First, let me start off by saying I am a master procrastinator. If I can put it off trust me I’m thinking of how, and what excuse I can offer up as to why something didn’t get done. If I can justify it in my head then I am all for the excuse. You know kinda like I’ll wake up at 4am to finish that project, and then when 4am hits I’m up cursing myself because I procrastinated. Yea, that viscous cycle was draining; and I’m sure my family was over my nonsense. Hell I was getting sick of me, and I love me like Kanye loves Kanye okkkkkur.
Now there are a crap ton of articles back by science and blah, blah, blah. Not knocking those articles after all they are backed by science, and I’m sure my tips are probably somewhere in said articles. What I offer are suggestions that helped me to stop procrastinating. I mean I would rather lay in bed all day reading, or on a beach, heck I don’t care where as long as I get to read. Still awaiting the day my husband says, “hun you don’t have to work anymore you can stay home and just read”. Hey love if you’re reading this I hope you get the picture. This work thing is exhausting.
Some of the of things on the list will be no brainers. I simply ask that you save the peanut throwing for the peanut gallery, thanks. As previously stated these are the things that worked for me. Take it with a grain of salt. They may not work for you or may be too simplistic. I mean I get that some of us like to over complicate life. No judgment here. Just speaking facts. I know, I know always with the facts. So here’s the thing I like to be reallllllllllly simple. No really. Like super simple. Overly complicated things usually result in a dramatic eyeroll from me. Simple but a flare for the dramatics. The list that I am about to bless you with only has 3 items. Yup, only three. I bet you never would have guessed that. Well, if you read the title you saw that coming; but you get my point. So here goes nothing:
- Make a list. Yup we are starting the list with make a list. Every night before I get my beauty rest I make a list. As cliche as this sounds it sets the tone for my day. So, just make the list. Everything goes on the list, and I do mean everything down to doing the laundry. I don’t have a particular method or grouping for my list I just write items as they come to me. If I try to be anal retentive and group my list then it over complicates things, and I’m bound to miss something in my anal retentiveness. I can always add things to the list as they come up. So no particular order just get things on that list. Once my list is made I then go in and slot things based on most important. Not what I deem as urgent, but what is most important. Sorry, kids those Halloween costumes will have to wait. When I am sorting the list based on items that are more important grouping happens naturally. So the most important task can’t be considered completed until list items 11, 15, and 24 are done. Do you see my line of thinking? I have to ask sometimes because I live in there daily; so I always understand my reasoning. Well most days anyway. Now here goes the really fun part. I get such a rush when I cross items off my list. Call me crazy. I mean I’ve been called worse, but there is such a sense of accomplishment when I take that pen and strike through a list item. If you’ve never had a rush like the one I am describing you have to try it. I promise you won’t be disappointed. On to step number two.
- Set a timer. I’ve made it clear that I would rather spend my day reading; so to ensure that I am actually productive I set a timer. Everything on the list gets a time. Now this may take awhile before you get it down to an exact science, but it will come. For instance, I know that it takes about an hour for me to write two blog post. Not sure if this is good or bad, but its my pace. The clock on my phone has become my best friend. I am one of those people who will get so engulfed in a task that I enjoy, and when I look up my entire day is gone. I do have some hard stops in my day and certain time is just not negotiable. The first three hours of my day belong to me. That’s my routine, and I’m willing to say I’m not changing it. My day typically starts at 5a and during this time I workout, read, meditate,etc. Whatever I need to get my day started, and no its not the same everyday but that’s the time that I claim for myself. That being said I start work around 8a and end at 8p, but my day doesn’t officially end until about 10:30p. I use the latter part of the day to unwind or complete task that take no brain power. Like folding the laundry; I still like to feed my mind during that process so I may listen to a podcast. I have buffers built in throughout the day to ensure that I don’t stop a task as a crappy stopping point. Let me explain further. If I am writing and my timer goes off and I am not complete; I will pull time from my allotted buffer to finish the blog and or article. Or if I am working on something for a client and buffer time will allow me to complete the task instead of carrying it over to the next day. You got it. I am going to tap into that buffer. When setting my times I set them 5 minutes short of the end time. That way when I hear the timer I know I have 5 minutes to wrap up what I am working on. Moving on to number 3.
- Remove all distractions. Here’s the thing with distractions you don’t know they are one until they are done distracting you. I love my kids I think they are the best thing since sliced bread. But if I don’t shut them out during my work blocks they will drive me insane, and nothing will get complete. They will ask for simple things that they normally handle on their own, but because I allow the distraction they take full advantage. My seventeen year old asked me to brush his hair the other day, because I was working in the kitchen and he could see me. Now you may think while that will only take 5 minutes true, but then it takes another 45 for me to get back in my flow. And if he wants to talk about girls or school we can cancel Christmas my day is shot. And its not just my kids it tv, music, you name it I have to remove it. I know some people like to work with music in their ears, and I have nothing against that. But honey if Beyonce come on we are taking a full musical dance break, and I will be lost in a trans for hours. If I need some type of noise then I will listen to piano or jazz music, but only the instrumental. Once we introduce words I become distracted, because I want to sing along. You kinda like when you yell squirrel to someone with an attention span issue.
There you have it my 3 easy ways of being more productive. I told you it was simple. Life is complicated enough. As I mentioned in the post I don’t complete everything on my list every day. Some items I know will take a month when I add them to the list, but they go on the list so I don’t lose sight of them and I can track my progress. List some of the ways you stay on task or productivity tricks in the comments.