It can be really be hard keeping yourself on track. Especially if you’re out of school or if what you’re trying to accomplish doesn’t have any strict deadlines.
While in school, I had been the queen of to-do lists and making sure I cross out every single thing on that list. I was always busy but still always got a lot done because, well, I had to. Post-graduation life is a bit more lenient.
Now that I have more “free time,” aka a few hours every night after work where I don’t have any responsibilities, it feels like I should be able to get much more accomplished that I’ve always wanted to do. Things like hobbies, learning to cook, meeting people, learning a new skill, practicing my Spanish, and keeping this blog up to date.
Now, I know it isn’t January 1st, so I can’t count on New Year’s Resolutions to help me get on track. But I did just turn a year older and I’m taking full advantage of it. My “New Age Resolution” is to be more productive.
After only a week since my birthday, I’ve noticed a few things I’ve changed about my daily habits, both old and new, have already skyrocketed my productivity. Find your productive place and use these 3 habits to get things done.
3 Ways to Boost Productivity
Post-it notes littered with check marks have always been my go-to when I know I need to get sh*t done. Whether it be each paragraph of paper I was writing in school or what I need to buy at the grocery store, these lists are tried and true.
Not only do I write down every task I want to accomplish, I break down those tasks into subtasks. How will I ultimately complete this task? Even with my grocery shopping lists, I organize the ingredients under the recipe I plan to use it for. Not only does this help me remember what I need to buy, but it also keeps me from straying away from what I need and buying a bunch of junk. (p.s. this also helps when trying to lose weight and cutting back on certain foods!) Also make sure to prioritize. What needs to get done now and what can wait? What takes more time than the others? I like to rotate my list into easier and harder tasks so I don’t get burnt out when working on a bunch of longer tasks.
The feeling of checking off something on your list and then finally the last thing on your list feels so good!! And you’re not going to want to stop what you are doing until you accomplish everything you had planned to for the day.
Have a goal
I can guarantee that nothing will get done unless you have a solid goal in mind backed up with reasoning for yourself why you want to do it. Why else would you put in all this effort? Once you have a solid, realistic goal, figure out how long you want to give yourself to accomplish it. Like said before, nothing gets things done like a little bit of pressure.
Understanding the time frame in which you “need” to accomplish a task helps will make deciding what steps, or “subtasks” are necessary to reach the goal in mind. Being on a steady track towards what you want to get done will make each day feel a little closer to reaching that goal and you’ll feel so much more productive.
Find a good working spot
I am lucky to have Thursdays off. Instead of vegging out all day watching TV and napping (OK sometimes I do this too), I pack up my stuff and drive to Starbucks. I have one that I like especially with tall desks so I can stand when I need to and in the corner where I don’t feel like people are watching over my shoulder.
Some thing about having a designated work spot away from home or work will help your mind get to where it needs to be. When I was learning to play an instrument, my space was in front of a mirror. When I needed to study or finish a big paper, that place was the 5th floor of the library where only the smell of old books and desks etched with students’ names from the 80’s were found. But my all time favorite place to work is my parent’s porch back home.
It might take a few tries to find that place, but once you find it, hold onto it and make that your designated space to reach your goals.
Maybe this list sounds redundant. Maybe when you found this post you were hoping to find a practice from ancient civilization or a simple product to help get your life together. As basic as it sounds, these three little things are all you need to get your life on the track you want it to be, crush your goals, and keep your productivity through the roof.
Now, I could be wrong. I’m only day 7 into my New Age Resolution but I’m already seeing results. Is there anything I am missing out on? Have you received any advice that helped you get everything you needed to and more? I need to know.
But, if these steps don’t work for you or you don’t feel like sticking post-it notes on all surfaces, I have one more tip. Keep a positive attitude and continue believing that you can do it. As cheesy as it sounds, it is key to getting anything done efficiently. Don’t get frustrated when it isn’t as easy as you thought it would and don’t give up when you’re reaching your deadline and you don’t think you can finish. Keep thinking you can and you will. Trust me.