Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone. ~Pablo Picasso
A few proven ways to get your productivity going. Make the most of your day because let’s face it, you do only live once.
1. Get up early & stretch
And I mean 7 or 8am early. This is the most important thing! Do some stretches right after you get off your bed. Then have your breakfast, take your time (but not too much!), and start the day with a fresh and positive attitude.
2. Start with a to-do list
I can’t even stress enough how helpful to-do lists are to me. They seriously improved my organizational “skills” and have made me a more productive person. To start off, choose your weapon of choice– a planner, calendar, notepad, notebook, or whatever floats your boat. Or have multiples! More on this later. Just make sure it’s not just a piece of paper that can easily get lost/misplaced or get piled on (literally), unless you attach it to your ref.
3. Write down your to-do’s
Write it down! Trust me, relying on your memory can only be as good as it gets when you actually want to remember something. Even if you have “excellent memory,” you’re bound to forget at least one thing. What if that one thing is the most important one? Your mind will instantly feel less stressful because remembering your to-do’s is out of your system. Buzzfeed once said, “The act of writing has been linked to increased cognitive thinking.”
4. Prioritize & do the most important task first
This post might help you with that.
For years I have been doing this the other way– where I start with the smallest tasks first and leave the biggest (and usually the most important) at the end. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s because I find it more satisfying to tick off my to-do’s in a blast. So at the end of the day I usually am NOT ABLE to accomplish the biggest and most important task, and end up having it delayed for days.
5. Have separate/different tools for different responsibilities
I’ve always been a one-planner kind of person. But when I was introduced to loads of extra work, I find myself needing extra tools as well.
Well now I use 2 planners. I use my weekly/daily pages for my daily to-do, this way I get to see what my whole week looks like; the yearly and monthly calendar to mark down events; and the notes and doodle pages for brainstorming and whatnot. And then my other planner as my diary/scrapbook where I write down my daily events.
Aside from planners, some people prefer notepads with check boxes that they can tear off and throw away once done. Others prefer a compact notebook they can bring everywhere, which is also great for ideas that just pop out. If you’re unsure which tool will work best for you, try them all! That’s the only way to know.
6. Take breaks
I have tried working on a computer the whole afternoon without taking a break– no snack time, no stretching, no bathroom break. While this may mean that my creative juices are pouring and didn’t want to break the spell, doesn’t make it healthy. Make sure to take a short break (by this I mean stretch, walk, etc.) every 30 minutes to refocus. Then take a proper break every 2-3 hours.
7. Stay away from the TV and social media
Distractions, that’s what they are. You’ll likely get sucked in the internet once you start, so better to have those as rewards instead.
And discipline, that’s what you need. It’s hard to resist temptation, but just remember that the earlier you finish your tasks, the earlier you get to enjoy whatever is left of your free time.
8. Set a reward
Ahhh the best thing at the end of a day’s work! I find this technique to be really effective, of course, it depends entirely on the person. I really like going out so I find myself more motivated and work quite faster right before I leave the house– whether it be for errands, a night’s out with friends, or shopping. You never know you might end up staying out longer than expected. Another convincing reward would be knowing that you’re able to rest and pamper yourself!
I hope these tips will help you become more productive! Cheers to productivity!