It doesn’t matter what you do in life or where you work – everyone is looking to getting more things done in less time. Hundreds, maybe thousands of self-help books have been written about productivity.
The answer? It’s not balanced diet enormous amounts of lattes and croissants that are getting you closer to reaching peak productivity levels. It’s not checking off all tasks on your to-do list. It’s about really wanting to be productive and doing fewer things. Let’s start off with our favorite 3 top tips.
1. Cut your to-do lists in half
Have you ever felt like your to-do-lists never have an end? Never-ending to-do lists are not very productive at all. It’s so overwhelming. Key to success? Cut your list in half. First, begin by looking at your list and start identifying the tasks by category. Group your tasks and then identify which need to be done immediately. Prioritize. What doesn’t need to be done today can wait. Toss them from your list. Once your list has been shortened, start off with the easier tasks. Finishing them will make you feel good and that will help you with the bigger tasks coming up.
2. Check your email only 2 or 3 times a day
Okay, so you’re writing an email, a colleague interrupts, you get coffee and then – a half an hour later – you open your inbox. A zillion emails entered your inbox. Your energy levels start to drop down immediately. Suddenly, you receive a notification and remember you still have to finish that one single email. Sounds like your typical work day? It’s time to change. Many people are addicted checking their email all. the. time. Constantly checking your email is a very time-consuming habit and it’s certainly not productive. That’s why plenty of productivity gurus will tell you to check email less frequently. How? Switch off all your notifications and limit yourself to read and answer emails only twice, or 3 times a day. By doing this, you’ll check and answer your emails more thoroughly. Avoid stress and don’t check your email until 10:30 AM and you know what? Most people won’t even notice.
3. Make the most of your time
At Chapter Friday, we’re huge fans of the Pomodoro technique, a great time management method. This is how it works: set a timer for 25 minutes and take a five-minute break. Do a set of four ‘Pomodoris’, and have a longer break. You could either use an oldskool timer or use an app like Be Focused which is a great Pomodori inspired app. Want to make the most of your spare time? The next time you find yourself with a small amount of free time, try and complete one of these small yet ever so productive tasks.