The Only 3 Productivity Tips You Need to Know
I talk about productivity a lot- and I share a lot of different tips, techniques, strategies- you name it! For someone just starting out, however, I realize too much information can sometimes be a bad thing, which is why I gave it some thought and narrowed down my top productivity tips to these key 3 things you should do if you want to get more productive. So if you are someone, right now, starting at zero on the productivity scale, meaning you don’t actively think about or pursue ways to increase your productivity, these three tips are going to help you get started working smarter, not harder!
1. Use a Planner
Yep- of course this is my first tip! It doesn’t have to be a paper planner, use whatever system works for you, digital, physical, a filofax, your iPhone calendar. The point is that in order to be productive, you first need to get in the habit of planning. When we use a planner and think about our days, weeks and months ahead of time, we are able to be more effective and efficient with our work. That doesn’t mean all your days will always go according to plan- in fact, they most likely won’t- but having a general idea of what you need to do and have all your plans and ideas mapped out in a system can help you do more of what matters and spend less time on what doesn’t!
2. Set a Daily Top 3
The Daily Top 3 is a productivity concept I love because it’s all about getting focused. Essentially, each day (or evening before) you will choose three things on your to do list that are priority items. These can be items with a deadline, things that need to be accomplished before other sequential tasks or just something important to you personally. You list out these three individual tasks and try to finish all three during the day, the sooner the better! I know we all have more than three things to do in a day, but forcing yourself to choose just three that are priority for a single day forces us to focus in on what really matters and teaches us how to sort through our messy task list for items that will truly impact our days.
3. Create White Space
So this is probably a tip that you would never expect a productivity guru to share with you, especially not in a top three list of the most important strategies but creating white space, essentially planning to do nothing, is too important. When you create white space in your day by setting aside time in your schedule to do nothing, you end up becoming more productive in a few ways. First of all, if you plan for some white space in your day and you have tasks that end up taking longer than expected, that white space can be used to buffer other items on your list so you don’t end up with tasks that need to be carried over to the next day. Second, studies have shown that people who have free time are more creative and produce better work. Why? Because when you can give yourself time to just do nothing, think and relax, you are able to dive deeper on your thoughts and come up with more creative ideas and solutions for your work. When we are forced to quickly complete a task, we usually rush and create a less than desirable result, but if we had time in our day to think about our work, we can come up with better solutions and better outcomes!
If you enjoyed these tips and would like to learn more about planning and productivity, I highly recommend signing up for my FREE Planner Peace Master Class. This video class will teach you my fundamentals of planning and productivity so you can get started using your planner of choice to organize your life and work smarter, not harder!
I hope these three tips give you a good foundation for productivity in your life. I would love to hear how you are integrating these ideas currently into your daily routine or if you have other must-have productivity tips you think might be more important, I’d love for you to share in the comments!