“Done is better than perfect.”
― Sheryl Sandberg
One of my new year’s resolutions for 2018 is to become more productive. It may sound easy, but we all have those kinds of days in which we have a lot on our minds, but at the end of the day, only one of them is actually accomplished. (Don’t worry, you’re not alone.) Being more productive isn’t rocket science; however, it does require some effort. In this article, I am going to share with you three ways to boost your productivity I have picked up over the last few years.
Lists Are Your Friend
I don’t know about you but for me, my agenda is like one of those Santa’s little elves, it makes my life so much easier. Besides, who doesn’t like checking things off a list, right? Set yourself achievable goals each day and while writing those daily tasks down, try to prioritize them by adding a different symbol- I usually go for a star- or using a different color.
Start off your day with the most important tasks, you can use stickers to make it more fun. Visualizing the tasks will make you stick to the plan more and even plan ahead for the next day. Sometimes, I also make monthly or weekly lists just to see the broader picture better.
If you do not have a paper planner, you can always have a look at hundreds of great productivity apps on your phone for a digital one. (Todoist, Productive, and Do! are only a few of them.) All you have to do is just to choose one, and-voilà- you are good to go!
Feed Your Focus
If you think you are not productive enough during the day, one of the reasons might be lack of concentration. If that’s the case for you, do not hesitate to spare some time for meditation. It doesn’t have to be that long but trust me, even a 5-minute meditation can give you a clear vision for the rest of the day. If you are at work, you can try simple conscious breathing practices to clear your mind and feel re-energized.
The lack of quality sleep might be another reason why you find it hard to focus. Make sure you get enough sleep if you need to be productive the next day. Stay motivated, but do not forget that you have to take care of your mind and body as well. If possible, try to maintain a regular sleep schedule, healthy diet, and an exercise routine.
Beware of the distracting items. Why? Because let’s be honest: Once you start scrolling down on your feed, there is no going back. If you find it difficult to minimize the electronic distractions (girl, we can relate) there are lots of site-blocker apps you can install.
Lastly, remember that your desk is your happy place, not a battlefield. If it’s already a mess, you don’t have enough room to be crazy about a new project or develop further. Take your time to organize your office and private space, you will see that it really does wonders for your concentration level.
Did Somebody Say Break Time?
Breaks are the much needed mental rewards for your brain, but how often do you need them? Let me introduce you to the “Pomodoro Technique”, a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. It’s about breaking down your work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. (25 minutes of work + 5 minutes of break= 1 Pomodoro) After every 4 pomodoros –equivalent to 2 hours- take a longer break. Here are a couple of helpful websites to implement the technique with ease:
Another time management method is the “2-Minute Rule”. It suggests that if you come across any task throughout your workday that can be accomplished in two minutes or less, you should just do it right away! Don’t bother adding it to your list and making it even longer needlessly.
Bonus Tip: I highly recommend reading “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” by David Allen. You can find the link to his TEDx speech here
What are your ways to boost productivity? Comment below, I’d love to hear from you!
Written by Zehra Naz Hacısüleyman