In November I posted on my Twitter that I was trying a new routine that I was hoping would make me more productive, and a bunch of you asked me to share my tips…if they worked!
So here I am, and boy did these work! I’m going to try and keep this post as short and sweet as I possibly can, because after all, I want you to get moving and start getting the most out of your year!
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve most likely heard this a thousand times, lists are a ridiculously important tool to keep in your Productivity Arsenal. I list in a way that works best for me and my personality, it may not work for you and that’s ok, do what works for you. I don’t know how many articles I’ve read and followed the tips to a T only to find out they didn’t work for me.
This is my To Do List Book. I run a company, I teach music lessons, I blog, do YouTube videos, run my household and try to keep myself in practice with the 4 instruments that I play. Now I didn’t list all of those things to be an up-my-own-ass individual, I did it so you could understand why my method works for me. With this book I have sections, which I use for the 4 main aspects of my life namely
Under each of these sections I write what needs to be done and then highlight the most important to the least urgent (not least important, everything on your To Do List is important, but not all are extremely urgent)
2. Nighttime Preparation
Nothing kills a good day like starting off with yesterday. I have learnt this time and time again, if I start a day with yesterdays corpses, its just going to go down hill from there. So in the evenings, before I start getting ready for bed, I will end the day properly. I will reply to any emails that are left open, or change the flag status on any emails for that day. I will make my To Do Lists for the next day (sometimes keeping my book next to my bed incase something pops up as I’m drifting off) and review what I had accomplished that day, it may seem weird, but I get a great sense of motivation just seeing what I have accomplished in a day. I will clean my office and make sure my desk is ready for me in the morning.
3. Early Morning Exercise / Me Time
When I used to work in corporate (believe it or not, I worked in corporate) , I would wake up at the very last minute, rush off to get ready and speed off to work. I would arrive flustered, irritated and already in the wrong frame of mind. Your job is most likely hectic, in this economic climate I’d be worried if it wasn’t, so why put added pressure on yourself? I get up earlier in the morning (sacrificing that sleep and tallying it up to add to my weekend nap time) and I go for a run with my dad. For me this works, I have a chance to clear my head and calm my body. If you suffer from anxiety like I do, this gives you the endorphins needed to keep your body level. But hey, if exercise isn’t your thing, why not take that extra hour and read a book, or sit outside for a bit, something relaxing to start the day off on a level playing field.
4. Eat That Frog
This is a saying I picked up in a business meeting last year. When the guy first said it I totally pretended I knew what he was talking about and secretly held in an anxiety attack that he was going to make me eat a damn frog right then and there. But he didn’t, and I was left confused as a kid who bites into plastic fruit. So after calming myself down and hopping (see what I did there) on google, I learnt a thing or two. Eating That Frog means tackling the things you most dread, first. Get it over and done with, don’t let it sit in the back of your mind, because while you are trying to accomplish anything that day, you will forever be thinking about that damn frog. Eat it. Get it done. Move on to conquer the day.
5. 45 to 10 Method
Now this is something I came up with myself, I’m sure other people do it, but for me it was a first. One of my many issues (believe me I have a shit ton) is that I struggle with concentration, so I needed to figure out a way to tackle that. So I came up with the 45 to 10. I will set a 45 minute timer on my phone and from there I will close ALL social media sites and my email. For those 45 minutes I will not touch my phone unless it is to do with business and I will not look at social media. For me, social media sucks up so much of my time, because I love it so much. So for those 45 minutes I have complete and utter focus on the tasks at hand. After the 45 minutes are up, I remove myself from my desk for 10 minutes (timed as well) and binge on social media, take a walk or make more coffee. I find with those concentrated sessions, I get higher quality of work out and I get more done. And because I know that after those 45 minutes I can do what I want for 10 minutes, it makes it all that more rewarding.
So there you have it, the little things I have changed to get the most out of each day! Remember, what you do today, changes who you are tomorrow!
I’d love to know what you do to keep yourself productive, so let me know! I’d also like to know if any of these methods helped you!
Until next time…