Updated: May 19
1. Create a to-do list and prioritize each item
As we all know, life can be hectic and complicated. When you have to juggle a million tasks at work, other family members in need of your attention, do chores around the house - it's easy to lose track of where your day went! That is why lists are so important. They help us prioritize what needs to be done right now versus later on this week when our schedule clears up again or next month when just one more thing bubbles over into day-to-day activities that were previously not part of our routine but then interrupted everything else going on with its urgency before being completed – which leads back to having even less time than we did originally as well as feeling like things never get accomplished because they're always getting pushed off.
To-do lists are an important part of productivity. They help you stay organized and focus on the task at hand by ranking it based on priority, urgency, or importance. Staying focused can be difficult to do but if you have a clear idea of what needs your attention first then victory is more likely in sight! Start with the most important task first and take care of small tasks when you have the time, instead of letting them pile up
My MVP: Google Tasks
2. Set a timer for every task you do
Time is our most valuable non-renewable resource- you should know exactly how you spend it. For example, do not squander an hour on email if it is taking away from more important projects like completing a project that’s soon overdue or ordering supplies. Knowing what tasks are robbing your time can help with organization and delegation to maximize productivity at work while also freeing up some of that precious free time in life!
I’ve been using the Pomodoro technique for some time now and it has helped me focus, be present in my work, and enjoy myself. I wondered how to adapt this premise into other parts of my life so that these benefits can arise as well. For example when working out or learning new yoga asanas - in which you need to have intense concentration on every action because one mistake could lead to an injury.
My MVP: Strict Workflow (Google Chrome Extension)
3. Put your tasks on a calendar
You can go with traditional pen-and-paper methods if that suits the way you operate best but there are also plenty of great apps out there too - just make sure whichever method(s) work well for YOU when scheduling appointments! I have also started blocking times in the calendar for personal responsibilities, these could be anything from handling finances, working out, checking up on a friend, home maintenance, finishing a chapter or a course, etc. Once I’ve blocked that time of the day to invest in myself, I know I have assigned a certain level of importance to those parts of my life which no one else could do for me.
My MVP: Google Calendar
4. Turn off notifications:
There will always be someone calling you for something they need, thus adding an item to your to-do list, but how often do people call you to ask what they can take off your list? Exactly.
Disconnecting from the outside world is one way to increase productivity. To do this, eliminate distractions and turn off notifications on your phone or computer so that you can focus better without being interrupted by constant alerts. It's no secret that being constantly plugged in has an effect on us: we lose track of how long it takes to complete tasks because there are always things vying for our attention and as soon as one notification pops up with another message or event reminder, you're pulled away from your current task.
My MVP: Do Not Disturb setting on my phone + Strict workflow
5. Declutter your surrounding:
A person's ability to concentrate is increased when their environment isn't cluttered. People who are constantly distracted by things around them find it difficult, even frustrating at times, to get anything done because they're so easily pulled in different directions and don't know where to focus on first. By getting rid of some excess belongings or items that aren't used as often but still take up space for days or weeks at a time can really help someone be more efficient with how much energy they use throughout the day since you won’t have any unnecessary distractions lying about your home distracting you from what should matter most.
My MVP: Kon Mari's method of only surrounding myself with what I need or brings me joy.
6. Set deadlines to hold yourself accountable
There are many reasons why deadlines can be great. First, it helps us to stay organized and on track for future tasks because we have a goal that is set in stone. Secondly, the looming date motivates people to work harder so they don't disappoint themselves or others who may rely upon them. Thirdly, if you know what you're working towards then there's less chance of despairing when things get tough along the way which could lead someone to give up altogether before achieving success!
Deadlines not only strengthen our determination but also allow us an opportunity at self-evaluation by giving ourselves something concrete with which to measure progress toward accomplishment rather than just wandering aimlessly without any sense of direction.
7. Have a reward system
Do you remember when you were allowed to play outside or watch your favorite cartoon after finishing your homework after school? Apply the same mentality to create a sense of self-discipline, as there is no better way to motivate humans than with a reward. All the best athletes and entrepreneurs are motivated by rewards, why should you be any different? Everything we do in life is in some way based on a reward system. You studied hard for many years and finally got a degree? That is a reward. Your company gives you a fat cheque or invaluable experience for your work? That is a reward. You showed up consistently for your girlfriend and now she is your wife? That is a reward.
We tend to look at benefits in a macro lens so much that we sometimes forget the smaller rewards accumulated each day are what truly make our life meaningful - like a phone call with a loved one, a piece of pie, a glass of wine or maybe even a good nap. So reward yourself with those little treats when you have ticked off those important tasks.
My MVP: Chocolate, memes, and calling a friend
8. Delegate and outsource
You can't do everything by yourself, so cut yourself some slack and delegate. Maybe it's time for you to train someone else in your work or maybe it’s time to hire an intern. That frees up more of your energy from the smaller projects that are less complicated tasks but still time-consuming, freeing up all of that attention towards one bigger project - which is a win-win situation. If you're not sure where to start with this process (or don't have enough spare hours), consider outsourcing these jobs to an experienced freelancer who knows their way around the industry better than anyone on staff does; they'll save money on overhead costs too since they know how much each job should cost them per hour.
My MVP: Upwork
9. Optimize on fringe time
I have recently learned about the concept of fringe time - when you get stuck in a queue at a store, while you are waiting for the operator to connect you with the relevant agent, commuting to a meeting, or waiting for your meal to cook. Fringe time is usually spontaneous and lasts a brief amount of time, not enough to listen to a podcast nor take a proper call, however, they can still be used efficiently. Instead of scrolling through social media feed aimlessly you can pull out your action items and tick off the micro-tasks that are accessible at that time or maybe even rearrange your calendar depending on any novelties.
My MVP: Spotting when I am about to aimlessly use my phone
10. Avoid perfection
It is a lot easier than it sounds, but people often try too hard and end up getting in their own way. Avoid overanalyzing everything you do or risk becoming consumed by perfection, which will drag you down. Sometimes our best can feel like it's not enough and we start to get discouraged; however, once a task is completed with care and given full attention from beginning to end then there should no longer be any worries about whether or not that was good enough because what matters most is being able to move on without regret rather than staying stuck in an endless cycle of self-doubt.
My MVP: Gut instinct