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Getting the most out of your day? Most of us want to find a way to get a bit more done and combat distractions – try these tips for a more productive week.
Time is our biggest resource, our biggest luxury – and the thing it’s easiest to take for granted. Finding ways to manage your working time can make your jobs easier – and your time off more rewarding too. These are our best tips for getting more out of each day – let us know yours in the comments. Now, where’s that to-do list?
1. Know what your goals are
First things first – what do you want? The first stage to getting things done is to set some goals.
We tend to have 3 kinds of things to put on a to-do list:
– Ambitions – ‘I want to become Boston’s favourite wedding photographer’
– Daily habits – ‘get at least 30mins exercise every day’
– To-do tasks – ‘Send cost estimate to my new client’
So first up, you need to know which kind of goal you’re talking about – it’s going to be hard to put your ambition down on Monday and cross it off Tuesday. But breaking that down into smaller tasks – posting on your blog, sharing your portfolio, preparing for events – can all help get you there. That’ll give you a more manageable list to start with.
Once you’ve got your goals, whether they’re just for today or for your whole year, write them down. It can be as simple as having a good, reliable diary and setting yourself some deadlines, but if you’re after something a little stronger, Bullet Journalling is a great way to map your daily tasks, reminders and habits.
2. Break up the day
A huge step towards increasing your productivity is to stop looking at your day as one long block, or even two half-day-long pretty-long-blocks. Psychologists tend to agree that the longest anyone can really concentrate on one thing is about 45 minutes.
This means that if your goals for the day are too big, or too broad, it’ll be really hard to make them attainable. Take a tip from school-age you – take that to-do list and put it into a timetable, switching up the kind of task you’re doing every ‘period’. This is also a great way to keep regular jobs like email or admin to a set amount of time, rather than letting them spill over into your whole day.
Or, to keep it simpler, make like a tomato. The Pomodoro technique, invented by Italian developer Francesco Cirillo in the 80s, recommends working in 25minute chunks with a 5-minute break in between each, then taking a longer break after 4 chunks. With those little breaks in between for your diversion of choice (take a walk, play with the dog, flick through Tinder…) you’ll be much more likely to stay on track.
Want to read the final three items on this list? Read the full post!