We’ve all been there. We want to be super productive. It would be wonderful if we were all highly organized people. There are a million and one things on our to-do list. All we can manage is to pour ourselves another cup of coffee, check Facebook again, and stare at the list. Wondering how we will ever get it all this crap done…
9 Things That You Super Productive
1. Be Realistic About Your Time
First, you need to have a good estimate of how much time you have to get stuff done, and then how long each task will realistically take you. If you are constantly underestimating the time you have to work on something, or the length of time it will take to accomplish, you are going to get behind. That one thing on the list that was supposed to take 15 minutes, is now sucking an hour and twenty out of your day. You have less time for the other things on your list now.
2. Start Your Day with a Plan.
The best thing to do is to start your day with a plan to plan. Set aside a chunk of 15-20 minutes in the morning to look through your tasks and then plan your day accordingly. You can also do this the last 15-20 minutes of the day so you are ready to hit the ground running in the morning. Just don’t put it off!
3. Find the Time You are Most Productive
It is not possible to be a superhero all day long. You are going to have points in the day where you are not focused. All you can think about is a cookie and another cup of coffee or tea. Think about your day and when you feel the most energized and focused.
Usually, this happens at two times during the day for a chunk of 2-3 hours. This is your most productive time. Schedule your most important tasks or the tasks that take the most focus for this part of the day. Save the routine tasks, or the brainless ones for that period of time right before the cookie!
4. Now You Adjust Your To-Do List
You know what time you work best. You know how long tasks are going to take you. Be realistic and decide what will fit in your day, and what can wait until tomorrow or later in the week. Now prioritize your list. Super productive people will know that they can’t fit everything into one day, so they will adjust their to-do list accordingly. Just because it’s on the list, does not mean it gets done today! It might be on the list for Friday instead.
5. Take Care of Quick Tasks When They Arise
When that quick “to-do” pops into your head and you know it will only take a few minutes (you are double dang sure it will only take a few minutes) then just do it. Don’t take the time to write it down or try and remember it later (because you know you won’t and then you will spend more time trying to remember it). Just do it.
Check out this family emergency binder and get all your legal documents in order.
6. Use a Planning Tool That Works (for you)
Just because everyone else is using Asana, doesn’t mean you need to. Or Google Calendar, or whatever! Pick what works for you. If you like a day planner with sticky notes all over and it keeps you organized and on task, then use that. If your phone is your constant companion and you can turn it into a workhorse (or your own personal VA) then do that! Use a combination of all of them. Just don’t make your planning tool another chore. It should be smooth and seamless.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Pat yourself on the back for what you accomplished today. Come back tomorrow and kick-ass again!” quote=”Pat yourself on the back for what you accomplished today. Come back tomorrow and kick-ass again!”]
7. Multitask or Don’t Multitask
There is a time and place for multitasking. We all like to think that we can juggle 50 things at once while talking on the phone and listening to our kid chatter at the same time, but we can’t. Sorry. We just can’t.
Our brains really don’t work that way. Your vision and hearing use the same part of your brain. Recent studies show that if you are really focusing on looking at something, your hearing actually shorts out. You just aren’t that good at focusing, your brain really is cutting down on your ability to hear.
If it’s something routine like cleaning off your desk while talking on the phone, or walking to lunch while adding things to your phone’s calendar, then you can multitask. Mix the things you can do remotely with the things you need to focus on. Not two major things you need to focus on at the same time.
8. Eat All the Cookies. Drink All the Coffee!
Take a break. Go get the cookie (or carrots, trail mix, piece of fruit). Get up. Walk around. Get some food in your belly and stop thinking about your to-do list or the project you are working on. Clearing your brain once in awhile and letting your blood circulate again will actually make you more productive when you go back to your tasks.
9. Be Grateful for What You Accomplished
Don’t be negative and down on yourself about what you didn’t finish on your to-do list. Instead, be grateful for all the things you accomplished. Most likely you had a kick-ass day. Pat yourself on the back. People who are super productive know that they can’t finish it all in one day and they have a positive attitude about that. They know they can come back tomorrow and have another kick-ass day!
You don’t have to be on your game and productive every single day. No one is that motivated or perfect (I’m not even sure the word perfect should be used there). Being motivated and productive every day would be abnormal. Be perfectly normal. And find techniques that help you get stuff done, your way.
There you have it. Nine ways that super productive people get stuff done. There are going to be days that you just don’t have it in you, and that’s okay too. Recognize those days. Enjoy them for what they are. Wallow in them if you need to, and then come back tomorrow ready to do your thang!