Seven Productivity Hacks for Getting Stuff Done
Guest post from freelance contributor, Lindsey Patterson, who specializes in business technology, customer relationship management, and lead management.
Whatever your profession, we all have moments when we hit that brick wall; those times when our productivity takes a sharp decline and it seems like nothing will get you through the rest of the work day. Unfortunately, deadlines are coming, and you usually aren’t able to give it all up and take a nap instead. So what do you do when motivation is hard to come by? Here are some tips for getting stuff done, whether at work or at home.
1. Create more than just a to do list.
It’s usually the first suggestion that anyone gives for getting stuff done, but to do lists only really work if you do them properly. When you make your list, mark things according to level of importance, and try to schedule them out as much as possible. This will more actively help you to achieve each goal.
2. Use your least productive times productively.
Many people talk about taking a break when you really aren’t feeling motivated for work, and while this is a good idea when you have been working hard the rest of the time or can get back to work after a short break, sometimes you are really avoiding something and if you do this, your whole life will turn into one giant break. Instead, use the times when you are feeling unproductive to take care of busy work or something mindless.
3. Plan tomorrow at the end of each day.
One such unproductive time is at the end of the day. You can make the most of this time, when your energy is probably at its lowest level, by planning out your tasks for the next day. This will give you a head start and make it easier for you to get going when you get to work the next day.
4. Dictate your own schedule, don’t let others do that for you.
A lot of people fall into the trap of letting others dictate their workday. That is to say, they get caught up in meetings, phone calls, checking and responding to emails, and other things that sap time from the real work that you need to do. Instead, schedule specific times during which you can check and respond to emails (perhaps one of your least productive times) and only allow yourself to do so then.
5. Use productivity tools.
The Internet is perhaps one of your main sources of distraction, but you can also use technology found on the Internet as a potential solution. LightArrow provides useful apps for managing work and life, such as LightArrow Organizer. Giving productivity apps a try and figuring out what works for you is a great strategy.
6. Spread the bigger tasks out.
When you are trying to accomplish something bigger, especially if it is not time sensitive, try taking care of it a little bit at a time. If you are working at painting a room, for example, don’t take the attitude of “I have to get this all done in one night.” Rather, work on a little bit at a time and go back to it when you have a free moment. A lot of tasks can be accomplished this way, and modern technology again plays a factor in making it easy to do, things like filing taxes and defensive driving courses can be completed gradually using online services.
7. Do something you love.
While this sounds like it only applies for professional work, it actually applies to every aspect of your life. If you are struggling to be productive in any task that you must accomplish, it might be time to take a step back and look at why you are avoiding these things. Of course, sometimes it’s a matter of taking care of something that no one likes—like going to the dentist or taking your car for a service—but if it is something that you can change—like your job—it might be time to start looking at ways you can change it.
Please let us know in the comments below if you have any questions or comments.
Lindsey Patterson is a freelance writer and entrepreneur who specializes in business technology, customer relationship management, and lead management. She also writes about the latest social trends, specifically involving social media. Find her on Twitter: @LindseyPatter19
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