How many articles have you read on productivity yet you still seem to procrastinate the day away? That’s probably because the research on one site and must-dos on another aren’t what will keep your unique mind on task.
If you walked into the GMP office, you’d see a group of people busily working away. But upon closer observation, you’d find that we each have distinctive, and sometimes odd, ways of sustaining that diligence. Because we are such a nice and helpful group of people, we decided to share a few of those personal tactics with you.
These aren’t scientifically-tested truths, but examples of how we each find our way to a productive day.
- I stay focused by writing a daily and weekly to-do list. I like to circle top priority tasks, to focus myself and tackle those first.
- I like routine, so I do certain daily tasks at the same time every day. For example, I schedule all my social posts at 9:00am. This helps to keep me organized and opens the rest of my day for other projects.
- We like to use Dropbox, Google Docs, Google calendar, and Asana to keep our team organized. With cloud-based tools, everyone can access information from any device.
- If something outside of work or in my personal life is bothering me, I take the time to address it immediately so it is not hanging over me.
- I don’t leave any task half-done or incomplete before moving on to another task or before leaving for the day.
- I live by my Google calendar. I always check it before going to bed so I know what’s going on the next day.
- Most articles about time management will tell you to “eat the frog” – do the worst/biggest task early in the day. That doesn’t work for me. Taking care of smaller items helps me mentally prepare for the big/bad ones that are coming later.
- I think lists are the #1 key to productivity. I literally don’t understand how people get anything done without lists – even at home! I use a Google Doc to organize all my work-related tasks.
- It’s important to take a couple breaks throughout the day if I want to keep up momentum. For example, if I’m writing something, I need to think about something else for a couple of minutes so I can review my writing with “fresh” eyes.
- One of my special tricks is ambient-mixer.com. For some reason, I’m distracted by both random noises and complete silence. But if I put on a fake rainstorm or the Gryffindor Common Room then I can work for hours.
- Social media mental discipline! While a lot of what we do at GMP involves social media marketing, it’s important for me to realize that my personal social media pages are not important when I walk through the door.
- I cannot … CANNOT … concentrate on anything if I haven’t worked out in more than a day. So, every afternoon I go for a run, go to the gym, or do a prison workout in my room while watching Narcos.
- One of the most important ways I stay productive is by getting enough sleep. Distractions find me when I’m tired.
- Stay hydrated. It’s surprising how much this helps keep me awake and makes me feel better throughout the day.
- Sometimes looking at that big to-do list for the week or month can make me not want to start in the first place. Taking one thing at a time makes the list magically disappear.
- Every Sunday night/Monday morning I make my “weekly to-do” list. This way I know what’s coming and am prepared.
- I try not to get distracted by my phone! Although my phone is usually on my desk or in my bag, I try not to check it often. Normally, I’ll pull it out every other hour or at lunch for a quick break, but I try not to use it too much (except for work).
- Music helps me stay on task. Who knows why, but I always seem more distracted in a quiet room, so having a playlist on in the background helps me focus.
Some of these tactics may be similar, some familiar, but we’ve found what works for each of us. Finding the method to keep your madness in check is a completely subjective endeavor. Use a bit of discipline to get through a day using a tactic or two that you think will work for you. You may be surprised how satisfying it is to stay productive.
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