Why am I writing this post? It’s partially prompted by a Get To KNOW event that we’re hosting this evening with the lovely Push PR team, centered around, yep, you guessed it – productivity. It’s also because being consistently productive is something I really struggle with – I’ve actually stopped writing once already to ‘check’ my phone – I need an intervention, clearly. I swing from being single-minded with tasks to having the attention span of a 3-year-old child and don’t get me started on my motivation to get those less-than-exciting tasks done, I can procrastinate with the best of them. One of my 2018 goals is to be relentless, to achieve that goal I have to work on knocking procrastination on the head and increasing my productivity. So, if any of you need a little help with this too, here are my top 10 tips for boosting productivity, and just a few of the things that I’ll be focusing on this year to make sure I’m really getting the best out of myself.
TOP 10 TIPS FOR BOOSTING PRODUCTIVITY
- Give yourself a ‘Power Hour’. This hour can happen at any time of the day but first thing generally works best, as much as I can be quite sloth-like when it comes to getting out of bed, once I’m up, I’m always at my best in the morning. This power hour can be used in any way you like, so long as it’s setting you up for success. You feel amazing when you start the day with a bath and an hour of reading? Do that. You want to journal whilst you enjoy a cup of coffee? Do that. Are you a runner? Go for a run. Or, use it to work on that big important, time-sensitive task that you know needs to be completed.
- Quit procrastinating. Seriously, procrastination is just a bad habit and can, therefore, be nixed. Challenge yourself to a whole week of zero procrastination. You will be amazed at what you achieve. Those important passion projects that you claim you have no time for? Well, once you’ve stopped wasting time by procrastinating on all the daily mundane tasks, you’ll realise you have time to spare.
- Stop scrolling, we’re all addicted to our devices in one way or another and whilst consuming content can be a positive thing, there has to be a time cap on it. Aim to stop all mindless scrolling and instead give yourself a certain amount of time to enjoy your favourite platforms and accounts, then put the phone down and get back on with business. This is going to be a hard one for me, given my job, but as it stands I spend way too much time scrolling, consuming other peoples content when really I should be focusing on creating my own.
- Time blocking. This tool is an absolute game changer for getting the most out of your day. Look at the tasks you absolutely have to get done throughout the day, now set yourself a timeframe for each and every task. It’s so easy to get so caught up in doing one thing and then going down various rabbit holes, that you get to the end of the day and realise you’re way off-task and still way behind on your list. When you begin each task, set a timer and when it goes off, you stop and move on to the next task. Hard to get used to, especially if it goes off when you’re in the zone but it’s really worth at least trying for a few days, just to see how well it works for you.
- Limit your to-do list. Endless to-do lists can be quite demoralising and can often leave us paralyzed with indecision over what to do first. Try picking one critical task that needs to get done each day and make sure you start with that one. Then prioritise the rest in order of importance, I’d recommend no more than 5 things on your list, max. If you finish before the days out you can either complete extra tasks or finish the day early as a reward for being productive AF.
- Keep a notebook handy. If inspiration strikes whilst you’re busy with another task, write your idea down so that you can come back to it later. This not only helps keep your productivity on track but it also means you’re less likely to forget those brilliant ideas.
- Leave tackling that inbox till mid-afternoon as that is usually when you’re in a slump, energy wise. Save your peak energy hours for those really important tasks.
- Say no more often… I know we’re often told to do the exact opposite but hear me out. Say no to the things that don’t serve you, say no to the things that you really want to say no to. So often we say yes out of fear of missing out, or because we don’t want to let people down. The thing is, everytime you say yes out of obligation, you’re taking valuable time and energy away from you achieving your dreams. Obviously, sometimes it’s good to say yes to things that push you out of your comfort zone but get better at distinguishing between the things you should say yes to and those that you can easily avoid.
- Stop multitasking. As mentioned in Tip number 4, focus on one thing at a time. Being effective whilst multitasking is a kind of a myth, you’re getting by, at best. Remember that almost everything will be better if it has had your full attention.
- Give yourself down days. Being consistently productive is the holy grail and my goal of being relentless is definitely valid but we also need time to recharge and allow ourselves to just be, to do things with no timeframe attached to them. Don’t skimp on this downtime in the hope of getting ahead, it will only set you back further down the line with burnout and illness.
I hope these top 10 tips for boosting productivity are helpful and if you’re coming to the talk later, I can’t wait to see you there!