Sometimes it’s really hard to get out of bed and into action. It’s not that we don’t want to get things done, but it usually just feels so daunting. Either because we don’t know where to start or what we’re doing. Or we think of all of the preparation we have to do beforehand and tire ourselves out by overthinking instead of executing. Today I’m going to share the 5 most helpful productivity hacks I use in my daily life to make sure that I accomplish (almost!) everything I set out to do.
01 set your intention
If you’ve already got your overalls on, you might as well repot some plants, right? Set yourself up to do things by preparing for them beforehand. Imagine this: you really need to tend your garden, but you don’t really feel like it. Set your alarm clock early, put your gloves and shovel by the back door and prepare an outfit you don’t mind getting a bit dirty the evening before. Preparing for the things you need to do before you actually have to do them leaves you with no excuse to get cracking as soon as that alarm clock goes off. The same goes for a lot of other things: if you’ve already got your gym clothes on, you might as well get that exercise in, etc. It will also make you feel better about yourself. So why
the fuck not?
02 make a to-do list
This is a real no-brainer, but the best way to get things done is to visualize what you need to do. Whether you use an app to make a to-do list (like this free one!) on or one of those notebooks I’m sure you’ve got lying around somewhere — having a list of everything you need to do helps you plan realistically. Now, I am someone who writes down absolutely everything that needs to be done. From finishing that article for a client to watering the plants. This means I end up with really long to-do lists, but it also means that I seem to be making a lot more progress. All of those 5-minute tasks I put on there are done in a jiffy and just seeing them crossed off makes me feel like I’ve accomplished a lot. In turn, this motivates me to keep working because I’ve got some momentum going.
03 use a timer
If you don’t have one, steal one from your parents’ kitchen or download a timer app. Whatever you choose to do, determine set times for the projects you’re working on. Now, this is one of those productivity hacks that is less useful for things like tending your garden or going to the gym but is incredibly helpful for work and school related stuff. There are a few different ways in which you can stick to a timer. As I just mentioned, you can just use a kitchen timer or an app. It is, however, also important to determine how long you are able to work without losing your focus. Do you notice you get a lot done if you work 30 minutes straight but lose your concentration afterward? Then work in intervals of 30 minutes and give yourself 5-minute breaks in between. Just make sure that you also time your break and get back to work as soon as it’s over. Find what works for you and stick with it.
04 schedule breaks
This is something that ties into my last point, but: make sure that you take time to rest. We sometimes get so caught up in the things we do that it’s difficult to let go. And I get it, if it took you 2 painfully unproductive hours to get to actual work, you are determined to hold on to that momentum you’ve finally got going on. However, if you go on for too long you’ll just burn yourself out and spend the end of the day struggling to get the last tasks on your to-do list done. Stick to your timer and take your breaks as scheduled. Do you come up with a brilliant idea just before your time slot ends? Write it down somewhere so that you don’t forget it and go get yourself a snack. Your idea will still be there when you sit back down.
05 get an accountability buddy
If all else fails, you have got to call in the troops. While this may seem a little silly, it can be really nice to have someone supporting you. If you don’t feel like going to the gym, even though you do really want to live a healthier life, your accountability buddy might just be the one who can give you that push to go. You can even go together so that you both get fit (which also makes the entire experience more fun!) and actually commit to the process.
So there you have it, 5 productivity hacks. If you try any of these out or have some of your own to add, just leave me a comment. And, who knows, maybe you will find your suggestion in my next hacks (25 productivity hacks, anyone?).