This particular lesson is focused on day to day productivity. Ways to knock out your projects in less time. These tools are intended to save you time in your work life so that you can enjoy more time in the other areas of your existence. They are not intended to create more time so that you can do more work. Use them responsibly!
The Pomodoro Technique
- When to use this method: Use this when you have a time consuming task to do but, you keep finding yourself distracted.
- Great because: It teaches you to work with time in a way that puts pressure on staying focused.
- Prevents burnout by: Training you to take small breaks throughout the work day to prevent that exhausted foggy feeling often attributed to a long work day.
- How to: Set a timer for 25 minutes. Work on your task for a full 25 minutes. When the timer goes off, you get a five minute break! (I suggest setting a timer for that break too, don’t get carried away!) Every 4 work sessions take a longer break!
Win the Day Lists
- When to use this method: When you find yourself paralyzed by a lengthy to-do list and don’t know where to start.
- Great because: It trains you to create a reasonable to-do list for the day. When you start with the most important tasks you often gain momentum and get more accomplished.
- Prevents burnout by: Showing you what is truly a priority in your day and training you to release the expectation that you need to accomplish more than that. It shortens your work days and releases to-do list guilt.
- How to: At the end of each work day, just the top three tasks that need to get accomplished the next day. Put those at the top of your list and choose to finish those tasks first before moving forward onto the rest of your tasks or even just finishing your work day there.
- When to use this method: When you need help prioritizing your personal and professional tasks.
- Great because: It teaches you to treat your to-do list as one entity.
- Prevents burnout by: training you to delegate & simply stop doing tasks that aren’t serving you on a regular basis & helping you to make sense of what you need to accomplish each day.
- How to: Draw four quadrants on a piece of paper, label them: Do first, schedule (do today, but, not urgently), delegate, and don’t do. At the beginning of your day write your to-do list items in the appropriate quadrant. The key is to not put more than 8 items in each box & to mix your personal and professional to-do items within the quadrants. You are equally prioritizing your tasks with this method.
- I’ve developed helpful worksheets for each of these techniques, download them through the links below to try them out for yourself.