“Work smarter, not harder.” — Allen F. Morgenstern
Are you someone who is so overwhelmed with a bunch of tasks that never manages to do everything on time and properly? Or are you someone who always strives to achieve more and work harder, but the feeling of being unproductive and wasting time never leaves you? If so, read further. The Internet is full of articles about time management. To solve this problem for myself, I started to experiment with many different tips. Here I have chosen the most effective and powerful 8 tips that really worked for me.
NOTE: Personalities do vary and the tip that worked for me perfectly may not work for you. Just think for a moment about your personality and decide which tip will be most effective for you.
1. Plan the next day in the evening
Each evening decide what you want your next day to be like and what you want to accomplish. Make your todo list and have a sweet sleep. Your brain will have a whole night to organize the next day :)) There are more tips shared for productivity improvement in this article. How do you choose todo-s wisely? Keep on reading!
WARNING: A list of heavy and unrealistic tasks to do may just overwhelm you and have a negative effect. This leads to the next point.
2. Divide the task into small pieces
Our mind is calmer when the task is realistic and not frustrating, thus more concentrated which leads to higher productivity. Always split the tasks into small parts. 30-minute long tasks work best for me. This sends signs to our brain that the work is manageable and it approaches the task more happily. Yes, you got it correctly. Try to trick your brain as if you are doing easy-cheesy things. 😜
3. Set goals daily, weekly, and monthly
Nothing can convince me to complete a task quickly if I am not motivated to do that. Motivation is the most powerful method to “force” me to do something. Thus, I eliminate all the tasks I am not interested in doing. Isn’t completing things that you love just a pleasure?
Here is the process I usually go through for accomplishing my goals and having a precious todo list.
- Set general goals that I want to reach (should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely) goals for maximizing results).
- Every Sunday I choose specific goals as coming week’s goals.
- Split them into smaller steps if too long or difficult.
- Every evening I look at my week goals and decide tomorrow’s steps to accomplish them.
5. Learn to say “NO”
I should confess that this tip was the most revolutionary for me. Making a choice is really difficult, but when you do it you get closer to your main goal. Never lose your focus of what you want to achieve in life. Learn to say “NO” to the things that do not meet your vision. Believe me, when you learn saying “NO” your life becomes more enjoyable and your time is being spent wiser. Already have in mind what you will reject next time? 🤫
6. Block out distractions
Nowadays we are all surrounded with different kind of distractions. Top one is social media though. To be more productive, I would recommend turning off the notifications from social platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Also, it’s a good idea to set a specific time for answering emails and messages and do that only at that time. When you are working on something, focus on it and block all the information sources that can distract you.
I use this Chrome Extension to block some websites that keep me interrupted, so it does not allow me to enter them even if I try to type facebook or linkedin without realizing it.
I like setting two-week or one-month long challenges for myself, such as “Do not login to my Facebook account for 14 days” or “Delete all social media apps from my mobile phone for a month.” Interestingly enough, when the challenge is over I already don’t even have the desire to come back to my previous routine. What distracts you most? Challenge yourself today! ✊
7. 2 minutes’ rule
As I already mentioned, having a plan is mandatory for most people to stay focused on what they have to do. However, there are some little tiny things that is better not to include in your plan; instead, do instantly and take it right away from your day plan. These tasks/activities are the ones that take you less than 2 minutes to complete. So, if you get a task that will last approximately 2 minutes, complete it at the same time when you get it.
Why? Well, you have already been distracted to get the task, coming back to it later will take another 5–10 minutes for transitioning from one task to another. 5–10 minutes for a 2-minute task??? Oh no, better if you do it right now. 😄
8. Do something during waiting time
Another important thing that I always do is to have an “extra plan” for your waiting time. If you keep track of your time you will notice how much spare time you have in your day spent on waiting for something or transportation. If you have activities that you can do outside your home, such as “finding a new course about Node.js” or “reading an article about SEO”, you can plan those for your waiting or transportation time to complete them by your phone. Or… just always carry a book with you.
You’re ready to go and be the next WOW person! Good luck in your goals 🙂
What do you for accomplishing your goals? Share it below in the comments section.