love the feeling of accomplishment when I complete a task and get one step closer to meeting my goals. On days I feel I was productive, I enjoy my time with family and friends and remain present in the moment. I loathe the feeling of overwhelm that accompanies not accomplishing the tasks I know must be done.
I admit that I am a bit of productivity nerd.
- Since I can remember, I have always kept a “To-Do List.”
- I own multiple whiteboards both wall-mounted and portable to write down random tasks I need to accomplish.
- I wear a high-end running watch with a chest strap heart rate monitor each time I exercise so I can monitor various performance metrics ensuring I am on track.
- I have toyed with various online goal-tracking mobile apps.
If any of this sounds like YOU, continue to read this post.
Last year I discovered a powerful, game-changing productivity hack. It is called the Productivity Planner.
(By the way, I did not create the Productivity Planner and am not affiliated in any way with the company that created it).
What is it?
In the Productivity Planner, at the start of each week I document my prioritized goals for that week. I break down the weekly goals into prioritized daily goals. Each day I allocate one or more 25-minute time blocks (known as pomodoros or the pomodoro method) to complete each task.
At the end of the day, I rank my perception of my productivity level from 1-10. At the end of each week, I write down my “weekly wins,” “tasks I did not complete and commit to starting again next week” and “learnings”
Why is it a Game Changer?
To-do lists treat each task equally. Not all tasks are of equal value. Managing your day by priority forces you to focus efforts on completing high impact tasks first.
Everything is organized and written in one place instead of multiple notepads, whiteboards and apps.
By writing down and reflecting on how productive you were each day and each week, you can celebrate the small successes you might otherwise forget. Conversely, you can visually see the tasks that seem to stretch out for weeks and never get done and use it as an accountability tool to yourself.
Have you ever been in a staff meeting and forgotten a few key items on which you needed to report status? The past week’s “weekly wins” section and the “highest priority task for this week” sections serve as a handy reference guide so you cover everything in staff meetings.
Finally, it serves as a historical record. When you need to report progress from one month to the next, or you need to remember the date when you held a key meeting, or it is time to do your self-assessment for your performance review — once again, all the information is there.
Advanced Productivity Tactics
For those of you who purchase the Productivity Planner and really want to take your productivity levels to the next level, I have a few advanced-level productivity tactics to offer.
You cannot get things done when you are constantly distracted by chat, email, phone notifications, and co-workers wanting to talk. Therefore, when you are in the zone and need to read and understand something thoroughly, edit or create you must eliminate these distractions. Some suggestions:
- Set chat to “do not disturb.”
- Turn phone to “do not disturb” or put in another room.
- Turn off email.
- Eliminate distractions or excuses to get up. Make sure you have already eaten, drank, etc. before you sit down to work.
- Play “focus” music. I like “Pure Focus” on Apple Music.
- Set a timer for the amount of time you need to focus on the task.
- Focus on one task at a time. Resist the urge to take care of something that is unrelated that pops into your mind.
When I do all of these little things, I usually finish my tasks BEFORE my timer goes off.
It is truly amazing how much you can accomplish when you prioritize, focus and execute. May 2019 be your most productive year yet!
If you find this article valuable, please like, share or comment. I would love to hear your productivity hacks, tips and tricks.
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