With all of the distractions that are popping up in the world, it is hard to finish any given day with the feeling of accomplishment. It has become so easy to be inundated with social media, information, and even daily chores that it may begin to feel like you are treading water.
Do you have a novel that needs writing? A canvas that needs painting? Or do you just need to focus more on your current work? Would you rather be sleeping? THIS, my friends, is a productivity checklist for those that excel at doing nothing (myself included). Hopefully this will help you reorganize your day so you can relax and enjoy it, while getting stuff done.
Get up early or stay up late – Everybody is either a morning person or an evening person. Decide which one you are and schedule your day accordingly. If you find that you are more active and able to concentrate in the morning, then wake up a few hours earlier and get something important like a project, workout or housework out of the way. If you prefer moonlight, then stay up late and get stuff done. As long as you are getting at least 7 hours of sleep you can push your hours one way or the other. Just give your body some time to adjust!
Turn off distractions – Anything that is going to stand in the way of getting things done needs to be eliminated. Turn off the Internet or TV. If you need to work online, block time-suck websites like Twitter and Facebook. If some of your work involves social media make sure it becomes the last thing on your to-do list to ensure you don’t use up creative time with socializing.
Do one thing at a time – Multi-tasking is the death to all productivity. Set allotted chunks of time for each task you need to accomplish. If you keep interrupting your work with emails and social media, you will get nothing done! Keeping your brain focused on the task at hand will also lead to Flow.. which is ultimately the goal of work, no?
Make a list – A to-do list is pretty much crucial to being productive. I would suggest writing it on a Post-It or scrap of paper so you can get that wonderful feeling of accomplishment when you cross things off. Also, be realistic with your list. I have the habit of writing a list that would take 3 people 2 days to accomplish. In this case, less is more – you can always do more after your list is complete.
Do the fun stuff first – Some argue that you should do the most tedious and excruciating tasks on your list first. But usually by the time you are finished with your mundane, un-fun tasks your enthusiasm is drained. I think that you should work your list according to what you are most excited about. That way your passion will shine instead of having to be built back up after being squashed with lame work.
Set a timer – I would suggest taking a 5 minute break every hour. Set a timer and make sure you are working non-stop for an hour! (I like this app.) Then take a break to move around, relax, breathe deeply, snack, dance -whatever.
Save plenty of time to do nothing – make sure you have a big chunk of your day that is not scheduled. You can use this time to nap, read, watch movies, troll around the internet, or do something creative without feeling guilty for being unproductive. The same principle of building muscle applies here: The rest time in between workout is just as important as the workouts themselves. A relaxed, happy brain is the most creative!
What productivity tips work best for you? Are you working on getting more done?
photo by *maya*