Put down your phone and get cracking!
You know I love a good app to boost productivity. But sometimes, my digital devices seem to be more distracting than I’d like. When that happens, I turn to these five sure-fire strategies that get me going – without a screen in sight!
Suzi Whitford from StartAMomBlog.com is a former industrial engineer turned mom-of-two/blogging queen. Which means she is also a productivity MACHINE. Her Super Simple Weekly Schedule is flexible, colorful, and inescapable – and all it takes is some posterboard and Post-It notes.
Why does this digitally dazzling lady use an analog calendar? “The biggest fault I see with [calendar] apps are that they aren’t visible at all times,” she says. “Once you put down your phone, or close your computer, your calendar is no longer visible. Also, if I use my phone to manage my life I get too distracted by the peeps and pings, that I completely forget what I needed to add to my calendar in the first place.”
It’s no secret that I’m a list-maker. I love powering through a to-do list – checking off and crossing out give me such a sense of satisfaction.
Until… the list gets to be a mile long. Or something unexpected happens, and I have to drop everything. I feel overwhelmed and discouraged, and I let my list languish for days.
That said, I was intrigued when I heard about “the Ivy Lee method.” I gave it a try, and much to my surprise, it totally changed my day!
3. Get Rid of Productivity Killers
Olga at The Minimalist Mind made this helpful list of five productivity killers that can totally cramp your work style. No surprise – the first three are device related: your smartphone, social media, and email. “It is actually quite alarming that my phone is number one on this list of productivity killers,” she says. “Wherever I am, my phone is always within reach – tempting me to check my texts, social media and stats. This is proving to be a huge problem for my concentration.”
We’re already working on avoiding those distractions, so let’s focus on her productivity killer #5: noise. I never thought much about noise until a company decided to build a staircase connecting my floor with the floor below – right next to my desk. The noise was attention-shattering, especially when one of the construction workers began a loud, heated phone conversation with his girlfriend! Check out this post for Olga’s tips on managing noise while you work.
4. Use GPS
No, not on your phone! This article in Forbes magazine offers inside tips from 6 productivity experts. My favorite is Mitzi Weinman‘s suggestion to focus on “goal, purpose, and scope.” Sometimes it’s easy to just jump right in on the first task that pops into my mind, or the first request in my email. But by focusing on what I want to achieve (goal) and why (purpose), I attack the day in a totally different way. And keeping the scope in mind helps me step back before I get launched on a tangent or fall down a rabbit-hole and get way off-track.
I’m a big fan of fitting exercise into my daily routine. And given that many of us are sitting at desks for a big chunk of the day, “deskercise” (I promise that’s the only time I’ll use that horrible word) seems like a great idea, right?But then there are some questions. Will I get sweaty? Are my work clothes stretchy enough to stand the strain? What if somebody sees me??
Never fear! I have answers. (And some laughs.)
What are your favorite productivity hacks IRL? Let me know in the comments!
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