Unlock Your ChatGPT Potential: 5 Mistakes to Avoid for Optimal Performance

Unlock your ChatGPT potential! Discover 5 common mistakes to avoid for optimal performance. Boost productivity and get tailored responses with these expert tips.

July 14, 2024

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Unlock the true power of ChatGPT and boost your productivity with this insightful blog post. Discover practical tips to optimize your ChatGPT usage, from crafting effective custom instructions to automating tedious tasks. Elevate your work and personal life with these proven strategies.

Optimize Your Custom Instructions for Relevancy

Here's how to optimize your custom instructions for relevancy:

  1. Keep the first box simple with 3 sentences:

    • A snapshot of your professional identity (e.g., "I'm a product marketing manager in tech")
    • Your secondary persona outside of work (e.g., "In my spare time, I create online content on these topics")
    • Your personality and interests (e.g., "I'm all about efficiency, productivity, and self-improvement")
  2. For the second box, find an online creator you admire and respect. Open their newsletter or blog and copy the last two links. Use this prompt: "I'm going to share two blog posts written by [Creator's Name]. Analyze the blog posts and give me a set of instructions I can use to write in exactly the same tone, writing style, humor, reading level, and delivery."

  3. Pick the instructions you resonate with the most, such as using casual language, breaking content into digestible sections, incorporating light sarcasm or cheeky remarks (if appropriate).

  4. Copy and paste the selected instructions into the second custom instruction box. This will help ChatGPT understand your preferences and provide more relevant outputs for your use cases.

Automate Tasks with ChatGPT-Generated Scripts

I've found that one of the most powerful features of ChatGPT is its ability to generate custom scripts and code to automate various tasks. As someone with no prior coding experience, I was amazed at how easy it is to have ChatGPT write scripts for me.

For example, I asked ChatGPT to write a Google Apps Script that would automatically create a new page in my Google Docs before every one-on-one meeting with my manager. The script includes a heading with the date, a "Notes" section with bullet points, and an "Action Items" section with a numbered list. All I have to do is click a button, and the script generates the entire page for me.

The best part is that ChatGPT not only writes the script, but it also provides step-by-step instructions on how to implement it. It walks me through the process of copying the code, pasting it into the Google Apps Script editor, renaming the script, and running it.

I've also used ChatGPT to create a button in Google Slides that standardizes the font and font size for all speaker notes. This has been incredibly helpful when different colleagues share their slides in a single presentation.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to automating tasks with ChatGPT-generated scripts. All you have to do is tell ChatGPT what you want to accomplish, and it will provide you with a custom solution. It's a game-changer for anyone, like me, who has no coding experience but wants to boost their productivity.

Improve Responses with Follow-Up Questions

Instead of responding to your request immediately, ChatGPT can clarify its understanding by asking you follow-up questions. This helps ensure the response is tailored to your specific needs.

To get ChatGPT to ask follow-up questions, simply add this sentence at the end of your prompt:

"Ask me five questions that would improve the response you'll be giving me."

For example, if you ask ChatGPT to help you automate tracking currency conversions in Google Sheets, it might respond with:

"Hey, are you cool with using Apps Script? If yes, I'll write you a script. If not, we can stick with formulas."

"Do you need real-time currency conversion, or is a daily update sufficient?"

"What currencies do you typically work with?"

"How many different currencies do you need to track?"

"Would you like the converted amounts formatted in a specific way?"

By answering these follow-up questions, you provide ChatGPT with more context to generate a highly relevant and tailored response. This approach is much more effective than simply expecting a perfect answer on the first try.

Get Personalized Insights from Shared Content

To get personalized insights from shared content, try the following approach:

  1. When sharing an article or report, provide a prompt that asks ChatGPT to analyze the information from your specific perspective. For example: "I'll share an article on holiday shopping insights. How does the information in this article apply to a paid media marketing manager responsible for increasing brand awareness?"

  2. By framing the prompt with your role and responsibilities, ChatGPT will provide insights tailored to your use case, rather than just a generic summary.

  3. Another powerful technique is to have a dedicated Q&A session with the content. Use a prompt like: "Assume the role of a senior business analyst with over 20 years of experience. For the rest of this conversation, I'd like to engage in a Q&A session where you'll provide insights, analyses, and answers based on the uploaded report."

  4. This allows you to ask targeted questions and stress-test the insights, ensuring you get the most relevant information for your needs.

  5. Remember, the key is to personalize the prompts to your specific role, responsibilities, and objectives. This will help you extract actionable insights from the shared content, rather than just a high-level summary.

Harness Powerful ChatGPT Prompts for Productivity

Instead of being overly specific with your custom instructions, keep it simple with three sentences:

  1. A snapshot of who you are professionally: "I'm a product marketing manager in Tech."

  2. Your secondary persona: "In my spare time, I create online content on these topics."

  3. Your personality and interests: "I'm all about efficiency, productivity, and self-improvement."

To get ChatGPT to match your desired tone and writing style, find an online creator you admire, such as Ali Abdaal. Analyze their blog posts or newsletter, then provide ChatGPT with the prompts:

"I'm going to share two blog posts written by Ali Abdaal. Analyze the blog posts and give me a set of instructions I can use to write in exactly the same tone, writing style, humor, reading level, and delivery."

Automate your tasks by asking ChatGPT to write a Google Apps Script for your one-on-one meeting notes. Provide the specific requirements, and ChatGPT will generate the entire script and provide step-by-step instructions on how to implement it.

Instead of just summarizing information, ask ChatGPT questions that will provide you with actionable insights. For example, "How does the information in this article on holiday shopping insights apply to a paid media marketing manager responsible for increasing brand awareness?"

Finally, create a set of 10 ChatGPT prompts that will help you become more productive in your role, then focus on using the top 3 prompts daily for 2 weeks, refining them as needed.

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