In a busy world, the easiest thing for people to do often means doing nothing. Responsibilities grow with every passing day, and the more people have on their to-do lists the less many end up accomplishing.
However, no unproductive slump is permanent. With patience and determination, you can get back on schedule. Here are five of the best tips for planning out a motivated and more productive day.
To-Do or Not To-Do
To-do lists are popular for a reason—they work. Most people have a number of things they want to finish in a day. However, as people go about their day, more items just seem to appear out of nowhere.
One easy way to keep track of goals for the day is to write them all down. Once everything is in writing, it’s easier to go over the list and consolidate similar tasks, which will shorten the overall workload.
A written list also helps keep clear goals in mind. Group related tasks together and organize them by overall goal, making them easier to complete and creating an overall more productive day.
An Important Note: Prioritize!
Prioritizing is the single most productive habit that benefits people today. If lists aren’t prioritized, it’s going to be even harder to get your entire list done. Productivity isn’t solely defined by accomplishing things, it’s about getting the right things done.
Tackling lower-priority tasks first, such as dusting a bookshelf or cleaning out an email inbox, wastes valuable time and energy many need for later in the day. Prioritizing which tasks need to be done first helps maximize overall focus and drive.
Keep A Schedule
In days of old, people used to keep pocket calendars or daybooks where they wrote all their responsibilities down. Today, people have the same ability built right into their phones, computers, and even smart watches.
Keeping a daily schedule may feel old-fashioned, but one of the biggest barriers to productivity is failing to organize your day. Days that are usually organized by a loose assortment of tasks are less likely to accomplish everything on the to-do list and more likely to become distracted. A regimented calendar helps block out time more efficiently which will boost overall productivity.
Don’t Schedule Too Tightly
Keeping a schedule is a great step towards productivity, but an important reminder is not to overload a schedule by writing down every single item that needs to be completed and scheduling to the minute.
Allow yourself some wiggle room in case there are any unexpected circumstances that arise. The tighter a schedule is, the more disruption there will be if there is something unexpected.
Keep the big picture in mind by picking the most important tasks and putting them on the calendar, then leave larger chunks of free time to pepper in smaller tasks as needed.
At the end of the day, productivity is a state of mind. Keep big picture goals front and center and let the rest of the tasks fill in naturally, and productivity will become easier than ever!