Do you feel that everything is falling on you, you can’t live and you would need at least a week for the good to be able to handle all the tasks that shout at you from the to-do list? Do you sleep little, get stressed and still think about how it is possible that you did nothing in the whole day?
You don’t even know how I understand you.
When I was still studying at work, I experienced these feelings regularly. But over time, I’ve found a way to deal with it.
I learned to plan more effectively, organize my time, and I understood that if I wanted to be productive, I sometimes had to rest.
And the fifteen tips that I consider most important when working (freelance), I have written for you in the following lines;
15 Tips on How to be more productive
Clarify your priorities.
Like it or not, each of us always has only twenty-four hours a day.
We are all the same and the fact that we allegedly do not have time for something means that we have preferred other activities.
I don’t have time equals it’s not my priority, so I haven’t made the time. Nothing more, nothing less.
Set your long-term goals and learn to say no.
Every year, write down (ideally SMART) the goals you want to achieve, and whenever you decide whether or not to go for something, think about whether it will help you achieve them.
If your goal (and priority) is to spend more time with your family, you will reject work that may be well paid, but you will be in it from seeing to seeing. If you want to become one of the richest people in the world, you will nod to every job opportunity that comes your way.
Get to know yourself.
Most self-development manuals advise getting up at five and doing the most difficult tasks in the morning, but if this mode doesn’t suit you, you don’t have to give up right away.
The most important thing is to know yourself, know what part of the day you are most productive in, and organize your time accordingly. Create your own work routine and stick to it.
Get up early and / or don’t snooze the alarm.
Although I deny the previous point a bit now, I say from my own experience that getting up before six is one of the most effective things that helps me pursue everything I want.
Is the idea of getting up early unrealistic for you? So at least try not to snooze the alarm. It disrupts the natural rhythm of the body and as a result you will be even more tired than if you got up at the first ring.
Everything. Sit at your diary at least once a week and plan what, when, where and with whom you will do in the coming days.
And it’s not necessarily just about work tasks. Write down exercises, walks, meetings with friends, cleaning and, last but not least, time for yourself in your diary.
Write detailed to-do sheets.
Whether you choose paper or online, write down everything you want or need to do.
And when you have a difficult task ahead of you, divide it into smaller items and gradually tick them off.
It’s much more motivating than keeping a giant scarecrow in front of you.
Sort tasks by priority.
When you have everything nicely written down, sort the items according to what burns the most.
Put on top the tasks you have to do right away, in the middle of what will wait until the end of the week, and at the end things that are not in a hurry, but will help you achieve the goals you are heading for.
Count on the fact that there is always a problem.
When estimating how much time will take you, be realistic and always keep a time reserve.
I usually set deadlines for all tasks three days earlier, and if something goes wrong, I have plenty of time to work it out.
Apply the five minute rule.
What can you imagine under that? Do everything that doesn’t take more than five minutes now.
Wash the dishes, water the flowers, answer a few e-mails.
In short, stop putting off small tasks that scream at you unnecessarily from the to-do list once and for all.
Determine the place to work.
Ever since I was a freelancer, I have been trying to follow the motto that people work outside, rest at home, and now that I can’t sit in cafes, I go to WorkLounge coworking.
If you work well at home, create a home office or work corner, otherwise you may want to consider coworking membership.
While it may seem to help you handle multiple things at once, it usually has the opposite effect.
Personally, I am not a supporter of pomodoro technique, but the principle on which it is based helps me a lot. I usually take breaks after each completed task or when creativity refuses to cooperate.
It’s useless to look at a blank page in Word for a few minutes just because I should be working now.
It works much better for me to focus on other activities and return to writing only when I gain inspiration.
Don’t forget quality food and sleep.
Our body works like an engine and without quality fuel all previous tips will be useless. Food is the alpha and omega of everything we do, so don’t underestimate its role. The same goes for quality sleep.
Relax and have fun.
Speaking of the diet, I’ll use the comparison my psychotherapist advised me to do.
To be healthy, we must take all macronutrients. We can’t live on protein or carbs alone.
And the same goes for mental health; if we want to be cool, it is important to have more pillars in life than just work, otherwise we risk burning out sooner or later.
Do what you enjoy and fulfill.
Clichés of all clichés, but based on the true basis.
If you despair every Monday that life is over again, something is wrong.
Every profession has its pros and cons, but the positives should always prevail. You will then have a much greater desire to do something, and the work will go hand in hand.
The conclusion is that we are all in a different life situation, and if you are still taking care of small children at the home office, I bow. I have tried to describe the most universal advice possible, and I hope that at least one of them will help you.
At the same time, I want to mention an important thing that concerns productivity – do not compare yourself to others. You know best if you lay all day at Netflix or were productive. And it doesn’t matter that you accomplished half the tasks of your colleague or friend. If we do everything we can at the moment, there is no reason to blame anything.
How do you organize your time? Do you have any tricks to help you be productive? I will be very happy if you write them to me in the comments.