7 Tricks to Increase Your Productivity (& Get Stuff Done)
BY BIG CAT CREATIVE
No matter what industry you’re in, or how much you love your job, sometimes it’s hard to stay focused and motivated. I know this all too well, some days I wake up on top of things, ready to smash through my to-do list, other days I wake up scatterbrained and just generally distracted by, well, everything.
This happens to the best of us, and by no means am I the best. So, I’ve compiled a list of all the things I do to keep myself on track, motivated and super productive.
#1 | Turn off your devices
This is a huge one. On the days where I’m particularly unmotivated, I seem to look at my phone every time it lights up (which is a lot) and then get sucked into the wormhole of Instagram or Facebook.
Usually I just turn my phone on silent and flip it over so I can’t see it light up. Or if you really need to, turn it off or put it in another room. Once you start doing this you’ll begin to become aware of how much your phone was distracting you.
You can also download this app called Moment which tells you how many hours you spent on your phone each day. This may actually scare you out of using your phone as much. If I’m not really careful, I can spend HOURS every day on my phone. It’s actually terrifying. Like, how much could I get done in those hours? A lot.
#2 | Brain dump/To-Do lists
You’re probably writing to-do lists already (and if you’re not, how do you remember to do anything!?). Weather its in Asana, Trello, or a shitty old piece of paper, I want you to write down EVERYTHING you need to do today I’m talking detailed, like, “Write Blog Post, Wash Sheets, Post on Instagram, Pluck eyebrows”
There’s a few reasons I do this:
Obviously, so I don’t forget to actually do it
as soon as I get everything onto paper it’s like a huge weight off my shoulders. I don’t have to stress about remembering everything, because I’ve literally written everything down. As soon as something pops into my mind, I write it on the list, then I can let it go from whizzing around my head and distracting me.
The more things on my to-do list, no matter how small they are, means the more things I can tick off my to-do list. I’m sure we can all agree there’s something really motivating about ticking off your tasks as you go through them. The more you tick off, the more you want to tick off!
Write out this first thing in the morning, or last thing at night for the next day.
#3 | Work in increments
I like to give myself set times to finish a task, or at least start a task, and not let myself get distracted by anything. For example I will pick something off my to-do list and give myself a short time period, like 30 minutes or 1 hour (max), and work hard on this for that set time.
It’s kind of like when I was in school and had an assignment due, I knew I always worked better under pressure so I didn’t start them until the night before.
Put similar pressure on yourself to get as much done as possible in a short period of time. Turn off your phone. Don’t focus on anything else for that set amount of time. Then have a 10 minute break, and do it all over again.
# 4 | Strategically order your tasks
There’s two options here, and everyone works differently. I use both options, depending on how I feel that day.
Start with your large, daunting tasks first thing in the morning and get them over and done with so you can work through the day with your tasks becoming easier and smaller.
Start with your small and easy tasks first thing in the morning so you can snowball and gain some momentum and motivation to tackle the harder tasks later on.
Both of these work, but you need to know what works best for you. Once you know, you can strategically tackle your to-do list in a way that will be most productive for you.
# 5 | Batch your work
This is one of the biggest time savers I have implemented in my business. Batching means to work on one project or task long enough to cover you for a long period of time.
For example, on Mondays I batch my Instagram Posts for the week. So I create enough content that I can post every day that week, and I only have to work on it one hour per week. If I didn’t do this, I would have to think of something to post everyday, and I know if I added it all up, that it would be taking me much longer than an hour. But if I sit down and do it all at once, my focus is completely on the task and I can get it done faster.
You can do this with basically everything in your business. I do this with all of my social media and my blog posts and this saves me so much time.
I have a scheduled time to sit down and focus completely on creating lots of content, instead of doing it whenever I feel like it, which would end up taking much more time.
#6 | Change your position
This one’s simple, but effective. Get away from your desk and go sit somewhere else. I alternate between my desk, the kitchen counter, the couch, sitting on the floor and standing up at the counter. I find that a simple change in where or how I’m sitting/standing can completely change my outlook on what I’m working on.
#7 | Change your location
Not quite as simple, but probably even more effective, is ditching your office space for somewhere new. I like to go to my local library or to a cafe (with wifi of course). The change of scenery can completely reset your motivation and focus. But remember to always bring headphones/earplugs, because the noise can be super distracting!
So, next time you’re in a motivation slump, pull up this list and try out some of these options. They really do work!
Let me know in the comments below what your favourite tricks are to help you stay motivated and on task.
Thanks for reading!