Expert Time Management Interview: Personal Productivity with Thanh Pham of

Expert Time Management Interview: Personal Productivity with Thanh Pham of

AsianEfficiencyIf you are into productivity, then you must have heard of a blog called AsianEfficiency.

It’s a blog run by two guys, Thanh Pham and Aaron Lynn.

I have always been amazed with the level of depth these guys put to their blog posts, so I wanted to find out how they do it.

We also talk about other important areas of personal productivity – like tools, sleep or productivity systems.

Make sure to leave a comment as Thanh has promised to answer your questions related to this interview!

Please note: This interview is in audio only.

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  • Video length: 44:11

Interview Questions:

  1. Tell me a little bit about Asian Efficiency and the guys behind it (1:24)
  2. How are you able to write a blog with such an detail – how do you work as a team – does either one of you focus on certain types of posts or what ? (4:58)
  3. What is your preferred productivity system or do you use bits and pieces of many systems and then compile them to your own systems? (09:01)
  4. Many people are working from home (or beginning to work from their homes). What would be the essential keys for improved productivity at home office? (17:53)
  5. You just came out with a product called Better Sleep. If there is one key takeaway when it comes to improving the quality of your sleep, what would that be? (27:41)
  6. Tools: What are your everyday productivity tools you use? Why? (35:30)
  7. Right after this call, what would be the one tip for everyone to implement in their everyday life to improve their personal productivity? (41:06)

Key Takeaways:

  • They are writing about the stuff they are good at
  • Content is planned ahead and it’s based on themes
  • Thanh uses a hybrid system for productivity – taking the best pieces from different systems (like GTD, Agile Results, Stephen Covey’s lessons or Tony Schwartz’s lessons)
  • Try to follow a system as long as you can and then try to make it your own at some point
  • Working from home:
    • Takes discipline
    • Set clear boundaries
    • Grab a piece of paper and write down your own rules: your hours, what times of the day you are most effective
    • Make sure you go airplane mode (to avoid distraction)
    • Set the expectation right so that other family members are not distracting you
    • Try to have a separate office space (like a separate room at your home or work from library or from a coffee shop)
    • Waking up early: That’s when your willpower is at it’s largest
  • Improving the quality of your sleep:
    • Have an evening ritual (sequence of things you do every evening)
    • You want to give yourself an hour or so to transition into a relaxed state and eventually into sleep without any problems
    • Avoid a lot of lightning in your bedroom
    • Install a program called f.lux to your computer (dims your screen automatically)
    • Meditating helps to fall into sleep easier
    • Write down to a piece of paper all the things you are worried about (helps you to fall into sleep easier)
  • Tools:
  • One action to take right after this call: Start tracking your time

Shownotes and Resources

  • Like your examples of great tips on productivity. The biggest problem most people have is attacking large projects in whole which can never be finished. It is a time sucking productivity drain. I recommend breaking projects down into manageable pieces that can be completed. Work on the pieces and not the whole project. Do the important stuff first and then move on. If it takes too long it is has not been broken down far enough. If the project is too large your time is better spent on another project. Finishing projects is more important than working on projects that never get finished.

    Hope this helps
    Wayne Melton

    • Timo Kiander

      Hi Wayne!

      Yeah, these are great ways to make a project more manageable.

      Smaller pieces the better and less overwhelm :)


  • A great blog .. I really appreciate .. I read your post .. I held a lot of information to read this post ..
    Thank you for sharing ..

    • Timo Kiander

      Thank you!