Learn How To Be Productive With 6 Tips
With PSL season coming to an end, leaves falling and time changing, you might thinking “where did the year go?” Once the realization that there are less than three months left in 2019 begins to sink in, you start to think of all of the things that need to be done in preparation for the holidays. If you’re anything like me, the more things you have to accomplish the harder it is to focus because your mind is constantly adding things to the ever-growing ‘to do’ list.
Whether you’re dragging your feet because you’re afraid that you’re in too deep, or if the things that need to be done just aren’t that interesting (i.e. polishing the silverware for Thanksgiving) now is the time to get started! Here are six tips to becoming more productive today:
1. Write it down. Constantly thinking about undone tasks can cause anxiety so take out a pen and pad and write down all of the undone tasks that you can think of. If you want to take things a step further, walk around your house to make sure that you’ve captured everything. The longer things stay in your head the guiltier you’ll feel about putting them off, but trust me, once they’re on paper you’ll start to feel better.
2. Start small. Once the list is complete, prioritize everything in order of smallest to largest and assign a rough estimate of how long it would take to complete the task. Tackle any task that requires less than 30 minutes and work your way up to larger, more complex tasks. Taking this approach ensures that you’re able to see immediate results and feel good about continuing the process.
3. Break down larger projects. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! The same philosophy applies to conquering those intimidating jobs. Whether it’s organizing your garage or clearing out a guest bedroom for company, you’ll need a plan of action before you start. Creating a plan of attack makes the biggest jobs less stressful and manageable because you’re able to clearly see the finish line.
4. Minimize distractions. Do you really have to check your phone every time you get a notification? The answer is probably not. Believe or not you can actually PLAN your distractions so that it doesn’t take you 4 hours to complete one simple task. I set a timer and designate the last 10 minutes of every hour to checking my social media news feeds.
5. Set a schedule and stick to it. Most of us don’t have an entire day to devote to being productive - which is why looking at your daily schedule and fitting in one or two tasks each day can help. If you know that you have one hour of free time in the morning before work, why not wash those dishes? If you’re working from home and have 30 minutes for lunch, why not vacuum the living room? The key to setting a schedule is to realistically assess how much free time you have and make the most of it – but don’t go overboard. While it may seem like a good idea to so as many things in one day as possible to get it over with, be careful not to become overwhelmed.
6. Take breaks. Speaking of being overwhelmed…we’re all human, so we need to take breaks. Devote a certain amount of time to a task (I like to work in 30 minute intervals) and see how you feel. If you’re not tired then add on another 30, and so on and so forth. When you get to the point where you feel tired walk away and focus on something totally different. This helps clear your mind and takes pressure off of you to get everything done at once. There’s one important thing to remember - when you’re rested, come back and finish up!
Finally, don’t forget to celebrate your accomplishments. Reward yourself for all of your victories whether they are big or small because you’ve used your time more efficiently today than you did yesterday and that’s a big deal!
Now that you have some tools to help you get started, go out there and be more productive Tidy Team!