Productivity. That word is everywhere lately. Have you ever had one of those days when you notice it’s 4 p.m., and you finally sit down for that morning cup of coffee that you never got, and reflect back on your day, only to wonder what is was that you actually accomplished?
It’s relatable, right? We’ve all been there, and we all hate those kinds of days. You know you did stuff because you’re exhausted, but when asked, you haven’t got a clue what you actually did all day.
Well, let’s put a stop to that today. I’m sharing a few of my favourite ways of accomplishing the important stuff every day. Steal them for your own personal use and get more done tomorrow
- Create and use a list. Recently, someone online mentioned a nightly ritual of a brain-dump. It sounds nasty, right? The concept is ingenious and takes list-making to a whole new level. Basically, you take a sheet of paper and write down every single to-do item that’s in your head. None of it has to be in order, or related to anything else on that list.
Anything and everything that is on your mind that has to be done, it needs to be on this list. By getting it ALL out, your mind can rest easier at night because you won’t wake up every couple of hours, remembering something you need to do the next day. You might be asleep but your brain doesn’t shut off, and those little things are still on the surface of your mind. A brain dump erases all of that and helps you sleep better, not to mention, increases your productivity greatly, because you’ve got your to-do list all set for the next day!
- Use one calendar for everything. It doesn’t matter if it’s on your phone, online, on your fridge or a pocket calendar/agenda in your purse, use the same one for everything, so that all of your appointments are in one central location. Having one and only one reduces confusion and stress. Use it religiously. Don’t agree to anything without checking your calendar and recording it. Your productivity will soar when you can see at a glance what you’ve got going on.
- Use the Pomodoro method. This is one of the best tips I’ve come across in my travels. The basic concept is that you break work into intervals of 20-25 minutes, taking a ten-minute break in between, and jumping right back into the next interval. After two hours of this, you’ve earned yourself a half hour break. It doesn’t sound like you’d be too productive with all those breaks, right? I can attest to this method, it’s always a surprise how much you can get done in twenty minutes. Set a timer on your phone or use a kitchen timer and watch how your productivity increases even more.
- Schedule time for social media into your day. Constantly checking Facebook or Twitter, or liking a bunch of photos on Instagram are some of the biggest time sucks out there. A few minutes here and there kills your mojo, making it twice as difficult to get back into focusing on your to-do list. Try scheduling social media breaks into, say, the last 15 minutes of your lunch hour, and don’t return to it until after your workday is over.
A virtual assistant (freelance online personal assistant) can make you even more productive by taking the mundane tasks off your plate so you can focus on the bigger picture.