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.
- Do a time audit and use peak time for your most important tasks.
- 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. (more on focus below)
- 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 short break each hour during the workday.
- Learn more about the Science of Productivity.
Four Fantastic Tools for Focus:
- Tame external & internal distractions – eliminate or reduce time wasters like procrastination as much as possible. Set up an workspace that helps you focus as much as possible, and avoid multi-tasking.
- Embrace values – gain direction with a value statement that pinpoints what you do and why (the power tool for purpose). It includes how you add value based on what your values are.
- Notice the feedback – pay attention to measures you are tracking, and be aware of how you are spending your time. Know the value of time and Make Today Count!
- Dedicate time to concentrate and feel flow
- Find your focus areas.
- A quick energy audit reveals areas of your life that need more attention.
- The Goal Shift Chart makes it easy to choose goals.
The Plan: use your system to plan and review
- Use your system to:
- Plan daily: schedule, add and delete tasks, review and plan for tomorrow.
- Do a Weekly Review of progress.
- Plan weekly.
- Do a Monthly Review.
- Do an Annual Review.
- 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 activites, spaces, and information with four activities: evalutate, simplify, increase effectiveness, and increase efficiency.
- Learn more to master skills at Productivity Levels, the Study of Productivity, & Learn about Productivity.
- 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
Learn about the study of productivity, with videos and courses
Master Productivity: Productivity Levels (pdf based on posts at The 2Time Mgt Blog)
- Successful Person’s Guide to Time Management (pdf) from University of Kentucky
- The Ultimate ADHD Guide to Time Management from the ADHD Nerd
I like your list. Thanks for the link!
This is a great list you have put together. I am saving it and will be revisiting often.
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This is a great post! I find that a visual representation really keeps me focused and on track. Whether it’s personal fitness, meditation, work, or sleep, I always keep everything organized with my wellness planner Owaves (www.owaves.com). It has a really unique fun and visual platform which I contribute my productivity to.
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