It’s no secret that I try to get as much done with as little effort as possible (some call it laziness)…
But, that doesn’t mean I don’t work my ass off, it just means I spend little to no time doing meaningless work and instead focus all my energy on tasks that count (or at least I try, I still have those not-so-productive days at times…Damn You YouTube!).
Simply put, I strive to get the most bang for the buck, in terms of my work output.
This is extremely important for obvious reasons:
- Wasting time on fruitless tasks doesn’t pay.
- Spending time on menial jobs that are better off delegated just doesn’t make sense – You NEED to value your time.
- By performing ONLY the tasks that are necessary, you are less likely to get burnt out.
With that in mind, here are 3 productivity tips that I have found to be most useful to not only save me time, but to get more done!
Make A To-Do List… At This Specific Time
I’m sure you’ve all read about the importance of writing a to-do list, and I’ve covered how to create a Not-To-Do list, but what I want to talk about here is creating the almighty to-do list… right before bed!
For about the last ten years or so I’ve had troubles sleeping. Well, not so much sleeping, but falling asleep. I have no problem lying in bed for hours before I fall asleep.
And after trying about every piece of advice out there, I found that by simply writing down what I wanted to get done tomorrow, I was able to shut my brain off and fall asleep faster.
Plus, when you wake up tomorrow you start your day off in a productive way!
On a side note, don’t get frustrated if your daily to-do list doesn’t get finished. You’re going to have days where more important tasks are going to just pop-up, so you may not get to everything on your list. It happens, just carry it over to the next day.
Goal setting is important at the micro and macro level, and think of your daily to-do list as a set of micro goals that you want to accomplish. Over time, these small goals will add up!
Develop A Routine… But, Don’t Stop There
Routines may seem boring, but greatness is achieved when you fall into a productive pattern. Think of an Olympic athlete who wakes up every day at the same time, goes to the gym every day for a set amount of hours, eats at the same time, and so on.
It’s this routine that molds them into incredible athletes. You can bet if they wandered aimlessly, with no routine or plan, hitting the gym when they felt like it, eating whatever/whenever they want, they wouldn’t get the same results.
So develop a daily/weekly routine where you set aside a certain amount of time for certain tasks. This way you’re not aimlessly jumping from task to task and getting lost in checking your Facebook updates or watching videos on YouTube for hours (DAMN YOU YouTube…).
Ok, so routines are great and all, but more importantly after following your routine you need to every once in a while take a step back.
This is important for two reasons:
- Asses your routine
- Shake things up
You don’t want to get caught up in a routine that is getting you nowhere, so it’s important to take a step back and assess it. Likewise, it’s a good idea to shake up your routine from time to time to get a new perspective on things and get those creative juices flowing.
Publicize Your Goals…And Conquer!
There’s a lot to be said for accountability. It’s human nature to not let your friends and followers down, so by publicly stating your goals you are more likely to follow through with them.
This is extremely important from a productivity stand point, as you now have a team of people checking on your progress and pushing you to ultimately reach your goals.
It’s like a constant stream of motivation slapping you in the face.
Simply post your goals in a blog post, write them down and hang them in your kitchen, post them on Facebook or twitter, call up grandma and tell her your goals (she’d love to hear from you anyways) and so on.
These are 3 tips that have made a big difference in my work output.
What works for you?