I want to keep this simple. Because I have learned that it really is this simple for me, but let me start with a background story.
When I was growing up, I was the queen of wanting to be organized. I wanted to plan everything out, and even if the plans didn’t pan out, I didn’t care. I just liked being organized. I loved having to-do lists. But, then there was this other side of me that loved spontaneity. I easily get distracted, and I’m motivated by FUN. (I found this out through a personality test that helps employers figure out how their employees are motivated to better incentivize them). I always got my homework done, and did well on tests, but it was always just to the point that would free me up to go have FUN! In addition, I would go up to my room when I was in high school to “do my homework”, only to find myself color code organizing my closet instead. Now, was I productive? In some ways yes, but not necessarily doing what I was supposed to be doing.
I started to see this seeping in everywhere. Even right now, I was invited to go have dinner with the girls, but I need to be responsible. I have things that I need to get done, and as an adult, it is our job to prioritize our responsibilities first. It’s tough, and it has taken a lot of discipline for me to get to a point to truly let my responsibilities be my priority. I feel bad, saying no to things, especially fun things, but it’s just the way life is. I was just talking to my sister about how that’s just what happens when we become adults. You work, and get your chores done, and there is little time for play. That’s why college is the best days of our lives!
What got me trying to figure out how to be more productive was that I want to be able to have more time down the road for friends and working out and doing the things that I love. And in order to do that I need to be more productive now, to reap the rewards later. So, with that:
My 3 tips that I’ve learned to help me become more productive:
- Tap into my competitive side. I’m fairly competitive, and sometimes I shy away from it because I have been teased about it, but I’m starting to realize that there’s a strength in being competitive, especially with one’s self, which is the case with me. So, I have started setting timers for tasks. I set goals – for example: Try to clean the kitchen after dinner in 10 minutes or less. Or take a shower in 6 minutes or less. And it helps me be more efficient with my time, and it makes it more fun!
- Keep different notebooks for different to-do lists. Don’t put all your to-do’s on one list. Separate them out. I now have a work to-do list, at home to-do list (chores, errands, etc.), and a personal to-do list (blog posts, social media posts, photos, etc.). This helps me to not get too overwhelmed!
- Break It Down. – I used to write things on my to-do list like “complete ‘x’ report”, but then I would get overwhelmed and it would keep me from getting it done. Now, I break it into steps – Check stats in google analytics, pull ads numbers from ads manager in Facebook, etc. Then, as I check things off I feel more productive which increases productivity even more.