Whether you’re trying to complete your midterm papers or are juggling multiple deadlines at work, trying to figure out how to cross everything off your to-do list in a day can be an instant trigger for stress and overwhelm. While there are thousands of articles online that swear to have the key to optimal productivity, at the end of the day it’s about finding what combination of systems, tools, and processes works best for you. Here my suggestion for tackling those days where your list of things to do seems neverending. Hopefully you’ll find a few things that you can incorporate into your daily routine to make you more productive!
Outline Your Biggest Goals
Starting off your day by identifying your 3 biggest goals helps you get clear on what needs to get done and in what order. Choose only 3. Remember, these aren’t specific duties, just an overview of the things that you’d like to get accomplished before the day’s end.
Prioritize Your Tasks
Now that you have your 3 main goals, list out the tasks that you’ll need to get done and put them in order based on how important they are, and how quickly they need to get done. If it’s not that important or not that time sensitive, put it to the side for now.
Eat the Frog
Mark Twain said that if you eat the frog first thing in the morning, you can go through the rest of your day knowing that the worst is over. Try applying this thought process to your task list and accomplish the most daunting task first. Not only will you feel extremely rewarded, which will motivate you to get more done, but it will also ensure that the rest of your day will be smooth sailing.
Set a timer
The Pomodoro Technique was developed by Francesco Cirillo in the 80s, and has been a preferred method of time management ever since. The technique suggests working in intervals – ideally anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes at a time, and then allowing yourself shorter breaks. The idea is that setting clear parameters for distraction-free work periods allows you to focus on your work and significantly increase productivity. Check out Francesco Cirillo’s website for more on how to incorporate the Pomodoro Technique into your work routine.
No matter what we do, there never seems to be enough time in the day to scratch everything off of our to-do lists. Is it really times fault though, or is your todo list unrealistic? Today’s society glorifies being busy, and glamorizes the “all work and no play” mentality while rarely mentioning the inevitable burnout that comes with that mindset. Make sure that you keep in mind that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Reward yourself with breaks
Opt for tech support
As wonderful as it would be to have the willpower to stay focused, organized, and on task all the time, it’s 2019 people. There are apps for that! If you’re just getting started, read the blog post on my favorite time management apps to see what tech I use to help me stay on task on a daily basis.
I hope you found some helpful advice on how to be more productive when your to-do list seems a mile long! Let me know what you do to be productive by commenting below!