Productivity: Applying Psychology to Achieve Your Goals
4.3 (76 ratings)
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Productivity: Applying Psychology to Achieve Your Goals

Learn research based techniques to hack the productive process, improve time management, business and study skills.
4.3 (76 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
2,533 students enrolled
Created by Richard Feenstra
Last updated 9/2016
Current price: $10 Original price: $20 Discount: 50% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 41 mins on-demand video
  • 2 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Set goals using the proven SMART technique.
  • Manage time using the Eisenhower Matrix.
  • Avoid psychological biases in planning and task management.
  • Boost productivity by reducing distractions and managing sleep.
View Curriculum
  • Students need to come to the course with an open mind and willingness to learn.

5-26-16 NEW LECTURE, learn how to use the 4 D's to manage your to-do-list. 

My third course in a series, learn how to Increase your productivity and achieve your goals by understanding the psychology that drives success. This course is designed as a resource that provides research backed techniques and strategies that you can use to help boost your productivity.

When you enroll, you gain access to a number of lectures that will teach you how to maximize your time, set goals and avoid several psychological biases that impact productivity. From learning how to shift from long term vision to short term action, to understanding the impacts of sleep on productivity, the course offers a range of interesting and valuable concepts that can be applied in the real world to help achieve more success.

This course focuses on both common and lesser known techniques including, but not limited to;

  • SMART Goals
  • The Zeigarnik Effect
  • Impacts of Multitasking
  • Using the Eisenhower Matrix, and
  • The Planning Fallacy

The target audience for this course are entrepreneurs, leaders, managers, students or anyone interested in learning how to maximize their time. Regardless if you have never previously taken a productivity course or if you are already highly productive, I guarantee this course has at least one concept you can use to help achieve your goals in less time.

The structure of the course intentionally limits each lecture to a single concept that is independently supported, allowing you the flexibility to either go straight through the course from start to finish or to pick and choose only those lectures and concepts with which you are unfamiliar without having to worry about losing understanding.

"Achieve Your Goals: The Psychology of Productivity", is my latest course to supplement two other courses that I teach, "Become a Creative Genius: Keys to Successful Innovation", and "Simplify Your Problems: The Psychology of Choice". When you enroll in one of my courses, you are joining thousands of students that have benefited from the series.

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is perfect for entrepreneurs, leaders, managers or anyone that wants to boost their productivity and better manage their time.
Compare to Other Personal Productivity Courses
Curriculum For This Course
1 Lecture 04:26

This lecture provides an overview and discusses how to get the most out of the course, telling you briefly about my background, visiting the structure of the course, the Udemy platform as well as the main course objectives. Also, the lecture provides a way to unlock one of my other courses.

Preview 04:26
Productivity: Hacks, Techniques and Strategies for Success
8 Lectures 34:49

The Zeigarnik Effect is the psychological need to complete tasks once they have been started. What research has demonstrated is that we often experience a form of minor anxiety as we hold open tasks in short-term memory. This lecture discusses the effect as well as ways to harness the power of the concept to boost productivity.

The Zeigarnik Effect

An important aspect of productivity is being able to shift focus back and forth between your long term vision and short term actions. One way to think about this process is by using the simple analogy of hiking a mountain, requiring us to assess, plan and execute at different levels.

From analogy to application, I discuss the primary way I shift focus to be more productive, using one day a week to focus long term and then shifting to narrow in on my weekly targets.

How to Climb a Mountain

The Planning Fallacy is an interesting concept that demonstrates the extent to which we are psychologically biased when it comes to estimating the time and resources we need to achieve our goals. This has several implications for productivity, including heightened levels of stress and diminished results. The lecture discusses how to help eliminate the planning fallacy by anchoring future estimates on objective past performance.

Bonus: In downloadable material, watch a short clip from Shark Tank that is a good example of the planning fallacy. If you want to just watch the relevant part, start the clip at 3:15 when Robert Herjavec asks, "What are your sales today?" Then watch as the plan unfolds.

Preview 05:16

A great tool for managing your to-do-list, the 4 D's can help you get organized. Similar to the Eisenhower Matrix, the 4 D's is a way to determine next steps. It also benefits from the Zeigarnik Effect, reducing stress and allowing you to focus on your high priority tasks. 

How to Use the 4 D's to Organize Your To-Do-List

It is difficult to be productive if you do not have an effective way to set and monitor your goals. This lecture discusses a popular version of SMART goals, taking you through the necessary steps to ensure that your goals are specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time bound.

Being S.M.A.R.T. about Productivity

A controversial topic, this lecture discusses research on multitasking as well as how to eliminate distractions. In order to boost productivity, findings support eliminating interruptions so that you can focus your energy on the core tasks you want to accomplish throughout the day.

Based on student feedback, some external sources have been added, providing the original research on multitasking mentioned in the lecture by Gloria Mark of the University of California Irvine.

In addition, check out the link regarding the Hawthorne Effect. In the 1920's a series of experiments were conducted to try and increase worker productivity. Today the experiments are best known for what is no called the "observer effect".

The Science of Multitasking

One method for organizing tasks and deciding what action to take is by using the Eisenhower Matrix. By knowing which tasks you need to tackle first you can increase productivity. The basic idea is to organize all tasks along two criterion, (1) the importance of the task and (2) how urgent it is for the task to be completed. These two questions form the matrix with four potential outcomes for organizing your 'to-do-list'.

Preview 03:38

This lecture discusses research findings on the impact of sleep on productivity and provides some tips for making sure you get the rest you need. Between a study of 18,000 employees and the results of a sleep laboratory, findings demonstrate how lack of sleep reduces cognitive performance and increases mistakes.

Sleep Your Way to Higher Productivity
Course Wrap Up
1 Lecture 01:49

This final lecture offers up a final insight from the Zeigarnik Effect and provides next steps. Given the purpose of the course is to help increase productivity, a final note encourages you to take what the course has provided and apply it in the real world.

Check resources. I have provided you with a great link to an article with 80 additional productivity tips from a variety of experts.

Course Wrap Up
About the Instructor
Richard Feenstra
4.3 Average rating
2,384 Reviews
37,135 Students
6 Courses
over 37,000 students on Udemy

Richard Feenstra is an educational psychologist with a focus on problem solving and productivity. His work experience includes military service, law enforcement, fire prevention and workplace safety. Richard is also a recognized expert witness regarding issues of safety and security. Richard holds an M.S. in workforce development and a Ph.D. in learning and technology.