As a blogger, freelancer, and Etsy shop owner, I KNOW what lack of productivity feels like. I know how it is to be so busy you feel like you can’t breathe, but at the same time not seem to be getting anything valuable done.
Running in place is neither fun, nor helpful, so we’re going to get out of that exhausting rut right now.
Let me help you narrow down your focus and get stuff done today! These skills are essential (and so easy!) for everyone who has a running list of tasks to complete. By the end of this short list, you’ll feel ready to pump up your productivity and make the most of your day.
Easier said than done, right?
The very first step that you need to take to really revving up that necessary productivity has to take place with you.
You need to be willing to work and to work hard. No pain, no gain, after all!
It may not be the most fun step, but it is the most necessary. No matter how many other options and ideas are thrown at you, if you aren’t willing to take the first few steps yourself, you won’t be heading anywhere.
Begin to focus on what the highest priority tasks on your mind are. What things are essential that we get done today, what things just can’t wait anymore?
Make a list/schedule
Take those things that you’ve been focusing on and write them down.
Better yet, get a calendar and make an entire schedule of all of your responsibilities and your deadlines. Highlight your pressing chores that are time sensitive or important, make sure that you can see those at just a glance.
I personally have an (over)abundance of planners that I keep on my desk in order to keep my on track.
My favorite is this one, partially because of the gorgeous and color and partially because it’s so gosh darn cheap!
Take a few moments to write down your main objective for the day. It can be anything from finally cleaning out the drawers in the kitchen to applying to several new job listings to writing five thousand words of content. It really is whatever you need to get done.
That is your goal number one!
You do that before you do anything else. You finish that before you move to anything else.
This’ll keep your head in the game and your eye on the prize. Get your main goal done before wasting time and attention on other tasks that are less important. This way, at the end of the day, you end up with at least your one main objective finished instead of a slurry of halfhearted ones. It’s the first step to managing productivity and feeling like you’re wading through your huge list of chores.
Get rid of distraction
In order to get that giant checkmark done on your to-do list, you need to isolate behaviors that lead to your distraction. If it’s your phone, put it in another room. If it’s your email, close that tab and don’t you dare open it again!
This is all going to go back to your focus. Remember that? Mission number one on pumping up your productivity?
Each step depends on that pillar of self-control and dedication to focusing on being productive. You need to be willing to turn off your social media or your Netflix or whatever is going to drag you back into unproductivity.
Go ahead and put everything away except for your work.
The Pomodoro technique is FLAWLESS.
Basically, you get down and dirty for twenty five whole minutes before taking a light break (think five or ten minutes.) This can be adjusted however you want, like working twenty or thirty minutes and then adjusting the break.
Basically, the idea is that you work really hard for a little while and then you play for a little while. You can check your phone or your email or do some quick stretches, but you have to be ready to get back to business at the end of your break time. After you do four or so Pomodoro sessions of twentyish minutes, you’ve earned a long break!
There are a bunch of handy timers and apps online that can help you manage this time, and it really does wonders for helping with burnout from working too long.
Check out http://pomodorotechnique.com/ for the nitty-gritty.
Good job! Now it’s time for the fun part!
You’ve worked long and you’ve worked hard and now you deserve a little something special. And there is such a broad range of wonderful things you can do for this.
For instance, at the end of the week if I’ve accomplished every single thing on my to-do list (which doesn’t happen often, unfortunately!) I splurge and get myself a good treat. Once, it was a new outfit I’d had my eye on for weeks. Another time, it was this ADORABLE cat purse. Yes. Seriously. I bought myself a cat purse.
This is completely scalable to your own personal motivational needs. Whether you need something tiny every day that you complete your goals, like your favorite brand of tea that you only have when you’re finished your list, or something bigger weekly or monthly (like a cat purse!!). It’s all up to you and what you think is best for yourself.
It’s flexible as well. While I generally only reward myself after huge bursts of productivity, there are just some days that you need to promise yourself a glass of wine if you can simply survive until five o clock… or three… or two. I won’t tell 😉
So, what did you think of my productivity pumping list? Can you feel the burn now?
What are your favorite ways to stay motivated?