Monday, April 28, 2014

productivity tips (not hacks)


It should come as no surprise that I'm a big fan of reading self-help or self-improvement anything. So I read a lot of the "life hack" articles that I come across, even though they're super repetitive and I don't understand why we are calling any type of tip a "hack," just in case I learn something new that's actually useful. I was surprised by the novelty and usefulness of some of the tips in this article:

  • Use a daily planner. I've always been a to-do list advocate, but when I started using a paper planner and actually scheduling out my day my productivity increased so much. 
  • OHIO. "Only Handle It Once" when it comes to emails; I'm notorious for reading something on my phone, marking it as unread so I don't forget it, then... forgetting it, and clogging my inbox in the process.
  • Create checkpoints for assignments + self-imposed deadlines. After breaking up a large task into smaller parts, create self-imposed deadlines on each part to keep yourself on track and creating extra senses of accomplishment by meeting "deadlines" often.
  • Do the tasks you dread first. Also known as "eating the frog," a lot of studies show that getting your hardest task done with first thing makes you feel more productive and leads to more productivity for the rest of the day.
  • Two minute rule. I first read about this in the Happiness Project, and I love it as a way to keep tiny tasks from building up: if it takes less than two minutes, do it now. 
  • Make a not to-do list. As an antidote to my endless to-do lists, I need to keep my not-to-do list in mind: reading blogs, browsing Piperlime, and making more to-do lists.
  • Set a "dash" goal. Basically, set yourself a timer and aim to complete one small task in that time. I use the 30/30 app on my phone when I want to get myself to speed through several small tasks.
  • Don't commit to several TV shows. LOL JK I would never recommend that. 

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