10 blog Productivity Tips from Mullenweg, founder wordpress

10 Productivity Tips from Mullenweg

Back in June 2009, Matthew Mullenweg told Liz Welch about his day-to-day habits running WordPress in a piece called, “The Way I Work.” The next ten productivity tips have been culled from Mullenberg’s account of his highly-effective work habits.

#1 Wake Naturally

Waking with the daylight instead of to a screeching alarm helps you go to work with a calm and focused mind. It’s also linked to higher blood pressure (ABC News, 2011)

Mullenweg says he tries to “avoid alarm clocks as much as possible.”


#2 Have an Unplugged Morning

Mullenweg told Inc. that one of us his goals was “to avoid looking at the computer or checking email for at least an hour after I wake up.” Starting your day unplugged gives you time for reflection and calm at the beginning of your day.


#3 Ditch the Coffee

To many, caffeine is a prerequisite for productivity. Not for Mullenweg. “I’ve got enough stimulating things in my life already,” he says.

Going without caffeine has been linked to increased calmness, less anxiety, and better sleep. But I must confess, I took a sip of green tea before writing this sentence.


#4 Know Your Prime Times

Mullenweg has noticed that he’s more productive at particular times of the day. Matt has said, “I do my best stuff midmorning and superlate at night. Even though midmorning is prime working time, Matt doesn’t do meetings in the mornings. “The earliest I’ll do a meeting is 11 am,” he told Inc.

Everybody has times of the day (or night) during which they can be particularly productive. Try to make sure you’re working during the times when you do your best work.


#5 Respect Flow

Mullenweg on flow:  “When you’re coding, you really have to be in the zone… if you are taken out of the flow, if that little toaster pops up that says you’ve got mail – and you look at it, you’ve lost it.”

To me, being in a state of ‘flow’ means being totally immersed in the task at hand. When I’m flowing – whether I’m writing, editing a video, or making music – I find that my work comes easily, happily, and inspired.

You can increase your chances of achieving flow by turning off your cell phone and your computer’s Internet connection. One of Mullenweg’s methods is listening to music.


#6 Music is a Focus Tool

“Music helps me when I’m coding… I’ll listen to a single song, over and over on repeat, like a hundred times.”

Matthew Mullenweg, The Way I Work

Mullenweg’s favorite musicians include Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, Jay-Z, and Beyonce.


#7 Rescue Your Time

A couple years ago, I recommended adopting Rescue Time as a great New Years resolution for entrepreneurs.

Turns out Mullenweg is also a big fan of the productivity app. He called Rescue Time, “one of my favorite programs that I didn’t make.”


#8 Cut Back on Email

Reports suggest that the average office worker spends a quarter of their day in their inbox (about two and a half hours). Mullenweg has made a concerted effort to avoid the great email time-suck:

“I realized that even though I was doing e-mail only a couple of minutes at at time, it was adding up to a couple of hours a day. So I’m trying to reduce that.”


#9 Multiple Monitors, Multiple Devices

“In my home office, I have two large, 30-inch computer monitors — a Mac and a PC. They share the same mouse and keyboard, so I can type or copy and paste between them. I’ll typically do Web stuff on the Mac and e-mail and chat stuff on the PC. I also have a laptop, which I have with me all the time, whether I’m going overseas or to the doctor’s office.”

Matt Mullenweg, The Way I Work

Notice the way that Matt talks about his various digital tools: each one has different responsibilities and roles. If you can afford it, try boosting productivity by using specific devices for specific tasks.


#10 Hire Well, Manage Sparingly

Sometimes the key to productivity is setting things up so that they require less work. That’s how Mullenweg has turned management into something that takes very little time out of his workweek.

“My management strategy is to find extremely self-motivated and talented people and then let them go.” Mullenweg explained.



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