5 Productivity Essentials
I love writing articles and sharing my experiences here, however I don’t get to do as much as I like since I also have an 8-5 job, which requires dedication and sometimes even extra hours. Time is quite limited, however I have found that when I apply the following tasks, I tend to make more out of my day and actually finish most of the things I have to do.
I try to incorporate these tasks in both my work life as well as my personal life since both incorporate important tasks I need to finish off. So here goes the list:
1. Making Lists
Making list helps you get a better idea of all the tasks that need to be done, ensures you don’t forget any of these tasks and gives a feeling of satisfaction when you cross out items on your list as well as having a better idea on how many tasks are still to be done.
Lists can be kept either physically or digitally. A lot of phones nowadays support different list applications. A couple of apps I have tried and like for keeping lists are: Evernote and Out of Milk and they both have the functionality to tick off or cross off a done item, which I love.
I also like writing list on a piece of paper as I love crossing off or highlighting items.
I usually incorporate both types of lists in my day to day tasks. I also keep a routine task list where I write down all the simple things I have to do daily along with the time it usually takes to get this task done. This might sound silly, but sometimes it is easy to let go of things when you feel busy and tired but most tasks will only take 10mins in total and you will feel much better once they are done. Some of the tasks in my routine lists include Brushing my teeth and picking out my work clothes for the following day.
Something I ‘ve been doing recently is keeping a notepad and pen near my bed. A lot of thoughts start popping in my head as soon as I get in bed, keeping a notepad and pen enables me to write these thoughts down as soon as they pop in my head and then I can forget them and relax as I will remember them as soon as I have a look at my list the next morning.
2. Setting Timers
Just like a timer is helpful when cooking, to remember that your food is ready, I find they are equally helpful when getting tasks done. I set realistic timers when doing certain tasks such as writing posts, putting away laundry and checking my mail. I find that this keeps me grounded, knowing that the timer will go off when my allocated time runs out keep me from slacking off and wasting time doing other things. E.g. When going through my emails, it is very easy to click on a link and browse the site instead of replying to the emails that require action. I find this sometimes wastes a lot of minutes if not hours, but having a timer somehow makes me more responsible on how I use my time. I will then browse the website once my tasks are done 🙂
3. Plan and Schedule in advance
This might seem like a big task or a waste of time to some people, and although it does take up quite some time to plan and schedule initially (it gets easier and takes up less time once you get the hang of it), it makes it easier along your day / week knowing exactly what and when needs to be done. Makes it easier to get all your stuff done in shorter amount of time. Some plans I try to schedule during the weekend for my week ahead are; Meal Plan, Workout Plan and Tasks Plan.
I usually try to schedule big tasks first and then I try to slot in smaller tasks in between as I find this will make the most of your time.
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4. Wake up and move
Waking up 30-45 minutes earlier to do some kind of workout makes me feel energized and starts my day with a good mood which in turn makes me more productive. I used to keep snoozing my alarm clock for over an hour sometimes, as when I don’t get up within 15mins of my alarm, it will be more difficult to wake up. I feel that the way I wake up effects how I feel throughout the whole day and how productive I am.
5. Allocate an actual break time
I find that having a 30 minute break is better than taking six 5-minute breaks for a couple of reasons; I find that when I start a task it is easier to spend a chunk amount of time and finish it off, then stop every 15 minutes or so to take a small break. If I loose my train of thought, it takes me longer to get back to the task to continue where I left off. I also find that if I concentrate on a task I get it done much faster knowing that I will have a proper break where I can rewind and relax. Getting up from your desk and going into a different room makes your break time feel more ‘real’, helps you calm down which in turn makes you feel more energized when getting back to your desk to continue your work.
I love reading and learning new things and I’ve recently discovered I can play audiobooks in my car. I live 30mins away from my work however during the morning and evening traffic, it usually takes me around 1hour 30min to go to work and another hour to comeback. I used to get frustrated as I was seeing the time stuck in traffic as a waste of time, but since I discovered that I can play audio books instead of my radio, I’ve been listening to some audios and learn new things or listen to the book I’ve been wanting to read for ages but never find time. I see this time as an additional break / me time as well as another way to tick items off my list!
What are your top 5 tips for productivity? Do you have any special tips?
Thank you for reading 🙂 Let me know what you think in the comments below!