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7 Simple Ways to Work 10 Times Faster

7 Simple Ways to Work 10 Times Faster

If you’re having trouble staying on task and getting the most out of your day, there are actually several simple ways to maximize productivity so that you can go to sleep feeling accomplished and happy with your progress. They won’t require big life changes, only little tweaks, and you’ll be so happy with the results. Here they are:

1. Wake Up Early

Successful people swear by waking up early. At that point, the world is quiet. You haven’t been affected by the distractions of the day, and you get a moment to yourself. Use this time to be your most productive or create a plan for your day. If you’re not an early bird, try setting your alarm just 30 minutes earlier each day until you can comfortably wake up at dawn.

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2. Make a List

Making lists is a great way to feel productive. Keep the list small so that it does not look overwhelming. Make sure to cross things off as you go to keep your stamina up and your motivation strong. Be sure to keep the list in a place that you can reach it easily. There’s nothing worse for productivity than having multiple lists strewn all over the house. Just make one main list, and make sure that you keep it close by.

3. Set Goals

We can all be more productive if we have something that we’re looking forward to. If you have a goal to eat dinner with your friends at 6:00 p.m., you’ll be more likely to finish the tasks on that handy list that you made. You can even set bigger goals like paying off debt or reaching a specific number of people for your business. No matter how big or how small, you have to set them.

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4. Get Accountability

Being productive is so much easier when someone is keeping you accountable. It can be something as small as telling your mom that you want to work out every day or announcing it to the world on a blog post. Either way, telling someone else about your goals for the day will make you more likely to reach them.

5. Do The Most Difficult Task First

It’s human nature to put off the most difficult task. This leads to more procrastination. However, if you start each day by completing the one thing you are dreading, all of your other tasks will seem small by comparison.

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6. Treat Yourself

When you do have a great, productive day, don’t forget to treat yourself. When times are tough, you have to give yourself a little reward. Even something as small as getting an ice cream will make you feel great about all you have accomplished.

7. Make Your Goals Visible

If you have set goals that you want to reach every day, make sure they are visible to you. You can do this by putting your goals on a big dry erase board or writing them on sticky notes that you put on your monitor. The point is that they are supposed to be in a place where you can look when you are feeling unproductive or weak. Those reminders of yours goals should be enough to push you forward to succeed.

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Ultimately, there are many ways to become more productive. You can use an item on this list or a combination of them until you find what works best for you. We’re all motivated in different ways, and what’s most important is that you spend some time trying to find out what helps you to get your goals accomplished. Good luck, and if you have any other productivity tips, please leave them in the comment section below.

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Catherine Alford

Catherine is the go to personal finance expert for educated, aspirational moms who want to recapture their life passions.

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Last Updated on September 11, 2019

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

How often do you feel overwhelmed and disorganized in life, whether at work or home? We all seem to struggle with time management in some area of our life; one of the most common phrases besides “I love you” is “I don’t have time”. Everyone suggests working from a to-do list to start getting your life more organized, but why do these lists also have a negative connotation to them?

Let’s say you have a strong desire to turn this situation around with all your good intentions—you may then take out a piece of paper and pen to start tackling this intangible mess with a to-do list. What usually happens, is that you either get so overwhelmed seeing everything on your list, which leaves you feeling worse than you did before, or you make the list but are completely stuck on how to execute it effectively.

To-do lists can work for you, but if you are not using them effectively, they can actually leave you feeling more disillusioned and stressed than you did before. Think of a filing system: the concept is good, but if you merely file papers away with no structure or system, the filing system will have an adverse effect. It’s the same with to-do lists—you can put one together, but if you don’t do it right, it is a fruitless exercise.

Why Some People Find That General To-Do Lists Don’t Work?

Most people find that general to-do lists don’t work because:

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  • They get so overwhelmed just by looking at all the things they need to do.
  • They don’t know how to prioritize the items on list.
  • They feel that they are continuously adding to their list but not reducing it.
  • There’s a sense of confusion seeing home tasks mixed with work tasks.

Benefits of Using a To-Do List

However, there are many advantages working from a to-do list:

  • You have clarity on what you need to get done.
  • You will feel less stressed because all your ‘to do’s are on paper and out of your mind.
  • It helps you to prioritize your actions.
  • You don’t overlook so many tasks and forget anything.
  • You feel more organized.
  • It helps you with planning.

4 Golden Rules to Make a To-Do List Work

Here are my golden rules for making a “to-do” list work:

1. Categorize

Studies have shown that your brain gets overwhelmed when it sees a list of 7 or 8 options; it wants to shut down.[1] For this reason, you need to work from different lists. Separate them into different categories and don’t have more than 7 or 8 tasks on each one.

It might work well for you to have a “project” list, a “follow-up” list, and a “don’t forget” list; you will know what will work best for you, as these titles will be different for everybody.

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2. Add Estimations

You don’t merely need to know what has to be done, but how long it will take as well in order to plan effectively.

Imagine on your list you have one task that will take 30 minutes, another that could take 1 hour, and another that could take 4 hours. You need to know the moment you look at the task, otherwise you undermine your planning, so add an extra column to your list and include your estimation of how long you think the task will take, and be realistic!

Tip: If you find it a challenge to estimate accurately, then start by building this skill on a daily basis. Estimate how long it will take to get ready, cook dinner, go for a walk, etc., and then compare this to the actual time it took you. You will start to get more accurate in your estimations.

3. Prioritize

To effectively select what you should work on, you need to take into consideration: priority, sequence and estimated time. Add another column to your list for priority. Divide your tasks into four categories:

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  • Important and urgent
  • Not urgent but important
  • Not important but urgent
  • Not important or urgent

You want to work on tasks that are urgent and important of course, but also, select some tasks that are important and not urgent. Why? Because these tasks are normally related to long-term goals, and when you only work on tasks that are urgent and important, you’ll feel like your day is spent putting out fires. You’ll end up neglecting other important areas which most often end up having negative consequences.

Most of your time should be spent on the first two categories.

4.  Review

To make this list work effectively for you, it needs to become a daily tool that you use to manage your time and you review it regularly. There is no point in only having the list to record everything that you need to do, but you don’t utilize it as part of your bigger time management plan.

For example: At the end of every week, review the list and use it to plan the week ahead. Select what you want to work on taking into consideration priority, time and sequence and then schedule these items into your calendar. Golden rule in planning: don’t schedule more than 75% of your time.

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Bottom Line

So grab a pen and paper and give yourself the gift of a calm and clear mind by unloading everything in there and onto a list as now, you have all the tools you need for it to work. Knowledge is useless unless it is applied—how badly do you want more time?

To your success!

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Featured photo credit: Emma Matthews via unsplash.com

Reference

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