So there aren’t enough hours in the day, are there? There are school lunches to be made, buses to be caught, meetings to attend, dogs to be walked, homework to be done, mothers to be called, and TV shows to catch up on. The list is endless and impossible to manage.
Or is it?
Believe it or not there are ways to get on top of your to-do list.
5 Ways To Be More Prodcutive:
Here are 5 best ways to be more productive in life and work.
#1 – Use a notebook.
A spiral bound notebook. A notebook that makes you happy to look at and that you don’t want to lose. This is the key to being productive. Every organized person you know has one.
It is in this notebook that you keep your to-do list. When something new comes up, you add it to your list. The to-do list in your notebook.
You do not keep your to-do list on paper that gets lost between the car seats or eaten by the dog. Your to-do list is in a notebook you can’t throw away and refuse to lose track of.
#2 – Set priorities.
Every morning take 10 minutes to review your to-do list and to set priorities. You can do this by starring or highlighting the things on your list that you need to get done that day.
Many of us do first the things on our list that we don’t mind doing and don’t do what needs to be done.
Jill HATED making phones calls to set up appointments. As a result she never did set up appointments, so her dishwasher didn’t get fixed, her son missed his doctor’s appointment, and her daughter’s permission slip didn’t get signed. Once she started setting her priorities Jill 1) didn’t have to make all of her phones calls at the same time but made them when they needed to be made (which made them less daunting) and 2) things that usually fell through the cracks (and did more work for her) no longer fell through the cracks.
#3 – Say No!
This is key. It is very, very hard for us to say no. We don’t want to say no for various reasons, whether it’s because we want to do something or we feel like we should do something or we think we need to do something. But before you say yes, look at why you are saying yes.
Janet always said yes, no matter what was asked of her. She liked to keep busy and didn’t want to let anyone down. But of course she ended up letting everyone down because she couldn’t be as effective at her tasks as she might have been. Once she started looking at why she was saying yes, and why she wasn’t saying no, she could pick and choose what she said yes to. Once she did that, she managed her time more effectively and successfully completed each task.
#4 – If it takes less than 10 minutes, DO IT.
Next time you have a few minutes, while waiting for the bus to arrive, or for a phone call to come in or while the kids are watching TV, look at your list. Is there anything on it that you can get done in 10 minutes or less? If there is, DO IT! It’s those little things that are daunting and tend to add up.
And let me tell you, from personal experience, there is nothing more mood-enhancing then crossing something off your list.
#5 – Check your computer only 3 times a day.
Yes, I know. This is the hard one. We are all addicted to our screens. Totally. And I am sure you are familiar with the phenomenon known as “screen sucking.” This is when your computer/phone/tablet screen sucks up your time before you know it. A great way to add time to your day is to stay away from your screen.
I have a client who used to check her phone every moment she got at the expense of everyone and everything around her. She checked it three times a day for one week at my suggestion: once in the morning, once at mid-day and once after dinner. It was painful in the beginning, she reported, but by the end of the week the amount of time she had to be productive had dramatically increased. So try it for one week. See what happens.
There are 24 hours in our day, and everyone should sleep for 8. That leaves you 16 hours a day to use wisely. If you do, your life will be simpler, you will be happier, and those around you will thrive.
Remember- work smarter, not harder. If you feel constantly overwhelmed with your daily tasks to the point where your life is not joyful, let’s talk.
I am a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. My writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN and The Good Man Project, among others. I work with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.