Productivity. Hustle culture. Rise and grind.
Terms such as these probably sound familiar to you.
But, take a moment to consider just how do you define being productive. If you are like most people, you define productivity in very simple terms. Get things done in as little time as possible. A new project, rinse and repeat.
There are several issues with this kind of approach.
Have you ever felt that the more raw effort you put into a project, the more the end result suffers?
Let me give you an example. You are working on a presentation and want to get it done as soon as possible. Time to “rise and grind” until your eyes are red and a heart attack is seconds away.
Yes, you might finish your project quickly, but the quality of the work WILL suffer.
Productivity is NOT about raw grinding. You will reach your peak productivity only by honing skills such as goal setting, identifying your peak hours, and most importantly, enjoying the creative process. This guarantees that the end result of your work will be of the maximum quality.
And, productivity skills can be immensely beneficial in daily life as well. At some point in our lives, most of us feel as if we need some extra hours in each day.
Well, this can actually be done.
No, not by bending time and matter, there are no courses for that yet, sorry.
But, simply by taking a look at your daily goals and doing some self-reflection, you can implement a whole new system of living. A system that will help you manage your time in a more efficient way.
There are countless self-help resources about time management and productivity tips and tricks. Some of them good, some of them bad.
In my opinion, however, an online course is the best way to study productivity.
Thus, E-Student has decided to round the best online productivity courses. Most of them take only a few hours to complete and contain fascinating insights that will instantly help you organize your daily life better.
Before we proceed to our list, allow me to share a TEDx talk from productivity guru David Allen.
In this talk, Allen explains a few of the key concepts of stress-free productivity. And, some of these concepts will be featured in the following courses as well.
Now that you are warmed up and inspired to get more out of your day, let’s continue with our list of best online productivity courses.
These are our picks for the best productivity course:
- Best Overall: Productivity Masterclass – Principles and Tools to Boost Your Productivity (Skillshare)
- Top Alternative: Become a SpeedDemon: Productivity Tricks To Have More Time (Udemy)
- Best for Time Management: Productivity and Time Management for the Overwhelmed (Udemy)
- Best for Self-discipline: Modern Productivity – Superhuman Focus In A Distracted World (Udemy)
- Most In-depth: Building A Second Brain (buildingasecondbrain.com)
- Best Crash Course: Real Productivity: Create Your Ideal Week (Skillshare)
- Best for Students: Real Productivity: How to Build Habits That Last (Skillshare)
Best Overall: Productivity Masterclass – Principles and Tools to Boost Your Productivity (Skillshare)
A well-structured productivity class from the highly engaging Ali Abdaal.
Ali is a graduate of Cambridge, a passionate YouTuber, and a podcaster. A productive man if there ever was one! Before we dissect the video class, take a minute to check out the YouTube channel of Ali Abdaal.
My favorite video? The wonderfully tongue-in-cheek “My INSANELY Productive Morning Routine.”
After viewing his channel, you should have an idea of both the content and the presentation style of Ali.
Time to take a glimpse at his productivity class.
In the medium-length (1h51min) “Productivity Masterclass”, Ali spills the beans on his favorite “productivity hacks.”
“Productivity Masterclass” is one of those rare online courses that engage the students from the get-go. Not only is Abdaal a very knowledgeable instructor, but his persona is extremely relatable as well. This makes for a very fun learning experience.
The syllabus itself is meticulously constructed. Ali does not only present the learners with dry theory, but he gives specific recommendations on how to implement the practices as well.
What I also love about this course is that it stresses the importance of a so-called “fun factor.”
Sounds goofy? True.
But, it is a scientifically proven fact that maximum human efficiency is achieved only if there is a strong degree of enjoyment involved in the process.
Improved productivity, supreme goal-setting skills, and in-depth knowledge of how your brain works. This course will give teach you all this and more
In a nutshell, for those on the look for a quick and very engaging course, this is a great choice. The Youtube background of Ali clearly shows as this is among the most accessible online productivity courses out there.
Two thumbs up!
Top Alternative: Become a SpeedDemon: Productivity Tricks To Have More Time (Udemy)
A supremely practical productivity class led by a self-development superstar.
We start with “Become a SpeedDemon” from Udemy.
And, drum roll please, this is also our pick for the best overall productivity course. This course is presented by none other than Jonathan Levi, a renowned “lifehacker” from Silicon Valley.
Levi is an experienced entrepreneur and angel investor with a passion for helping people reach their maximum potential. The name might sound familiar to you. This is due to his speed-reading class being featured in “The 8 Best Speed Reading Courses” of E-student.
To sum it up, when it comes to human efficiency, Levi is a superstar.
So, what can aspiring “speed demons” expect from this course?
Well, a lot.
Despite the course having a duration of 2h41min, there is a lot to unravel here.
The well-constructed syllabus first shows us the common time wasters preventing us from getting things done. After students have dealt with their procrastinating brain for good, things get practical.
Levi then presents learners with several unique and profoundly useful tricks. All to “hack” various highly important aspects of their lives.
Speeding up and automating computer work. Putting your finances on auto-pilot. And, perhaps the most unique aspect of this course, speeding up your health and fitness.
And yes, this can be done without ordering steroids from Cambodia or shredding yourself to pieces in the gym.
What I also love about this course is that it is supplemented by short quizzes. This engages you to take an honest look at your habits. And, of course, to improve upon these habits by your newly-learned productivity skills.
All in all, it is easy to see why this course is frequently named as one of the best productivity classes available.
An engaging, knowledgable instructor? Check! A solid amount of specific examples? Check! Easy-to-learn tips and tricks? Check!
Best for Time Management: Productivity and Time Management for the Overwhelmed (Udemy)
A superb two-hour productivity class focused on time management.
“Productivity and Time Management for the Overwhelmed” from Udemy is another solid productivity class. It’s a two-hour course presented by a renowned “productivity hacker” Josh Paulsen.
Paulsen is a certified life coach with 15 years of experience. By using his tried and tested methods, he excels in helping both organizations and individuals unleash their maximum potential.
Needless to say, my expectations for this two-hour course were quite high. So, did the course hold up to these high expectations?
Well, it didn’t. It actually exceeded my expectations.
Well, for one, it is extremely well-constructed and concise. Believe it or not, but there are online courses on productivity that actually waste your time. Talk about a contradiction!
Luckily, this is not the case with this course.
In the first part of the course, some common productivity myths are shattered for good. You will get expert-led lessons on how your brain tends to work against your productivity level. Do you know that thing you do when you close Twitter to finally get productive?
What a noble idea!
Except you open a new tab and auto-pilot to Twitter again. Ouch.
Well, this course will explain why such instances occur and how to put a stop to them for good.
Once you are aware of the common enemies of productivity, you will learn battle-proven tactics to maximize personal high performance.
In a mere two hours, you will have a solid arsenal of time management and productivity techniques. These techniques are battle-tested on both an organizational and individual level. So, they apply to people of all backgrounds.
Whether you are the CEO of a massive organization or an overly lazy high school student, you will benefit from the productivity hacks presented in this Coursera class.
Best for Self-discipline: Modern Productivity – Superhuman Focus In A Distracted World (Udemy)
A chronologically structured productivity class for peak performance.
We continue with “Modern Productivity” from Udemy.
For a two-hour course, this productivity class certainly packs a powerful punch. It is among the best online courses on productivity for people preferring quick, yet highly detailed lessons.
This class was tailored considering the uniqueness of modern Western culture.
Right in the introduction, the teacher makes a controversial statement. A statement that in the current economic climate, good productivity skills are one of the best resources that a person can have. Yes, far more valuable than talent and intelligence.
The instructor, Brad Merrill, knows the immense value of good productivity skills.
This is precisely why he has put together a course detailing the exact habits and mind-sets to help you “get things done.”
And, when it comes to goal setting and productivity, Merrill knows his stuff. He has 13 years of experience in teaching, during which he has helped over 55000 students, prominent startups, and even Fortune 500 companies.
If I was to point out the single biggest advantage of this course, it would be the chronological structure of it.
Get your mindset right. Eliminate all distractions. Identify your peak hours. Execute. This is roughly how the chronological outline of both your long-term and short-term goals should look like. And, for each of these steps, Merrill gives you the detailed, fool-proof practices. Practices that can be applied whether you are planning on hitting peak physical form or writing an 800-page study on artificial intelligence.
Some of you are looking for a productivity course with a clear goal or project already in mind. For these people, this is among the best courses out there. The techniques presented in this class are understandable, expert-developed, and most importantly, instantly applicable.
Most In-depth: Building A Second Brain (buildingasecondbrain.com)
An intense five-week course for business-level productivity practices.
The immense “Building A Second Brain” is our pick for the best in-depth course.
It is a masterclass suitable for creative professionals working in a variety of fields. Entrepreneurs, freelancers, content creators, and self-improvement enthusiasts. These are just a few examples of professionals that could benefit from this expert-taught productivity class.
The class is led by Tiago Forte, an internationally recognized productivity coach. Tiago has made it his mission to help people harness their creative potential. His passion for this field led to the inception of “Building A Second Brain”, the most in-depth productivity course currently available.
This is a unique course in many ways.
For one, it is fully interactive, including 10 live Zoom sessions taught by Tiago.
It is not your average self-development class, thus, your full engagement and participation is a must.
One more thing. Purchasing “Building A Second Brain” will also grant you lifetime access to future live-sessions. Great value-for-money? You bet!
Despite my overall high rating of this course, I do have some reservations about recommending it to all of our readers.
Well, the in-depth nature of the class is a bit of a two-edged sword.
The content, production value, and presentation are all elite-level.
However, for people looking to quickly improve their daily time management and productivity habits, these lessons could be a bit overwhelming. And, compared to other similar courses, it is a bit more expensive and time-consuming.
Nevertheless, for creative professionals embarking on a huge new project, the course would be a great business investment. It is fully interactive, uses up-to-date research, and grants lifetime access to the materials.
All in all, when it comes to business-level productivity courses, “Building A Second Brain” is as good as it gets.
Best Crash Course: Real Productivity: Create Your Ideal Week (Skillshare)
A 23-minute productivity crash course from a Skillshare CEO.
“Real Productivity” from Skillshare is among the shortest online courses on productivity. The class is presented by the Skillshare CEO and co-founder, Michael Karnjanaprakorn.
As a founder of Otis and Skillshare, Michael has enjoyed immense success in entrepreneurship.
So, what are the keys to his success?
Strokes of luck in the stock market? A massive family inheritance? A pact with the devil perhaps?
None of the above. The truth is far more simple.
Michael credits having a solid productivity routine for his success.
Thus, he has also put together several fascinating articles on the subject. Before you decide to enroll in this Skillshare course, take some time to read his most popular article, “My Ideal Work Week as a Startup CEO.”
The article is based on the same concepts presented in “Create Your Ideal Week.”
The materials overlap with the syllabus of the course and will help in absorbing the techniques taught.
Done reading? Good. Let’s move forward and take a detailed look at the course itself.
It is a crash-course that takes merely 23-minutes to complete in full.
So, that poses the question, can one get tangible benefits from such a quick course?
Well, the answer is yes.
Especially if you have never consumed a single piece of information regarding productivity. In that case, this course might be a game-changer for you.
This class does not focus on issues such as human psychology and common time wasters
Instead, you will get a crash course full of concrete techniques to make your daily dealings more efficient.
It is super short, concise, and engaging. And, the system taught is instantly applicable to your week. Whatever your background might be.
To get the maximum benefits from this captivating crash course, go full in. Try the system for a week and see whether you notice tangible improvements in your daily dealings.
Spoiler alert, you will!
Best for Students: Real Productivity: How to Build Habits That Last (Skillshare)
A fascinating one-hour class for building productivity habits.
We continue with “Real Productivity” from Skillshare. This productivity class is presented by Thomas Frank. Thomas is a well-renowned YouTuber and entrepreneur most famous for his site College Info Geek. College Info Geek was established in 2010 to showcase Thomas’s experiences with becoming a more efficient student.
Having a solid set of productivity habits is the key to success. And, in this class, Frank teaches you how to build long-term habits for maximum personal efficiency. You will also learn the invaluable skill of realistic goal setting. As you will see, having reasonable expectations is tantamount to your personal success.
Yes, Frank has a strong background in teaching students to maximize their potential. Thus, it is also one of the best productivity courses for students. However, that does not mean that this class is suitable only for students. The habit-forming practices taught here are universal and can easily be applied to all walks of life.
To reap the maximum benefits of this course, I would supplement it with “Productivity Masterclass.”
It is taught by the same teacher and overlaps with “Real Productivity” very well.
“Real Productivity” is great for understanding the basics of goal-setting and productivity.
“Productivity Masterclass” is great for building your own custom system of success. And, with the Skillshare two-month trial, you can enroll in both for free.
All in all, these two courses will provide a great blueprint for building productivity habits that last. Habits that will help you get more out of your day, whether you are a high-flying entrepreneur or a struggling high school student.