We are what we repeatedly do!

productive habits

Building Productive Habits

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”


I very recently came across a question where the creator asked, if we ever go back and listen to a podcast that we bookmark or, a piece of article that we had marked to be read later.

A very pertinent question!

Isn’t it?

This is a question that every one of us browsing the internet should answer.

We spend so much of time online consuming. That’s consuming in BOLD.

Because the amount of people who are creating are very few and even they spend a good amount of their time consuming.

So, as consumers, there are few questions that we should answer –

  1. How much of the content that we consume do we really remember?
  2. How many times do we go back and refer to something that we have marked to be read later?
  3. How many times are we able to use that information that we consumed, when it is time to use it somewhere?
  4. How many times can we successfully find that particular information that we want at a particular moment?

Why do we need to answer these questions?

Because, if you are not able to answer all of those questions in the affirmative, then you are wasting all of that time that you are spending online consuming information.

And I am sure that at least 90% of you out there won’t be able to answer in the affirmative.


Because the amount of information that we consume is huge and it indeed is very difficult to keep track of what we read, when we read it and where we read it.

Nothing that is bookmarked for later will ever be found.

Because bookmarking is an ineffective and unproductive way for trying to remember things.

I was in exactly the same situation until about 6 months back.

I was spending so much time consuming – reading articles on the internet, listening to podcast episodes, watching YouTube videos, reading books and what not.

But when I wanted to go back and refer to something that I know I had read somewhere, I will be overwhelmed and would be unable to find that information.

The amount of time I was spending searching for information was insane.

I am under tremendous pressure – arising out of overwhelm and information overload.

I was under the assumption that I am productive but in reality I wasn’t.

Can you relate to it?

“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”

– James Clear

The Second Brain

I was frantically searching for information on how to stay organized.

I knew I had to find some way of getting organized.

That is when I came across this book recommendation from Ali Abdaal.

It was “building a second brain” by Tiago Forte.

I was desperate.

I had to buy that book, since I had no other choice.

So I went ahead and bought it.

And it turned out to be one of my best purchases in the last year.

I went ahead and bought another book from Tiago Forte called the “PARA method”.

These two books together solved all of the problems that I was facing.

Building a Second Brain, is basically a technique that assumes that one brain (our brain) is not enough to capture, assimilate and use all of the information that we are consuming.

So this technique teaches you how to create a “Second brain”, which functions as a supplementary brain and captures, stores, assimilates and helps you use all of the information you consume, at the time you need it.

This technique uses a note-taking app and a read later app.

It can be any thing that you choose.

I like “Notion” and I have been using it for quite some time. I feel that it is one of the most powerful online tools available out there.

So, after learning all of the techniques in the book, I went ahead and built out a “Second Brain” using Notion.

Here is how it looks!

This simple little tool helps me keep track of everything and helps me stay productive.

This along with a PARA dashboard that I build using the PARA method helps me stay efficient with all of the information I am consuming.

Here is how my PARA dashboard looks –

So how does all of this help me retrieve the information that I have consumed, you may ask?

That is what this system is all about.

I do a weekly review as part of this system and this review helps me revisit information that I have saved and use it in something that I have planned for the coming week or, tag it so that I can easily find it later when I need it.

And this entire system becomes extremely powerful when I couple it with my read-later app – Readwise!

OMG! the combination is a power house.

Readwise read later app has a functionality that is an absolute stunner.

Let’s say that I bookmark a podcast so that I can listen to it later.

And next Wednesday, I decide that I want to listen to it but once again I am short of time.

All I need to do is quickly go through the transcript that Readwise has generated for me. Or, even better that I just read through the summary that Readwise has generated for me.

If there is something relevant that I feel I would like to use later, all I need to do is highlight it and Readwise saves the highlighted text along with a searchable tag.

Isn’t that amazing?

You see, we small time creators often wonder as to how these big creators out there find all of the time in the world to do all of those things that they do.

It is these two things that help them do it –

  1. Building productive habits
  2. Staying organized

And an essential part of building some of these productive habits are these tools.

They are absolute essentials if you really want to do well!

Go ahead and try them out.

PS: If you are interested in trying out Readwise, then here is a link you can use. They usually give out a month free but if you use this link, you can get two months free. Check it out here!

PS: – If you want to replicate the Notion Second Brain system, then just drop me a message. I am selling this template to a select few who are really serious about building it into their workflow.

I put in about 18 hours every month to create this newsletter, starting from researching to writing and editing it.

So, If you enjoyed reading this Newsletter, I would sincerely appreciate it if you could recommend it to others. You can send them to https://theloudspeakeronline.com to subscribe to it for FREE!

What am I reading?

I have been following Ali Abdaal for quite some time now.

I find his productivity tips and techniques, very practical and usable.

You can check out his YouTube channel.

And do try out some of the books that he recommends.

You will find most of them in my collections at the below link too.

If you would like to check out some of the books that I have read in the past or, some that I have in my to-read list, you can find all of them on my Amazon page.

Go ahead and check it out!

You can check the book out here!

My YouTube Channel

I launched my YouTube channel about an year back.

I am releasing a weekly video on the channel and I cover Productivity, Podcasting and content creation on the channel.

If you are looking for any practical tips on these topics, you can follow my channel

==> Click here to check it out!

That’s it for this week!

Do let me know your thoughts, feedback, and opinions about this newsletter.

If you have a question or, simply enjoy reading this, I would sincerely appreciate it if you could write a recommendation for me on LinkedIn. You can use this link to do that.

If you are comfortable writing a review for the newsletter, you can do that here. Your support would be sincerely appreciated.

About the author 


Dilip is a Podcaster, Blogger, and Affiliate Marketer. He hosts the show, "The Podcasting University" among others and is a content marketing fanatic!

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