lIt’s a constant struggle to complete everything on our to-do lists in one day.
These 4 simple tips will help you prioritize so you can increase your daily level of productivity.
Planning your day can have an impact on your daily workflow. It seems like common sense, but we’re in the habit of waking up, checking our emails, going to work, responding to emails, attending meetings, checking email again, and so on, that we may forget what our priorities are.
If you can see ALL the items on a list you must accomplish that day, you’ll be more likely to tackle them head on (think of the satisfaction of crossing them off your list!). Some people prefer to plan their day out the night before, but I choose that time to relax and instead, in the first 30 minutes at work, I spend time making (or revising) a to-do list of everything I have to complete, also including meetings to attend and calls to make. This helps me envision my day.
I organize the list from high priority to low priority, so if the low priority items get pushed to the next day, it’s ok.
“early bird gets the worm” isn’t necessarily true for everyone.
What time of day do you find you’re most productive? When are you focused enough to accomplish the majority of tasks on your list?
I’m most level-headed and on-point mid-morning. After I’ve had time to warm-up and go through my to-do list, I’m ready to tackle the hardest or most time-consuming item on my list.
Figure out when you are most productive and schedule your hardest and most thought-intensive projects for that time, and save the less complicated tasks for that other part of the day when your mind tends to wander.
focus on why you procrastinate
We all have pesky projects we’d like to avoid and/or push-back, but this avoidance can be a hindrance on our productivity. We tend to make excuses and justify why we procrastinate, so as soon as you start pushing something further down on your list repeatedly, start asking yourself why. Why are you putting off a specific project, meeting or task? Is it because you feel you have more time? Are you afraid you don’t have the right skills or knowledge to complete it? Is it boring? After you figure out the why, see what you can do to change the outcome.
If you feel unprepared or uneasy about beginning a project or assignment, start by researching to inform yourself and bring up your confidence level. If it is because it is a boring task you have no motivation to begin, force yourself to take the first step and map out a plan of how you’ll complete the project even if it’s over a few days.
Easier said than done, but I’ve found once you figure out the “why” you can combat procrastination and get the project moving.
utilize helpful apps or go old school
I previously used Evernote to keep track of every single place I visited on my road trip, and currently, I use it to keep note of stories my grandmother tells me, recipes to make, music to listen to, concerts I’ve been to, books to read, places to go, etc. It’s a never ending list of notes and articles I’m frequently adding to and organizing.
Any.do is the perfect app when I need a digital to-do list. It’s ideal for my grocery list and random tasks I need to remember when I’m out and about. I love the simplicity of the design, and how you can separate goals into “today” “tomorrow” etc.
On a daily basis, I enjoy going “old-school,” I writing my action items down in my beloved Day Designer. With a today section split up by the hour, a to-do list with checkboxes to cross off, a nice-sized notes section, “today’s top-three” (must do’s!) and more, all helping me stay on track and organized.
What are some apps you use or things you do in order to stay productive throughout the day?