You’re clever. You know the usual suspect productivity tips. You know about prioritizing. You know about coffee. But do you know theeeeese productivity tips?
“The First 10 Minutes” Trick
When I get home from work, the temptation to kick off my boots, eat a bowl of cereal and sit down in front a Hulu is nearly insurmountable. However! I (try) to force myself to spend the first ten minutes of my time at home doing something productive.
Maybe that’s paying bills, putting a load of laundry in, catching up on emails or changing the litter box. Regardless of what I do, those first ten minutes of my time away from work set the tone for the rest of my evening, and I find it a lot easier to keep doing stuff if I start off in that mind set.
On the same token, if you’re a workaholic who has a hard time winding down, you can use your ten minutes to do some stretching, make a cup of tea, cuddle with your lover or play with your cat. It’s not hard to have a relaxing evening if you make a conscious effort to have one from the minute you walk in the door.
“The 20 Minute Timer” Trick
If Sunday evening usually finds you slightly sulky with the knowledge that you have heaps to do and very little interest in doing it, may I introduce to my best friend: the timer? I use this trick all.the.time to derail fits of laze.
Set your phone timer for 20 minutes and force yourself to start on some of the things that you need to do. Just knowing that you only have to work for 20 minutes makes it soooo much more bearable. Often, you’ll find that once the timer goes off, you’re willing to keep going for a bit longer. And if you’re not? You still got something accomplished, you clever minx, you!
“The Three Equally Important Things” Trick
If you were given two options: going to the beach on a gorgeous day or organizing your important paperwork, which one would you choose? Perhaps the beach? Maybe?
But what if the options were: organizing the paperwork or doing laundry? or writing a research paper? or sending out resumes? You totally know how this one goes – once you need to write a research paper, your resumes suddenly because so much more interesting. I (try) to harness this avoidance technique to get things done. Everything will eventually get done, if only because I will do anything to put off cleaning my refrigerator.
“The List” Trick
Really blowing your mind with this one, right? Making a list? Checking things off? Yup. Makes me get more stuff done. Maybe because I painted my front door with blackboard paint and have to look at a list of unfinished items every day before I leave for work.
“The Weather Watcher” Trick
This trick might be applicable only to those of us who live in places with temperamental temperatures, but I’m something of a slave to the weather.
On the three days of the year when the Minnesota weather is lovely, I use that time to walk around the neighborhood running errands, catch up with friends in outdoor cafes, lay in the grass and write or read the paper by the lake.
When it’s overcast or cold (the other 362 days of the year) I have zero qualms about hunkering down with my computer, repainting the living room, or spending hours attempting to teach my cat to fetch.
How productive are you? What are your tricks?