I have a confession – I’ve always LOVED to make ‘to-do’ lists, but I used to struggle HARD to actually get through them. You see, I’ve always had the organization mindset to put pen to paper and make a good old list of what I needed to get done each week and what my top priorities were. BUT I have always been a hard-core procrastinator at heart and so I’d end up at the end of the week with barely any boxes checked off. And then of course started the mad scramble to get everything done at the last minute. Can anyone else relate?
HOWEVER, the good news (if you’re like me) is that there is hope for us. Oh yes, trust me there is definitely hope! I’d say over the last 2 years or so I’ve developed some good tools to help me actually get through my to-do lists productively and efficiently each week, which is of course a total game changer and makes the week run SO much more smoother. Here are 5 ways that I swear by to boost your productivity.
Set the vibe.
Sounds kind of funny right? But TRUST ME this is actually super important. Figure out what kind of vibe you need to be in to be your most productive. Do you prefer to be in a super quiet space sitting at a desk? Or do you like to have background music playing while sitting with your laptop on the couch (totally me, btw)? Or do you like the vibe of your local coffee shop with the background noise of quiet music, people chattering, and the smell of coffee in the air? Whatever it is that helps you get in the zone, figure it out and set that vibe for yourself.
Set self-imposed deadlines.
I love doing this, because I am so not about the procrastination lifestyle anymore. If something needs to get done by a certain date, you do NOT need to wait until the last minute to get it done. Set a self-imposed deadline for a few days or a week before so you can stay ahead of the game. If you’re working on something big, break it down into smaller tasks and set individual deadlines for each of those to help you stay on track.
Track and limit how much time you spend on each task.
Chances are pretty high that you have multiple things to get done at any given time and don’t have a whole lot of extra time to spend all day on one task. Plan out how much time you’ll spend on each task and keep track of it so you don’t run out of time for something else on your list. This also helps you to focus on one given task for a set time rather than trying to multitask. Because let’s face it, while multitasking SOUNDS like a productive idea, it most definitely just slows you down further instead.
Do similar tasks at the same time.
I’m 1000% sure that at some point or another we have all experienced that feeling of being so in the zone that you could keep going even when you’re done? That momentum and energy is PERFECT to help boost your productivity and get multiple things done at once. The key to maximizing on this is to do similar tasks at the same time. For example, if you have a bunch of things to do that require you being on the computer (i.e. sending emails, paying online bills, placing an online order, editing a blog post, etc.), do them all at the same time while you’re already in your groove on the computer before switching to something completely different.
Take regular breaks.
This is another super important tip. Take breaks frequently to help refresh your mind and get a boost of energy. Have a snack, take a quick nap, do something you enjoy. Pushing yourself to the extreme just to “be productive” can be counterintuitive and just slow you down instead. So be sure to take breaks regularly to help you rejuvenate and keep going.
These tips have helped me SO MUCH in becoming a more productive person. I went from being the queen of procrastination to actually getting things done way ahead of time. I also LOVE using a planner for this, so that I can make to-do lists, set deadlines, and plan out when I’ll be working on specific tasks all in one place. I hope that even just trying out one or two of these tips will help you to boost your own productivity, whether it be at work or just for your own day-to-day tasks. Whatever it may be, happy tasking.