Thursday, April 12, 2018

Try This Trick to Increase Your Productivity

To-do lists. We all have them. Whether you keep yours digitally, on paper, or, God forbid, just in your head, odds are you've got a never-ending list somewhere of all the tasks that you should get accomplished. For me, working from home, I have a list that encompasses business related things as well as "life stuff". Yep, all in one list. Cause there is only one me, so why have two separate lists? Makes sense, right?

Personally, I have an on-paper list...which I realize is somewhat odd, being an otherwise digital style girl. But I have found that when I can actually X out an item on a list I find that far more satisfying than just striking it out on the computer or deleting it off a digital list. Personal preference I suppose. In any case, I have a calendar with a two page spread for each week, and in each of those days of the week, I write the tasks for the day. Yes, I do write ahead into days where I know I have a task coming up that will need to be done, but maybe not til next Wednesday or something. Putting my tasks to paper is my brain dump. If I can get it out of my head, it's more likely I will actually get it done on time. And no, things don't always get done exactly on the day that I planned them to. I'm still human, after all, and some days you just don't feel like working.

So, enter what I like to call the "30 Minute Day". This is a concept I started doing a few years ago when my task list was getting long and I was feeling overwhelmed. It's NOT something I do every day, or even every week...just when I need to. Basically, I take a look at my task list and figure out what stuff on there I am procrastinating on that I really need to get a move on, or what stuff just HAS TO get crossed off that list. Ideally for me (again, working from home) that "must do" list is going to be a mix of business and personal tasks. Often you'll find things on my list from "create more team group interaction posts" to "fold laundry" to "plan menu and make grocery list" to "write blog post on vendor events", etc. Ya know, all that "stuff" that isn't difficult but just isn't done. I am sure you can relate.

Once I've got my list, I set the timer on my phone for 30 minutes and start on one of the business related tasks. So that first 30 minutes I will be doing nothing but working on those team interaction posts. The whole time. If by some miracle, I happen to get them done with time to spare, I'll start scheduling them. When the timer goes off, I stop. Whether I'm finished or not. Yes, really. Then I set the timer for another 30 minutes and I tackle one of the personal items on the list, like folding laundry. In my house, that absolutely won't get done in 30 minutes, because I have a tendency to wash a ton and then leave it in like 8 laundry hampers waiting to be folded (raise your hand if you're that girl, too!!) So when the timer goes off, I stop folding laundry and leave the rest for later. Now I set the timer once more for 30 minutes, and this 30 minute block is a BREAK. I can do whatever. Watch some Netflix, play on my iPad. I can do anything I want, EXCEPT go back to that work or the laundry. The break time is essential, and I promise, even though you are technically working fewer hours, you will accomplish more, because your mind has time to relax. Try it.

When break time is over, the cycle starts again. 30 more minutes towards a work task, then a personal task, then a break. I cross more off my to-do list on my 30 minute days than you can imagine, and more importantly, I feel like I can conquer the world!! I dare you to give it a shot.

No comments:

Post a Comment