16 Oct How to Boost Productivity
Picture the scene. You’re sat at your work-desk first thing in the morning. Your computer is on, you have a coffee in hand, and you’re ready to take on the day.
However, no matter how hard you try, you just CAN’T seem to get going. In fact, the idea of watching funny cat videos on YouTube seems much more appealing than your never-ending to-do list.
Sound familiar? Whether you’re overwhelmed with your workload or your motivation levels are non-existent, don’t worry—we’ve all been there.
The good news is that there are some simple tips and tricks you can put in place to boost your productivity!
Make Your To-Do List Ahead of Time
Firstly, devise your to-do list in advance (like the night before). This ensures that you’ve planned your time effectively as well as mentally prepared for a busy day ahead.
Personally, I love utilizing the list section in Artful Agenda to make a massive to-do list. Then I use Priority Tasks and Other Tasks in the daily planner view to help me sort through the most urgent matters.
High-priority tasks are completed first and then I can move on to the rest. If I don’t get around to some of the other tasks, I can simply snooze them to the next day.
It’s true what they say about automation: it really makes life more simplistic!
Get an Accountability Buddy
The next day, before you start working on getting through that task list, try texting your list to a friend or accountability partner.
Sometimes, I will message my plans for the day to my friend Karen and then just let her know as I finish each task! It doesn’t take away from her day at all—and sending a quick message after I finish a major thing ultimately helps me to stay on track.
Create a Daily List of Power Tasks
Another way to boost productivity is to identify those items that need to be done each day and insert them into your calendar. Set aside ten minutes at the start of the week and, you can identify and input a list of three or four items that help you stay most effective each day.
Once you know WHAT to do, be sure to focus on ONE thing at a time. Why? Well, did you know that multitasking is actually one of the top enemies of productivity? Research shows that it actually slows you down rather than speeding things up.
Keep this in mind as you work through your jobs for the day and prepare to be amazed as you become more efficient.
Set Small Goals
Have a big monthly goal? Wonderful—it’s a great idea to have things in place to work towards as it keeps us feeling motivated and professionally fulfilled.
However, if a specific task or goal feels overpowering or you dread it before you even get to work, break it down week by week and then mark your calendar when you want to complete that smaller goal.
You could even break down your smaller goal into manageable daily chunks that make you feel good to accomplish—and start there.
Do the Hardest Task First
Another useful tip to aid productivity is to take care of the hardest task first—and save the fun ones for later! This is all about using your fun to-dos as a reward for finishing off those tasks you aren’t as excited about.
For instance, if I need some props for an Artful Agenda photoshoot (which is so enjoyable to curate and design), I make sure I get the most boring tasks out of the way first (hello, folding laundry).
If your to-do list is particularly CRAZY on a certain day, sometimes it’s a good idea to mix it up. Do something difficult and then do an easier (or more light-hearted) task to keep your energy up.
Don’t have anything fun on your to-do list? MAKE IT UP. Add in going for a walk, checking in with a friend you haven’t heard from in a while, or shopping for an upcoming birthday gift!
Be sure to keep scheduling in these pleasurable activities too, because self-care time is an important part of being productive for anybody.
Abide By the “Five Minute” Rule
Finally, Benjamin Franklin said: “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” I say: don’t put off ANYTHING you can do in the next five minutes.
If something comes up and takes less than five minutes, tick it off your to-do list sooner rather than later.
How come, you ask? Well, nothing helps you to be more productive like feeling you are accomplishing something. Rather than having your daily list swallow you up in length, knock out some of those shorter, easier tasks first so you can check them off sooner and kickstart the momentum of being productive for the rest of the day.
Becoming a Productivity Pro
Living in the digital age, it can be difficult to remove distractions and stay present in the moment when you have so much to do and so little time.
That said, staying organized and undergoing the necessary planning and preparation with relevant apps helps a ton.
Utilize these tried-and-tested tips and tricks and it won’t be long you become a pro at productivity.
You’ve got this!