9 Tips On Productivity Or How I Plan to Get More Done

Just Do It Ornament - Productivity Tips

With the Black and White Blog Photo Challenge done, I am now back to my regular blogging schedule. If I had a plan I would somehow consistently stick to, this would not be a ‘back to regular blogging’ post at all since I would have had regular posts in addition to that single photo challenge post each day. But that is the harsh truth I have to face – I am not consistent in following the plan so for now, I am trying to be consistent in posting at least, even if it is a sentence or a photo (my challenge posts:)). Productivity is right there – just need to stretch myself a bit more, find that stick-to-plan, and stick to it.

I have been reading about different techniques that will help in creating a plan, and more importantly, sticking to it.  So, over the next few days, I hope to use those tips and techniques singly or in the combination that works (hopefully) for me and then write a glowing post about my success soon!

Here are the ones that resonated with me (in no particular order, since I plan to try to use them all):

  1. The Pomodoro Technique or a version of it – Chances are, you have already heard or read about this. This works on the premise of working in blocks of time (typically 25 minutes) followed by a short break (5 minutes); and a longer break of 15-20 minutes after every 100 minutes of work. I am planning to use it starting tomorrow (or right after this post) – the steps – Plan –> Set Timer –> Focused Work –> Short Break –> Repeat –> Long Break
  2. The right times and the right tasks – Right might not be the right word to use here but the one that fits best, so right it is!
    1. Right Times: There are two things to consider here (at least for me) –
      1. one, identify your most productive times of the day so you can fit your Pomodoro (or another technique) into that time-frame;
      2. two, identify the most distraction/interruption free times of the day. Life happens but it does often have a repeatable pattern too – so, yes, my distraction/interruption free time will ideally be the kids-free time- ie when they are either away or asleep.
      3. Based on what I know about myself, early mornings (that I have not been seeing much of due to late nights) will work best for me to take care of both one and two above so I need to get my early morning start going starting tomorrow.
    2. Right Tasks: Do the hardest tasks first and be done with them; then the rest is easy-peasy, as they say. And that sense of accomplishment at having got that elephantine task out of the way keeps your energy and motivation levels up to get the others done too.
  3. Get Help – A tool like RescueTime  – this tool, at its very basic and free version, shows you how you manage your time online (which is more than good enough for me) and as you can see below, it shows I need to step up on productive use of time. If you chose the premium option, it has a lot more features, including blocking sites that might be your chief distractors for certain times as you specify.not a productive day
  4. Make a note of what distracts you and why. For example, as I was writing this post, I had to take a break to do something I should have done earlier 🙁 and now it took me longer to write this post as well as the other task (not really, but seems like that which can in itself be a downer).
  5. Write it down – your plan, your schedule, your to-dos list, your should-not-do-before-to-do list – and share it (a little like this post) to make yourself accountable. This can include a daily, weekly, or long-term plan for you.  And using Google Docs as a planner is my plan!
  6. Just Do It – Nike got this so right! Sometimes you just need to do it – stop thinking and go ahead and write that article or exercise or do that dreaded task you were avoiding; and you will often see that it was not that hard after all and you were able to do it; which brings me to my next point. (Many a mundane chore has been won like this – like that full sink or load of laundry; and even the really harder tasks – like preparing for an important exam or a job interview)
  7. Know that you can do it  – For tasks that you have done before but just cannot get around to doing it at that point in time, you already know you can do it; and for those tasks that you might be completely or partly new to – note that ‘Nothing is impossible’.
  8. Visualize the result – That finished blog post, that totally healthy-you, that shining sink ; and that gourmet meal (oh well! I can dream, right?:) – picture that in your mind and you have motivation at your fingertips …
  9. Be Inspired – Find inspiration in those around you who seem to be doing it right (whatever it is that you want to do) and learn from them – reach out if needed and ask them; chances are, you will be able to grab at that success soon too (i am not there yet as well, and this is me trying out). Wondering ‘why not me’ will not get you anywhere (back to #6 – just do it!).

What has worked for you? How do you achieve maximum productivity? Do let me know in the comments, and maybe I can add on those too.

15 thoughts on “9 Tips On Productivity Or How I Plan to Get More Done

    1. yes, Brenda.. i recall your post for planning.. and today, i came up with a plan which is kind of being followed but today already saw a couple of unexpected things happen which made the timeline already awry

    1. thank you Roy.. and i agree….if our brains don’t say do it, then these techniques are of no use.. (and hopefully, right now my brain is pushing me in the right direction to make these techniques work for me)

  1. Well I didn’t have time to write another blog each day of the Black and White Photo Challenge either. Also not sure if the Pomodoro Technique would work for me since I do my blogging in the evenings after work. I don’t even have 5 minutes to take a break! LOL

    1. thank you Martha for your comment.. does help me feel i am not alone.. and as far as the pomodoro technique, am just using my own version of it right now (as i told brenda, today has already gone awry due to couple of unexpected we’ll see!)
      but your energy always inspires me..

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