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Have your most productive week EVER
With These 5 Tips
If you are like me, you start the week with tons of hopes and dreams about all the things you are going to get done and then by Friday, all those hopes and dreams are dashed as you wonder how so much time could have passed without you getting things done.
Story of my life.
Recently, I have been doing a deep dive into productivity and have read a couple books (I recommend this one and this one) as well as listened to several podcasts about time management. It has been extremely helpful for me and I am getting more done in less time. Which means I am getting home from work earlier and spending more time doing fun stuff for my family, or even getting to spend some time on myself! (Check out my fun ideas for ‘me time’ after you get done learning how to become a productivity master).
While there are lots of methods and tips to become a more productive person, I have been working on the five items below in an effort to streamline my day. These practices have allowed me to get more done each day, which frees me up to take on more responsibility at work and make more progress on my yearly goals.
Have your most productive week ever when you master these 5 tips!
PLAN OUT YOUR IDEAL WEEK
I came across this tip via a podcast where Michael Hyatt (a productivity guru) spoke about planning out an ideal week. Let it be known that “ideal” is a key term here. You won’t be able to fit everything inside the guidelines of your ideal plan, but it is nice to have some boundaries lined out that you can try to stick to.
I planned out my ideal week below by marking everything off in the way I would want it to happen in a perfect world. Try to aim to dedicated large chunks of time to the same type of projects. For example, set aside a day (or afternoon) where you might schedule all of your external meetings and another day (or afternoon) for all of your internal meetings. Then block off time on a couple of days (or 4 hours every day) dedicated to completing tasks that are assigned to you.
An example of my ideal week is below. I used my google calendar to block out this framework so that I can copy it week to week and do my best to follow these guidelines.
LIST OUT YOUR TOP 3 ITEMS
To-Do list are fantastic tools for a more productive day. But often times, we clutter our to-do lists with tons of items and that can lead to overwhelm, which can keep you from moving forward at all.
Write down the three biggest ticket items that you have to get done for that day (even better if you can plan these out the night before or on Sunday evening when you prepare for the week). So your to-do list should only have three items on it. That used to seem strange to me (“But I have so much to do!”), but as I have tried it out, it has really helped me get done what I really need to get done instead of filling my time with things that really could wait until tomorrow.
FIND YOUR OWN PRODUCTIVE ZONE
Lots of productivity experts will tell you that your brain will function at it’s highest during the morning hours. Now, I’m not saying that they are wrong, but I personally may be the exception to that rule. I have tried and tried to be a morning person who gets up hours before everyone else in the house and works out, or reads or sends out 83 emails all before 8:00 AM so all my coworkers know that I am already dominating the day. But the earlier I set my alarm, the longer I press snooze. Or I actually do get up but I can’t focus because I am thinking about how much happier my husband and baby are because they are still asleep.
Maybe it is because I don’t drink coffee, but I just can’t seem to get on board to knock out the biggest items on my to-do list in the morning hours. I have learned that I am much more productive in the late afternoon/nighttime hours. I do my most most efficient work after lunch or between 8:00 – 10:00 PM after Kinsley goes to bed.
If you can succeed by getting up early, then by all means do that! But if that morning method doesn’t work for you, then please feel free to find the time of day where your brain is operating at it’s prime. Plan out your day to tackle your biggest to-do item during that time. Just do what works best for you!
LIMIT YOUR DISTRACTIONS
You will be most productive when you are focused on one task at a time. Multitasking is necessary when you are in the kitchen, making dinner and entertaining your kids all at the same time, but it doesn’t really help when you are trying to get things done at work. So shut down your phone (social media is a productivity KILLER), turn off the TV and put on some soothing instrumental music. Set yourself a timer for 25 minutes and don’t do anything aside from the task in front of you for 25 minutes straight. Once that timer goes off, take a 5 minute break. Use that time to get a snack, check your phone or get a snack.
You can use this Google Chrome Extension to add an automatic 25 minute timer to your web browser to help you keep track of your breaks! Do those intervals in 2 hour sets and take a longer break at the end of 2 hours.
WRITE IT DOWN
You are more likely to accomplish your goals if you write them down. I use my Simplified Planner to write down my big 3 items every day. Find out what works best for you (a notebook, a planner or post it notes), and get in the habit of writing down your three highest priority items each day. Place your written note somewhere you will see it. I keep my Simplified Planner on my desktop (the physical one) so I can cross things off my list as I knock them out! I use my planner for a lot more than just productivity, which is why I am a huge advocate in planners or notebooks over post-it notes.
I challenge you to put one (or all!) of these items into practice this week. I can’t wait to hear about how much more you get done this week because you are so darn streamlined. If you can make all 5 of these tips a habit, each week from here on out will be your most productive week ever!
Have any productivity tips that I can add to my list? Let me know in the comments below!