granula.

Did you know the first cereal was really, really hard to eat?

Here's the story from Wikipedia:

Granula was the first manufactured breakfast cereal. It was invented by James Caleb Jackson in 1863.[1][2] Granula could be described as being a larger and tougher version of the somewhat similar later cereal Grape-Nuts.[2] Granula however, consisted primarily of bran-rich Graham flour made into nugget shapes. The cereal had to be soaked overnight before it could be eaten.[3]

Did you get that? The cereal was so dang hard, you had to SOAK IT OVERNIGHT. Talk about the opposite of a convenience food. You had to really plan ahead to eat this stuff. (Things must have changed in the last 150 years).But this really helps me. It helps me to know that while there are over 300 cereal brands available, it all started with one rock hard brick of granula. Maybe some of my first drafts are a bit easier to swallow after all.