No one likes getting into a procrastination, deadline, or lack-of-time trap. However, it seems that time is flying at the speed of light, so everyone is looking for a “silver bullet”. These days, we have been also searching for the effective ways to boost productivity and stop wasting minutes, hours, and days. Our team uses some of the techniques with pretty good results. Hope that you will pick something useful as well.
Eat the Frog First
This sounds unpleasant, does not it? If you are not French, you may find eating frogs disgusting. Either way, this is the point. You should start your day with the task that you consider the worst one in your to-do list.
Mark Twain is known as the author of the method. And he pointed out two things:
- The more you postpone the task you hate doing, the harder it will be for you to actually get started.
- When you complete such a task, you will feel relieved and motivated to keep going.
If your duties require you to sort your tasks by priorities or time, ensure that you book a half an hour or an hour to deal with something you do not want to.
If you have flexible working hours, try this method developed by Joel Runyon. Freelancers and small business owners can split their major tasks into smaller chunks and group them by topic. Then, it is necessary to determine the time you require to complete every group of tasks. The trick is to work at different locations. For instance, you write code in the office, test it at the public library, and write a report at a coffee shop.
It is fun to move around and build the boundaries between your work and free time. This is a proven way to switch between different tasks and stay efficient. However, many positions do not allow such kind of flexibility.
Must, Should, Want
This is not a list of modal words, but a method to get things done developed by Jay Shirley. The idea behind this is simple. You keep in mind three questions:
- What must I do to create the most impact today?
- What should I do to build a better future?
- What do I want to do so that I may enjoy today and life more completely?
Simply answer these questions before you plan your day. You should not aim for spending the same amount of time on each group of tasks, rather ensure that you do not neglect any part of your life.
Many people agree that music helps them focus on different tasks. This is a tried and proven way to reduce distractions and increase productivity. For example, Focus@will team scientifically engineered music. They discovered how personality type is related to the kind of music that helps people focus and work more productive.
Focus@will offers access to 50+ diverse channels and thousands of hours of tracks selected based on neuroscience research. The subscription is paid, but you can try a two-week trial for free.
Work the System
Probably, you too feel like you do not have the same level of energy, concentration, and motivation during the day. Sam Carpenter focuses on the idea that it is possible to identify the hours when the aforementioned indicators are high. Naturally, this depends on biological rhythms, so your productivity peak may differ from those that your colleagues have.
However, if you want to try “Work the System” by Carpenter be ready to spend three weeks doing some research. Basically, you need to follow your biological hours and take notes on how you feel. So, you will be able to find out when it is the perfect time for you to work hard and when makes sense to take a break and have lunch, for example.