You’ve made a conscious decision to do something with your life, congratulations, the only problem is there are a million and one other things that you also need to get done. Catch up on that box set on Netflix, see what people you know or might not know are doing on Facebook, watch a few cat videos on YouTube, anything but what it is that you really should be doing.
I’ll be honest with you, my attention span is next to non-existent, I probably could have thought of more than six tips, but I knew that either I’d get bored or you’d get bored reading the post if it was too wordy, you probably have a life you want to get back to as well.
A while ago, I thought it would be a good idea to not only be in full-time employment but also maintain this blog, learn to code and somewhere in between try and have a life. Finishing at five sometimes means that I can’t be bothered and as a result, some days are more productive than others.
What is true today as it has ever been, I found that I was most productive when I was adopting a few simple strategies.
Below is a list of these strategies. If you can think of any more feel free to leave them in the comments section below.
1 Have an interest in what you’re doing
It’s easy to start something because it’s what everyone else is doing or you think that it is going to make you rich, but if you have no interest in it then you are only setting yourself up for a fall.
If I told you that you had to start a blog about football when you had no interest in the game or write a blog post about makeup when you don’t know your eyeshadow from your eyeliner and said that I expected you to write two posts a week, promote the posts on social media, network and come up with more ideas for posts, I’d guess that’ll you’ll write one or two posts and then lose interest. How can you expect to be productive if you just don’t care?
I enjoy creating content for this blog, even though some might not consider it the most enthralling and like the challenge of learning something new, hence my reason for trying to learn to code. As a result, I’ll put all my efforts into these tasks and devote a minimum of an hour every night and more at the weekend.
2 Turn off your phone
The phone is a modern marvel but it’s also a procrastinator’s wet dream.
How many times have you picked up your phone for no apparent reason at all? I do it all the time, I don’t even do anything with it, I’ve probably just formed a habit.
I know that you’re probably super important and you have to respond to every Facebook or WhatsApp message as soon as you receive it but this is just suffocating your productivity. You don’t even have to turn your phone off, stick it on airplane mode, whilst you’re doing whatever it is you’re doing and turn it back on when you come to a natural break.
3 Use the Pomodoro technique
If you don’t know what the Pomorodo technique is, you’re not alone.
When you’re at school, it’s been a while for me now, you’re forced to sit for an hour or maybe longer listening to a teacher try to engage you in a subject that you couldn’t care less about, your mind wonders and your focus floats to when you’re due a break so you can meet with your mates and do something a lot more interesting or even better home time.
Lessons might have been a bit more palatable if the Pomodoro technique was used.
I won’t go into the history of how the technique came about. It works on the basis that you break down a task into 25-minute intervals and when the time is up you reward yourself with a short 5-minute break. After four 25 minute intervals, you take a longer 30-minute break.
This is the technique that I’m using to try and teach myself to code, and although it’s still early days, I had to stop for a short period, I find that the information seems to stick in my mind for a lot longer and if I am at a point where I haven’t a clue what I’m doing the break helps gets my head back into the right frame of mind to continue learning and what I was stuck will sometimes click into place with a fresh mind.
You don’t need anything fancy, your timer on your mobile will do, just remember to put it in airplane mode.
4 Shut yourself away
You might be kidding yourself believing that you are the master of multitasking, you’re not and never will be, you’ll watch a bit of TV or be listening to your favourite tune while at the same time writing a blog post, revising for that exam or learning a new skill.
I certainly don’t believe the saying that woman are better at multitasking than men either. Neither are good at multitasking efficiently or effectively.
Multitasking isn’t real and has no place in your life if you want to be doing something that is going to have profound effect on your life, finances, and wellbeing.
If you can go to a quiet room in your house, if not find somewhere else, a library, if it hasn’t been turned into a Starbucks, a friend or family member’s house just anywhere that you can devote some time to you and spend half an hour or however long is possible just getting in the zone and completing that task you’ve put off for too long.
5 Get on your bike & do more exercise
You might have heard the saying a healthy mind is a healthy body and dismissed it as a load of old crap. But don’t there’s certainly something in it.
It’s a fact that some of the worlds most successful people believe that exercise is the key to their success. I’ve no doubt the people in the link know what they are talking about, you don’t get to have a few billion in your account with luck alone.
I’ve neglected exercise for some time having had knee surgery and I’ve certainly felt it, waking up every morning tired and going to sleep tired.
Get yourself up that bit earlier take some time to get active, it doesn’t even have to be a long workout. There are plenty of High-Intensity Training apps out there where you can do what feels like a full workout in seven minutes.
6 Drink more
This isn’t an open invitation to pop the cork on a bottle of your favourite wine or get yourself a cold one out of the fridge. I’m talking about good old water.
If you skipped tip 4 out of fear of the prospect of having to don some lycra, I’ll summarise the point, exercise increases your energy levels and is good for you, obvious but true. The same can be said about water.
We’ve probably all heard and read why we should drink more water, but sometimes I think that we can overlook the importance of its ability in helping us become more productive.
In keeping dehydrated we are able to fight fatigue, concentrate our focus on tasks and be more alert.
It’s a win, win.
So there you have it, my six tips to supercharge your productivity, instantly.
I’m under no illusion that a lot of hard work plays an important role in ensuring that you stay productive but I honestly believe by following, if not all, but a few of the tips above, you will find that you are able to accomplish a lot more than you previously thought possible.
If you have any other tips or comments, don’t be shy and let me know, I’d be interested to hear what you have to say.