A Tutorial for Increasing Productivity
Sign up for the 10 Week Productivity Challenge!
- Choose a system to manage your calendar, tasks, and lists that works well for you.
- Use a To Do list and set priorities by choosing the most important tasks.
- Decide on other lists that you need, and where you will keep them.
- Projects and goals are an important part of any system.
- Lists for the GTD system include: Next Actions, Maybe/Someday, Waiting For.
- Many people simply use notebooks or get creative with paper tools. Explore free printable tools here.
- Many productivity apps are available for smartphones and tablets.
- The Daily PlanIt Keep It Super Simple (K.I.S.S.) System relies heavily on Google (plus a few apps) is accessible across platforms (computer, tablet, and smartphone) and allows printing lists. (here’s a look at my system and workspace)
- Systems vary from simple like Zen to Done, to the more complex Getting Things Done, or GTD.
- Follow a daily routine to automate things you do every day. Include exercises, music, and inspiration in your routine to keep you motivated and happier.
- Identify and automate repeating tasks as much as possible.
- Remind yourself of tasks with timers, alarms, and/or a tickler system.
- Manage your focus. Be aware of the Pareto Principle, and maximize your use of available free time.
- Eliminate time wasters like procrastination as much as possible. Avoid multi-tasking.
- Set up an environment that helps you focus as much as possible.
- Manage your energy. Take breaks in a rhythm that works for you: the Pomodoro technique has short breaks after 25 minutes, the 90/20 rule advocated by Tony Schwartz is based on Ultradian rhythms, or Peter Bregman’s 18 minutes with a minute each hour during the workday.
- Do a time audit and use peak time for your most important tasks.
- Learn more about the Science of Productivity.
- Find your focus areas.
- Plan to use your talents and strengths to add value and make an impact.
- Increase Flow.
- Know the value of time and Make Today Count!
The Plan: use your system to plan and review
- Use your system to:
- Plan projects and goals that connect with your areas of focus, and evaluate to make the best choices.
- Break large tasks down.
- Get Important Stuff Done.
- Manage email.
- Organize the information you need in files.
- Set up a bill paying system and process paperwork.
- Set up a Household Notebook.
- Organize recipes and menus to plan meals.
- Eliminate clutter and unnecessary stuff.
Goals and Productivity are like peanut butter and jelly. To spend your time where it most matters to you, begin by setting goals that align with your value statement or Unique Selling Proposition. Learn how to set goals and achieve them with this free tutorial. Learn more with the Daily PlanIt eBook “Get Goaling”
“Efficiency is doing the job right. Effectiveness is doing the right job.”-Peter Drucker
The 4 x 3 = Time Table describes four methods to manage three things.
Tools for Productivity (hint: see Free Tools)
- Calendar: appointments, meetings, special dates to remember-dates and deadlines
- Daily to-do List: items from calendar, repeating tasks, action steps from goals. Take action today
- Master list: things you need to do, remember, plan, discuss-no due date
- Idea File-to think about, possibly act on later
- Follow-up System: either a tickler file or calendar/holding file-future action required
- Weekly Review: Gather information together
- Weekly Plan: items from calendar, repeating tasks, goal and project plans, schedule items from Master List
- Goal and Project Plans: action steps, target date, rewards, return on investment
- Goal Master List: top priority goal in each life area