Here it is: a quick and dirty list of some of the ways in which I have found that I have achieved “maximum productivity”. It’s a state that some people tease me sounds a lot like “maximum overdrive” and in a way it kind of is- I love the feeling of looking up from my desk and seeing that the time has flown by while I’ve been absorbed by a project. Even better is the feeling you get from looking at a to-do list with all its items completed. At least, that’s my idea of a good time. Here’s how I’ve accomplished it.
I have this natural talent for taking on big, complicated projects so I’ve learned that breaking down these behemoths into smaller tasks has done wonders for my productivity, my self-esteem and my procrastination habit. I’ve got tips on how to do this here.
I tend to get easily distracted, so establishing a quiet time for myself with no phone or internet access was a key factor in helping me control my workflow. Sometimes I love this silence so much that it’s tempting to do nothing at all, but it’s still a great way of forcing myself to stay productive. I borrowed the idea from personal organizing guru Julie Morgenstern, whose books I chat about here.
I mentioned briefly in this post about procrastination about how adapting your workflow to coordinate with your energy cycles throughout the day can help prevent putting things off. It took me a lot of time to figure out when I was at my best and it took longer still to assign which tasks to which times of day, but in the end it was worth it because it made a big difference. Those of you who work from home or in another flexible work environment should definitely give it a try.
Incidentally, this practice has also helped me to have a better handle on what my threshold of concentration is, so I know ahead of time to anticipate breaks or shifts in workflow and schedule them accordingly.
Of course, it can become pretty difficult to complete a task (not to mention inefficient) if you’re constantly ill-prepared, are unable to access supplies, or are forcing yourself to work in an environment that’s counter-productive. I’ve got a list of basic needs for any great office here.
And the simplest, dirtiest trick that I could give you? Time yourself on how long it takes to really complete a task, and schedule yourself that exact amount of time to complete it. There are so many things that we put off or ignore because we overestimate the amount of time it will take us, and if you set aside an hour to do something that would normally take you five minutes, you better believe it’s going to take that full hour.
Ready, set, go! I want to hear about all the things that make you productive and I want to hear them now! Comment below or write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you still feel like you’re lacking in productivity smarts, I suggest you visit this page immediately! Even if you’re a super-organized professional like myself (mostly), you may still find some good tips and tricks. Productivity is one of the many things that I love to write about!